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Birds, Bees, and More

For the second weekend in a row, our flag soared over Camp Golden Pond, courtesy of Girl Scout Troop 40088 from Lock Haven.

Next weekend is looking to be another full weekend at camp. Four different groups have reserved parts of the camp for various events and Rebecca Reck of Bluebird Designs by Bex will be coming to camp for a paint party on Saturday, June 15th from 10AM to noon. After the paint workshop concludes, feel free to enjoy a hike around the lake, a picnic lunch, or just explore the camp. If you are thinking about attending, please register now. We do not guarantee that registration will remain open after June 10th.

This past weekend’s adventures included blue bird box building with Game Warden Amy Nabozny on June 8th. Then on Sunday, June 9th, local bee keeper Dee Bagshaw, Co-President of the Centre County Beekeepers Association, came to camp to teach us about the amazing bees. Our next animal adventure plans include bats and bears. Once we have finalized the details of those programs we will let you know!

Later in June, Joan Geleskie will be running a Wilderness First Aid certification course out of Wald.

Thank you for your continued support as we work to purchase our camp. Your contributions make all these programs possible. If you have a program you would like to see run at Camp Golden Pond, please contact us.

Organizations looking to support these programs and more should check out our Recycled Regatta.

Individuals (or groups) who are interested in joining our camp maintenance committee should contact us. We have a long list of both short term and long term projects that need completed around the camp, but we also need volunteers to help with day-to-day operations by preparing the camp before rentals and programs and helping to cleanup afterwards.

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Inaugural Regatta

On August 24th, 2019 we will host our inaugural Recycled Regatta on Lake Louise at Camp Golden Pond. For this event, crews of up to 4 will build a boat out of recycled materials, and then race their watercraft (with them in it). We will award prizes to the overall champion, most creative use of recycled materials, best decorated boat/costumes, and sinking with style.

We hope that you will be able to join us, either on a race crew, or as a spectator to cheer our crews on. After the race, we will celebrate our successes and failures with a BBQ.

In addition to race crews, we are also seeking businesses or individuals to sponsor our race by making either prize or monetary contributions. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a sponsor, please let us know!

We would like to extend a special thanks to our first two 2019 Regatta Sponsors:

To participate in our regatta you can

Thank you in advance for your continued support as we work towards funding and purchasing our camp! Since opening in March we have hosted four different rental groups representing 58 individuals. We have additional bookings through November for another 16 groups representing approximately 950 campers. All told, we are expecting over 1000 campers to pass through our camp before the end of the year. Groups utilizing our camp include scout groups (Girl Scout, Scouts BSA, and Cub Scouts), church groups, theater groups, and even a small independent film.

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Event Updates

Thank you to everyone who made it out to our open house! We were able to show our off camp (and all it’s freshly mowed grass!!!) to a number of groups and individuals who had never even heard of our camp. In addition to being ale to see the facility, our visitors enjoyed beautiful weather, s’mores, archery, canoeing, and fishing.

In addition to our upcoming bee workshop, we are pleased to announce that game warden and neighbor Amy Nabozny will be coming to camp for a blue bird box building workshop. We hope to see a number of scout groups and other youth at camp for these educational opportunities.

We are also pleased to announce that we will be holding our inaugural Recycled Regatta on Lake Louise on Aug 24th. Teams will build a boat out of recycled products and race them across the lake. We are in need of volunteers and sponsors to help us make this fund raiser a success. Please contact us if you can help!

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Thank You

Thank you to all of our amazing supporters! As of today, we have confirmed reservations for 11 groups to use the camp between now and November, representing over 800 campers. A year ago, we assured you that our camp was beloved far and wide. Now, we are on track to exceed the usage numbers reported by GSHPA and our weekends are filling up fast.

We will be hosting an open house this Saturday, May 11th from 1 – 4PM. Grab a friend and come out to enjoy a relaxing day at camp with us. We would also love to see our amazing volunteers at camp in the morning to help us get ready for the open house.

We are also happy to announce two additional events coming up in June:

First, local bee keeper, Dee Bagshaw, Co-President of the Centre County Beekeepers Association, will be coming to Camp Golden Pond on June 9th to teach us about the amazing honey bee. This will be a fun and educational event perfect for any age seeking to learn more about what pollinators do for us and how we can help them.

Second, Rebecca Reck of Bluebird Designs by Bex will be coming to Camp Golden Pond on June 15th to lead a paint party. Thank you to Julie Clippinger for setting this event up!

