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Thread: Summer Camp deposits and the lockdown

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    Senior Member Fordy101's Avatar
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    Summer Camp deposits and the lockdown

    Hi, all

    I hope that you and yours are all well and safe at the moment.

    We had booked and paid a deposit for our summer camp a good while ago (Last year). We recently made the decision to cancel due to the lockdown. Sadly the campsite have said that we can only have 50% of the deposit back or we can move the camp to later in the year/next year. We will be refunding the parents the deposit that they gave us so it looks like the group will be out of pocket.

    I discussed this all with the committee, especially around refunding part of the deposit money to parents (as some of it is spend and not reclaimable) but the committee decided that we should refund it all.

    I was wondering if anyone else has found themselves in the same situation and how their group handled it?
    Fordy


    I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

    ASL 6th Farnborough
    http://6thfarnboroughscouts.scoutsites.org.uk/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordy101 View Post
    Hi, all

    I hope that you and yours are all well and safe at the moment.

    We had booked and paid a deposit for our summer camp a good while ago (Last year). We recently made the decision to cancel due to the lockdown. Sadly the campsite have said that we can only have 50% of the deposit back or we can move the camp to later in the year/next year. We will be refunding the parents the deposit that they gave us so it looks like the group will be out of pocket.

    I discussed this all with the committee, especially around refunding part of the deposit money to parents (as some of it is spend and not reclaimable) but the committee decided that we should refund it all.

    I was wondering if anyone else has found themselves in the same situation and how their group handled it?
    From the other side... the campsite may well not be able to afford to refund everything. Deposits are often spent at the start of the season on site works. I'd say refunding 50% is quite generous.

    Personally I'd take the option of rebooking for the future and roll parents deposits forward. Not sure what id do for those who will have moved on by then... maybe agree to refund if the place is resold.

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    Roll the booking forward a year, and if the Group can afford it still refund the parents' deposits, but maybe ask if they will roll forwards if you have difficulty affording that in the first instance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordy101 View Post
    Hi, all

    I hope that you and yours are all well and safe at the moment.

    We had booked and paid a deposit for our summer camp a good while ago (Last year). We recently made the decision to cancel due to the lockdown. Sadly the campsite have said that we can only have 50% of the deposit back or we can move the camp to later in the year/next year. We will be refunding the parents the deposit that they gave us so it looks like the group will be out of pocket.

    I discussed this all with the committee, especially around refunding part of the deposit money to parents (as some of it is spend and not reclaimable) but the committee decided that we should refund it all.

    I was wondering if anyone else has found themselves in the same situation and how their group handled it?
    Yes - exactly the situation which led to me creating the thread which has turned to a monster discussion on CV. In our case they wouldn't refund the deposit on the basis that if they did then they'd quickly go bankrupt and not be able to provide a service or further refunds. So we moved it forward a year.

    I think there are two possibilities for this site which was not TSA.

    1) The site remains open and allows campers within the remit and permissions of their own organisation. Of course if TSA don't allow camping this year then we have to cancel, it's our responsibility to do so, and we lose the deposit.

    2) The site is closed at the time of our camp and they have to refund (or issue a "voucher" as above).

    In neither case do we get the deposit back, but moving the camp a year at least we don't lose it.

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    We had a group camp booked at our local campsite - options regarding deposit were
    1. move camp to a later date
    2. use deposits towards other activity bookings at the site
    3. loose deposit

    We took option 1 and simply rebooked for a exactly year later.

    We'd probably spent 50-100 on other costs which the Group is standing (some stuff will get used in any event) and parents will all have their deposits refunded in full.
    Kate, ACSL (Rikki)
    1st Weald Brook Scout Group
    Brentwood, Essex
    www.1stwealdbrook.org.uk

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    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    We refunded our parents the camp fees in full. We lost 20 per Scout that the camp didn't refund, however we had the reserves to cover this and also just received one of the grants from the local council as we own our own building so were able to cover the cost.

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    where is the camp/was the camp due to be?

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    We have had to do the same as our camp was on 1st weekend of lockdown and ban on face-2-face meeting

    We took the option to move the camp to later in the year (or even next) that Youlbury SAC offered us so no issues there. For parents we said we will move their fees to the new camp or if requested will refund. However if any ask for refunds we would lose the OSM/Gocardless fees as would have to give them the full amount and not the net.

    So far none have asked.
    Dave Ralphs
    Retiring Yarnton Scout Group (Treasurer)
    Former DofE Advisor & District Exec Member - Oxford Spires
    http://yarntonscouts.org.uk/

    I work for O2, any posts are my own personal views & do not represent O2

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Same position, same decision. Actually, not talked to the campsite yet, but luckily the campsite deposit is only 10. We can swallow that I think.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Same position, same decision. Actually, not talked to the campsite yet, but luckily the campsite deposit is only 10. We can swallow that I think.
    oooo... someone's earning!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordy101 View Post
    Hi, all

    I hope that you and yours are all well and safe at the moment.

    We had booked and paid a deposit for our summer camp a good while ago (Last year). We recently made the decision to cancel due to the lockdown. Sadly the campsite have said that we can only have 50% of the deposit back or we can move the camp to later in the year/next year. We will be refunding the parents the deposit that they gave us so it looks like the group will be out of pocket.

    I discussed this all with the committee, especially around refunding part of the deposit money to parents (as some of it is spend and not reclaimable) but the committee decided that we should refund it all.

    I was wondering if anyone else has found themselves in the same situation and how their group handled it?
    IMHO it's bad governance to issue a full refund. What has been spent has been spent, and the deposit was non-refundable. You should roll the booking forward and offer parents a choice of rolling forward the current deposit or accepting a 50% refund (which is what you would have got if you had cancelled).


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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    IMHO it's bad governance to issue a full refund. What has been spent has been spent, and the deposit was non-refundable. You should roll the booking forward and offer parents a choice of rolling forward the current deposit or accepting a 50% refund (which is what you would have got if you had cancelled).
    The problem is, at the moment unless the site have cancelled the booking it is the group that is cancelling "by choice" and not under any government or tsa instruction.

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    Over on 1st FB there have been reports of groups having difficultys with PGL, who have said that they are hopeful of opening up sometime before the summer holidays - the issue being is that if TSA still ays no F2F Scouting then you are potentialy in a difficult situation

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    IMHO it's bad governance to issue a full refund.
    It is however good customer service, which is very important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard T View Post
    Over on 1st FB there have been reports of groups having difficultys with PGL, who have said that they are hopeful of opening up sometime before the summer holidays - the issue being is that if TSA still ays no F2F Scouting then you are potentialy in a difficult situation
    PGL are in a dream world I think. Their core business is schools, youth groups, etc. They might be able to adapt during the holidays to focus more on families etc but they're unlikely to be allowed to stick kids in dorms this side of autumn.

    I suspect in reality what they're doing is holding out so that customers cancel rather than them. Plenty of hotels, wedding venues, etc are doing the same. Then they can come across as super generous by offering to transfer the deposit to a new date as a goodwill gesture rather than having to pay it back!

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