As a new director with Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer last year, one thing really struck me when the Camp Annual Fund season rolled around. What caught my attention was the selfless giving of Camp’s own employees, alumni, campers and staff. I’ve worked for multiple nonprofits throughout my career, and I can tell you that nonprofit work is hard. You give a lot of your time and energy, and giving back monetarily isn’t something that naturally comes to mind for employees. I was so touched and honestly surprised that Camp’s employees would turn back around and lead the donation effort by contributing gifts themselves. It communicated to me that my peers cared enough about the work that they do to help it succeed. I wanted to be a part of a place like that.
The giving didn’t stop there. I noticed that alumni and volunteers come out en masse to give to the Annual Fund with their time, energy and donations. It doesn’t matter what age or how small or big the amount. I’ve heard of campers having lemonade sales who donate their profits to the Annual Fund with the directive that we should put it towards bringing other children to Camp who can’t afford it. I know a lot of our dedicated young staff members just beginning new careers post-college will selflessly donate. Did you donate to organizations when you were just out of college and starting to make a living? I don’t think that I did – but I sure wish I could change that after watching these inspirational young people make different decisions about a place that they value.
I tell you these stories because it paints a picture of a dedicated community that pulls together in order to make Camp available to everyone, and I mean everyone. In my time on-boarding as a new director I also learned that everyone’s Camp program fee is subsidized by the Camp Annual Fund. The Camp Annual Fund literally benefits every child that walks through our gates – directly in their program fees but also through program enhancement and training opportunities that grow staff. As the program director, I directly see the benefits of the latter two, and I sincerely appreciate the opportunities that the Camp Annual Fund provides for program betterment.
I hope that when you read this you’ll want to be a part of this beautiful community of givers. I hope that you’ll see the benefit of making Camp accessible to all. I hope that you see that constant improvement of program and beyond will keep us relevant and top notch for your sons and daughters. I hope that you continue to stay connected to us and remember how Camp has touched your life or the life of someone close to you. Most of all, I hope that you’ll go straight to the donate button and join this mass of Camp givers.
Camp Sea Gull Program Director