Leaders, coaches, parents, and students;
With the support of and in coordination with the CCO Board, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Mt. Gilead Speech and Debate Tournament in April.
In one sense, this was an inevitable decision as we support and work with our local, state, and national leadership in attempts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission and infection. Thursday, March 12th, Indiana's Governor Holcomb issued restrictions on public gatherings with an initial window of 30 days. Other restrictions, such as travel, were given 45-60 day windows. While these restrictions may be lifted the week prior to the tournament, medical professionals we are working with estimate at least 45-60 day restrictions. With so much uncertainty regarding COVID-19, and with upcoming financial commitments of the tournament and families (hotels, travel, registration, etc.), we determined the wisest option is to cancel.
The difficult part came from knowing how hard you have worked supporting your families and students, as well as how hard your students, especially your Seniors, have worked to attend and compete in this tournament. Though these times are difficult, we are finding creative opportunities to continue to engage the core mission of CCA:
"...to assist parents who are home educating their children with the development of communication and critical thinking skills, equipping these children to be faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ by preparing them to give a defense of their faith to everyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is within them, and to do so with grace, seasoned with salt."
The tournament directors, along with several other interested leaders, are working on ways to continue the development of communication and critical thinking skills. We are actively looking at technological solutions which may allow us to still give our students opportunity to speak and debate. If you are interested in this option, we ask you to continue to hold the dates of April 17 and 18 open on your calendar until we have more information. We plan to decide options and feasibility as well as any related information later this week.
Again, thank you for all you have done and continue to do. You are a blessing!
Josh Stephens, on behalf of the tournament lead team