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Annual Report

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 Groups385 (59%)
Theater Groups82 (13%)
Church Groups30 (5%)
Families158 (24%)

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.

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Inaugural Regatta

This weekend 19 intrepid sailors took to Lake Louise in contraptions that attempted to float. While some of our boats were less successful than others, everyone was able to make it back to shore without needing to be rescued.

We would like to extend one last special thanks to Central Pennsylvania Endodontics, Mountain Family Dental, and Accuweather for their very generous gifts of $250+.

We awarded our first ever “Sinking with Style” trophy to the “Swamp Foot”. This fast little boat was determined to win its division and almost made it back before the crew was forced to abandon ship and push.

For “Most Creative Use of Recycled Materials”, we had the “Beach Jeep” by the “40399 Castaways” for the 8-12 division and “Troop 375 Wolf Patrol” for the 12-17 division.

While everyone else arrived at camp with a boat, Troop 375 showed with a trailer full of trash and set to work on assembly. These young women know their knots and not a single zip tie was to be found on their cardboard raft. While they did have a “scout overboard” incident during the middle of the race, all crew members made it back to shore on a floating boat. Our judges loved the flipper propelled “Beech Jeep”.

Our best decorated boat from the 12-17 age group was the “Kitchy Ratties”. This boat reminded us of the pod racers from Star Wars.

The Furious Loch Ness Monsters proved that you can look good while winning. This team took home both “Best Decorated” and “Division Champion” for the 8-12 age group.

Our Division Champion for the 12-17 age group was the “Little Sinker”. While this boat was originally designed for two, the team decided that buoyancy was more important than extra paddling power and started the race with only one crew member. This decision paid off when their competition ran aground.

The “Snappy Turtles” may not have taken home any trophies, but there was no danger of these girls getting wet. We hope to see them next year!

Our final boat, the Purple Prime Pallet, was our only boat from the 17+ age group. This boat showed us what you can do with cardboard boxes, paint, and an old pallet.

We hope that all our contestants and spectators had a spectacular time and we can’t wait to see what people do next year!

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Regatta This Weekend

When you find yourself with a set of empty hydrochloric acid barrels, the rational thing to do is paint them and build a boat for charity. Thank you to Nicolle Nicastro for painting our barrels for us.

“Kitchy Ratties”

On Saturday, August 24th, 9 teams made up of Girl Scout Troops, Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, local businesses, and others will compete to see who has built the best boat. We’ve been given some sneak peaks at several of the contraptions that will via for “best boat” and are starting to doubt if anyone will be taking home a “Sinking with Style” trophy. It will all depend on if these scouts know their knots or not…

The last day to order BBQ tickets is Thursday, August 22nd. If you have been waiting to see a nice long range forecast, the weekend weather at the camp is looking gorgeous. Both participants and spectators will also be able to enjoy many of the activities Camp Golden Pond has to offer, including archery, gaga ball, camp fires, and canoeing (in real boats).

We also invite everyone to spend a night (or two) in one of our rustic cabins or tabins.

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Two Weeks!

We are two weeks away from our Recycled Regatta and all our boat crews have been hard at work. We can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with. Will “The Furious Loch Ness Monsters” paddle their way to victory? Will the “The 40399 Castaways” need to be rescued? If you think you can build a better boat, there is still time to register.

There is still time for you to purchase a Regatta T-Shirt. Your t-shirt purchase supports the camp financially and is an easy way to tell our sponsors thank you! The last day to order a t-shirt is Thursday August 8th.

Please be sure to let all our sponsors know how much you appreciate their support of our camp:

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Camp This Week

We are happy to report that our camp has had someone in residence every weekend since Memorial Day and we have groups scheduled almost every weekend until November. Before Christmas we will have had over 32 groups representing 1200 people pass through the camp.

This coming week will be another exciting week at the camp complete with a pair of fun workshops scheduled for this Saturday. We hope you will join us to learn about bats and plants.

Camp Updates

In addition to our upcoming events, we are also excited to announce that we have successfully negotiated a 25% reduction in our lease. The Friends of Golden Pond board is working hard to minimize our expenses and fill the camp, but we still need your help. We cannot purchase the camp without a down payment. Please make a pledge in support of our purchase.

We are also happy to announce that we now have a gorgeous, limited run, photo patch available.

Day Camp

This week Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA Service Unit 431 is hosting a space themed day camp for Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts at the camp. As part of this camp, Raytheon will be stopping by to help the girls launch a weather balloon so that they can collect their very own photos from space. Not only will this camp be a memorable and fun four days for these girls, but it will open a world of possibilities for them by exposing them to ideas they may have never thought possible. Your support makes this event possible.

We are hoping to be able to work with the local scouting organizations to offer these kinds of camps on a regular basis as well as expand these programs to school in-service days. If you are interested in helping us with this goal, please contact us!

Weekend Workshops

On Saturday morning, Ann Dunlavy of Lincoln Caverns will host a bat workshop at the camp. This fun and educational event is $4 if registered before July 30 and $6 for late registrations.

Then on Saturday afternoon, Greg Williams will join us to teach us about invasive plant species. Mr. Williams has done numerous plant and tree workshops for various organizations and will provide a wealth of information for our budding botanists and conservationists. This fun and educational event is $4 if registered before July 30 and $6 for late registrations.

