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Outdoor Ministry is more than Summer Camp

We come to you today with difficult news and cautious optimism. For the first time in over 60 years, we will not have Summer Camp this year. However, outdoor ministry is so much more than Summer Camp. We are providing the best summer experience possible, through another session of Camp at Home (virtual camp) and Family Retreats. And although we are unable to open for Summer Camp this year, we continue to prepare for WHEN we are able to resume Summer Camp. Our hope rests in the power of the overnight Summer Camp experience, and we look forward to sharing this experience with you again soon.

We want to thank you for your patience and grace as we continue to adapt to this ever-changing situation in the COVID-19 pandemic. We have learned so much in the past three months and expect to see more developments in the coming weeks. Our Board of Directors and staff have been learning, discerning, consulting, and brainstorming with many other organizations and industry leaders across the country. We are implementing standards and guidelines for our family groups and retreat guests as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Virginia, and the American Camp Association.

We have focused on our mission of faith, education, and renewal by hiring our full summer staff, no matter the outcome of the summer. This has allowed us to be prepared for a number of alternatives.

Many of our Board of Directors and year-round staff are former camp counselors or counselor parents, and we value the leadership and faith development of our young adults. With the help of donor funding and the Paycheck Protection Program grant, our staff are already on-site; loving, learning, growing, and leading.

From Caroline Tucker, 2020 Program Director: “Caroline Furnace has been fundamental in my discernment to ministry. In my first summer as a counselor, I remember sitting on the porch of my cabin, reflecting on the day and all of the ways that I had seen God’s love around me. I remember thinking to myself that with whatever I end up doing in life, I want to share God’s love just like I have been doing at camp. This was first of many epiphanies in my discernment at camp that has led me to where I am today. I look forward to joining the fifty other Caroline Furnace staff who have found their call to seminary here in Fort Valley. This fall, I’ll continue my journey at Wake Forest Divinity School.”

This summer, we are continuing to develop the next generation of leaders for the world. Outdoor ministry is so much more than Summer Camp. We ask for your continued support of your outdoor ministry during this uncertain time. Donations are tax deductible and can be made by mailed check or at www.CarolineFurnace. org/donate.

Trusting in God’s plan, we are committed to continue providing unforgettable faith, education, and renewal experiences in God’s creation for all God’s people. We are YOUR outdoor ministry, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Fort Valley soon!

Peace & Blessings,

Caroline Furnace Board of Directors and Staff

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