Important Information Regarding COVID-19

This message is intended to help assuage concerns about the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Owners’ Rally in Urbana, VA.  We will be communicating the latest news, plans, schedules, etc. in a separate email message

First off – as of the writing of this message, the event is still on.  As it currently stands, the only thing that will cause the event to be rescheduled will be mandates from the CDC / State of Virginia that prevent us to actually hold the event.

Since we don’t have the ability to look into a crystal ball and know exactly what we are going to be able to do, we are working from the beginning to make sure that we are presenting the greatest level of safety that we possibly can.  To that end, here are the current plans as of 8/10/2020.

  1. We will post the current Health Department social distancing/face mask requirements in the areas that we will interact.
  2. We will have protective personal equipment for any and all volunteers to make sure that they are safe.  This will enclude masks, aprons, gloves, etc.
  3. We are working with our long-term partner, Gabe’s Pride, on a process for cleaning and disinfecting meeting spaces to maintain the safety of attendees.
  4. We are working on a process to help identify and isolate individuals who may be exhibiting symptoms.
  5. We will be issuing numbered wristbands to all attendees that must be worn at all times to all event activities.  This is meant to minimize the exposure of attendees to seasonal campers who live at Bethpage.
  6. The overwhelming number of sites at Bethpage are huge – large enough to fit two 43′ RV’s into one site.  This is an important way for folks to be able to enjoy the camping experience without having other campers in close proximity.
  7. The arrival process will be such that you will arrive at the gate, and be escorted to your RV site by Bethpage staff.  From there, you will go to and check in at the Ops Center for the event itself.  By separating the two processes, we can ensure there are fewer traffic jams (either of vehicles or people) as well as making sure that we can minimize potential exposure to the volunteers.
  8. The Wagonmaster team is working to speed the registration process so that social distancing can be maintained without dragging out that process.  We will be pre-bundling materials in ziplock bags to keep everything together, clean, and as sterile as possible.  This will speed the process as well as enhance overall safety.
  9. We recognize that there are different levels of comfort with regards to personal distances/interactions, we will have lanyards to help you announce your preference.  Everyone will get a standard Grand Design lanyard and badge holder, but there will be additional options if you want (this is entirely up to you)
    • If you want to others to know you would prefer to keep strict distancing, a red lanyard is an available option so that others will know you want to maintain distance without the need for you to feel awkward or the need to explain yourself.
    • If you are comfortable with personal contact, you may have a green lanyard.  This will also help higher risk attendees identify who may be important to maintain distance from, etc.
  10. We will not be having the group dinner as we have in the past.  The ability to maintain both social distancing as well as proper enhanced food handling would be problematic, and in the past, better give-aways (“swag”) has taken priority, so we will focus on that instead.
  11. We will not have an official Pot Luck, as maintaining cleanliness of utensils cannot be guaranteed.  If you would like to have friends gather, then you are welcome to do something similar.
  12. Learning sessions are events that are very popular, and we want folks to be able to participate regardless of their personal level of interaction comfort.  They are being actively re-developed in the following ways
    • Large groups in one place are likely to be numerically limited by health department guidelines, so we are planning now with that expectation..
    • We will be working on three physical locations to participate in the interactive sessions, as well as making the sessions available for streaming to mobile devices:
      1. Primary physical location will be the rally center.  From here, the video will be broadcast live.  Seating will be available, but limited to permissible levels as defined by the health department.
      2. Each of the two secondary locations will be physical tents with projectors to stream the content live.  Seating will be available, but limited to permissible levels as defined by the health department.
      3. Online locations – since we will be streaming to YouTube (that is the current expectation, the platform may change), anyone, in any location with decent internet will be able to stream the sessions to your personal device even back in your site. 
  13. 50/50 and Raffle winners will be selected in a private session to be streamed to the same platform as the learning sessions for full transparency.  If the entrant has added their contact information to the ticket they submit, their winnings can be picked up at the Ops Center (or may be delivered – this decision has not yet been finalized).  Door prizes will be delivered to the winner’s site.  If the winner of the prize does not claim their winnings, a second drawing may be held (this process to be finalized)

As you might imagine, we are trying to adapt to a fluid situation.  We will continue to monitor and adjust according to appropriate government guidance/mandates in an effort to keep folks safe.  We recognize that things can change, but we wanted to make sure that you understood that we take your safety seriously, and that we are doing all we can to provide a fun and educational event that provides value regardless of your location on the property.  These changes may cause delays – but we are going to try our damndest to have a fun, safe, event for all.