That’s the question I get asked the most this time of year. How is the camp doing? There’s a lot of curiosity but the question is also wrapped in worry.
Is camp going to be okay?
Will we actually get to have summer camp this year?
The short answer to the first question is that we’re more than okay. In fact, we’re really, really good. I’ll come back to that in a moment because I need to reassure all of our campers out there that we are actively planning for summer camps. Costumes have been purchased (and tested out), wide games are being planned, and decorations dreamed of. We’re hunting for the best staff we can to make this summer the “Come Back” that we’ve all been dreaming about.
Okay – back to how we’re doing…that story actually starts last fall with our 8 Hours for $80,000 Fundraiser we held. We knew it was going to take approximately $80,000 to stay open and keep doing ministry through 2021. As you may remember, God moved and donors answered, we ended up raising nearly $140,000. Things were looking so good. We passed a deficit budget (-$85,000) due to the pandemic still affecting Guest Groups. We created more programs, ran Evergreen-To-Go, were able to run Outtrips and Developing Leader Programs alongside Wholehearted Camping. In October, we were about $100,000 behind in our budget which is when we sent a letter to our donors asking them to consider helping.
And wouldn’t you know? God moved. We had some big groups book retreats in the last month, Evergreen-To-Go: Baking Addition was massive (like 3000 treats good), and donors answered the call.
As I write this, we have not only met our budget (remember we budgeted to use $85,000 of the surplus from the fundraiser last fall), but we are in the black for 2021. God has made a way for us to beat the deficit budget!
I keep coming back to how blessed we are. It is humbling to think about all of the people connected with Evergreen who are standing with us through this pandemic. It’s humbling to think about how God has led us, cared for us, and lifted us up. He’s helped us flourish. Would you join with me in thanking God for all of the amazing things that he has given us?
What are things you are thanking God for this year? When so much of the world is saying how terrible 2021 was, where did you see God move?
I hope that you are able to see His goodness around you, that He loves you and cares for you.