Camp High Rocks Announcement: May 18, 2020

A Letter from Our Directors:

Dear High Rocks Families,

Thank you for your patience and understanding over the last month as we have gathered information and waited for guidance from health officials and trusted resources. The health and wellbeing of our camp community has always been our top priority and has guided our decision-making process.  In addition to considering health implications of operating this summer we have also been considering the barriers to running a camp program while maintaining social distancing practices.  

After many conversations with local and State Health Officials we know that there would be significant limitations on the way we could operate this summer.  At this time, we know that we would not be able to offer the quality of program that we are so proud of here at High Rocks and that you have come to expect.  It simply would not be possible for us to gather at campfire, in the dining hall, or even play large group games.   Camp, as we know and love it, is not possible right now.

It is with a very heavy heart and after much consideration, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel our 2020 summer season.  

Our hearts are broken, but we are confident that this is the wisest decision for our campers, our families, our staff, and the hundreds of individual communities from which our campers and staff come.

As you can imagine operating two years on one season of income will provide some distinct challenges. We ask you to seriously consider rolling your tuition forward to 2021 to help camp bridge the financial gap until our next season.  

As for the next steps, we will be emailing a 2021 Intent Form in the next couple of days to all registered camper families that will allow you to indicate how you would like to handle your tuition paid and registration options for next summer.  A summary of refund options is posted below.

We have always known what makes camp so special is the people.  We can all carry the spirit of High Rocks with us until we can gather together again.  We will get back to all the things you love about camp – the laughter, the trips, the friendship, the fun, and gathering around the campfire. We can’t wait to see you all here again!

In the spirit of camp,

Don and Zoob Gentle 

FAQ’s And Next Steps

Why did you make this decision?

The health and wellbeing of our camp community has always been our top priority and has guided our decision-making process.  In addition to considering the health implications of operating this summer, we have also been considering the barriers to running a camp program while maintaining social distancing practices.  After many conversations with local and State Health Officials, we know that there would be significant limitations on the way we could operate this summer.  At this time, we know that we would not be able to offer the quality of program that we are so proud of here at High Rocks and that you have come to expect.

What happens to camp fees already paid? (Refund Policy)

We are offering a range of options regarding our refund policy and your camp fees. As a small business, you can imagine the option to have tuition roll over to 2021 would be a huge help to manage our expenses until the next summer.  The potential loss of an entire season of income would certainly put a strain on camp.  Many of our expenses like payroll, healthcare, and basic operational costs are fixed and extend throughout the year.  In addition to these expenses, we continue to make substantial investments in our program and facility each year.  If it is an option to roll your tuition to next year, camp will be in a better position to weather this storm.

Refund Options: (updated May 2020)

Option 1:  Rollover of full tuition to 2021.  You will receive the 2020 tuition rates, guaranteed same session acceptance, and will be considered enrolled and paid in full.

Option 2:  Rollover of deposit and February payment to 2021.  You will receive guaranteed same session enrollment and 2021 rates.

Option 3:  Full refund of tuition paid.  Please know that you will need to reapply for 2021 and there may be waiting lists.

We recognize these are difficult economic times. We want to remain financially sensitive and offer a range of options to meet the various needs of our community. Camp families will receive an email with a link to the 2021 Intent Form to indicate their preference this week. 

What is the process to indicate my financial preference?

Later this week, you will receive an email from Darby at office@highrocks.com with a link to our 2021 Intent Form. Please fill this form out and indicate your choice on refunds and Summer 2021 registration. If you need assistance filling out the form or want to talk through your options, please call camp at (828) 885-2153. We ask that you fill this form out by July 1st. 

If I have not paid in full, can I still receive the 2020 rates?

If you are paid in full by July 1st, you can lock-in the 2020 rates. You will be considered “paid -in-full” for 2021.

If I choose to roll my payment over, what session may I choose?

Campers who were enrolled in Summer 2020 and choose refund option 1, will be guaranteed enrollment in the same session for 2021.  If you wish to change sessions you will receive priority consideration.

Campers who were enrolled in Summer 2020 and choose refund option 2, will be guaranteed enrollment in the same session for 2021.  If you are looking to switch sessions, you may request a different session and if space is available we will make that switch. Please mark that on your 2021 Intent Form.

Do I need to re-register for camp if I am rolling my tuition?

If you choose refund options 1 or 2 when filling out the 2021 Intent Form, you will NOT need to re-register.

One of my children is aging out of the program, if I apply my funds paid to 2021 can I use those funds for a different child in my household?

Yes, you will see this as an option when you fill out the 2021 Intent Form.

What are Summer 2021 Dates and Rates?

You can see our Summer 2021 Dates here. 2021 Rates will be released soon.

My camper is in 10th grade, will he miss his AIDE year?

While he will miss his AIDE year he will be eligible to apply for a Counselor Trainee position for the summer of 2021.

My child was set to be a Counselor Trainee (CT) this summer, can he return as a CT next summer?

Next summer he will be eligible to be an Assistant Counselor.  He will receive an email this fall with a link to our Staff Re-Application.  On the Re-Application, he can indicate his interest in returning to camp as an Assistant Counselor.  

It was my campers year to get a 5-year backpack or 10-year paddle, will this summer count?

Since we are not operating camp this summer we will not count it as a year attended.  Receiving a 5-year backpack or a 10-year paddle are important milestones in the High Rocks experience.  Being able to enjoy the community and shake hands of all those who have already received their backpacks and paddles at campfire is an experience that lasts a lifetime.  We will wait to give out backpacks and paddles until we can gather again around the campfire.

What if my camper was on the waitlist?

You will have the opportunity to register early and will receive priority over new camper applications when we open registration for Summer 2021.

How do I talk to my camper about this decision?

When they’re uncomfortable or upset, kids need empathy more than anything else. Showing them that you feel for them and providing assurance that you will help them through this challenging time will often be all they need to get through times of uncertainty.

  • For elementary school-aged children, be the director: You need a plan of what to say and how to say it. Anticipate what questions your children might have and what responses you might give.
  • For middle school-aged children, be the tour guide: You need to lead but can also change course, depending on your child’s response and tolerance for the conversation.
  • For high school-aged children, be the torch-passer: More is less with this age, so share the information and then pass the torch to your children to let them lead the conversation while you listen. (Thank you to THE URJ BRIUT TEAM for this resource. Source)

How can I support Camp High Rocks?

Camp High Rocks is blessed with a wonderful community that supports our mission in many ways.  If you are financially able to roll your tuition that would be a huge help to bridge the gap between seasons.  All of the kind words and support have sustained us through this tough decision-making process.  We would love to continue to hear from you in the coming months.  

If guidelines/recommendations clear up during the summer, will you reconsider this decision?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to change course to offer our traditional summer program mid-summer. Due to the amount of preparation that goes into opening including the facilities to the training of our staff, we cannot open our traditional summer program mid-summer. 

Are you planning on any alternate programming for campers this summer?

We do plan to continue offering virtual camper programs during the summer.   We will email with details a few days before each event with a link to join.

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