David Gibson Gives a Donor Update
for Deer Run Camps & Retreats
in May 2017
I wanted to take just a few minutes and give you guys a real quick update on all that God’s doing here at Deer Run along with your help. We have been so excited about this year, and this summer in particular for summer camp, and the increases that we’re seeing. And we’re just … a lot of new things are going on, a lot of new excitement that we’re adding in order to be able to accommodate more kids for camp. That requires us to have a lot of recreational opportunities, and as we add more kids, we have to have more spaces to put them, and more things to occupy their time. So, I want to tell you about a few of those things that we’re doing and how your help is helping us to grow and expand camp.
One of the things, if you look right behind me, you’ll see this big, giant tower back here. We’ve added zip line tours, Deer Run
zip line adventures, this year. It actually includes six zip lines. There’s four up behind us here in the woods that start with smaller, shorter, lower zip lines and they get progressively longer and higher as they go. And eventually, you make it up to this big guy where you go up on this tall tower and zip across the valley here, about 800 feet. And then you get to even go up higher on the other side and zip back. So it’s going to be a super exciting time at camp this summer and for retreat groups throughout the year as well. I hope that you guys will come out and join us for one of our exciting family events and get to experience some of this yourself.
In addition to the zip lines, we’re also adding a pedal cart track this year, which is going to be super fun for the kids and families alike. So that’s going to be a fun, exciting thing as well. As part of our large capital campaign, our “Inspire Campaign”, that you guys have helped so much with, we are started our first cabin for that campaign. As you know, we’re planning on build six new cabins. This is called the Timber Ridge Cabin, and they’re a little bit different than the cabins that we currently have in that it’s a larger cabin, got meeting space inside, got restrooms inside, really nice, nice cabin. They will seat 32 each so the six of those will double our overnight capacity, and as we build those over the next three to four years, the first one is underway and should be finished in the next couple of months, so we’re really excited about that.
We also are in the process of continuing to finish up our capital campaign to raise the money to build the new worship center and dining hall and health center, the building which we’re calling The Refuge. It’s such a pivotal piece of the puzzle for growing Deer Run to the next level. As you know, our goal is to raise 2.8 million dollars. We’re a little over two million dollars in pledges, a little over 1.5 million of that’s been given, and we’re praying and hoping for a big, push to hit that goal by the end of this year, 2017, so that we can break ground in this fall and have that building completely finished before summer camp of 2018.
We’re super excited about that, we believe that’s going to happen. We’re asking you to continue to pray with us about that. If the Lord’s leading you to help additionally towards that, or if you know someone who you think might be interested in helping towards that, I would really appreciate you bringing that to my attention. I’d be happy to meet with you personally, meet with your friends personally, share the vision, let them know how they can be involved in this.
As I think about all these facilities and all these exciting things, and you know, you might ask, “Well why? You guys got a lot of facilities, now.” Well, we have been so blessed that we’ve seen about 10 percent of the kids that come to camp for one week come to the realization of who Jesus is and asking him to be their savior while they’re here at camp. So just think about that for a second. For every 100 kids that come to camp for one week, we see 10 new believers. That is eternal impact. And we don’t want to ever have to turn any kids away from camp. Last year we had to turn about 100 kids away because we reached capacity in several of our weeks. We’re already at capacity in some of our programs for this summer, and we still have a few spaces left, but it’s going to be right at max.
In addition to that, our family events, which are our weekend programmed events that are designed to strengthen a family, our married couples weekends, our father-son weekends, mother-daughter weekends, those are continuing to grow. And we’re adding a fourth married couples weekend in 2018. We’re really excited about that. I hope you’ll come out and join us for one of those.
Also, one thing I’m really super excited about is our family camp. As many of you know, we have been talking about and dreaming about family camp for several years. We had a great start to that last summer with a three-night family camp on fourth of July weekend. Jada Daves, who was our speaker last year, has agreed to come on staff with us as Family Camp Director, and really try to help us get that program built. And we’re so excited about that. So this year, we have a six-night family camp the week of fourth of July and we’re so excited because it’s completely sold out already. No spaces.
However, if you want to come to family camp, we have added a three-night program for Labor Day weekend this year in September, and there are some spaces available in that at this time. So please check that out, too. Hope you’ll come and join us for that. Hope you’ll come out and visit us this summer when all the kids are here. It’s so exciting, and we look forward to sharing with you more about what God’s doing.
Again, I just thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your help, all your support, all your prayers. We could not accomplish this without you. And this is all yours as much as this is ours and the Lord’s. So thanks again, and hope to see you guys soon.