MILFORD — “Planting the Future” is the theme of Camp Mack’s Capital Campaign. The campaign was announced Friday, March 8, during the Camp Mack annual dinner. The campaign has a goal to raise $1.1 million by the end of 2021. Already $542,671.39 has been raised toward that goal.
The capital campaign was heard by more than 160 guests, the largest ever in attendance for the dinner.
The campaign is for the future of the camp. Expansion of summer camp programs, increasing camp attendance to 1,000, provide more year-round programs for adult retreats, outdoor education and opportunities for underserved populations. Additionally, the goal is to modernize facilities that are easily-maintained, environmentally-sound and comfortable, provide support programs and resources for churches and families, and partner with others to assist in growth and spiritual needs.
Planning for the campaign began almost two years ago. There was restructuring, listening and strategic planning. The first of three initiatives have been meet. Set at a cost of $300,000, the first initiative of “Choosing The Seed” included new programs to reach increased camp and retreat attendance, creation of outdoor education programs, addition of dedicated staff. Design Group International, Sheboygan Falls, Wis., is assisting in directing camp officials to plan a successful campaign.
The second initiative “Preparing the Soil” focuses on modernizing current facilities while maintaining the charm of Camp Mack. Plans for the second initiative, set at a cost of $800,000, is to provide summer staff housing, retreat space and offer year-round youth programming with buildings to be multi-use in design. This project includes modernization of Ulrich House into semi private rooms, upgrade restroom facilities, build a bunkhouse for summer staff and complete insulating Sara Major.
The third initiative, with cost to be determined, will be to provide continued growth after collecting data.
Presentations were given by Jim Shively, Indiana Camp Board chairman; Harriet Hamer, capital campaign committee member; Tim Gray, campaign committee member and director of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana camp; Hannah Brubaker, camp participant; Gene Hollenberg, Camp Mack executive director; and Todd Eastis, development/communications specialist for Camp Mack
“It (Camp Mack) is a sanctuary where all who are served are in a safe environment, learn Christ, renew their spirit …” said Shively. He noted the desire to maintain the historical tie to the Church of the Brethren, seek to reinvision the future of Camp Mack, expand this ministry, focus on year round camping and ensure facilities. It was also noted the camp is now on its soundest financial path it has been for some time.
“Camp Mack is a holy place. Our one goal is to teach about Jesus and life … this place does transform lives,” stated Gray. Brubaker noted Camp Mack has been a huge part of her life, a place to escape the craziness of the real work, a place to be at home, share her faith and a chance to be a leader among her peers.
Hollenberg presented the overall campaign, noting two previous failed campaigns and the funds used for infrastructure and maintenance. “This is why we went into strategic planning, so we don’t make the same mistakes and can achieve goals and dreams and go from there.” He reiterated the planning process and reviewed the initiatives.
“For a while it was questionable if camp was even going to survive,” he stated, crediting the board and Galen Jay for work in taking that fear away. “Our process is to make sure we are never in that position again … financial controls following processes making sure we are doing the things we’re to do, applying cost control, careful budgeting …” He noted there will be an annual report presented and transparency where people can request information and be aware of what is happening.
Estes announced several summer camps are already filled, an operational surplus of $55,000 from last year and a $100,000 endowment to offer camperships. He spoke of the renovation milestones and unveiled the capital campaign thermometer.
More information on the capital campaign can be found at campmack.org.