For the first time since World War II, Deerfoot did not operate its regular camp program in 2020. We had been on pace to reach more boys than at any point in our history. Registrations for both camps were strong, and we were particularly thrilled to see Deerfoot Lodge Blue Ridge registrations surge in its second year of operation. But then the COVID pandemic hit, and undermined our ability to run camp. The decision to cancel our camping season was devastating for us all. There were many layers of disappointment, but none worse than among the hundreds of boys and college-aged staff missing out on camp.
I’m happy to report, however, that while the season was full of significant loss, God was still at work here at camp. We were able to manage small staff teams at both sites for maintenance projects and spiritual growth. They practiced spiritual disciplines and grew closer to one another and the Lord. We were also able to run the Guide program. The Guides of 2020 had a tremendous season and developed in all the most important ways. Finally, we hosted four Father-Son events at Deerfoot Blue Ridge. These were fantastic and brought the welcome sound of camper voices to the property.
I can’t thank Chief Nick and Chief Craig enough, along with the rest of the staff, for their tireless and innovative efforts to carry out our mission to build godly men, however possible.
As we approach the finish of our fiscal year on September 30, 2020, I am thankful for the ministry that happened. But I’m also sobered by the financial impact caused by the loss of our regular program. The cancelation of our camping season resulted in a 65% decrease of our annual operating income, putting us on course for a cash flow deficit this year of nearly $600,000. Gulp! While I am grateful that your strong support and our board’s wise stewardship of Deerfoot’s resources mean that we are not in immediate jeopardy, our leadership team is alert to the challenge this shortfall creates for us.
To help soften this blow, I am thrilled to announce the ‘Finish Strong’ matching challenge for Deerfoot’s fiscal year ending September 30. A small group of Deerfoot donors is providing a matching fund of $100,000 as a challenge to the Deerfoot community during September 2020. Your contribution to Deerfoot’s Finish Strong Matching Challenge will help reduce the impact of the lost camp season and strengthen our foundation for the coming year.
Would you prayerfully consider a contribution to the Finish Strong challenge by September 30, 2020? We’re thankful for gifts of all sizes, knowing that each dollar is given for His work here at camp. You can give online at www.deerfoot.org/contribute or by using the enclosed response envelope. If you would like to donate gifts of stocks/securities, please contact Chief Ron for broker information.
Thank you for helping us Finish Strong in 2020!