COVID Safety at the Summer Gathering


As the summer gathering approaches and the dream of returning to Saratoga Springs is becoming a reality, we recognize you may have questions about the COVID policies we’re putting in place. Below is a set of answers to some of those questions. 


What are the COVID policies for the Billys Summer Gathering?

We have seen that the COVID policies of the CDC, State of California and Lake County are in flux. We know that the risk cannot be completely eliminated, only greatly reduced. The State of California will be lifting most protocols on June 15, but in the interest of safety and in an abundance of caution, we will be observing stricter guidelines.

  • When registering for the Gathering, you confirm whether you are fully vaccinated or not.
  • If you are not vaccinated, you will get a COVID test prior to the gathering and quarantine for 5-7 days prior to the gathering.
  • No one will share a cabin unless part of the same household, or unless all are vaccinated.
  • Most group activities will be held outside, and some volunteer opportunities will be held indoors.  
  • Carry a mask with you at all times, and always wear a mask when indoors.
  • Ins and outs are discouraged. Please plan on arriving once and leaving once. Contingencies for emergencies will be in place.

Is the Summer Gathering open to the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated?

Yes.  Every attendee must either be fully vaccinated, OR get a COVID test prior to the gathering and quarantine for 5-7 days prior to the gathering.


Will proof of my vaccination or negative test be required?

You will be asked in registering to state whether you are either vaccinated or have a recent valid negative test. As a heart-centered community of equals, we rely on the mutual care and respect of all our brothers to provide true and accurate information on this important subject. We will not ask for documentation. 


At the Summer Gathering, how do I communicate my social distancing preferences?

Upon arriving at registration, you will be given the option to display one of 3 colors to communicate your social distancing preferences.  This may be in the form of a wrist band, beads, hanky, or something similar–still being worked out.  We will respect everyone’s choices without judgement. We ask that you continue to wear your color code throughout the gathering. Like the hanky code, the color code will convey one’s preference, in this case of three levels of social distancing:

– You welcome contact with less than 6 feet distance, maskless, being hugged, touched, approached freely.

– You are present and welcome fellow Billys but wish to always maintain a 6 foot minimum social distance and wear masks. 

– You are cautious and prefer that people ask permission before getting closer than 6 feet, that you may sometimes be open to close contact  or may kindly ask others to exchange love from a distance.


NOTE:  The  color codes are not, and should not be assumed to be, an indication of individuals’ vaccination status.  The color only indicates an individuals’ social distancing preferences and may change throughout the gathering.


Will masks and social distancing be required?

Inside, masks and 6 foot distance is required by everyone. Outside it will be determined by individual preference and signified by their color code. A mask should be carried with you at all times, to use as needed.


Will there be different rules for the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated? 

No.  There will be no differentiation between those vaccinated and those unvaccinated after arriving at the gathering.


Will we be able to touch each other? What are the rules for touching?

Touching, distance and masks if less than 6 feet apart, will all be determined by individual participants, and communicated by asking and displaying their color code.


How will access to the pool and hot tub work?

Saratoga Springs has no restrictions on the use of the pool and hot tub.  It will be available for use as at past gatherings.  Individuals will decide for themselves if they want to participate.  Following our COVID Protocol guidelines, the pool and hot tub are outdoors, and will be optional for individuals to wear a mask or not. Social distancing is not required, but please pay attention to individuals’ social distancing color codes.


How will these guidelines be enforced? What do I do if I see someone not following the rules?

Rather than policing each other, we will use our heart-centered approach to remind each other about our agreements for caring for the community.


What if I’m not comfortable with these guidelines? Will there be an opportunity for me to participate in Billy gatherings?

These are the protocols for this gathering. We don’t know what the protocols will be for future gatherings, as the nature of the pandemic and public safety is constantly changing. Everyone is invited to decide what is best for their own health, safety and well-being. We are making every effort to have this gathering be as safe and healthy as possible while still fun, inclusive and accessible to all. If it is too soon for you to participate within the guidelines that we have set for this gathering, there will be both online and in-person gatherings offered in the near future.


What will be indoors and what will be outdoors?

There may be a limited number of activities that will be held indoors. These activities will include 30 or fewer people, masks will be required, with doors open and ceiling fans on. This includes some volunteer roles.


All Heart Circles will be held outdoors. Larger activities that generally include the entire community (evening rituals, talent show, etc.) will be held outdoors.


Why are you requiring “no ins and outs” for everyone?

To reduce possible exposure to the virus brought from the outside into the Gathering.


If the Billys, or the State/County make changes to the COVID requirements, can I cancel my reservation and get a full refund?

The Billys standard cancellation policy will apply, with full refunds available up to one week before the Gathering.  We will not be making any changes in our policy later than 1 week prior to the beginning of the gathering.


The Billys would like to acknowledge the work of the Generate Gathering organizers for inspiration on our COVID safety guidelines, particularly for the color-coded social distancing preference system.


If you have any questions or concerns about health and safety issues at the Summer Gathering, please contact Eric Murray, or Kris Shanks,

Registration closes June 20, 2021 — Registration fee includes all lodging and meals for the event. To register, please visit


  • Thank you for all your dedicated, thoughtful consideration of the myriad factors that went into developing these guidelines.
    You deserve a lot of credit for doing such a great job!

  • Big time gratitude!
    Congrats to Eric and Kris and whoever else help to develop these guidelines for the Summer Gathering.
    You had a challenging puzzle to apply our Billy values to the current set of the variables regarding Covid19, Social distancing and Vaccine choice. This seems deep hearted, mindful, creative and also welcoming with an emphasis on personal choice.
    Thank you,

  • Beautiful guidelines. Thank you fir your careful and inclusive work. Have a blissful day.


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