News

Dec 03, 2013

Bishop's Camp Price Letter

Bishop's Note on New Pricing Model for KY Conference Camps

Greetings! Grace and Peace in Jesus Christ, I am writing to share important information about our Conference summer camping ministry at Aldersgate & Loucon, specifically about changes to the cost of camp along with an explanation of what this means for the future of our camps.

The hard news is this - it will be no surprise that the cost of many goods and services in all aspects of our lives are going up - this is true for our camps as well. Over the years we have worked very hard to subsidize the cost of summer camp so that as costs rose the cost for our campers remained fairly constant. This is no longer a sustainable model for our camping ministry. Beginning in 2014 the costs of our camping experiences will be increasing.
 
The good news is this. We remain committed to our camping experiences being available to everyone. We want summer camp to be a blessing to as many people as possible and we do not want economic limitations to keep people from participating. Our camping team has come up with a plan that will allow us to move forward in a way that is financially responsible, but also is responsive to economic realities. We believe this approach can keep Aldersgate & Loucon on a solid footing and can allow us to do so in a way that continues to make the life changing experience of camp available to as many as possible. We will need your help in this endeavor as we move forward.
 
The plan is basically this: Our summer camps at Aldersgate & Loucon will be priced in a three tier pricing structure. Tier One is a basic fee with the remainder of the cost covered from other sources. Tier Two is a slightly higher fee which more fully covers the cost of camp, but also requires the remainder be covered from other sources. Tier Three reflects the actual cost of camp - choosing to pay at the Tier Three level means that the camp does not need to find money from other sources for that camper. The choice of which Tier is possible for you based on your circumstances is entirely yours. When you send in your camp registration you simply indicate which Tier you are selecting and include that amount. There is absolutely no difference in the camping experience for the campers; campers at all levels will receive the same experience. This is solely an invitation for you to evaluate your resources and determine how you are best able to be supportive of our camping ministry. We are hopeful that many will be able to move to Tier Two or Three, but fully understand that the choice is a personal one that you will make prayerfully as you consider the stewardship of your resources.
 
Be assured that even as this new pricing structure comes into being that we recognize that there is still great financial need in many areas of our Conference and that scholarships will continue to be available as they have in the past. Financial hardship will not be an obstacle that keeps anyone from camp. Also, we hope that our local congregations will continue to whenever possible help defray costs of camp for participants from their churches.
 
Our camps are a blessing. The fruits of their work are evident every year in changed lives, new disciples and ever deepening and maturing faith in our campers. Simply, there is nothing that speaks to the soul like camp. We are grateful for your understanding, for your consideration of what this new pricing structure will mean for your family, and for your continued prayer for and commitment to our camps. See you at camp!
  
Bishop Lindsey Davis
 Detailed Explanation & FAQ

Pick Your Price…Three Tier Pricing

Summer camp has great value in the life of a child and Aldersgate and Loucon are no exceptions! Tiered Pricing is intended to help families recognize the true cost of camp and then select the level of payment that is most appropriate for them. Families may freely choose to participate at the Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 level. Every child will receive the exact same camp experience regardless of the level that is chosen. You choose what you want to pay! When you register (online or by mail) simply mark which tier price you want to pay. It is really that simple.

Why the Change?

Those who have been faithful supporters of our camping ministry will notice a rate increase. Aldersgate, Loucon and the Kentucky Annual Conference (KAC) of the United Methodist Church believe in what God is doing through Christian Camping Ministry. We believe in it so much that for many years our expenses have been subsidized by the camps and the KAC. However, the problem this created is that our rates have not reflected the true cost of camp. Many generous donors and churches have been making this ministry possible! While their support will continue to make a huge impact, rising costs and our past pricing model would become unsustainable over time. We value this ministry too much to let it be threatened. God is doing a great work here & we want to insure that generations to come will experience the Love & Message of Christ through our camping ministry. The new tiered pricing is still well below the national average, yet the quality of our camper experience remains high! It remains a wonderful place to participate in fun activities, be a part of a loving community, participate in faith development, and much more!

Why not just raise the Price?

Some might wonder why we don’t raise the price to the true cost of camp. That’s a wonderful question.  We know that our past campers and their parents/guardians recognize the value of Christian camping; however, they have become accustomed to the subsidized rates we’ve been offering for years. If Loucon and Aldersgate were to introduce a sudden rate increase to reflect the true cost of camp, we recognize that not all families would be able to adjust their family budget to account for the difference, which would undoubtedly affect our camp attendance. This is something we want to avoid so that we can minister to as many campers as possible.  We want them to come have an awesome experience! We recognize that times have been tough for all of us. The price of food, utilities, and just about everything else has increased while many of us are not making more money. For many people making that type of adjustment for their children to attend camp may not be possible in the short term. This tiered pricing allows those who can adjust to pay the top tier while others can choose a lower tier and adjust to the increase more gradually.

So What’s With The 3 Tiers?

Tier 1 – The Camp Fee

Every effort is made to keep the Camp Fee as low as possible. Aldersgate & Loucon offer the most economical camp experiences one can find. At this level every camper’s fee is subsidized by other year round programs and generous donations. We are glad to offer Tier 1 because it helps keep camp affordable for as many persons as possible.

Tier 2

We are glad to offer Tier 2 to those who recognize the value of camp and are working towards paying the true cost of camp.

Tier 3 – The Full Cost of Camp

Electing to pay the Tier 3 price helps cover the full cost of providing your child’s summer camp experience. Every family that is able to participate at this level can enjoy knowing that they are sustaining the ministry of Aldersgate & Loucon and helping to keep it strong.

Will Aldersgate & Loucon still provide scholarships?

Yes. Tiers 1 & 2 are both forms of camper scholarship due to their reduced cost to the campers. However, we recognize that in the state of Kentucky 26% of all children are living in poverty. For some counties and populations in our state that percentage can be as high as 49%. We understand there is a great need for scholarships in our community; therefore we will still help provide additional scholarships to campers in financial need.  Our policy is that NO camper will be turned away due to financial hardship. To apply for a Financial Hardship Scholarship please contact either Aldersgate (606-723-5078 or aldersgatecamp@gmail.com) or Loucon (270-242-7160) directly.

What You Get?

For a five night camp you get 14 healthy meals, 4 snacks, trained facilitators who lead your campers on quality adventure activities 2-3 times per day. Campers will stay in quality lodging facilities, including lodges and cabins. Campers receive 24 hour care from carefully vetted counselors and staff (background checks, reference checks, and training). Camp leaders help provide a further level of protection for your children. Campers receive time away in a safe, secure setting where they can unplug and be themselves while developing a closer relationship with God. A week of God centered program, instruction, discussion, and community. Campers receive mementos to remind them of their time at camp and, of course, they will always have memories that will last a lifetime!

Where the Money Goes

*Example of the Three Tier Cost System 

                  1 Night Camp                         3 Night Camp            5 Night Cabin Camp

Tier 1                     $55                                         $110                          $275 

Tier 2                     $65                                         $130                          $325

Tier 3                     $80                                         $160                          $400                                      

*Camp costs will vary by camp type and location

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