We also would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our lawn mower fund. A commercial grade lawn mower may be expensive, but it is vital to keeping our camp maintained. So far we have raised almost $5,500 for this capital purchase. Every single dollar helps keep us on track to being able to own our camp. If you have not yet contributed to this critical need, you can do so easily and securely via the PayPal Giving Fund.

We hope to see you at camp soon!

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A Community Camp

On Saturday, April 5th, we were joined by the Penn State Quidditch Team, neighbors, and other volunteers to start getting the camp ready for summer. We cleaned out all the cabins in the outer units and checked them for damage. We also removed several dead trees, cleared the Red Trail, fixed broken doors, and started work on cleaning out the Craft House so that groups can use it this summer.

We will be showing off all our hard work at an open house on May 11th and hope to see all our Friends, neighbors, and community members there.

We will need to return to the camp in the coming weeks to fix a number of broken screens on the cabins and would love your help with this task. We may additionally need help removing the graffiti in Wald 2 before youth groups start using that cabin. As a result of our inspections, we found a number of light bulbs, smoke detectors, brooms, and mattresses that need replacing. We also identified a number of areas that need erosion control and other environmental work done. We would love to see some creative or artistic usage of our downed trees. Individuals looking to help us with any of these things can contact us for specifics. You can also check out a more comprehensive list of short and long term needs here.

While we are happy to announce that we are currently funded into September, we still need a great deal of community support to secure our camp. Our community built this camp in the 1980’s. Again, in the late 1990’s our community once again came together to invest $2.8 million into the camp. Today, that investment would be the equivalent of over $4 million. Today, we need but a fraction of that amount to secure the camp for our future.

Camp Golden Pond represents thirty years and millions of dollars of community money. The camp was not built using corporate profits or investor dollars, but through the love and dedication of our community. Friends of Golden Pond is committed to honoring that legacy, but we need your help once again. This camp is your camp. You paid for it. You built it. It is open for your use.

Right now, if we want to secure this property for you, we need operating cash. We also need generous individuals to help us convert our lease to a purchase so that every dollar we raise can stay in this community. We have been in talks with a bank that would be willing to finance us, if we were able to make our down payment and find someone who is willing to guarantee the loan. If you or someone you know can help us with this, we would love to talk to you.

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A Busy Weekend

This was a busy weekend at camp with several first aid courses and wildlife encounters. This coming weekend is going to be another busy weekend at camp with Camp Clean Up and then Painting with Jackie.

The leadership for Scouts, BSA Troop 31 spent the weekend camping in Palmer Lodge with Joan to refresh their Wilderness First Aid skills. While they were there, they got to watch an osprey fishing in the lake. The osprey then took his fish to a tree where he spent the afternoon likely waiting for his mate.

On Sunday, Joan then taught a basic First Aid / CPR / AED course to another group of adults. As fun as this past weekend was, we have more activities planned for next weekend and hope to see you at camp!

On April 6th we will be out at camp getting ready for summer. If you would like to join us, please pack a water bottle, a lunch, and come ready to tackle dirt, clogged gutters, and fallen trees.

A tree has fallen across the Red (lake) trail and will need to be cleared. Additionally, we will be opening up the outer units, cleaning them out, and getting them ready for use. We will also need to scrub down the bunk room in lower Palmer so that it be used for rentals. If we have enough volunteers and time, we will clean out the craft house.

Check out the full list of tasks we plan to tackle and let us know to expect you so we can start the day off organized. Leaf blowers are super handy for cleaning the dirt, dust, and leaves out of buildings. While, we will have some supplies on hand, we can probably use more so we can get things done quickly.

On Sunday, April 7th, we will then join local artist Jackie Gianico to paint Lake Louise. Jackie will walk us through the process of creating our very own landscape. All materials will be provided and all skill levels are welcome. You must register in advance so that we can ensure we have enough materials on hand.

On Sunday, April 14th, our capital campaign committee will be meeting in Legacy Lodge to plan fund raising and promotional activities for the summer. We hope that you will be able to join us and help us fund our camp.

We are then planning on holding an open house on May 11th. We plan to put the canoes out on the lake, set up the archery range, and even make s’mores.

If you are thinking of reserving the camp for your family or scouting event, please contact us. We already have a Scouts, BSA troop event scheduled for April, two Girl Scout Service Unit camps in June, another Girl Scout Service Unit camp in July, three Girl Scout Service Unit camporees scheduled for September, and another Girl Scout campout scheduled for November.

