Centre Gives starts tomorrow! Mark your calendars and bookmark our link at Centre Gives. A donation of $10 on May 11th or 12th helps to qualify Friends of Golden Pond for a portion of a $200,000 stretch pool. More donations or larger donations help us receive a larger portion of the stretch pool. There are many other monetary prizes throughout the 2 days that we can acquire with active participation and unique donors as well. Our mission at Golden Pond is to provide leadership and youth development by offering safe and affordable experiences that will allow those youth and adults to develop courage, confidence and an appreciation for the outdoors through programming and camping at the property. Help get us started with our newly purchased property as we begin to roll out programming for the remainder of the year focused at outdoors skills and appreciation, mindfulness and educational opportunities. Our programs and events are designed for youth and family in any organization such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Church Groups, Frontier Girls, Adventure Scouts, 4-H Clubs, the Home Schooling Community and so many more …. Your generous donation to our cause on May 11th or May 12th will go a long way to making Golden Pond a successful destination experience for all. Sharing out with your friends and colleagues is also another great way to help Golden Pond thrive! #CentreGiveshttps://centregives.org/organi…/210-friends-of-golden-pond
Friends of Golden Pond set out 3 years ago on a venture to purchase the camp property located at 5126 Eberle Road, Petersburg, PA. With a passion for youth and nature, an astronomical amount of work and overwhelming support from the community, today the board of Friends of Golden Pond became the official owners. We are excited beyond measure to let our true work now begin. Your support and love for Golden Pond will be needed now, more than ever as we continue to push forward and run the property with rentals and programs. We hope that you will join in our excitement!!!Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we open the door to some of the projects we are working on.
We have been very busy over the last few months working on our business and future plans. We want to take this time to also thank all of you who have made contributions and help to keep our dream and this camp alive. We still have a long way to go, but we have some news to share. We are excited to announce that Friends of Golden Pond has fully executed and Agreement of Sale with the current owner. Per our agreement, we must purchase the property and close no later than April 30, 2021 at the bank. We should have some awesome news in the next 30-45 days as we make our final trek towards ownership of Golden Pond!
We are excited for the start of the season! We have many rentals already on the books, so please contact us if you would like to stay. Along with that, we have many exciting events that will be sponsored by Friends of Golden Pond in the upcoming months. One such event is our Mindfulness series that is a three part event. Each part can stand alone, but we would love to see you at all three. The dates are posted on our calendar and happen once a month in March, April and May. We have many other events too on our calendar. Please take a preview and we will fill you in closer to the events. All proceeds will go to Friends of Golden Pond to help with the daily expenses of the camp. We will also need some volunteers. If you are interested in helping, please reach out to us.
We also have a work weekend scheduled for April 24 and 25. We plan to clean camp after this hard winter. We have lots of tasks that need to be done from simple cleaning to moving and cutting firewood. We have many down trees this year and will need help moving, cutting and stacking wood. More information and pre-registration will be posted very soon. We are utilizing our Facebook pages for many announcements and we have many winter pictures if you ever wondered what it looked like under snow. Word of warning, its beautiful and breathtaking. We do have 3 areas with heat and are renting right now if you want to visit.
We have many more surprises planned for the year! Don’t forget to Meet Us At the Pond!!!
September 1, 2020 marked the beginning of our new fiscal year for Friends of Golden Pond. We experienced challenges due to the pandemic as well as some other things. We also grew to the point of our first board elections. In the midst of working through the process, the group received resignation letters from two members. This caused some restructuring and revamping of the way we run our business. We are happy to say that we have pulled together and have had much support from volunteers, donors and especially guests to keep us going. With that, our board of directors are happy to announce our official members. Please give welcome to Dawn Wolfhope as President, Tim Swan as Vice President, Ann Dunlavy as Treasurer, Paula Keefer as Secretary and Sharon Bloom and Melanie Robison as Board Members. This group has adapted an open-book philosophy with our business and are pooling our strengths for the benefit of the camp. We are committed to our original mission statement to make the camp assessible and affordable to youth and families alike and to ensure a unique outdoor experience. We whole-heartedly thank all who have helped us get this far. Without volunteers to help with the work, donors to help us financially and guests to give us income for operations and buying power, we would not be looking at purchasing the camp in the near future. We are also discussing many other changes and we would love to see more people come visit us at camp for more programming. We are very open to help and please feel free to contact us if you can help us in any way or even just to check on things or stay with us. Please feel free to send us your comments and pictures. With your permission, we would love to share your unique experience. Once again, we thank you all and we hope to keep providing a unique outdoor experience only found at Camp Golden Pond.
