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Wednesday's Whim

Wednesday’s Whim: Growth & Transformation

Toward the beginning of the summer, Camp Stevens used electronic media (Facebook and email, primarily) to gather folks’ impressions of this place using an online Strategic Planning survey.  We received feedback from over 250 current and former campers, retreat center guests, family campers, donors, parents of campers (some who have never stepped foot at camp!), and others.  I, for one, am grateful for this response!

Since the survey closed in July, we’ve been sifting through the information gathered both from the Strategic Planning survey as well as from a 35-person, face-to-face Feasibility Study conducted by VIP Consultants to begin determining next steps for Camp Stevens future, programmatically, financially, organizationally.

Before I say any more, please don’t be alarmed!  One of the key things we heard loud and clear is that Camp Stevens is a special, magical place for all who come here. Part of what makes it so are the following words and impressions, which were gathered from the first question of the survey: “What words first come to mind when you think of Camp Stevens?”:

Question 1 - Word CloudThese words, ideas, and experiences are the heartbeat of Camp Stevens.  It is the adventure and peace people experience, the community of friends and family, the food and the way we serve it, our communion with the natural world, and the love and care among and between children, staff, and all our guests that make this place set apart from daily life.

Yet another concept that came up in the surveys and that we talk about regularly as staff and in Counselor Training is how Camp Stevens provides an opportunity for intentional growth and transformation of self, community, and organization.

With your input from this survey, wisdom gathered over the years, and some good, common sense, the Board of Advisors and many Camp Stevens staff have begun working on identifying and describing Camp Stevens core values in a way that folks both in and outside the organization might understand.  Additionally, we’ll be establishing three to five goals to work toward in the next three to five years.  Some of these goals might be outwardly visible (New programs? New buildings?); others will provide a stronger infrastructure so the heartbeat of Camp Stevens can continue long into the future.

I am personally both excited and humbled by this process and look forward to sharing the outcome with you later this fall.

In the meantime, if you, too, are energized by the idea of being involved with Camp Stevens in a new way, please consider the following

Friends_Autumn_Leaves_Circle_TransparentFriends Weekend: October 17 – 19, 2014

Formerly the Board of Visitors, Friends Weekend is a gathering of those strongly invested in Camp Stevens to bring creativity, perspective, and financial support to our programs and facilities.

Friends invitees are asked to contribute an annual gift of at least $600, or $50/month.  If you would like an invitation to Friends Weekend or more information about annual giving, or if you have other thoughts or ideas for Camp Stevens – particularly around future planning – please call (760/765-0028) or email me!


Whim: “sudden idea.” This monthly post promises a number of things: personal thoughts and reflections, showing off Camp Stevens’ programs and staff, announcements for upcoming opportunities, and answering questions or responding to comments “from the audience.” If you have a topic or question you’d like addressed, just e-mail Beth!



  1. Pingback: September Wrap-Up | When the Bell Rings - October 8, 2014

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