Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

2017-2018 Annual Facility Fundraising Appeal

You can make many plans but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

Proverbs 19:21 New Living Translation


Dear Friends, Supporters, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

How often have you found the Lord made other plans for you?

Vanderkamp found itself there earlier this year when a tree fell on the roof of Fellowship Hall just days before the opening of summer kamp. As you can imagine, when this act of God first happened we lifted our hands to the sky crying out, “Lord… really? Is this what you demand of us and your ministry… now… when we are so busy with final preparations for kamp?” We stressed over the impact this event would have on kamp and felt sorry for ourselves to have this burden laid before us… briefly… then we picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves off, and tarped the hole so Fellowship could be used, primarily for worship, during the annual kick off to our summer kamp season, Mohawk Valley Lutheran Confirmation Camp (MVLCC), a collaboration amongst our Lutheran churches. No structural concerns were evident. Thank you Jesus!

When faced with the Lord’s plan for you, do you welcome it as an opportunity?

Fellowship Hall is one of only two multipurpose spaces available for kamp, retreat, rental, and public programs. It is routinely used for worship, dances, parties, meetings, kamp activities, and more. While repairing this roof has long been on Vanderkamp’s “to do” list, the Lord saw fit to catapult it to the top of the list. “We’ll just deal with it after kamp”… or so we thought. Then in the middle of MVLCC a small section of the ceiling came down just before a worship service, leaving a gaping hole to heaven above… and all the elements of HIS creation. Praise God that no one was injured. The mess was cleared, and a piece of plywood screwed to the ceiling covering the hole. We “kicked the can” for a second time… until… this autumn when much more of the ceiling fell. Hindsight is 20/20; each time the Lord spoke and we failed to understand, he repeated his message–louder and clearer each time. We came to realize Fellowship Hall could no longer be delayed.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version


So how can this act of God present hope and a future for Vanderkamp?

Four years ago, our own introduction to Fellowship Hall was puzzling. We learned kamp worship services were held there. Our first observation was the deteriorated doors, where old patches had worn away letting all manner of weather and creatures into the building. The indoor/outdoor carpet and cushioned benches along the perimeter were worn, stained and musty. Open boxes of Cheez-Its lay scattered about the room, including on a communion table where two chipmunks were eating and scurrying about at their leisure. The building, to our minds, did not represent sacred space, glorifying God. We moved kamp worship and the communion tables to Fireplace Room in Commons. Games were moved into Fellowship (ping pong, foosball, floor pool and such). Storage in Fellowship was overflowing with Vanderkamp’s vast costume collection. It seemed to make more sense to use Fellowship for programming, games and gathering, consistent with its name. Despite the change, Fellowship remained sacred space to many. MVLCC continues worship there, consistent with their decades of tradition.

Vanderkamp, as we are all aware, has many—often competing—facility needs. This grand, historic property, the remnants of an authentic Great Camp has aging structures, some of which have not always received the care and attention they require. No surprise really; it is costly. Many Vanderkamp structures, over the past 50 years, have evolved into sacred space for those blessed with the opportunity to spend time here immersed in God’s creation and living in Christian community. Last summer, during bible exploration, kampers were asked to identify sacred spaces in their lives. As expected, the youth spoke of church, their homes, and their bedrooms. Kampers also spoke of sacred spaces at Vanderkamp, including lodges where they slept, Outdoor Chapel and Fireplace Room where we worship, Dining Hall where they nourish their bodies, places they hiked, and Fellowship Hall where they played.

As stewards of Vanderkamp and its many sacred spaces, together with our board of directors, we strive to strike a balance between repairing and maintaining existing structures with the need to improve facilities and provide modern amenities meeting the expectations and needs of our guests, visitors, kampers, and local community—today and for the future. Fellowship Hall requires much more than a new roof. We need your help.

Join with us in an endeavor that goes beyond resolution of a current maintenance concern impacting all aspects of Vanderkamp’s outdoor ministry. Together we will renovate and modernize Fellowship Hall to meet current and future needs; transforming this space into a suitable and welcoming place for worship, indoor sports and games, meetings, and more.


The renovated Fellowship Hall will glorify God while serving as a beacon of hope for the future of Vanderkamp’s outdoor ministry.

This will be the first building to be fully renovated in recent years. Creation care is one of Vanderkamp’s core values. We are committed to using environmentally sourced and sustainable materials to the extent possible, and conserving energy through improvements in insulation, heating, and lighting.

The proposed renovation of the Fellowship Hall addresses each of these areas:

  • Metal Roofing
  • Siding Repair
  • Heating
  • Flooring
  • Insulation
  • Interior Painting
  • Truss Repair
  • Ceiling
  • Rear Exit Stairs
  • LED Lighting
  • Built-In Benches
  • Exterior Staining

Note: Vanderkamp received grant funding to replace the front doors, though the additional work needed to prevent a recurrence of the same issues that destroyed the current doors over time has been included in the renovation budget.

The total cost for renovating Fellowship Hall is $30,000.

The timeline for completion depends on raising necessary funds and rallying volunteers to aid in construction. With your help, we can complete Fellowship’s renovation in 2018. God willing, in 2019 we will return to the original plan which was, before God so persistently exclaimed HIS, to raise funds for continued replacement of rustic cabins. Funds and volunteers secured, Cabin 5 replacement is slated for completion in 2018. These are very exciting times at Vanderkamp. We thank you all for being part of its ministry!

Work on Fellowship began this fall; to delay was to risk further damage and expense. Roof framing and sheathing was repaired and shingles on the back side of the roof were removed and ice & water shield applied. Over the winter, as funds become available we will continue to work on the truss repair, insulation and heating, so that in the spring we can finish the roof in time for kamp.

If you cannot contribute now, please prayerfully consider making a pledge to aid us in planning. Visit this page often for photos, project updates, or to donate online.

In His service,


Bill & Penny James

Executive Directors


2017-2018 Annual Facility Appeal Letter & Donation/Pledge Card

2017-2018 Annual Facility Appeal Donation/Pledge Card Only



Page optimized by WP Minify WordPress Plugin