Statement from the Director during COVID-19 shutdown
March 20, 2020
Dear Friends of Chestnut Ridge,
In my 14 years at Chestnut Ridge, we have never experienced such a daunting time as this.
I need to be honest with you…
In this initial 2-week shutdown, Chestnut Ridge has lost over $60,000 in revenue. Every day and week that goes by, that number will grow. In order to weather this storm, many of our staff have been furloughed and our full-time staff have encountered severely reduced hours. We have rapidly reduced expenses as much as possible. But as a non-profit with small financial margins to begin with, if the shutdown continues, we are not in a financial position to withstand these revenue losses.
Our mission is to make the love of Christ visible through the practices of hospitality, responsible care for the earth, and meaningful fellowship. We are blessed to be able to share this love with thousands of campers and guests almost every single day of the year. It breaks our hearts to not be able to serve and be with one another during this time. We hold our relationships with each of you close to our heart, even though we cannot be physically close together.
Our team is exploring every option to preserve Chestnut Ridge for Summer Camp 2020, and for many seasons thereafter. One of the many facets of our action plan is to reach out to you – our faithful friends of Chestnut Ridge.
We know that many of you are also facing uncertain financial circumstances at this time. As a ministry that seeks to serve our community well, our hearts go out to you, and we acknowledge the fear and pain of this time. We are all in this together, and we will continue to seek ways to support our community.
However, if you are able to financially support this camp ministry that we all know and love, then Chestnut Ridge needs your support right now .
A gift to Chestnut Ridge today will do the following -
● Your donation will provide wages and health benefits to the camp staff. Your gift will support the people who care for the campers, who clean the cabins, who cook the food, who care for the grounds, who are planning for summer camp – all the people that make Chestnut Ridge a special place.
● Your donation will provide feed and care for the horses and farm animals. Even when they aren’t being ridden, the horses still need feed and care. Your gift will help us care for these animals through the scarcity that this virus has wrought.
● Your donation will ensure that Chestnut Ridge is well positioned to continue providing life changing camp programs in the future. We have big plans for this summer and beyond. 5 of our 9 Resident Camp weeks are basically already full. Our Traveling Day Camp is doubling from 4 partner church sites to 8. We continue to plan for these programs to occur this summer because we know what a difference camp makes. The camp experience is more important now than ever before. Your gift will make sure that the life-changing camp experiences that have positively impacted lives for 60 years, will continue beyond the COVID-19 shutdown.
We sincerely need your help. If you are able to make a donation, we need you to act now. You can utilize the online donation page below to make your gift. Please know that myself and the camp staff join you in giving generously, and sacrificing greatly, for the sake of this ministry.
God has utilized this holy ground in Efland, NC to change many lives over the years. We know that God is with us today, even during this tumultuous time. And we know God will continue to use the community we call Chestnut Ridge to do great things well into the future.
From the bottom of my heart – I thank each of you for your prayers and for your support of this effort.
Rev. Nick Jeffries
Director, Chestnut Ridge Camp & Retreat Center