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Camp Updates

As we step into May and a new month of our new normal, we at Friends of Golden Pond dearly miss all of our beloved campers. Fortunately, the camp will be reopening to visitors within the next few weeks and we are working to develop virtual ways that we can engage with our friends and the youth who enjoy our programs. We are also excited to announce that this year we were able to qualify for the Centre Foundation’s annual donation drive, Centre Gives.

Virtual Mother’s Day Tea and Paint

This Mother’s Day, local artist Jackie Gianico will be live on the Friends of Golden Pond Facebook page to walk us through creating a beautiful, spring inspired, masterpiece.

This event is free, though we do encourage you to make a $10 dollar donation to Friends of Golden Pond.

Jackie can provide limited number of canvases for a porch pick-up in State College. Please contact us to make arrangements. We will also be posting recipes and preparation instructions for some of our favorite afternoon tea treats.

Camp Re-Opening

Last week, Governor Wolf announced that outdoor recreation is essential to our mental and physical health. Thus, we are happy to able to open up the camp to family households looking for a escape into nature. Over the next few weeks, dedicated volunteers will be heading out to the property to clean and prep the units to open for the season.

If your family is interested in a quiet get away in the woods, please check our AirBnb listings for availability. Note – we will be opening up units as our volunteers get them ready, so if you don’t see your preferred unit up yet, feel free to contact us and I can let you know when we have that unit scheduled to become available again.

To help with social distancing, cabins in the outer units will no longer be listed individually – instead our guests will reserve the entire cabin set so that groups are not sharing the common kitchen and toilet facilities. We will also be following the PA Department of Health guidelines and cutting the occupancy of all units by half. Groups are reminded that social distancing is still in effect – individuals must stay 6ft away from all non-household members, limit group size, and wear masks.

Our day-time use policy is that groups wishing to utilize the outdoor spaces of the camp for outdoor recreation may do so for free with a reservation. Please contact us to make arrangements so that we can ensure that your visit will not interfere with regular maintenance and scheduled rentals and will abide by the current government mandated regulations. Again, you must have a reservation to visit the camp even for day-time only use.

Centre Gives

Friends of Golden Pond will be an eligible organization participating in Centre Gives 2020. Centre Foundation’s 36-hour online giving event is set to begin on May 12 at 9 am and conclude on May 13 at 9 pm. This annual event is designed to support the great work of local nonprofits serving Centre County.

Your donations through Centre Gives not only qualify Friends of Golden Pond for a larger share of the $200,000 stretch pool and $100,000 bonus pool, but also helps us qualify for $40,000 in additional prizes throughout the event. We will be providing more details on how you can help Friends of Golden Pond qualify for these additional grants as we move closer to the event.

Non-Medical Face Masks

As our state re-opens, most businesses will be requiring customers, volunteers, and employees to wear a face covering. Friends of Golden Pond is happy to be able to offer you a beautiful way to protect the people around you and support your favorite camp! These masks will be hand-made on-demand with our first print run starting on Friday (May 8). Click here for details.

Moving Forward

Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA has announced that they will not be approving any troop or service unit travel applications through August 31. As a result of this announcement, we expect to loose a significant portion of our remaining summer bookings. So far, COVID-19 has cost the camp $17,553.06 in booking revenue with more cancellations expected. We are hopeful that we will be able to make up some of those losses with private family rentals as the camp calendar frees up.

While we are fortunate that our anonymous donor has decided to continue to help us pay our occupancy costs, the revenue loss we are seeing is going to be a serious setback to our ability to build our down payment and ultimately purchase the camp. The amount of bookings we have lost to COVID-19 represents over half of our projected rental income for the current fiscal year.

Despite all this, we are confident that we will be able to pivot and create new opportunities. Camp Golden Pond’s journey to long-term sustainability has already taken us on a whirlwind adventure to unexpected places, and while the path might not always be clear, we will get there. Two years ago, we set out with $0, no investors, and every sane person told us we were crazy. Now, we use the word visionary, we have found a number of unexpected friends, and we have sufficient capital that we are not worried about defaulting on any of our bills while we work through a statewide closure during our peak season.

We look forward to seeing visitors back at the camp soon!