Deadlines for summer youth offerings MUCH earlier this year

Dear Colleagues in Ministry,

I have some crucial updates for you regarding youth and camp opportunities this summer.

In an effort to be the best stewards we can be of the Conference resources, we have set our DEADLINE MUCH EARLIER for our summer offerings this year.  It is APRIL 4.

 April 4 is the deadline for CAMP REGISTRATIONS and for registering high school youth for the WESTERN REGIONAL YOUTH EVENT.

CAMP REGISTRATIONS: Holy moley!  April 4 is EARLY for camp registrations to be done…weeks earlier than it has been in the past…and then of course there’s always that last minute plea of “please, please, please let our campers in one or two weeks before camp.”  The camp week is June 17-22.  Now, we’re not necessarily ruling out the possibility of receiving camper registrations past April 4, but we are letting you know that WE MAY NOT HOLD CAMP if we don’t get the minimum camp registrations we’ve committed to by that time (which is 80 youth and adult participants).

WHY?  Each year, camp has been operating in the RED to the tune of $10,000—12,000.  For all of us who attend, offer leadership, or send our children and grandchildren…we know that the spiritual benefits of the camp experience are priceless.  But, camp can only be offered responsibly if we have the needed set of three basic resources:  FINANCIAL SUPPORT, committed ADULT and YOUTH LEADERSHIP, and PARTICIPANTS.  

Our Sow the Seed fund contributions are coming in, but at this point, it doesn’t look like there will be enough to cover the scholarships requested.  Our endowment funds will be used to help cover those. Registration cost per camper has gone up this year.  Even with the scholarships, we need to know early if we will have the camp participants and leaders we need to hold camp.  Beginning in the middle of March, we are responsible for paying 50% of our camp contract (about $7,000) whether we hold camp or not.  Starting the middle of April, we will be responsible for 75% (about $11,000), and from middle of May to Camp, we are responsible for the entire cost ($14,000). In the past, the Conference has always gambled that there would be enough to cover the cost for the number of campers registered.  A few years ago, we had to start charging the counselors $100 for their presence in camp, even though they were donating a week to work at camp. Plus, we continued to eat away Sow the Seed and reserves to cover the $10,000—$12,000 deficit. This is no longer sustainable or good stewardship of our resources.

As I’ve indicated before, we’ve had to start asking the hard questions of accountability and sustainability for this icon of our Conference programming.  So…at this point, what we asking of you as clergy and lay leaders and administrators, is to help us continue to test the waters this year by getting your camp registrations in by the APRIL 4  REGISTRATION DEADLINE.

All registrations and counselor/program staff applications are easy and online. There is simply a button to push if families desire a 1/3 scholarship from the Conference.  The scholarship will be automatically deducted from the end price.  We encourage you to work out with your families how your church can offer another 1/3 scholarship as you’ve done in the past.

WESTERN REGIONAL YOUTH EVENT:  June 25-29, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI

To make it easy, our deadline for registering our youth for WRYE is also APRIL 4.  The Conference will reimburse the $475 registration fee for youth who register before April 4. This covers the program, housing and meals during the event. These funds will be paid from our new endowments earmarked for youth ministry.   Participants will be responsible for their travel cost and spending money, but for those register before April 4, we will help to coordinate the travel together.  The Associate Conference Minister will be attending and chaperoning. If we only have a few youths going, we will try to join with another conference to share chaperones and activities.  Other adult chaperones are welcome to pay their own way or will be added as needed.  We are not sure of the future of the National Youth Event, that normally would be held in two years…so our regional youth events may be our primary youth gatherings moving forward.  Be sure to let me know if any youth are interested and/or have registered.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on either Camp or WRYE, call or email me at, cell 480-243-2796, or office 602-468-3830.


P.S. What’s the magic date????   APRIL 4!