By: Chris “Topher” Aderhold

It’s been said that Camp Gray people are some of the best people, and a recent day of giving at Camp Gray certainly proved just that. In an unprecedented display of generosity, nearly 100 people pitched in to raise more than $107,000 for Camp’s Strength for the Journey campaign.

October 4th (the memorial of St. Francis of Assisi!), is a day that will go down in Camp Gray lore. October 4th was the inaugural Camp Gray Alumni Giving Day.

AGD – A day that will go down in Camp Gray lore. Thanks for your support, friends!

As you may know, Camp’s Strength for the Journey campaign was launched in January of 2016 with the goal of raising funds for the construction of a new dining hall, a new gymnasium, a revamped athletic field, and the resurfacing of our roads (all major areas of need as these aging parts of Camp Gray have fallen into disrepair). More than ⅔ of the $6 million campaign has been raised. Thanks to some early campaign success, the dining hall was built last winter and opened just before Summer Camp 2017. Construction began this past week on the new gymnasium, though support is still needed to close the gap in reaching our fundraising goal.

While we’re very pleased with the overall success of the campaign, it will take the support of everyone to help us get across the finish line.

The idea of Alumni Giving Day was born many months ago as a way to encourage all those that have been a part of Camp Gray to support the campaign – to give back to the wonderful mission of Camp Gray. Money raised on Alumni Giving Day is going to the gymnasium project specifically. While an abundance of great memories have taken place in the old gym, it’s no secret that the old gym’s best days are in the past. A new gymnasium at Camp Gray will allow us to better serve the 5,000 young people that join us at Camp Gray each year. You can learn more about it here. And also you’ll want to see this video here, as well.

Once plans of AGD were underway, an enormously generous donor stepped forward to offer a matching gift of up to $50,000. Not wanting to leave even one penny on the table, we made it our goal to raise $50,000.

It’s not too late to get your name on the “Friends of Francis” big board! Learn more by clicking here!

Jeff and Reba, anticipating a hugely successful AGD, called on the Camp Gray News Team to provide their unique and high-quality reporting skills for the day. The names Oscar, Lance, and Brian might not mean anything to you, but for fans of the Camp Gray News Team, these names ring out all that is good, true, and beautiful in the world of news reporting. Three deeply flawed individuals, when you bring Oscar, Lance, and Brian together, they represent the best of news reporting in the 21st century.

The Camp Gray News Team was initially formed last spring. With construction of the new dining hall nearing completing last March, the CG News Team was brought together to give the Camp Gray family a sneak-peak tour of the hall. You can watch that video here.

In the six months since, much has changed for the CG News Team, namely, Lance has his own morning show, Start Your Day with Doocé. On the day before AGD, Brian and Oscar joined Lance on his show to kick things off.

Early on the morning of Alumni Giving Day, the CG News Team gave their first report of the day. As you’ll see, Oscar did much of the heavy lifting throughout AGD, offering to walk one mile for every $1,000 raised. In this initial report of the day, his journey begins!

Money came flowing in fast on Alumni Giving Day, so it’s a good thing Oscar began his journey right away. Before long, he had traveled the first of many miles, and he was happy to pass along this first update:

$1,000 turned to $2,000 faster than Oscar could even walk it. Thankfully, the nature on his journey was sublime!

7,000 miles? Let’s go with $7,000 and 7 miles walked! Terrific job, everyone!

Oscar’s Uncle Tommy used to say, “Good job… Everyone. You did good.”

$17,000! Fore!

Friends, never forget:
When we fall down… WE GET RIGHT BACK UP! LET’S GO!

Oscar’s journey off the well-worn trail might have slowed him down, but the giving on AGD did not! $27,000! That’s a lot of dough!

Oh Camp Gray… How I love ya! $33,000! Boom!

It’s been said that shoes are an overrated necessity on a 50 mile journey…

As the sun began to set on the day, our goal of $50,000 is inching ever closer…

Let’s get Oscar on FaceTime to get an update!

It was indeed an incredible day, friends!

Enormous thanks to all those that gave on Alumni Giving Day! If you haven’t given, and you’d like to contribute, it’s not too late. Check out the Alumni Giving Day page to learn more and to make a contribution. (It’s also certainly not too late to make the “Friends of Francis” big board!)

Thanks also is due to Oscar Tinderbittles (Blaine Hechimovich) and Lance Doocé (Shane Reinbold) for their tireless support of Camp Gray!  Thanks also to Lindsay Becher, Joe Van Tassel, Pat Andera, and all those that helped us in preparation for Alumni Giving Day.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, prayer for the success of the Strength for the Journey campaign has been, to put it simply, enormously instrumental. Prayer is a powerful thing, friends, and we’d be abundantly grateful if you would join us in praying the Strength for the Journey Campaign Prayer, which can be found below.

Thanks, friends!

Strength for the Journey Campaign Prayer
Lord, we come before You this day in thanksgiving for Your constant presence, love, and direction throughout this campaign. Help us to cooperate with Your will in this undertaking and not labor in vain. Open our hearts that we would be receptive to your guidance. Send Your spirit upon us that we would discern well the mission entrusted to us. For our perseverance in Your grace, we praise You. For continued strength on this journey, we seek You. For the generous gifts of our benefactors, we humbly thank You.
May the good work You have begun be brought to completion through Christ our Lord. Amen.