Kirkwood-Brainerd Camp Update


“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”  Isaiah 43: 19

Dear Friends of Christian Camping,

On November 10th, the Joint Transition Team met for a second time. As we shared insights during Bible study, discussed the topics at hand, and enjoyed a meal together, it became evident that a shared passion for this new ministry is emerging and new friendships are being forged with Presbyterian sisters and brothers. In the midst of laughter and singing, planning and strategizing, we accomplished a good bit of the work that lies before us.

We attended to a number of transitional and pastoral matters. Most notably, we:

  • scheduled an Open House for January 10 with January 24 designated as a blizzard day
  • considered ways to recognize Brainerd on the site of Kirkwood and noted the need to identify important and meaningful items that could potentially be transported in a ceremonial procession from Brainerd to Kirkwood
  • noted the need for a Lehigh clergy retreat or meeting at the camp
  • suggested a possible Joint Presbytery gathering or meeting at the camp
  • decided to use Brainerd’s logo and a hyphenated name (Kirkwood-Brainerd) until a naming contest can be conducted this summer with our young people
  • a video KirkBrainYouTubefrom summer 2014 can be found by clicking on the image to the right –  for anyone who would like to get a feel of Kirkwood’s experience at camp 

There were several organizational matters that required immediate attention as the 2015 Camping season is quickly approaching. Therefore, we:

  • agreed that Gershon Gordon will continue as Acting Program Director and Adam Lynch as Acting Site Manager through September 1, 2015
  • established that the Transition Team will serve as the de facto board and operate like an Administrative Commission until a new board is formed September 1, 2015 with terms beginning in 2015 (three classes). It is hoped everyone on this Transition Team would consider serving on the new Kirkwood-Brainerd Board for the sake of continuity
  • decided that each Presbytery can elect up to 9 members of the Board; plus one from Presbytery of Philadelphia’s Trustees and one from Lehigh Presbytery’s Lead Team. Leadership of the new board will entail the use of co-moderators (one from each presbytery)
  • adopted a proposed Operating Agreement & Bylaws. When updated documents are complete, they will be sent to each presbytery’s legal counsel for review
  • discerned the logistics of how to handle bookkeeping and several other administrative items

In terms of conducting a successful 2015 camp, we determined there were several operational items that must be addressed in detail.  We have begun discussions about:

  • camp schedule, number of camps, registration fees, a day camp option, marketing, and scholarships the need to get ARK usable (the camp on the other side of the swinging bridge.) This will require clearing debris from Hurricane Sandy, purchasing and erecting 4 wall tents which will hold 8 campers each. ($1,500-$1,700/tent)
  • Sensing a need to work in as efficient a manner as possible, we elected teams to address the most pressing matters and make recommendations for consideration at our next meeting. To that end, we elected a budget team, scholarship team, and January Open House team.

As you can see, we are working faithfully and diligently to complete the transition and get our new camping ministry up and running. And we would appreciate your prayers for us in our work, the Kirkwood-Brainerd Camp, and the children who will be touched by the love and grace of God through this special ministry.

Ruth Ann Christopher
Co-Chair, Christian Camping Transition Team