(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!