I’m writing you today because I love Good Earth Village and because you and I share a common bond that could only coming from living, working, and growing out at camp.
By now, I’m guessing that you’ve heard about the storm that blew through Old Town and sent a big, beautiful (and rotted) tree through the roof of the Wells Fargo/Bunkhouse cabin. The camping season was already over, and no one was hurt, but with the age of the cabin, its already compromised status, and the new damage, it was clear that the time had come to take down Wells Fargo/Bunkhouse, and build new places where campers of all ages could safely stay and enjoy all that camp has to offer.
If I am honest, when I first heard that plans for the new cabins would include options for electricity and indoor plumbing, I was sad, and maybe even a little angry that the Old Town I knew and loved, the Old Town that was home to a million different memories, the Old Town that has been the heart and soul of Good Earth Village would be compromised. However, after talking to people outside of my Camp circles, it became obvious that many, many people--from all kinds of age groups, places, and backgrounds--were choosing to stay away from Good Earth Village because they had concerns about how they, or their children, would deal with facilities that were perceived to be unsafe, unstable, and out of touch with the needs of today’s campers. Realistically, in spite of our top-notch staff, programming options, and an incredibly beautiful physical setting, a growing number of families have been choosing alternative options because our facilities have not seemed safe and welcoming.
I assume one thing we all have in common is that Old Town is full of great memories. For my husband Shane and I--we have a million memories from our time as counselors, Shane asking me to marry him on Bunkhouse deck and our two daughters have been eating GEV grass, gravel, and sticks since before they could walk. We have loved sharing camp with our girls, especially as they broke away from us and went to "regular camp" with their friends--starting with on-sight day camps on up through week-long Hilltop camp. As our girls got older, they struggled to find friends who would stay in "Rustic Old Town." Shane and I secretly (OK, Shane was not subtle about this--AT ALL, but that's another story) called our girls and their friends wimps for not jumping into the wonder and beauty that is Old Town--cooking out over the fire, life without electricity, the games, the skits, the somethings, the Outhouses....However, really and truthfully, when I heard that--by law--if there is a bat in a cabin that kids are sleeping in, Camp has to assume the kids were bitten and is required to offer medical treatment to those kids for rabies, etc--as a Mom I was nervous for my kids, and as someone who loves Camp, I knew this could have serious perception/attendance/financial consequences for Good Earth (the laws aren't as clear about what to do when woodchucks, raccoon and/or fox find their way into your living spaces--remember those days?).
Anyway get to the point already...
I think it would be amazing if one of those new cabin was filled with pieces of the past. I have spoke with Dianna the new executive director and one cabin costs $75,000. There are 300 of us in this "Past GEV Staff" Facebook Group. If each of us donated $250.00 as past staff we could purchase one of the new cabins. We could vote to name our cabin and we can cover the walls with photo memories through a photo collage mural.
So here is the skinny:
With a $250 donation you can donate a 4x6 photo for the mural
With a $500 donation you can donate a 5x7 photo for the mural
With a $750 donation you can donate a 8x10 photo for the mural
With a $1,000 donation you can donate a 11x14 photo for the mural
If $250 is too much find a fellow counselor who wants to go in with you and summit a photo together
Let's collect some oldies but goodies. If finding the photo adds stress and discourages you from giving just give and then we will seek out photos to go with your donation. Look for the most embarrassing and most enduring photos.
Thanks for prayerfully considering this.
Friends in Christ and Through Unique shared experiences at GEV
Amy and Shane Baker