Groups attending either workshop are welcome to enjoy a hike around the lake or a picnic. Several fire rings will be available in the front of the camp for picnicking groups to use on a first-come basis.

If your organization is interested in hosting these kinds of youth experiences at Camp Golden Pond, please contact us to find out how we can support you. We would be happy to open Legacy Lodge (or other camp facilities) for badge workshops or other youth focused programming.


Finally, I would like to share with you some exciting news about our upcoming regatta. Last week, I failed quite horrifically at taking our “boat” out for a spin. So this weekend Joan Geleskie showed me how it’s done. So far we have 7 teams officially registered and a handful more who are promising to send in paperwork. Our registration rates increase on August 1st, so if think you can build a better boat, be sure to get your registration in now.

For those of you who prefer to keep your feet dry, I hope you will come out to camp and watch what is sure to be a fun and exciting event followed by a delicious BBQ.

Don’t forget to reserve your cabin and order your t-shirt!

Watch our secretary Joan Geleskie test out a home made “boat”.
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Regatta Updates

We hope that everyone’s boat building efforts are going well! This past weekend our board of directors tested out our boat with disastrous results.

We did, happily, discover that our plastic barrels float really really well. Recent water tests also show that our lake water is perfectly safe with no areas of concern. If you have a photo of your boat building efforts you would like to share, we would love to see it!

If you have not yet registered for the regatta, our early registration rates end on Aug 1st so be sure to put your paperwork in! You can register online or by mailing in a paper form.

All t-shirts must also be pre-ordered. Our t-shirts are made with airlume combed and ring spun cotton so you will be super comfy while you support a great cause.

If you are interested in sponsoring the regatta, there is still time to get on the shirt. We must have all art and forms before August 1st in order to get the order to the printer.

Thank you to the following individuals and organizations for their generous support of our mission:

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End of Summer

Summer is growing to a close and by the end of August we will have had over 500 campers visit the camp. We have confirmed reservations for 1200 campers through the end of the year.

The question I must ask you is will we be back here in 2020? Will the summer of 2020 see even more campers enjoying our seven acre lake? Next summer, how many kids will get to take a canoe out on the lake for the first time? Shoot a bow for the first time?

Summer is drawing to a close and as it does we need to build a down payment. This year we did the impossible – we reopened Camp Golden Pond. Now we must do another impossible task – purchase the camp. Our landlord is not interested in leasing to us long term. Our landlord wants us to purchase the camp as soon as possible. If we are to be open next summer, we need your help.

To everyone who has already added their name to our list of benefactors, thank you. To our friends who have not yet made that leap, there is never a good time. You will always have a reason to say “tomorrow”. “Next month”. “Next year”. We need your help today.

If we had just $50 for every single camper we expect to see by the end of the year, we would have our down payment and be well on our way to ownership. If you or someone you know has been able to enjoy a weekend at Camp Golden Pond this summer, please help us stay open.

Make a pledge, Become a Friend, join us for our Regatta BBQ, or build a boat. Show support for our generous regatta sponsors by ordering a 2019 Regatta T-Shirt.

If we are to be open next summer, we need your help and we need your help today.

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Regatta Approaching

I know that August seems like an eternity away right now, but if you (or someone you know) are thinking of racing, you should register now for the biggest savings. You can register online or by mailing in a paper form.

Crew SizeBefore July 1Before Aug 1After Aug 1
Up to 4$75$85$100

Other ways you can participate in our regatta are

In the meantime, we would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to our growing list of Regatta sponsors:

Be sure to let these generous businesses know that you appreciate their support of our camp! Individuals or businesses looking to join our sponsor list should review our 2019 sponsorship package. If you would prefer instead to make a private personal donation, you may do so here.

Thank you for your help in funding our camp and building a down payment so that we can purchase the property. Our camp is currently funded into October, but just paying the bills will not purchase the camp. In order to secure the camp’s long term future, we need your help to make our down payment. The bank wants us to be able to put $120,000 down and offer guarantees on the loan.

Since opening in March we have had approximately 200 individuals visit the camp for rentals with over 800 more campers scheduled through November. We have additionally been able to provide youth programming for 42 youth from Centre and Clinton counties with more programs in the works including a Black Bears event scheduled for September.

For a number of our rental groups, Camp Golden Pond was the first time they had ever been in a truly outdoor environment or even seen the night sky unpolluted by city lights. Palmer and Legacy Lodges provide the type of facilities that these first time campers need to succeed and grow their appreciation for the outdoors. A stay at Camp Golden Pond also often includes the first time these groups go canoeing simply because they have never considered it as a viable activity. Our ability to provide not only the craft and safety equipment but also certified facilitators makes a few hours on the lake possible.

It is our ability to reach and support the non-traditionally outdoors groups that makes Camp Golden Pond unique and special. The only way that our society can protect all our dwindling outdoor spaces is to teach everyone to love and appreciate them. Camp Golden Pond lets us bring people who would not normally seek out a camping experience into an environment where they can appreciate the serenity of being surrounded by 200 acres of forest, listen to the bull frogs, and watch the osprey diving at the lake.

But none of this is possible without your help and support. Make a pledge today.

If you would like brochures to distribute, please contact us.

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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.