Updated: May 18
Dear Friends of Pine Brook Camp,
I just wanted to take a moment to update everyone on what is happening at Pine Brook Camp during this time of “shelter in place” and the Covid-19 response.
Currently Pine Brook Camp is pressing on! We are falling into debt as each day passes, but we are committed to doing our very best to outlast this virus and be ready to serve the churches and youth of the Pioneer Valley and beyond.
First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who has given to Pine Brook Camp during this time, to help us survive this crisis and work toward our goal of $25,000. Your gifts have been a welcomed blessing and an incredible source of encouragement. We have seen many people give beyond their means and make a true sacrifice for this ministry. We have raised 44% so far!
I want to share a little note we received from one of our campers:
“Dear Pine Brook Camp, I truly adore going to your camp in the summer and I’m looking forward to this year. So is my little brother that is 10. It’s all we’ve been talk about. When my mom showed us the video I had asked if I could give my money to Pine Brook. I had been saving up for a laptop but Pine Brook is more important than that. Thank you for putting me closer to Christ. I hope this money will help. From Julia”
What a blessing to receive and gift and note like Julia’s. It is a great reminder of why we do what we do! It is a true encouragement to see how Pine Brook continues to be important in the lives of campers, perhaps even more important now than any other time. I would encourage you to take a look at our “I AM PINE BROOK” series on our website and Facebook page to hear more stories of what Pine Brook means to our campers! You can find a link to these stories below.
People are asking, “Where do things currently stand at Pine Brook Camp?” First, we are holding on. We unfortunately are aware of some Christian Camps (even in our state) that have had to close their doors permanently. Our Board and staff feel that we are in a position to keep fighting the good fight. Secondly, we are applying for any and all Covid-19 stimulus funding that we qualify for. We have our applications in and are awaiting word of whether we are accepted for funding or not. This is where your gifts are helping. We are learning that it could be some time before we get approved for funding, let alone actually get the funding to use. This means cash flow is critical during this time of waiting. Third, we are looking at all of our options and playing out various scenarios in regards to knowing how to navigate going forward.
Please keep in mind that our plans are subject to change as circumstances keep changing, but right now these are our current plans and condition of things:
We are planning to move forward with Summer Camp this season, provided that the State and Board of Health allow us to. This means if you were planning on serving on staff this summer, or planning to send your campers we would encourage you at this time to keep those plans. We are hopeful that by summer the gathering bans will be lifted and we will be able to assemble. We also believe that campers and teens will be in desperate need of socialization with their peers and leaders. We have been in touch with the Board of Health to get some clarification on summer programming. However, at this time they are saying it is too soon to tell. We are in regular conversation with our local health inspector and will have direction as soon as it has been made available.
We are also planning some alternate plans in case we are not able to hold camp in the traditional manner. It is too soon to discuss what this might look like, but be assured we are looking at ways to continue our work with youth despite the challenges we may face.
We are also hopeful to be able to continue our ministry of guest hosting, providing the number limits to gatherings has been lifted. Our group leaders have been very gracious with us and have been willing to be flexible with their dates and payments. Guest hosting is an important part of our ministry and financial stability.
Please continue to keep Pine Brook Camp in your prayers. I also ask you to please continue to support camp during this time. We have been asking people to consider an initial donation towards our $25,000 emergency fund. But if I may be so bold as to ask you to please consider making camp a recipient of ongoing support over the next 3-6 months. Below is a chart showing how many people giving a small gift of support can make a huge difference. It could make the difference of whether Pine Brook Camp is able to make it through this time.
Please consider where you can assist in this emergency fund. Pine Brook Camp has had an incredible opportunity to serve youth through decades of great Christian Camping. We desire to be here for decades to come. Never has the need been so great as to provide hope, faith and love to our youth. Please consider how you can be a part of this great ministry and program.