Fall Appeal 2016
Dear Friends, Supporters, and Members of the Vanderkamp Family,
Given the many challenges and opportunities that Vanderkamp experienced recently, we are blessed to have the support of people like you enabling Vanderkamp operations to continue in the fulfillment of our outdoor ministry and our mission. We thank you for your gifts of support whether (a) in prayers for our ministry, our facilities and operations, or our staff; (b) visiting or patronage of Vanderkamp by you or a family member whether individually, with your church, or with other group; or (c) your generosity of time, talents, or financial contribution. Your support is greatly appreciated as we look toward Vanderkamp’s future as a thriving Christian community.
Your generosity in the past has enabled Vanderkamp to continue our ministry to youth through exciting and innovative summer kamp programs, seasonal youth retreats, and hosting of church youth groups. These opportunities extend beyond the reach of our individual churches or judicatories drawing youth together across denominations in celebration of the power of God’s everlasting presence, love, and grace as he works through us, between us, and within us during these experiences. We are working with professional organizations such as Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association and American Camp Association to strengthen our ministry to best meet the needs of Christian youth today. In 2017 Vanderkamp will offer educational (nature study, ecology, natural sciences, recreational activities, teambuilding/character building) and field trip programs (boating, hiking, camping) to Christian homeschool groups and families.
You are perhaps most familiar with our continual facility needs given the deferred maintenance on Vanderkamp’s aging structures and our struggle to “catch up and keep up.” Significant progress has been made on roofing; though that work will continue throughout the coming year. Upon re-evaluating the resources and productivity of Vanderkamp’s farm, we shifted this year to raised beds and are working with the Cleveland food pantry to ensure fresh produce not used in our dining services makes it to the tables of families in need. Other efforts focus on amenities and programs that will benefit the greatest number of Vanderkamp visitors (kampers, resident guests, program participants, day use groups or individuals). Examples include bringing back maple sugaring this winter; making our trail system more manageable, given our limited resources, for us to maintain for year-round use; and continuing to revitalize what some of you may remember as “family camp.” This year we brought back sand volleyball, tetherball, and relocated Gaga to what we are now calling the “day use area.”
Vanderkamp is first and foremost a vital outdoor ministry to those we serve. In addition to the facilities, services, and programs currently provided, we continually seek to partner with individuals, churches, judicatories or other organizations in His service. By its very nature and structure, Vanderkamp is also a complex and multifaceted non-profit business operation. Vanderkamp operates with a full-time staff of four and one part-time staff member; including the Executive Directors. Your generosity in recent years enabled us to purchase camp and conference center management as well as bookkeeping software to help us increase our efficiency and effectiveness in managing, problem solving, and decision making as it pertains to the diverse operations of a summer kamp program, our hosted retreats and special events, rentals for retreats and other groups, dining services, and day use rentals. In 2017 the conference module will enable groups to review availability of lodging and place their own reservations.
Thousands of people use Vanderkamp each year; thus benefiting from the generosity of our Vanderkamp family (friends, supporters, staff, and alumni), like you, who have responded in service–giving of themselves so others may know and relate to God or renew and deepen their faith. Your generosity benefits and uplifts those new to our faith, fellow believers, families, congregations, and the poor or afflicted in our communities. We experience the power of the Lord at work through Vanderkamp every day in the faces of the people we meet and the stories they share… of hardship, tragedy, triumph, and redemption. Their stories… are Vanderkamp’s stories… and as valued members of the Vanderkamp family… they are your stories. Thank you for your generosity and support of Vanderkamp’s vital outdoor ministry and mission!
Now, with the help of our management software, supporting Vanderkamp is even easier! We ask that you prayerfully consider an end of year contribution or pledge of financial support to Vanderkamp’s continued success over the next year helping us in fulfilling our vital outdoor ministry and mission. Being able to anticipate financial support will help us to better manage and maximize Vanderkamp resources. A contribution card and return envelope are enclosed for your convenience.
Bill & Penny James