It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing that this year’s Ultimook Camps are cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus. I started the Ultimook Running Camp 7 years ago with 45 campers (20 of which were from Tillamook, 20 were from Scappoose High School and five other campers). Last year we had 330 campers from 18 different states. With additional camp retreats, the Hydrangea Ranch hosted over 500 athletes last summer.
We have been holding out hope, but there are too many variables outside of our control. Currently, in Oregon, overnight camps are not allowed. We do expect this to change over the next few weeks, but with heavy restrictions that would greatly hamper our camps and ultimately, we don’t think we can provide the experience Ultimook Campers have grown to love. We are additionally being told that we’re unable to get permits to the OR State Forests. At some point we have to start preparing for camp and spend money, we cannot confidently do that if we don’t even know what the playing field looks like.
Furthermore, Oregon Coastal Flowers, home of the Hydrangea Ranch and the Ultimook Running Camps, has been severely affected by the effects of no events and weddings. We are fighting for survival. The past seven years I have not taken a salary or an income from operating the running camps–I’ve always used this money to offer a better experience for kids the next summer. I would wake up in the morning strategizing how I can make a better camp experience. I currently wake up strategizing how to increase flower sales because without Oregon Coastal Flowers there is no Ultimook. Ultimook is heavily subsidized by Oregon Coastal Flowers and my own personal income.
We are very excited about the future–we are in the middle of constructing a commercial kitchen and cafeteria to better serve our campers in 2021 and beyond—I’m very excited to share our new barn and farm events venue with the rest of you. I have recently coined the phrase, “the Hydrangea Ranch, America’s Running Playground.” The Hydrangea Ranch will be bigger and better upon your return.
If you’ve already signed up for camp, we will be refunding your money in full within the next two weeks. If you signed up for cancellation insurance, we will contact you directly and will request that you officially request a refund from your insurance policy–this will help our non-profit meet our operating expenses thus far.
I encourage all young runners to lace up your shoes daily and continue working hard. It will be more difficult without your summer camps, teammates, etc., but when things do return to normal, you will be stronger than your competitors. Remember that GRIT is attacking your endeavors with passion and continue working at it even after things become difficult. Most people will compromise or quit. The strong will end up on top.