Christmas Grapevine... 2022
Dear Friends: As you gather with those that you love—and those that love you—-to celebrate the incredible glory and majesty of this holy season, may your home be filled with His peace, love, and joy—- in abundance. On behalf of all our staff, thank you for being our friends over these past two most difficult years. We anticipate an abundance of God’s blessings in 2022. From Our Pets, As campers and close friends know, our pets this past summer were aging, and sadly, we lost the two dachshunds (Biscuit and Jude) and our beloved wolf, Kalah. All three lived long, full, fun-filled lives at the camp. But our hearts were broken three times in one season! We do have two new
dachshund puppies, Abraham and Gabriel, and a new wolf cub. These mascots/pets should not, and will not take the place of the other three, but we think that campers and staff will fall in love with these special creatures much as they did with Biscuit, Jude and Kalah
From Dean’s Desk
As I am putting together this short message, we’re preparing for our first snowstorm this coming Thursday. Rarely do the meteorologists get their forecasts right in Piedmont, but who knows, perhaps they are right this time! We have not had a white Christmas in many years— something very special about the crisp air and snow-covered ground on Christmas Day. My sons worry that the snow will keep their friends away that day, but it’s okay to relax and enjoy family sometimes——there will be other days to be with their friends. But isn’t it the simple, unplanned things in our lives that are the most special? My sons pine for events and experiences that will stimulate them, make them laugh, or give them a rush of adrenaline—— and I am trying to teach them that what they are really dreaming about is the abundant, full, and overflowing that is ours……because of Christmas—-and Calvary.
May your Christmas be organized and perfectly decorated, if that’s what puts your heart at peace the best, but I hope that you also enjoy the profound joy that comes unexpectedly and when you need it the most, as you focus upon the giver of Peace and Joy this Christmas.
Since Covid, we’ve seen a shift towards more campers from the USA attending. Last year 70% were from the USA, and this year we expect about 60% from the USA. The others are coming from Egypt, Pakistan, South America, Central America, France, Spain, the Caribbean, and Kenya!
In 2021 our enrollment doubled; this past summer, it doubled, and, God-willing, we expect it to double again in 2023. We hope your child can be a part of our camp as it grows! If you know of other families interested in our camp, please contact our office.
2023 Summer Staff News
I’ve been going to camp for almost 50 summers now, and I can attest that the most important staff at the camp are not the coaches, drivers, cooks, or housekeepers. Yes, they are essential for a Christian sports camp, such as ours, but the most critical job is that of a cabin counselor. It’s the counselor that serves as the mom, dad, priest, sergeant, leader, and “rock” within that cabin. A good camp counselor keeps the family of campers and support staff together, sets the pace, establishes the rules, and looks after the flock placed in his/her care. When I go about interviewing and hiring staff, the counselor is the one I am most focused upon. Is the applicant pleasant, kind, attentive, mature, able to put themself last, and, most importantly, can they lead the child down the path they have also traveled? Once a staff is placed in the cabin with children, they don’t have the choice of being a counselor or not—-they are the counselor. What remains to be seen is if they are a good counselor or poor ones. In over forty years of directing my own camps, I rarely have, if ever, seen a poor counselor become a good one. Either you hire the right “material” when you hire that staff (and then follow up training and equipping), or you fight with the wrong -person-in-the-wrong-job all summer. We find it best to simply part ways the same day when it becomes obvious that the counselor does not measure up to our standards. After all, campers only attend for a week in some instances. That being said, we’ve been interviewing applicants for the 2023 season since September. We think you will be excited about the folks we’re hiring. We take the trust the parents place in us quite seriously. New For 2022 It’s been delayed, but it looks like our new soccer/rugby field will be ready when you return to camp this coming summer—at last. Last year we resurfaced the tennis courts, and this year we hope to resurface the deck to the pool and renovate the Ark a bit. You will also note some improvements in the cabins, with new mattresses and more beds being added at the Gate House. We also plan on bringing back the water balloon battles on the soccer field! More about that in our next Grapevine.
As a non-profit, we must continue to raise funds annually for two purposes: Assistance to children that want to attend camp but cannot and major improvements to the camp. You can choose the amount you wish to contribute, make it a one-time or monthly donation, and send your contribution via credit card or bank transfer - all from our web page! And if you wish to give on a monthly basis, you no longer need to remember to send your contribution each month - this is now automatically taken care of for your convenience. For those looking for other ways to support the mission of the Vineyard, we also offer means for you to donate stocks (vineyardcamp.com/donate
stocks), life insurance policies (vineyardcamp.com/donateinsurance), annuities (vineyardcamp.com/donateannuity), and even by simply shopping on Amazon.com (vineyardcamp.com/donateamazon)! To donate through your Amazon purchases, simply go to vineyardcamp.com/amazonsmile, and you'll be asked to sign in/sign-up and confirm that you'd like to support The Vineyard with every Amazon Smile purchase. Then you can either bookmark smile.amazon.com or install a browser plugin (Chrome | Firefox | Safari) that will automatically ensure all your Amazon purchases benefit the camp. From then on, 0.5% of your Amazon Smile purchases will be donated directly to the Vineyard! Our supporters donated nearly $300,000 in 2022. We hope to meet or exceed that number in 2023.
The Rev. Dean Barley Chairman
Dr. Wayne Guida Vice Chairman
Mr. Tommy Walker Treasurer
Mr. Chris Leftakis Secretary
Mr. Chris Clark
Mr. Carson Norcross
Mr. Mark Norcross
The Honorable Chris Dillon
Dr. Bill Greenwood