The Director’s Desk
By Dan King, Executive Director
In July of 1959, Camp Ondessonk welcomed its first summer campers. Many, many individuals pitched in to prepare for opening day. Donors generously provided resources while volunteers and staff worked tirelessly to complete projects before families arrived with their children. Several people at camp that historic day fondly recall workers building the last bunks as campers moved in. Six decades later and a little over two months from opening day, camp’s 500 bunks are ready for summer camp, but the vital role our donors, volunteers, and staff have in maintaining and filling bunks remains the same.
While we continue to serve more and more people during non-summer camp months, we are most proud to report that we are on track for another year of summer camp enrollment growth. Our basic goals are personal growth, faith formation, and fun for each of the 3,500 children we will serve this summer. As you likely know, the type of growth many kids achieve in just one week at Camp Ondessonk often rivals months of learning elsewhere. With that in mind, I ask that you consider pitching in on this summer’s greatest need. We are not currently building bunks, but we do need help filling them with deserving kids.
Camp Ondessonk’s supporters generously enabled nearly $100,000 in scholarship funding last summer. Over 300 children received scholarships! Award amounts depend upon financial need. Some families need a partial scholarship to make camp possible for their camper(s); some need a full scholarship. Our original 2018 goal was to distribute $75,000. You, our supporters, exceeded that goal! In so doing you made a lot of kids (and families) very happy. While we strive to increase scholarship distribution every summer, it is important to be a little conservative when establishing our annual distribution goals. This year’s original goal was to distribute $84,000, but requests for funding currently exceed that amount. Therefore, we have raised our distribution target to $100,000. Meeting this goal will require a significant amount of support from the Ondessonk community. If you are in a position to give and you love sending kids to camp, please help us fill camp’s bunks by making a scholarship gift.
May God’s hands keep and guide the Campers of Ondessonk and may you find ways to keep camp in your life for the rest of your life.
P.S. This is an excerpt from the scholarship application essay of a hopeful 2019 camper: “I have never been to a summer camp before. My brother was lucky enough to go last year. I was jealous. He bragged about all his new experiences and friends he made. I often dream about going and what it must be like. I hope I get picked. Thank you for your time. I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day.” – Elijah, 11