Baptist Camp Lebanon Alumni and Support Group

The economically troubled times that this great nation has been struggling through has hit the camping and conferencing business in a huge way and is endangering its future!  Baptist Camp Lebanon ministry is a vital core mission of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey.  However, every year it costs more to run the summer camping program than camping fees bring in.  In past years, conferencing and retreating have made up for much of the financial shortcomings for the summer camp.  This year, however, conferencing income is way down.  The drop in the conferencing receipts has decimated an already stressed budget.  The camping program is in deep peril.  Our utility costs, mostly oil and gas, have increased by 300% over the last few years. All of our own personal family budgets have felt this sting too!  If Camp Lebanon were to simply raise our rates as fast as our vendors do, a week of camping would cost over $1,000 per person!  A night in one of our dormitory rooms would cost over $120 per person.  We simply cannot raise our rates that fast and expect anyone to take us seriously!

What are we to do?  To stay in ministry, Camp Lebanon and the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey needs churches and individuals who will support camp on a consistent and sacrificial basis.  When church finances are under attack, one of the places that get hit is the mission budget.  Camp Lebanon is in many of our ABC mission budgets – but not all of them.  We need to find a way to change this.  Our finances could be stabilized by getting every ABCNJ church to support us with more than a token gift. 
Another way to help ensure the future is to form a group of people that would consider becoming long-term “Friends” of Camp Lebanon by forming an Alumni group.  Every college and school in America relies on their alumni to financially support them.  Camp Lebanon has had many friends that continually support our ministry financially but we have never built a long term network to help sustain our existence. 

Now is the time!  With many ABC Regions either closing their camping ministries or cutting them loose to exist on their own, we find our ministry at a crossroads.  ABCNJ is firmly supportive of Camp Lebanon, but we must reverse the financial burden that Camp Lebanon has been experiencing.   We must build an endowment fund that will help guarantee our future! 

Please consider joining Camp Lebanon as a long-term supporter financially.  Currently, one of our American Baptist pastors supports us with a weekly $10 gift.  This means that by year’s end, Camp Lebanon has received $520!  If 500 “friends” gave a gift like that we would receive $260,000 of income that could build an endowment fund to sustain the future of the ministry.  And if those 500 people worked with their churches to see to it that we were in their mission budget, we could minister to our campers and groups at an affordable price for years to come.
I know that building a group of people as large as that is not an easy task nor can it happen overnight.  I am convinced, however, that with God’s help and guidance it can be done and that it is the right thing to do for Camp Lebanon.  We must do the hard work and ask for the help of each and every person that loves the camping ministry simply to survive.  If we are successful in our endeavors we will not only survive we will move into the future being able to minister in new and glorious ways! 
Can I count on you to commit today?  If so, here’s what’s next:
1.  Fill in the attached form to become a founding member of the Camp Lebanon Alumni Society.
2.  Your ongoing gifts can be given annually, quarterly, monthly or weekly.  You can even give online by going to www.abcnj.net.  You can give a single gift online or schedule ongoing automatic payments.
3.  Help us reach people with whom you went to camp!  Pass this invitation on to them – or give us their address, so we can send an appeal to them.
4.  Check to see if your church is giving regularly and generously to Baptist Camp Lebanon.
Thanks for your help!
Smitty

 

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There is also an open Facebook group with discussion, be sure to search for Baptist Camp Lebanon