Dear Firs Family and Friends,
As you probably know, The Firs is part of the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA) and has been for many decades. In fact, Grant Whipple was the first president of the association (1962-65) and later became the chairman of its board of trustees. My membership with CCCA dates back to the mid-seventies and it has been my privilege to serve a couple of stints on the board of trustees where I am currently the vice-chair.
One of the great values of our connection with CCCA is the networking that takes place with other camping leaders around our region and even across the country. We learn from each other, encourage each other, and, in many ways, motivate each other to greater heights. Currently, there are 870 camps in the association. An in-depth survey takes place among member camps, every few years, and I thought you might be interested in how The Firs fits into the size, shape and emphasis of other members. Here are a few recent facts:
- We are in the top 8% in the country, in terms of size, with a budget of over $3 million. Over 50% of camps have a budget of less than $500,000.
- The Firs sits on a combined 145 acres including the 4+ leased acres at the Chalet. The national average is 112 acres.
- Our camp is not affiliated with a denomination (54%) and operates as an independently-owned nonprofit (42%).
- We (Firwood, Retreat Center, and Chalet) have the capacity to sleep, each night of the summer approximately 600. The industry average is 367.
- Our facilities are used for outside group rentals (like 88% of camps) and we have programs that are run entirely by our staff (around 79%).
- And last, but not least, The Firs serves over 95,000 meals in a year (excluding our staff) and the national average is 48,073.
As we look at the other camps in our association, we note both similarities and differences. Yet we each contribute to the whole effort that seeks to use unique outdoor settings, committed staff, and creative programs, to reach out to hundreds of thousands of children, youth and adults with the life-changing message of the gospel. Now that is a great thing to be a part of – don’t you think?