Archbishop Demetrios meets with campers at Camp Saint Paul.
Leadership 100 awarded the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries Camping Ministry program $270,000 for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Grants of $30,000 were distributed to the Direct Archdiocesan District and to each Metropolis. The primary purpose of the grant is to enable Greek Orthodox youth who do not have the financial means to participate in a summer camp program. Some funding may also be applied to programming, supplies, transportation, youth protection training and background checks of staff members. The program was once again in full swing across the country in the summer of 2016, making it possible for numerous young people to attend camp programs.
As a condition of the grant, the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Camping Ministries surveys the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Directors of the Direct Archdiocesan District and Metropolis camps and reports on the use of funds and compliance with Leadership 100 requirements. A summary of some of the reports follows:
Camp Saint Paul in the Direct Archdiocesan District celebrated its 12th Anniversary and it was the first year in its history that they filled every spot in their five sessions. This was accomplished by expanding their reach to the communities that have never before sent children to their camp. A total of 679 campers participated.
Due to the registration numbers of 150 campers per week, the camp needed to increase the staff in order to accommodate them, thus increasing overall costs. The Leadership 100 grant afforded it the ability to properly and safely staff the camp, and subsidized the cost for families of campers who could not afford to attend otherwise.
St. Stephen’s Summer Camp in the Metropolis of Atlanta offered five one-week sessions of Summer Camp for teens entering 6th grade through 12th grade in the fall of 2016. A total of 28 need-based scholarships were awarded with additional funding used for travel assistance, meals and water bottles carrying the logos of the camp and Leadership 100, which reduced activity in the Infirmary due to dehydration.
Camp Fanari and St. Mary’s Church Camp in the Metropolis of Chicago reported that e-mail contact was made with all clergy in the Metropolis regarding the availability of the Leadership 100 Camping Scholarship for those needing financial assistance with the same information posted to the Metropolis website, explaining the procedure for application. As a result all funds were used for scholarships and cost offset, 44.5% for full scholarships, 17% for partial scholarships and 38.5% to subsidize the total cost of camp per camper.
Camp Emmanuel in the Metropolis of Denver is held at the Manzano Mountain Retreat near Albuquerque, New Mexico, requiring that nearly each participant travels a great distance in order to participate. Parish priests and youth directors promote the camp program and encourage the participation of both campers and staff among their parishioners. Parents send their children to Camp Emmanuel annually, several of whom send more than one child. Many of the staff members this year were long-time campers themselves.
The total cost of Camp Emmanuel 2016 was $103,562. Total funds of $86,230 were received, $30,000 from leadership 100 and $56,230 from registration fees and other donations. The registration rate per Camp Emmanuel participant in 2016 was $375. Full assistance was offered and discounts were offered for Clergy families, for multiple children of the same family, partial to full assistance for others in need, and at an early rate. Participation was 95 campers in Session I and 57 campers in Session II.
Metropolis of Detroit Summer Camp, St. Nicholas Camp and St. Timothy’s Summer Camp fully utilize Leadership 100 scholarships as additional support to the self-sufficiency of their operations. Provision of scholarships for those in need has allowed each camp to grow and minister to more youth, as well as extend assistance when families are in distress that would otherwise prevent their campers from attending. Part of the grant money was also used for an online camp information management system allowing for more efficient and secure collection of camper/staff registration and medical information.
Metropolis of Pittsburgh Summer Camp at Camp Nazareth provided 44 financial-need scholarships to campers from both within the Metropolis and even to a camper from another Metropolis. In addition to $19,405 given in scholarships on behalf of Leadership 100, 21 parishes provided scholarships for more than 260 campers in the summer of 2016. All additional monies were used for programming. A video was produced in which Leadership 100 is thanked. Posters and website also acknowledge the donations of Leadership 100.
Metropolis of San Francisco Summer Camp at Saint Nicholas Ranch began its Summer Camp ministry at the Ranch in 1982 so the summer of 2016 completed its 34th year.
Building from the success of last year’s program changes, the Ranch received over 85 summer camp counselor applications from across the country and filled all three weeks of summer camp in 2016 and even had waitlists for each week. The feedback from parents continues to be overwhelmingly positive.
The Metropolis offered camp scholarships to 68 camper and Clergy families in 2016. Since the Metropolis is very large and includes the seven Western States, travel to the camp is very expensive and thus many families from out of state were provided assistance in sending their children to the camp. A large group of campers from Hawaii, Oregon, and Arizona were able to attend.
The Metropolis utilized $21,000 for camp scholarships to help 68 families. To help offset program costs, it allocated $9,000 to help support its growing program, utilizing 100% of the $30,000 grant that it was offered from Leadership 100. The Metropolis received the most ever scholarship applications in 2016, so decided to offer more 50% and 25% scholarships instead of more 100% scholarships. It offered 19 scholarships for 25% support, 27 scholarships for 50% support, and 20 scholarships for 100% support. With a total of 345 campers, the Leadership 100 scholarship recipient campers represented 20% of total campers this summer.
Due to the success of this year’s summer camp, the most definitive aspects of this year’s program will be detailed in a text and offered as a resource to other parish camps within the Metropolis or any other camp.
The Metropolis issued a press release when Leadership 100 funds were received, which also described the process for a family to apply for a scholarship. The press release was circulated by many communities and was posted in many church monthly and weekly bulletins throughout the Metropolis. The Metropolis always refers to these scholarships as the “Leadership 100 Scholarships” and the recipient families also understand that these funds do not come from the Metropolis but through the generosity of Leadership 100.
In addition, Leadership 100 provided a Youth Protection Administration Grant of $5,000 for the Direct Archdiocesan District and each Metropolis. The grant was utilized in a variety of ways that included employing interns and staff to develop a Youth Protection Manual, implementation of the Youth Protection Manual in the parishes, running background checks and registering youth workers in the online training database, conducting youth protection screening and vetting, promoting youth protection and meeting legal requirements in the respective states.