It has been a busy October and November. Camp is still quiet of campers. On the other hand, there have been visits to Camp by many inspectors: fire marshal, county engineers, USFS fire inspectors, USDA botanist, and our insurance adjustor. As you are aware, the El Dorado fire burned into the top part of Camp but did not destroy any cabins. We were so fortunate to have had the San Bernardino County fire crew save Camp. Now comes the rush before winter to prepare for water and mud flow from the mountain side down into Camp. Our goal is to divert the ash and mud flows coming off the mountain away from our structures. Time is not on our side.
Over 60 volunteers have been to Camp over four weekends to help fill sandbags. Almost 10,000 bags have been placed in strategic waterflow areas in Camp. My deep gratitude to those who have traveled to Camp for a day of hard work filling sandbags. Many of you have returned several weekends in a row. Filling and placing sandbags may very well be an ongoing project for another month. Not sure when enough is enough! However, Daisy Doodle has enjoyed digging in the sand piles, helping in her own way to keep the volunteers motivated. She sure misses playing with campers and loves hanging out with volunteers.
The COVID-19 Emergency Fund has now morphed into the 2020/2021 EMERGENCY FUND. Our needs go way beyond staying afloat during this extended period without income.
Those needs now include purchasing and installing a wall of straw bales on the hill behind the upper loop of Camp. We will need to hire outside labor and rent equipment to get this project done. Additionally, we hired a geologist to assess the situation and had a team of engineers and hydrologists from San Bernardino County visit Camp. We are in the race of our lives to get the sandbags, straw bales, wattles, and K rails in place before heavy rains arrive.
I have been busily packing and moving the Camp office to Redlands for the winter. What a chore! I found a couple items that went missing years ago. That was a thrill. I also came to the realization that there are drawers in the office I have never bothered to open in 25 years! What a surprise to find a magazine on macrame’ from 1972, an old ledger book with hand-written entries, and an envelope of postage stamps with 5 cents on the face. If I can find a record player, it will be fun to listen to the old dance records I discovered in the closet — ballroom and folk dancing among them. Oh, the mysteries of camp days past and the many hiding places in the office!
Camp Connect launched this month with several outstanding online programs. The idea behind Camp Connect is to bring people together in the spirit of Camp. We can’t be together on the mountain top, but we can love and enjoy one another at virtual Camp Connect. Please consider joining a mini camp session. You can find the link to the web page information and registration below.
Watch your mailbox for our annual fall campaign letter. The 4-page newsy letter will update you on projects at Camp and outline our most urgent objectives. The $600,000 campaign has grown to a $850,000 campaign; and we have a $100,000 match going on thru December 31, 2020. Additionally, watch for the Giving Tuesday event on Tuesday, December 1st. You will have a chance to purchase a sandbag or two or 10 to help keep the mountain in place.
All of us at Camp are deeply grateful for the love and care you send to Camp. Individuals, camper groups, and congregations are resourcefully working to create fundraising opportunities for Camp. If you are interested in creating a fundraiser, contact Camp at the email below; and we will continue to publicize the many grassroot efforts raising funds for Camp. It will take ongoing work and giving to reach our goal of $850,000, so please support the various fundraisers throughout 2021. Together, all efforts will lead campers back home to the mountain top.
As we move into this season of hope and renewal, especially during this difficult time of COVID, we hold peace, love and strength in our hearts for you and your loved ones. As much as you are missing Camp, please know that Camp is missing you! For 60 years we have been gathering under the sprawling arms of the giant Ponderosa trees, and when the time is right, and all is safe, we will lovingly welcome you back home…back to your touchstone…back to your sacred place.
Be safe and stay healthy. I cherish you all.
Your Beloved Camp
Stay connected and involved with Camp
Camp without campers is a lonely place. Virtual camp events, however, are fun-filled places to keep Camp alive and thriving. Join us for a variety of inspiring and exciting events this Fall and Winter. Click on the upcoming events to learn more about how you can take part.
Camp Connect – Virtual workshops, presentations, and discussions to stimulate and enhance your life. A diverse collection of topics for all ages is on the schedule. Ongoing.
Giving Tuesday – An international day of generosity to support non-profits around the globe. Get in on Camp de Benneville Pine’s fun(d-raising) event by helping us pay for the 10,000+ sandbags needed to protect camp from flooding and mudslides. December 1.
Camp Store– Visit your new, online Camp store to purchase some newly released Camp merchandise. Give the perfect gift this holiday season and support your camp at the same time. Open 24/7.
Volunteers are quick to help protect Camp from more damage
COVID-19 and the El Dorado fire have kept campers and volunteers away from Camp. However, after the fire and when it was safe, dozens of volunteers arrived at Camp to help out. While observing social distancing and mask-wearing precautions, campers of all ages worked together to safeguard Camp against the next potential onslaught – mud and debris flows. Over a four-week period, supporters filled and placed 10,000 sandbags. That’s 56 TONS of sand! Their quick work was crucial, as a winter storm descended upon the mountain top particularly early this year.
Friends of Camp create fun ways to help and show support
Camp supporters have initiated creative and entertaining ways to help raise money for the 2020/2021 Emergency Fund. From concerts, movie nights, and family game events to congregation share-the-plate offerings, birthday and anniversary gift requests, and matching pledge challenges, people who love Camp continue to inspire others to give. If you would like to sponsor a “mini fundraiser”, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Keep your heart in the mountains, and help keep Camp alive.
Daisy Doodle is in the pink
A little attention from volunteers and lots of sand to dig in before it went into bags has lifted Daisy’s spirits. That, and her new “do”, courtesy of her friend and all-around handy person, employee Ed Bagdon.