It is with deep sadness that we tell you that Riverview
Camp will not be open for the summer of 2020.
The question we are asked most often these days is “Are you going to be open so campers can attend Riverview this Summer?” The answer is that we would love to open, but the reality is that most of the decision points are completely out of our control. Therefore, it is with heavy hearts that we have made the difficult decision to cancel all our sessions for summer 2020. Like you and your daughters, we are heartbroken.
Larry and I are grateful for all the kind words and messages of support we have received from you these past few weeks. We are reminded over and over of all the things that make camp so important. Not just the crisp mountain air and beautiful setting, but friendship, community, laughter, and worship. All things that we crave in this time of uncertainty.
We also recognize the trust that you place in us when you send your daughter to camp. It is because of this responsibility that we have had so many discussions with doctors, camp experts, and a host of other advisors so that we can make careful and informed decisions about camp this summer. We have been fairly silent in communicating with you during this pandemic as we have exhausted many efforts to come to this conclusion. Like many of you, we have hoped and prayed for a different outcome.
Your child’s safety always comes first, and while the situation is still evolving, we simply cannot have camp this summer with the threat of Covid19. Having the kind of meaningful camp experience that your daughters have come to love is always our intention. As one of our staff said after discussing changes that would be needed, “Camp just won’t be camp.” We can’t imagine Riverview without our traditions at campfire circles or excited celebrations over finding the Buffalo Rattle or all the interactions that make camp special. From the joy of tribe competitions to everyday life in the cabin, camp as we know it is just not possible with social distancing.
In addition, while campers and staff can and should feel that camp is a separate and tranquil world, in reality, there is a constant stream of interactions with people from outside of camp, from behind the scene workers, to deliveries, to changeover in staff, all of which are needed to keep things running smoothly. Camp can never be completely isolated. Our campers and staff and their families are too valuable to risk exposure.
Over the past few weeks, we have loved hearing about reunions on Zoom and FaceTime chats between camp friends and how the friendships, laughter, and bonds of camp are helping your children during this time. Camp is more than just a place. Even if we are not able to gather at camp this summer our hope is that each camper will be able to connect with this spirit of Riverview and continue to stay close to camp friends.
Recently, I opened an email from a former staff member whose three girls currently camp with us. She was offering for her family to come to camp in June to help get camp ready to open. I was overwhelmed! I cried welcomed tears of sadness and selfish tears because I will miss that family and every family and every daughter that makes Riverview such an oasis. I love that your girls call Riverview their “home away from home.” If we can safely offer Mother-Daughter Weekends in the fall, getting together at camp just may be an option.
Cancelling camp is not only emotionally difficult, it is also financially challenging. Like most seasonal businesses, camp tuition funds our operations throughout the year, from salaries to maintenance and improvements. We know we are not alone in facing financial challenges and we are empathetic to all who are experiencing this.
We can offer several options for your current payment balance:
- Roll over your current 2020 payments to 2021. We will honor 2020 rates for you.
- You may choose a session date later as those are finalized.
- Roll over a portion of your payments to 2021 and request a refund of the balance.
- Early Registration discounts will be applied for all who leave a deposit of $600 or more. Early registration discount is 2021 camp at your 2020 fee.
- Request a full refund.
For refund requests, we ask for your patience as we sort through requested rollovers and refunds. We anticipate all refunds will be available within 90-120 days if not sooner. You do not need to pay your balance that is due on May 15 unless you want to complete your payment this year and roll over the entire amount to 2021.
Please let us know by May 31 to advise us of the option you are choosing. If you are financially able, please consider carrying some or all of your 2020 payments forward for 2021 tuition. If you choose to roll over your payments to 2021 you will have until April 1, 2021 to cancel for a full refund. If we do not hear from you by May 31, 2020, we will roll over any tuition paid and pre-register your daughter for summer 2021.
Larry and I are praying for each of you, our Riverview family, and hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well. We look forward to the day when we once again hear the sound of children singing in the dining hall, laughter in the cabins, and the pop of the campfire at evening vespers. God bless you all. In time, we will address some of the concerns your daughters may have about missing important traditions and camp milestones because they will not be here this summer.
As we navigate through these challenging times, our guiding scripture continues to be Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (NLT). We are all called to His purposes and we all love Him! All will work together for good! We can all trust God because He is trustworthy. The best is yet to come!
“My best friends in life are the friends I have from Camp Riverview .”
Elizabeth 18 year camper/staff
“Years” at camp questions
Every day this summer will bring good memories. The awards ceremony each final night of our two-week programs always offers closure to each session. What if I was supposed to receive my 10-year blanket? What if I was supposed to receive a loyalty trophy this year?
Girls, we know that many of you were looking forward to receiving your loyalty trophy from 5 years and upward to the 10-year blanket ceremony. Don’t worry! We have thought about you. If you return to Camp in 2021 or any other year, you will receive credit for that year, as well as 2020. So if you were supposed to get a 10 year blanket at a Final Banquet this summer and you come back to Camp next summer, you’ll get both a 10-year trophy, your 10 year blanket and 10 year toast along with your 11 year trophy because we feel that though you cannot be here in person this summer, your heart is here in spirit. If 2020 was supposed to be your first summer at Camp Riverview, and you were enrolled for Camp prior to May 15, and you keep coming back every year after this, you will receive your 5-year trophy in summer 2024. We do know that some of you were trying to enroll and could not because we were announcing closure, so if you are pre-registered for 2021 by July 19, 2020, and you keep coming back every year after this, you will receive your 5-year trophy in summer 2024 and your fees for 2021 will be held at 2020 prices.
Of course, if you are a last year senior camper 2020, you will still be given the opportunity to be a camper for your last year next summer 2021. We want you all to have the chance for your final year and we want you to feel comfort in closure as a camper. You are welcome to send Donna an email if you need more guidance.