WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO MITIGATING COMMUNICABLE DISEASES?
Offering safe, faith-forming experiences will always be our top priority. For Summer 2023, we will continue our efforts to prevent communicable diseases, including COVID-19, from entering camp – and to quickly recognize symptoms and contain spread when they do.
Given conditions and understandings of COVID-19 and its subvariants as of this winter, we are confident in our ability to operate camp safely this summer by relying heavily on our standard and long-standing best practices for limiting the spread of communicable diseases at camp. Those standard practices include:
- SCREENING: We ask that campers and family members who feel sick on check-in day or 24-hours prior not come, whether the symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 or with any other communicable illness. We will continue our practice of employing written screening for illness and temperature checks during Monday morning check-in. We also ask that parents continue to monitor campers for symptoms overnight throughout the week.
- OUTDOORS: The vast majority of our activities take place outdoors. In the event that weather forces large group activities indoors, we use the largest and best-ventilated space available at a given location.
- SMALL GROUPS: By nature of our small group camping model, campers have limited contact with campers and staff beyond those in their living groups.
- SANITIZING: Our team sanitizes high frequency touch points throughout the week.
- CAMPER HEALTH: Campers with any communicable illness will need to be picked up from camp and must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning. Please keep in mind that our refund policy does not allow for a refund in the case of an illness after the camp session has begun.
- RECOMMENDATIONS: We suggest that campers be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to coming to camp. Further, campers whose medical conditions put them at-risk for severe complications with COVID-19 infection should seek the advice of their medical professional before attending.
As always, we will continue to monitor developments related to communicable diseases, and to do what we believe is best in our commitment to keeping campers and staff safe.
We’re looking forward to another season of faith-forming fun this summer! If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 864-6181.
Posted: January 17, 2023
WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION POLICY?
Please review our Cancellation Refund Policy below, which is also included during online registration:
FULL PAYMENT DUE
• Full payment is due 7 days prior to the start of each day camp. If camp fees are not paid by the Friday prior to your camper’s check-in day, your registration may be canceled and opened up to a waiting list.
• Notice of cancellation must be received by a Camper Coordinator in writing (email or postal mail) in order to be processed.
MORE THAN 4 WEEKS PRIOR TO YOUR CAMP SESSION
• If notice of cancellation is received more than 4 weeks (28 days) prior to the start of the camp session, the refundable amount will be the full amount paid minus the deposit (deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable).
WITHIN 4 WEEKS OF YOUR CAMP SESSION
• If notice of cancellation is received within 4 weeks (28 days) of the camp session, the full session fee is forfeited.*
• *Medical Exception: Full refunds will only be given if, prior to the camp session, a Camper Coordinator receives a signed doctor’s note within 3 days of the cancellation.
DURING/AFTER YOUR CAMP SESSION
• No refund will be made for any reason after the start of your camp session.
IF YOUR SESSION IS CANCELED
• If Grow is unable for any reason to offer the camp session for which your camper is registered, we will offer a full refund of any deposit and/or fees paid toward that session.
WHY IS THERE MORE THAN ONE PRICE? (TIERED PRICING)
For decades, denominational support has allowed us to offer camp at fees lower than costs. Now with the UMC unable to offer the support that it has given for decades – a 50% reduction in 2023 that amounts to $186,000 less – our “Tiered Pricing” is a chance for all of us who love camp to step in and keep camp as financially accessible to everyone as possible.
The family of camping ministries to which Grow Day Camps belongs has been underwritten spiritually and financially for decades by the family of congregations called the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Through their annual collective support of ministries called “apportionments”, the Conference has made an ongoing impact for Christ around the world. Grow Day Camps and its sibling camping ministries have benefited from conference support annually across decades of ministry. That family of ministries has returned that support by partnering with churches to form faith and develop leadership in young people, and by being a place of discerning call and direction for ministry for thousands of people all year round.
