Greetings! Grace and Peace in Jesus Christ, I am writing to share important information about our Conference summer camping ministry at Aldersgate & Loucon, specifically about changes to the cost of camp along with an explanation of what this means for the future of our camps.
The hard news is this - it will be no surprise that the cost of many goods and services in all aspects of our lives are going up - this is true for our camps as well. Over the years we have worked very hard to subsidize the cost of summer camp so that as costs rose the cost for our campers remained fairly constant. This is no longer a sustainable model for our camping ministry. Beginning in 2014 the costs of our camping experiences will be increasing.
The good news is this. We remain committed to our camping experiences being available to everyone. We want summer camp to be a blessing to as many people as possible and we do not want economic limitations to keep people from participating. Our camping team has come up with a plan that will allow us to move forward in a way that is financially responsible, but also is responsive to economic realities. We believe this approach can keep Aldersgate & Loucon on a solid footing and can allow us to do so in a way that continues to make the life changing experience of camp available to as many as possible. We will need your help in this endeavor as we move forward.
The plan is basically this: Our summer camps at Aldersgate & Loucon will be priced in a three tier pricing structure. Tier One is a basic fee with the remainder of the cost covered from other sources. Tier Two is a slightly higher fee which more fully covers the cost of camp, but also requires the remainder be covered from other sources. Tier Three reflects the actual cost of camp - choosing to pay at the Tier Three level means that the camp does not need to find money from other sources for that camper. The choice of which Tier is possible for you based on your circumstances is entirely yours. When you send in your camp registration you simply indicate which Tier you are selecting and include that amount. There is absolutely no difference in the camping experience for the campers; campers at all levels will receive the same experience. This is solely an invitation for you to evaluate your resources and determine how you are best able to be supportive of our camping ministry. We are hopeful that many will be able to move to Tier Two or Three, but fully understand that the choice is a personal one that you will make prayerfully as you consider the stewardship of your resources.
Be assured that even as this new pricing structure comes into being that we recognize that there is still great financial need in many areas of our Conference and that scholarships will continue to be available as they have in the past. Financial hardship will not be an obstacle that keeps anyone from camp. Also, we hope that our local congregations will continue to whenever possible help defray costs of camp for participants from their churches.
Our camps are a blessing. The fruits of their work are evident every year in changed lives, new disciples and ever deepening and maturing faith in our campers. Simply, there is nothing that speaks to the soul like camp. We are grateful for your understanding, for your consideration of what this new pricing structure will mean for your family, and for your continued prayer for and commitment to our camps. See you at camp!
Bishop Lindsey Davis