Download PDF of letter
August 22, 2013
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As most of you know, Buffalo Mountain Camp experienced a devastating flood one year ago on August 5, 2012. The flood and the accompanying mudslides significantly damaged our infrastructure, trails, and summer camp program space. We lost the use of Allison Lodge, the bathhouse, cabins 1 thru 5, Ramsey Creek, the office and the lower trail. The Camp’s Board of Directors has been hard at work since the flood. And the Camp’s staff has worked tirelessly. Through generous donations of many great supporters and some initial clean up, Buffalo Mountain Camp was able to stabilize its basecamp area and continue its retreat ministry and general operations.
The way forward has proven to be a great challenge. Continuing the limited operation while conducting the intensive recovery planning effort has been a huge economic challenge that cannot be sustained. In order to conduct this study with thoroughness and to be the best stewards of our limited resources, the Board of Directors has voted to close all operations beginning January 1, 2014, until a renewed operation is designed, developed and funded.
The services of a professional consulting firm are being secured to evaluate our new business model strategy, do an extensive market research analysis, and conduct a fund development assessment.
While this decision to close operations has been a painful one, we also move into this new phase of the journey with much hope. The support and love for Buffalo Mountain Camp in the Johnson City and Kingsport Districts continues to be strong. Opportunities for the district campers continue to be explored through our sister camps: Camp Wesley Woods, Camp Dickenson, and Camp Lookout.
We believe there is and always will be a need for camping ministry and the unique way camping shares the love of Christ and forms faithful disciples. We believe that God is with us and will guide us. We ask for your continued prayers, support, and participation in the coming months. Camp currently has surveys that can be filled out on our website and will have other upcoming opportunities for your important input. Thank you for your love for Buffalo Mountain Camp. This is not the end. It is the beginning of something new.
You can keep up with the ongoing work through our website www.buffalomountaincamp.org and by clicking the “Like” button on our Facebook page.
Thank you for keeping this ministry and all involved on your hearts and in your prayers.
Paul Seay, Board Chair
Jason Onks, Executive Director
See also: "Sadness, then hope: Jason Onks leads Buffalo Mountain through challenging year" (The Call, 9/14/12)