Now, as all our churches and other ministries face challenges presented by the pandemic and by ongoing denominational strife, the ability of the conference to offer financial support has diminished, and that will likely continue. Rather than directly pass along this anticipated funding gap to families as it occurs, back in the summer of 2021 we introduced a way of continuing to make camp more affordable for those families who might be “priced out” of camp by a sharp fee increase resulting from the loss of apportionment support.
As we’ve prepared for summer of 2023, the unanticipated external realities of inflationary pressures, and rising wages spurred by a tight job market, have continued to challenge our efforts to avoid fee increases. In addition, the annual conference has reluctantly reduced its support for 2023 by 50%, or $186,000. Prudence demands fee increases for this coming summer, though we’ve kept them as minimal as we dared.
As always, families who would not otherwise be able to send their kids to camp are encouraged to apply for a Campership via our Campership Fund, the purpose of which is to receive and distribute donated funds that ensure every child can attend our camp programs. Our “Default Fee” is “Tier 1”, the normal subsidized rate. “Tier 2” represents the “Actual Cost” of the day camp experience without being subsidized. “Tier 3” is the actual cost plus the annualized depreciation of resources, representing the “Sustaining Cost” at which our fees would be without donor giving.
We know that families have differing abilities to pay for a summer camping experience and that you know your family’s financial situation better than we do. It’s our hope that by sharing the true costs related to the camp experience, our families can select the level of payment most appropriate for their financial circumstances. We want to be present for your camper throughout their camping years, even as your family’s circumstances change. Of course, regardless of the tier chosen, every camper will receive the same, high quality camp experience. And, as always, our intent is that no camper be unable to attend camp because of money and so our Campership Fund is available to families facing financial hardship this year. Use the following link to find our Campership Application or contact our office.
During initial registration, all campers will be charged the Tier 1 “default” camp fee. As part of registration, families can select to proceed with the default camp fee, or to opt into Tier 2 to donate an additional $40, or to opt into Tier 3 to donate an additional $80. If applicable, the change in fee will be made by adjustment to your camper’s account by our staff within 10-14 days after completion of registration. The amount paid beyond the default fee in Tier 2 and Tier 3 is considered a donation, and is therefore tax deductible. You will receive a tax receipt in January of 2023 or in January of 2024 for your donation, depending on the year in which your account is paid in full.
Is financial support available? (Camperships)
Even with the introduction of Tiered Pricing (see above), Camperships continue to play an important role in ensuring that camp is accessible to everyone. We encourage every family whose children would be unable to attend camp without support to apply for a campership, and every family who would like to make camp available to campers in need to give to the campership fund. Tiered pricing is our effort to avoid a “hard stop” of subsidized fees that our families have grown accustomed to over decades. Funds raised by tiered pricing do not directly support the Campership Fund, which is why we’ve made it possible to contribute separately to that fund during registration and on our website. As with everything else we do, it’s all about the campers and making sure they get to camp, no matter what.
Use this online form to Apply For A Campership. If you have additional questions, please contact email@example.com or 706-864-6181.
WILL THERE BE A GROW LOCATION NEAR ME THIS SUMMER?
Our goal every year is to host at least one site in each district of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. As for whether or not specific locations from previous summers will be part of our Summer 2023 schedule, locations will be listed on our homepage as details for each site become finalized. If you attended a Grow site in 2022 that isn’t currently listed as a finalized location, consider contacting the host church to inquire about current status for 2023.
WHAT IS A LIVING GROUP?
Two counselors and 3-10 campers (grouped by age) build relationships while experiencing camp together. All of camp is together for certain events such as chapel and lunch, then campers experience activities as a living group the rest of the day.
DOES EVERYONE DO EVERY ACTIVITY?
While most activities are open to all ages, only rising 5th-6th grade campers will participate in belayed tree climbing (pending tree availability). Certain activities are also subject to weather conditions in order to ensure safety.
ARE ALL GROW SITES ALIKE?
Each of our Grow sites is customized to its particular church site and surrounding community. Dates, times, rates, contact info, available activities and Water Day experiences vary from site to site.