New Board 8/17/20
Please welcome our new board members: Dawn Wolfhope, Interim President, Tim Swan, Vice President, Ann Dunlavy, Treasurer, Paula Keefer, Interim Secrectary, Sharon Bloom, Board Member, and Melanie Robison, Board Member. We welcome you to come and meet us on September 20th from 4-6 pm at Golden Pond for a meet, greet and information session. We will be looking for volunteers to help us with various tasks. If you are interested, please come and visit or contact us.
Month of May
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.
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.
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.
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!
COVID-19 is resulting in serious disruptions to our everyday lives and is likely to continue to be part of our lives for weeks, if not months to come. As a society, we must come together to defeat this virus and protect our friends, neighbors, and families. Our health care workers will do their part to tend to the sick, but we must do our part to slow the spread of this disease. Our scientific community has told us that this disease must not be allowed to spread unchecked and we must all do our part to help.
As a result, Camp Golden Pond is closed to new reservations through mid-May and we will be working with groups with existing reservations to determine if their event is able to go forward. Groups with reservations that are being impacted by the current crisis can work with us to either reschedule or receive a refund for any rental fees already paid.
Our society’s lock down, while painful, is also necessary as we must always put life first. Already, COVID-19 has cost Friends of Golden Pond $6,367.36 in cancellations. As this crisis extends into May, we expect to loose another $4,491.70 in reservations. All told, we are looking at loosing $10,859.06 in rental revenue. This amount represents almost 3 months of operating expenses for the camp and will result in a significant set back as we work on purchasing the property.
Our planned Mother’s Day fundraiser is also now on hold. It is our hope that the next few weeks will show a positive outlook and by May life will begin to return to normal; however, we recognize that there is a very really possibility that lock down orders will be even more strict by that time.
That said, we have received an anonymous donation to pay for our April rent and members of our board will be paying our rent for May. It is our sincere hope that the current global crisis will be resolved with as little loss of life as possible and that by summer we will all once again be out and about enjoying life.
Thank you for your understanding as we navigate these uncertain times.
The past year at Camp Golden Pond has been one whirlwind adventure after another. Almost exactly one year ago, I signed a one year lease on the camp property – allowing Camp Golden Pond to re-open and serve as an outdoor retreat for over 1500 people. Every weekend, new faces visit our campground – many of them old friends, but also new campers who had been struggling to find a facility that could serve their group.
In February, we hosted a student ministry from Mechanicsburg. This group was excited to be able to have their getaway at a location that was both beautiful and affordable. In March, 4 different Scouts BSA Troops will visit the camp. This summer, State College Girl Scouts is partnering with Trout Unlimited to run an exciting STREAM Girls camporee that will be open to any registered Girl Scout and her family. We are also in talks with a number of large religious youth organizations about moving their annual summer retreats to Camp Golden Pond.
All told, we are on track for over 2000 campers to visit the camp this year. Camp Golden Pond has become more than a Girl Scout Camp – it is becoming a home to a wide variety of youth and other organizations looking for an affordable outdoor retreat.
On March 1st, the lease that makes all this possible will automatically renew for just 1 more year. If we are to see Camp Golden Pond continue to serve our community in 2021, we must succeed in purchasing the property. To do that we need your help.
