Out of an abundance of caution and in line with our guiding principle of Safety First in all we do, the MCOW Board of Directors has decided to call off the 2020-2021 exchange. A few days ago, the James Hargest College Board of Trustees canceled the trip for the New Zealand students and adults scheduled to arrive in September 2020. The MCOW Board voted this week to not have a group of Student Ambassadors, Teacher Leaders, and Parent Chaperones travel to New Zealand in February 2021.
For 31 continuous years, we have taken students to New Zealand each February. This decision was not made lightly and is the result of a great deal of careful consideration given its significance in the history of the MCOW program. While frustrating and difficult, the Board believes canceling the February 2021 trip is the best course of action given the circumstances. Since its inception in 1989, the program has changed lives because of the connections made and the discoveries encountered around every corner. Sending our Student Ambassadors on this Kiwi adventure has become a familiar and safe experience for us, and it will be again in 2021-2022.
We find ourselves in the midst of a very unusual time, given the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having around the world. For most of us, life has changed in profound ways. Right now the only thing that seems certain is uncertainty. The simple fact is we don’t know what to expect or how this will continue to impact our daily lives in the coming days, weeks or even months.
While this message is somber, the MCOW Board of Directors is committed to make the most of this unique year and we invite you to join us.
Was your student planning to be an Ambassador or planning to host a Kiwi? CLICK HERE to let us know so we can consider fun, new ways of connecting these students during the next few months. (Note that the Board will discuss the potential to allow eighth grade students to participate in the February 2022 trip.)
Are you interested in helping with the annual Meeker Holiday Bazaar in November? CLICK HERE to let us know that we can add you and/or your student to the list of volunteers for the Holiday Bazaar team.
Do you love attending the MCOW Gala Dinner & Auction? While we won't have a traditional auction event this year, we are considering how to bring together our amazing MCOW Community in a gratitude event. CLICK HERE if you want to help us create an unforgettable evening in celebration of the MCOW program.
While we have decided to forego the exchange trip for one year, we fully intend to make our 2020-2021 program year count. We plan to make this year central to the core foundation of this program -- connections with other people.
Let's stay connected. Let's stay safe. Let's make the most of the year ahead and work together to keep the MCOW program strong and vibrant for all the years to come.
Allison, Amy, Annette, Charles, Liz, Louann, and Stephan
MCOW Board of Directors