Guided by our co-clerks and the Camp Administrative Secretary, the CPC continued our work on behalf of the Yearly Meeting to promote our camping program and support our staff and directors. Again in 2009-2010, the Camping Program Committee met four times and held three additional meetings by conference call. In February, we met jointly with CPMC and talked about funding and other ways of working together. CPC members were encouraged to attend Family Service Weekends at the camps. We worked with the Nominating Committee to identify members who needed to come off the Committee and to find new members. The subcommittees for 2009-10 are Marketing, TA Bike Trip 2011, Budget, and Cookbook.
During our meeting at Annual Session, appreciation was minuted for 12 years of service by Elizabeth Krome, who is rotating off CPC, but hopefully she will return to our Committee in 12 months.
- Marketing and Outreach
- Camp Evaluations
- Five-year plan
- Financial Management
Shiloh Quaker Camp’s new director Riley Lark, a former counselor and staff member, completed his first summer.
Jane will be taking a sabbatical in the fall of 2010.
The Committee may be hiring an additional director in the fall of 2010 for the proposed bike TA Bike Trip in the summer of 2011.
The seasonal staff of the program continues to be the responsibility of the camp directors and supported by the Committee. Catoctin had twenty-one returning counselors in 2009 and Shiloh director Riley Lark hired only four new counselors.
The first-come, first-serve Camper Enrollment Process was further improved this year as the work grant positions were added. It has worked very well and has caused fewer problems for our Administrative Secretary.
The Committee minuted support for continued one week sessions to increase enrollment and we challenge Shiloh to think about and structure one week sessions that reflect the Shiloh experience (not carbon copy of Opequon). Last year, offering one week sessions during the third session at Shiloh did increase enrollment during that session, although the middle session was a bit lower. Our overall enrollment at Shiloh is higher than last year at this time.
We need to continue to address the phenomena that typically campers who want to go to Catoctin and can’t get in won’t try Opequon or Shiloh.
Increasing enrollment at Opequon and Shiloh and filling spots at Catoctin has been a high priority for the Marketing and Outreach subcommittee. Our improved enrollment and work grant assignment process, NPR ads, and Monthly Meeting contact by CPC members and camp alumni continue. Information is displayed at BYM Annual Session and at the FGC Gathering each year. Sending out our brochures, hosting house parties and word of mouth advertising is also a part of our outreach. There was an increase in print advertising in the Charlottesville area weekly newspapers and a monthly parenting magazine.
Our Cookbook subcommittee has completed the text, pictures, and layout for the cookbook. It will be available to be ordered online (printed as ordered) and a few copies will be printed for camp distribution and for Camp events and Annual Sessions. A report of this project was sent to the Development Committee.
We used an online survey again and the results give the Committee valuable feedback about the operation of the camps. One shocking comment said meeting every day was too much. Facilities at some camps continue to need to be improved. Directors and counselors ratings are consistently off the charts (in the high 90’s). Some program issues were noted, especially with unmet expectations and with one week sessions at Shiloh.
Our Camps have kitchen managers who provide wholesome foods while keeping to our budget. More and more of our purchases are made using local sources. Our volunteer cooks prepare and serve family style food in camp and our camp staff and counselors plan, purchase and assist in preparing nutritious and creative “pack out” or trail food. Small kitchen gardens and herb beds have been started at several of the camps with camper involvement.
At Catoctin, Meeting for Worship has been a nice balance of quiet and messages, with great (male) singing energy.
Shiloh Staff was super great; with lower turnover than usual .Trips were creative – including dress-ups, and a hunt for the rare and elusive mid-Atlantic pineapples.
Opequon has had a really great tenth summer, very solid and balanced. Structure and tradition and flexibility have combined with an openness of doing things. Having two new cabins is significant and they are beautiful. We intentionally nurture the spirit through the arts.
Teen Adventure and TALT had a really fantastic staff, with staff and counselors from all three camps. TA is using many more local trails and becoming more integrated into the community. Meeting for Worship happened really regularly on the trail. We expect a large group of applicants for 2010 and larger in 2011.
A large issue this coming summer will be a shortage of buses. Sandy Spring Friends School will not rent buses to camp this summer. We continue to discuss ways the camps can share buses, or take more trips that walk out from camp. Use of local trails and campsites for our campers will continue to be expanded. In 2009, the transportation fuel prices were lower than budgeted. The Committee appreciates this fiscal responsibility.
In the fall of 2010, another cabin will be built at Catoctin. A renewable energy project at Catoctin is in the plans for 2010. Plans for 2011 are: a cabin at Catoctin, bathhouse improvements at Catoctin. The year 2012 will bring a cabin (no. 9) at Catoctin and more bathhouse improvements at Catoctin. In 2013, plans call for building cabin no. 10 at Catoctin. The Catoctin dining hall, while complying with code restrictions, isn’t actually big enough and must be addressed at some point.
At Opequon, two cabins were built simultaneously this spring. In 2011, the last two cabins will be built at Opequon. Replacing bathhouses at Opequon, hopefully in 2013, is a high priority.
A pond at Shiloh is in the planning stages and may be built in the fall of 2010.
The cost for these projects is $564,000. This requires fund-raising of $361K over the next five years, which the Development Director feels is the maximum possible. Additional revenues of $137K for these projects will come from other sources: $47K of other income (property sale of 30 acres of “TA property” at Shiloh) and $90K in released resources (timber sales under existing timber management plans, which David feels are very responsible and won’t negatively impact camp). Reserve funds would add another $66 K.
We need an updated philosophy statement for the funding for camps – it will help guide budgeting and development process within Yearly Meeting. Greg Tobin and Jane Megginson will work to further develop a financial management philosophy statement to share with both committees to adopt.
Robinne Grey attended our joint meeting with CPMC in February and outlined the BYM development process and answered questions from committee members. We talked about our goal to identify ways CPC can raise funds and support our camps. We have eliminated the Quaker discount and raised fees at all the camps.
JoAnn Dalley (Charlottesville) , Co-clerk