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Upcoming Events

Now that we have regained access to the camp, Friends of Golden Pond has several events lined up over the coming weeks to help us get back to camp.

On March 31st, Joan will be running a First Aid and CPR course.

On April 6th, we will have a spring clean up day.

On April 7th, we will Paint with Jackie in Legacy Lodge so that you can create your very own painting of Lake Louise.

We hope to see you soon!

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Officially Tax-Exempt

On March 8th, 2019, Friends of Golden Pond received our official determination letter from the IRS declaring us except from federal income taxes under IRS section 501c3 effective April 11, 2018. This determination declares us to be a public charity and makes all contributions made to Friends of Golden Pond since our incorporation potentially eligible for federal tax deductions.

We would like to extend a big thank you to the office of the 12th congressional district of PA for their assistance with this matter.

We are currently negotiating with a bank to secure financing in order to allow us to execute our option to purchase Camp Golden Pond. The bank is looking for a down payment on the order of $120,000 as well as personal guarantees to back the loan. If you would like more information on this process, please email me at megan@friendsofgoldenpond.org.

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CPR Training

On March 31st, Joan will be offering another First AID certification course. The YMCA (and other organizations) offers Red Cross first aid training at $100 or more per person. As a small, volunteer run non-profit funded through public support, we are able to offer this training at only $50 per person. Our goal is to keep this price point low as we roll out a training schedule that will end the scramble to renew we currently see among our Girl Scout and other volunteers. We will not be able to do this without your support.

Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA does NOT provide first aid training to their volunteers. Instead, the troop leaders must find their own training center and pay either out of pocket or using troop funds for their certifications. If they are unable to get certified or maintain their certification, their troop loses the ability to go camping. Service Unit camporees have been popular simply because many of the area troops lack the first aider required to go troop camping.

Is CPR training worth it? According to the American Heart Association, nearly 45% of out of hospital cardiac arrest victims survived when administered CPR by a bystander. CPR is a skill that saves lives. It is a skill that needs to be taught. It is a skill that the adult volunteers who care for our children need to be able to afford.

$100 may not seem like a lot to spend on life saving training. But the volunteers who lead our scout groups already give a great deal of their time and money to our children. Do we really want the volunteers who take care of our children to hesitate when it comes to becoming CPR and first aid certified? Do we want only the minimum number of first aid certified volunteers? Or do we want every adult possible to be trained and certified?

CPR certified people save lives. They save the lives of strangers. They save the lives of friends and family members. CPR training should be available to any adult who is willing to take the course. We should not be staring at a $100 price point and deciding that lives are not worth the cost.

If you support Friends of Golden Pond, you support our ability to offer life saving training at a price point that the volunteers who already give so much to our communities can afford.

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Ours Again

On Feb 16th, 2019, Friends of Golden Pond signed a lease for 55 acres of Camp Golden Pond. This area includes the core of the camp – all of the established camp sites, the ranger house, the sand mound, and a nice buffer. This lease means that on March 1st we can begin accepting rental reservations. Youth and other groups can now request a reservation using this form. I cannot thank our growing list of benefactors enough. It is your faith and generosity that allows us to bring our scouts back to camp.

Camp Golden Pond is ours again. If we can keep it.

Our lease is $3800 a month and includes an option to purchase the 55 core acres for $600,000.

As of today, we can pay our rent through July, 2019. We need your help to get us to August.

On March 1st, we will become responsible for the gas. The electric. Insurance. Maintenance. The beam in the craft house is cracked and fixing it will cost $10,000. Lower Palmer needs drywall, baseboards, and kitchen counters before we can re-open it to rentals. We need to have a locksmith change and fix all the locks – many of them no longer have keys. The archery targets were left outside all last year and need replaced…

We also need volunteers willing to clean gutters, bridges, and trails.

The task ahead of us is not easy. But a year ago, our camp was lost and we had no obvious path to getting it back. A year ago, we were told that we did not want our camp. A year ago, Sharon Bloom, Ann Dunlavy, Joan Geleskie, Tim Swan, and I sat in a room and decided that losing our camp was unacceptable.

Today, we need you to listen to the stories of young women like Pix and Danae. Help us to show these women what it means to face a challenge and overcome it. Help us to show them what it looks like when a community comes together so that when they grow up they will look upon the challenges life will throw at them and know that impossible things just take a little bit of time and a lot of work.

Become a Friend or donate to our Go Fund Me.

Because, today, Camp Golden Pond is ours to lose. If you do nothing, we will miss our rent payments and we will lose our camp for good.