We currently have just shy of $50,000 allocated towards our down payment, thanks to our generous supporters. In addition to cash contributions towards the down payment, we also need long term commitments towards paying off the loan.
If you believe that our camp should remain a public resource available to all, please complete and return a capital campaign commitment form. If you cannot make a long term commitment, a group of former board members of Hemlock Girl Scout Council will be matching all donations made to Friends of Golden Pond through March 14th, 2020.
In honor of Girl Scout Week 2020, Marilyn and Kyle Kauffman and MaryAnne and Randall (Randy) K. Cline will match up to $2,500 of all donations made to Friends of Golden Pond. Marilyn (former president, officer and board member of Hemlock Girl Scout Council), Kyle (former board member of Hemlock Girl Scout Council), and Randy (former chief executive officer of Hemlock Girl Scout Council) want the former Golden Pond program center to be able to continue to serve Girl Scouts and other youth for generations to come.
According to Christine, “Camp Golden Pond is my happy place with my girls. It is where I’m watching them grow up and discover the women they can be. It is nature, water, exploration, and friendship. It is an experience they can not have anywhere else.”
Don’t wait until 2021 to see if we can renew our lease again. The sooner we can complete our purchase, the sooner we can guarantee to all our Girl Scout, Scouts BSA, and religious groups that Camp Golden Pond will be able to remain their home away from home for years to come.
We hope to see you at the camp this spring! Between Scouts BSA and Girl Scout troops we are rapidly running out of free weekends between now and June.
Even if you won’t be camping with us, we have several events and workshops planned for the spring along with a sneak peak at some of the programs we have in the works. If there is an outdoor or youth focused program you would like to see run at Camp Golden Pond, please let us know!
In February, we are hoping to be able to take advantage of our lake with two ice fishing events.
On Feb 2nd, the PA Fish and Boat Commission will be running a Youth Intro to Ice Fishing and Cooking Demonstration. Registration is limited and must be done in advance directly with the PA Fish & Boat Commission so if you aren’t registered yet, be sure to do that today!
On Feb 8th, we will be hosting our first ever Ice Fishing Day. We will start the day off with an adult ice fishing tournament and finish with youth fishing. Hot food will be available all day, so we hope to see you at camp for a cup of coffee or bowl of chili! If you are planning to join us, please pre-order your meals so we can make sure we have your preferred options!
Registering will also let us provide you with updates on the ice status as we monitor the warm weather.
March – Bees!
Local bee keeper, Dee Bagshaw, Co-President of the Centre County Beekeepers Association, will be returning to Camp Golden Pond on March 22, 2020 to teach us about the amazing honey bee. Click here for details.
April – Girl Scout Junior Drawing
On April 5th, local artist Nicolle Nicastro will lead us through all the requirements of the Girl Scout Junior Drawing badge as we explore the difference between pencils, markers, and charcoal.
May – Mother’s Day Tea and Paint
We hope that all of our amazing mothers will join us on May 10th for a Mother’s Day Tea and Paint. We will enjoy a traditional afternoon tea while local artist Jackie Gianico walks us through creating a beautiful masterpiece.
Throughout the spring season, we will be working with Greg Williams to combat invasive species around the camp and plant native trees. If you have a scout or other youth group interested in helping with this project, please contact us so we can work you into the planting schedule.
We are also investigating installing a butterfly garden at the camp. If your group is interested in helping with this project, please contact us!
Red Cross Certifications
We are currently coordinating with our Red Cross trainer to be able to offer Wilderness First Aid, Basic First Aid, and Lifeguard certification courses over the next few months. If you are interested in these certifications, please contact us so we can keep you updated as the schedule matures.
This summer we will be working with our local game wardens to bring a variety of educational programs about various native PA wildlife. Other programs in the works include geocaching and a repeat of our November First Aid Field Day.
Planning has begun for our second annual recycled regatta! Last year’s event was a ton of fun and we can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with again this year. However, we do need a lot of volunteers to make this event a success. If you would like to help us find sponsors, donations, and partake in other long range planning activities, let us know!
