Because of increasing Covid concerns, winter camp will be held at Fall Creek Falls instead of Rustic Youth Camp again this year.
Due to Covid concerns still existing, I have reserved the Newton lodge for Winter Camp this year at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. There is more room for spreading out for sleeping and other activities.
Dates are December 29 – January 1.
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Dear friends of Rustic Youth Camp,
If we are going to to pass inspection in order for RYC to operate this year, we need your help! There is much work that must be done immediately. Mr. Jackie has a list from the local health inspector.
We plan to have weekly workshops every Saturday beginning March 20th.
Please contact Vicki Russell by email or text to let her know which day or days you can help.
We will supply the materials and tools, just bring your own food and drinks.
Plans will be finalized within the next couple of weeks as to what our capacity will be and how we will conduct the registration.
Thank you so much for your patience as we navigate through this crazy year!
— The RYC Board
A special message from Jackie:
It grieved me deeply that we were unable to have camp this past summer. They say that we are not out of the woods yet with this pandemic. It is our intention to have camp this summer but we do not know what restrictions or mandates will be placed upon us yet. We will be staying in constant contact with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the Franklin County Health Department.
For those who say “there’s nothing to it, 95% don’t get very sick,” let me say that I have personally lost a number of good friends, some near kinsmen, and brothers and sisters in Christ. I can assure you that their suffering and the grief on the part of their families was very real. Based on the many reports that the greater part of the population have not yet received their 1st dose of vaccine and with the waiting period for the 2nd dose, that will put us over into April at the earliest before most could be vaccinated and have some immunity. We have been told that the necessity of masking will continue for some time. Whatever anyone’s thoughts may be, as a licensed camp, we must be guided by the mandates of ADPH and the Franklin County Health Department.
We will keep you posted. Our prayers are with you. We love each and everyone of you. We will look forward hopefully to seeing you in the Summer.
Some difficult news from our dear friend and long-time counselor Joycelyn Manning that she’s asked us to share:
You may have already heard, but I wanted to let some of my special friends know, from me, that I’m needing your prayers, please.
I have been diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. This has come as a shock that I’m still trying to grasp.
My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.
We’re trying to be positive and see the opportunities and blessings we encounter in this adventure.
A shirt to commemorate the camp we didn’t have is here. Visit the RYC General Store (generalstore.rusticyouthcamp.org) to find out how to buy one. Any profits from the shirts will help keep RYC running until 2021.
(To read a PDF version of the letter, please click here.)
This is an announcement that most are expecting, but no one wanted.
As most know, Rustic Youth Camp’s facilities operate under direction of the Alabama Department of Public Health. After multiple contacts with the ADPH, Rustic Youth Camp has been informed that it is highly unlikely that we will receive a permit for operation this summer. The ADPH has guidelines set in place that mostly follow the phased guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The guidelines state that youth camps may begin to reopen during Phase II. As of now, the state of Alabama does not yet qualify to begin even Phase I. Currently, assuming things improve drastically, the earliest Alabama could begin Phase II is in June. Even if this happens, the model of operation for RYC does not meet Phase II requirements—RYC could only open at 1/3 capacity, there could be no shared equipment (like for sports), there could be no overnight campers, and only campers from the immediate area would be allowed to attend. Additionally, it is worth noting that the county in which the facilities are located has seen a five-fold increase in Covid-19 cases in just the last few days, with some associated with RYC being in mandatory quarantine. With these things in mind, the tough decision has been made to announce the cancelation of both sessions of RYC for summer 2020.
The registration deposits for RYC are generally non-refundable because there is a significant expenditure for registration fees, payments, and card fees (Those fees alone are over $2000) and the fact that camp must be maintained even when not in session. However, due to the extraordinary circumstances, we are making refunds available. Refunds will NOT be automatic, nor be refunded through the registration system (Active) as that would result in an additional expense of $1000+ in card fees, etc. Refund checks will be sent via the USPS.
There are three options for refunds:
- No refund — This is the default option. Several have stated that they would prefer to leave the money with camp to help offset expenses of registration and maintenance. If this is your choice, you do not need to take any further action. The entire RYC family (of which you are a part) thanks you!
- Partial refund — Many would like to leave some money with camp, but perhaps not all. This might be especially true for larger families with multiple deposits. To receive a partial refund, you MUST request it in writing for our records. To be able to reconcile our books:
1) the request must be made by the parent or guardian in whose name the registration was made and giving the specific camper’s name;
2) you must state the amount of the refund you wish based on your campers;
3) please send your request in writing along with a stamped, pre-addressed envelope to:
Rustic Youth Camp
17703 Brownsferry Road
Athens AL 35611
(You must use this address. No emails, texts, calls, or other communications can be accepted at this time.)
- Full refund — The same instructions apply as for the partial refund, but in your request please indicate FULL refund. To receive it, you MUST request it in writing for our records.
Even with all of these set-backs, the RYC family is still strong. The planned re-launch of the official Rustic Youth Camp General Store will still take place soon using a new online store.
We will have scheduled work days for maintenance when guidelines can be met. Keep watch!
Be on the lookout for a special message from Jackie and Bunny during the summer.
Pray for one another, look out for one another, and stay healthy and safe!
UPDATE: The store is temporarily closed while we rework it.
The RYC General Store is being rebuilt! Shirts, buttons/pins, stickers, and more will be available. New items will be gradually added, so check back often!