On August 31, 2019 we closed out our first full fiscal year. The past year has been a whirlwind of ups and downs. Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA sold the camp. We then signed a lease and re-opened the camp to rentals.
At our last board meeting we added Dawn Wolfhope to our board of directors. If you see her, please give her a big thank you for everything she has done for the camp.
Since March, we have hosted 34 groups representing 655 individuals and brought in $11,364.88 in rental revenue. While Girl Scout and Scouts BSA groups make up the majority of our rentals, we have also had the pleasure to host church groups, theater groups, and private families looking for an outdoor retreat.
|Scouting Groups||385 (59%)|
|Theater Groups||82 (13%)|
|Church Groups||30 (5%)|
Already, we have confirmed bookings for the upcoming year for 24 groups representing an estimated 1500 people and $8,860 in rental revenue. Girl Scout Service Units 416 and 611 have picked dates for their annual summer camporees and winter is looking to be a busy time at Camp Golden Pond.
In addition to group rentals, we have also been able to host several youth enrichment activities at the camp. This past summer we were able to offer programs on birds, bees, bats, and invasive plants to 71 youth from Centre, Huntingdon, and Clinton counties. We were then able to kick September off by having Game Warden Nabozny introduce us to black bears and on September 29 we will be hosting an aquatic life event with Mary Walsh. If you or someone you know is interested in helping us to host youth programs at the camp in the coming months, please contact us.
Coming up in October, we will be bringing local artist Jackie Gianico back to the camp to explore water lilies. We are also collaborating with Girl Scout Service Unit 431 to be able to offer a day camp for Girl Scouts on the October school in service days for the State College Area School District.
Adult training is a cornerstone to successful outdoor experiences. Joan Geleskie ran several first aid courses last year and is currently organizing a Red Cross life guarding certification class. Sharon Bloom is working on bringing her Girl Scout Adult Outdoor Enrichment program back to Camp Golden Pond in May 2020.
We have also begun working with Greg Williams in order to combat many of the invasive plants infesting the camp. We will be organizing a fall planting of native trees and shrubs as part of a long term plan to shade out the stiltgrass.
We are also happy to report that significant strides have been made towards towards re-opening the main room of Lower Palmer. The Keefer’s quite generously volunteered their time and skills to fix the gutters on the building, solving much of the water problems. Next on the agenda is sealing the wall and refinishing.
The Ranger House has also been determined to be habitable and will be opening to rentals as soon as it is furnished.
As much progress as we have made in the past 6 months, we still have a long ways to go. We are still leasing the property and we will need your help if we are to make our purchase. Rental revenue alone will never build our down payment. While our target down payment of $120,000 may seem like a lot, last year we raised over $35,000 in direct individual contributions from 113 individuals to help us get started. Now that we have the camp open and are able to use rental revenue to cover most day-to-day expenses, please pledge your support to our purchase as we work to secure financing. You can also make direct contributions easily and securely via the PayPal Giving Fund. If we had just $25 for every single camper we expect to see over the next 12 months, we would make a pretty big dent in our down payment.
Once we reach our capital campaign goal and purchase the camp, we will be looking to our donors to give Unit II a proper name as well as naming individual cabins in the outer units.
Another easy way to support us is with Camp Golden Pond photo patches and our Making Memories T-Shirts. We are currently collecting order information for youth sizes. Once we reach our minimum production order, we will contact you for payment information.
Finally, if camp is one of your favorite places, we are in need of volunteers to help us with routine maintenance and setting up for and cleaning up after rentals. Friends of Golden Pond is 100% volunteer run and we need you. While some of our needs require skilled labor, others are as simple as cutting and stacking firewood. We are also happy to hear service project ideas from any organization.
Thank you very much for joining us on this journey to a sustainable camp. Camp Golden Pond has touched the hearts of countless youth and adults in many profound and life changing ways. Less than a year ago we were losing Camp Golden Pond and saving the camp looked impossible. Now, the other camp friends groups are looking to us for inspiration. Friends of Camp Louise told me that we are their heroes. You are my heroes. Without you, we would have no camp. Without you, the 1500 people who have bookings at Camp Golden Pond over the next 12 months would be scrambling to find another home for their events.
I am often asked why I think we can run the camp when GSHPA could not. The answer to that question is that I have you. Together, we will make another impossible year possible and together we will change the world.