North Star Camp for Boys

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Alumni: The Settle Up Challenge

Vickie and I hope you are enjoying your summer. Even though there is always “plenty of camping left,” it’s hard to believe there is only one more week left of second session. It’s been an amazing summer at camp with some big new additions. We built the brand new Fieldhouse, an indoor recreation facility that has forever changed rainy days and villa nights. We cleaned out the old dump and turned that into a new and improved archery range. We built a double sided bouldering wall with an incline, and channeled Lou by adding boxing back to the program.
And though some things change, camp remains the same. Our last Friday Night Service even featured the music of Bob Feller and Don Gibson, playing with Jon Sherman’s son Noah.

Next week I’ll also be settling up with the hard-working counselors and staff members who make North Star such as special place. Lou and Leb have long asked the staff to “Remember the Scholarship Fund” in that settle up meeting, and I have carried on that tradition. The staff have been making a donation from their salaries to Camp for All Kids, the successor to the North Star Scholarship Fund. Many of you were counselors at North Star so you know that giving back part of a modest camp salary is quite generous for these guys. I match these donations, and last year a camp alum also made a matching contribution, thereby tripling each staff members donation.

Camp for All Kids promotes and facilitates racial diversity by sending kids from underserved communities to North Star and four other summer camps. These kids not only make lifelong friendships and experience the magic of camp, they also contribute so much to the camp culture. This summer, we were lucky to have 20 campers through this program from J-1 to Pine Manor.

This year, to further incentivize staff donations and send more kids to camp, we are announcing the North Star Settle Up Challenge.

The Settle Up Challenge is a gift matching campaign that invites you, our camp alumni, to match donations made by our current staff from their camp paychecks at the end of the summer. This is a great way for North Star alumni to model their philanthropic behavior for our current staff. Our current staff hear stories, read your names on plaques, see your photos in the Lodge and feel the history of camp every day. It’s people like you who they look up to lead the way.

The Settle Up challenge will increase the impact of each of our current staff members. If they know that their $20 (for example) may turn into $200 because we have 10 alumni matching them, that provides even more incentive for them, and we can send more deserving kids to camp! You can make your pledge by simply emailing me with your commitment. You can set a cap on your matching gift. In previous years, the staff donations have totaled about $1,000. We are asking for a minimum of $500 from a matching gift.

We will total up the donations from current camp staff and contact you during the week of August 15 to tell you the amount raised by the staff. You can then go to the Camp for All Kids website and make your tax-deductible matching gift.

North Star has been the heart and soul of Camp for All Kids since its inception. Our alumni are consistently the most generous donors and active participants. Paul “Nate” Nathanson and Rob Porter have served as co-presidents for the past six years. Moreover, four of the five Camp for All Kids partner camps are owned by North Star alum: North Star, Birch Trail (Gabe Chernov, Richard and Barbara’s son), Chippewa Ranch Camp (Cliff Lissner, who purchased camp from Tom Adler), and Timberlane (Mike Cohen). The fifth, Kamaji, was purchased last year by Kat Martin and Jason Nelson from North Star alums and Camp for All Kids founders Mike and Kathy Jay. I believe that the Settle Up Challenge is a great way to further instill on our current camp staff two of the distinguishing characteristics of North Star alumni – your generosity and your dedication to make the world a better place.

Please contact me if you have any questions and, as always, Remember The Scholarship Fund!