Bay Shore Camp Annual Meeting
2021 Ministry Report

As always, I want to thank you for allowing Cindy and I to be in ministry in this place.  I’m pleased to be well into my 10th year at Bay Shore.  It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. And who hasn’t been having fun since the Spring of 2020 and the beginning of Covid-19?

Our summer camp enrollments are slowly moving back towards our Pre-Covid enrollment numbers. But numbers can be deceiving.  We had seen a slight shift to Day Camp in 2019.  And we continue to see parents choosing a Day Camp option for their campers.  This year’s campers were enrolled in this way:  871 onsite overnight campers, 58 onsite day campers and 224 OTR campers.  Preregistrations were only offered to onsite overnight campers.  352 campers preregistered for next year, which represents a 40% retention rate. We’d like to see a higher retention rate.

We are very pleased with the results of our official launch of our travelling day camps, Bay Shore’s “Day Camp on the Road.”

Our Travelling Day Camp team, provided a Day Camp experience at six churches in Michigan. Two, as far away as Kalamazoo & Portage and one as close by as Bay City. Five of the six churches have overwhelmingly expressed interest in rebooking for next summer.  Seven new churches have expressed interest in bringing the OTR program to their church. We think there will be enough interest to put a second traveling team on the road next year.

It’s important to understand how challenging it is to start a new ministry of this size.  New ministries require adequate financial resources to make the capital investment in the equipment required. And to have adequate financial support to float the ministry until it can be self-sustaining.  We are blessed to have the resources for both.

We are encouraged that our onsite summer camp programs are rebounding from Covid-19 and our new “Day Camp on the Road” is being affirmed.  Most importantly, more than 1100 kids were invited into a new or deeper relationship with Jesus this past summer.  Praise God!

Family Camp was very well attended, with attendance the highest since 2017.  The last couple of years we’ve experienced an influx of younger families and new families as people begin to invite their friends to join them.

Our programmed events like our Spring and Fall Quilter’s and Crafters’ Retreats, the Women of Excellence Conference are rebounding as well and out efforts to reach new people for these ministries are being successful.  Programming for these events is excellent and the hospitality is over the top.

Our guest group ministry on weekends is strong.  We have only a few weekends available for additional groups but would love to host mid-week groups. The Amby Lodge continues to be a vital asset for our guest group ministry. 

Fund Development
2020 was a banner year for donor support of the ministry.  The financial crisis related to Covid was real and people were generous in helping meet the need. 2020 included an anonymous $100,000 end-of year gift that allowed us to end the year with a surplus. 2021 has not been as financially challenging. But, the recovery from Covid has been slow and our donor giving is down.

In fundraising efforts this year, the Bay Shore Benefit Auction went online this year and raised net proceeds of $12,432 for Camperships this year. This was a significant decrease over the last in person auction. Regardless, no camper was turned away for an inability to pay to come to camp.

Our most recent budget report has been addressed.  This obviously only represents a snapshot in time.  Barring any unforeseen expenses, we could finish this year with another surplus.

Gifts and donations to our general fund continue to be a vital part of our funding as is our Campership fund.

We’re thankful for other gifts and donations that have funded other special purchases that include:  a new Clavinova (electric piano,) new sign posts (yet to be installed,) a hot bar for the dining hall, a commercial food processor, floor scrubber for the youth center and a Cub Cadet side by side for maintenance.

“Michael’s Walk,” trails and boardwalks in the former DNR Land (Whitlock Woods,) has been further developed with two additional trail extensions completed this Fall by the NOMADS work team.  Come for a walk in the woods!  We even had an “outdoor education” group out this Fall. 

Thanks to our endowment earnings, we were able to replace the mechanical parts of our walk-in freezer. (~$12,000.)

Pending Projects & Capital Priorities & Crazy Ideas

Fellowship Hall.  We have discovered serious structural issues with Fellowship Hall.  Estimates so far exceed $160,000. Stay tuned for updates. Gifts may be made to Bay Shore designated for the Fellowship Hall project.  Would you consider being a major underwriter of this project.

Bayside Best “Bean” House.  Bayside Best Beans have gifted us with a house that is located adjacent to their facility.  We will be moving that to Bay Shore property on Miller Street in the coming months.

Water Slide. Working with an architect to update the blueprints so we can get this erected.

Day Camp OTR.  Plans are underway to launch a second travelling day camp team and better equip our existing team with a trailer and vehicles.

Youth Center Bathrooms.  Working with an architect to update the showers and bathroom stalls and add family restrooms.

Other Projects. Other projects and crazy ideas include: remodeling McAlpine House, adding another home on Miller Street, remodeling the dining hall lodging, and air conditioning the Tabernacle. Stay tuned as those projects are considered.

Master Plan
We’ve reached a point (following the pandemic) that the Master Plan Team will be restarting their work to create a 3yr/5yr/10yr plan for the ministry.

Amazing Outreach and Community Building
Bay Shore continues to do some amazing things as outreach to families and to build our relationship with the Sebewaing community.  These include our Family Fun Days events, significant involvement in Sebewaing’s Sugar Festival and producing our own Living Nativity, (we had a record crowd last year.)  These “free” outreach opportunities are made possible by donors and volunteers.  Please continue being one or the other, or both.

An Exciting Gift
Let me wrap up by sharing news of an exciting gift.

In July, Bay Shore was offered the gift of the property associated with Noah’s Ark Family Fun Center, near Gagetown, MI.  It includes more than 100 acres of land, a 20+ acre lake and multiple buildings, well suited for ministry, and a home.

There’s much to say about this gift. Let me say this.  Even before I came to Bay Shore, the Master Plan included expanding the ministry beyond the confines of the property here at the shore. Located just 20 minutes away, I believe it will offer exciting new program opportunities for our current ministry and great opportunities to reach new families for Jesus in the Thumb of Michigan.

The Board has accepted this gift from the Estate of Duane Plonta.

More information regarding the addition of this ministry will be coming as news of this gift is more broadly shared.  You, are some of the first to know about it.

I am excited about the future of Bay Shore Camp.  You should be too!

Peace and Blessings,

Jeff Parsons