Happy holidays from everyone here at Friends of Golden Pond!
At Friends of Golden Pond, we believe that the outdoors are a place that everyone should be able to experience and are excited to be able to share our progress towards camp ownership.
Nancy Habig has pledged an additional $25,000 towards the purchase of our camp, bringing our available funds to just shy of $50,000! This means that we are ALMOST to 10% of the purchase price of the camp. Words cannot express our gratitude for Nancy’s incredible generosity and determination to see that our camp continues to serve all our youth for generations to come.
Just one year ago, Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA sold Camp Golden Pond to Sabella Timber and our beloved camp got a new lease on life. In the past year, Friends of Golden Pond has signed a lease with a purchase option and reopened the camp to rentals. In addition to Girl Scout troops being able to continue to use the camp, the camp is now open to the general public as well.
In the past year, we have had the pleasure of hosting over 1300 campers, including an estimated 712 Girl Scouts. We have an additional 700 Girl Scouts scheduled to visit the camp over the next 12 months. In addition to Girl Scouts, we have hosted Cub Scout packs and Scouts BSA troops, along with private families. Time and time again, our visitors tell us how hard it is for them to find a camp – the camps they can afford are full, and the camps that are available are too expensive.
For many of our campers, Camp Golden Pond is their gateway to the outdoors. It is their first time in a rustic cabin. Their first time in a canoe. Their first time on the archery range. Their first night away from home.
Together, we are going to buy the camp. And once we wholly own the camp, we WILL be able to sustain the camp.
Until then, the camp still desperately needs your help. We need to complete our down payment. If we fail to complete our down payment before our lease option ends, we will loose the camp for good.
This holiday season, make an impact that will last for generations and give the gift of camp. We then invite you to join Megan Roberts, Ann Dunvlay, and Joan Geleskie in our Thank You Plunge to celebrate all our generous donors.
The people who love Camp Golden Pond are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. On December 3rd, 2019, 46 amazing individuals came together to raise $14,572. We now have almost $25,000 available for our down payment. That is over 20%!
We want to extend a very special thank you to Nancy Habig for contributing almost $7,500.00 to our GivingTuesday efforts. Without Nancy, our camp would have shut down a very long time ago. Thank you for your ongoing support!
We also want to thank the following individuals who contributed $25 or more towards our GivingTuesday campaign:
Auchincloss Family Fund of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities on behalf of Mrs. Susan Achincloss, Carol Myers, Cathy Greensfelder, Erika Kretzing, Erin Pace, Felicia Zondlo Ko, Gwen Axtell, Holly Kennedy, Holly Wagner, James and Lisa Maras, Janelle Flanagan, Jill Bean, JoAnn Vender, Josh Habig, Lars Hanson, Laura Fulton, Lauren Lowe, Maria O’Brien, Mary Walsh, Megan Roberts, Nicolle Nicastro, Olga Grove, Pamela Nonemacher, Pamela Trout, Rebecca Thorsen, Sharon Bloom, Terry Podwika, Tina and John Chestney, Tracy Adams, Tracy Sepich, Trish Mikita
Our Thank You Plunge will take place on December 28th at 2PM. Please let us know if you will be joining us!
GivingTuesday shows us that every single dollar really does matter. Whether you contribute $10, $20, or $100, every single donation matters. Your $20 donation says that you care. Through matching grants we can take your $20 and double or triple it. When we combine all the $20 contributions together, we suddenly have tens of thousands of dollars.
If you missed GivingTuesday, you can still contribute to our Capital Campaign. I assure you, every single dollar matters. Every single donor matters. This holiday season, think of Lily, Pix, Danae, Emma, and the all other girls like them that are depending on us to save Camp Golden Pond.
Completing our down payment is a critical milestone to keeping the camp open and we have a very short time to do it. But if we can raise over $14,000 in a single day, I’m confident that we can get there.