It’s About Family

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(You may have already received this letter in the mail and sent in a donation – thank you!  Your support is very much appreciated and you will hear from us soon.)

On a warm day this past summer, I was sitting on the end of the dock on Crystal Lake, enjoying the warm sun on my back and talking with the campers and staff that were also out enjoying the water on that beautiful day.

One of the boys who was in the water swam up to me and told me something that was really powerful – he said,

The thing about Crystal Lake is that here is home.  When I’m at CLC, I feel included and loved, in a way I never feel back at home or school.  It is where I see each of us as God’s family.  And that’s awesome!

Over the past five years, I have seen how CLC embraces and includes campers and staff of all types, and gives them a place to feel at home, loved, and cherished.  In fact, CLC has a long history of including people that might not normally get a camp experience – from the African-American campers in the 1950’s, long before the civil rights movement took hold in the USA, to our international camper program today, which has been running for well over 20 years, bringing campers from all corners of the world.

CLC prides itself in part on our atmosphere of inclusivity and our firm knowledge that each Christian Science child should have the opportunity to thrive at camp.   I love these aspects of CLC, and the long-running fact that we’ve been including people in the good that is found at Crystal Lake Camps for over 63 years.  To me, in a word, Crystal Lake Camps is family.

At the end of the summer, we got a letter from a girl camper who said it this way:

“Our unity as a camp is incredible to me.  Our brotherhood and sisterhood is fascinating to look at from the outside in.  There’s so much love, laughter and happiness, all qualities of God shared.  These people have influenced and inspired me in their own different ways.”

And like your own family at home, this camp family takes work and effort.  There is a small core staff that work year-round – from working on and developing the programs for next summer, to maintaining our 30 buildings and 900 acre property – all of which is geared toward getting camp ready for next summer.

The tuition and fees we bring in during the summer program account for just less than 50% of our revenues; the rest of our income arrives as donations from individuals just like you.   I’d like to invite you to join us by contributing to our 2012 Annual Appeal.  We have a goal to raise $200,000 by December 31st, and I know you can help us achieve this lofty goal! Every donation, of every size, helps CLC meet our goal.

But it’s also important for us to ask you to really think about how much you value the opportunity that a Christian Science child has to be a part of the CLC summer camp family.  Please thoughtfully consider what the continued success of CLC means to you.

On a personal note, I want to convey to you how much I, and all the Crystal Lake Camps staff, cherish all members of our family – alumni, current campers and staff, and donors.  You all play a critical role in the achievement of our mission.  If you’d ever like to reach out to me, please feel warmly invited to do so.  You can reach me through my email address, nathan@crystallakecamps.org, or by calling me at the camp office,  (570) 584-5608, x203.

We ask you today to support the mission and goals of Crystal Lake Camps through a donation, which we recognize is a way to invest not just in Crystal Lake, but also in future members of your branch church of Christian Science, as well as the future members of The Mother Church.

Through your donation to Crystal Lake Camps today, you’re helping to support the family atmosphere and close-knit camp experience for another exciting summer, learning about Christian Science at Crystal Lake Camps.

With gratitude,

Nathan R. Bowen

Executive Director

Donations can be made through our PayPal page:  

or by mail: 1676 Crystal Lake Rd. Hughesville, PA 17737

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2 Comments on “It’s About Family”

  1. Crystal Lake has done so much for so many kids, it’s the least any of us can do to return the love. CLC is such a special place – there really isn’t any other place in the world quite like it. xoxo

  2. Nathan, your letter, written from the heart, touches my own. CLC was one of many foundation stones in my own lifelong commitment to Christian Science and journey of spiritual growth. I have always felt its special contribution to the family of camps for Christian Science youth is that of its peaceful family atmosphere. Though I seldom visited camp in recent decades, I recall vividly the times I drove “home” to camp, even if for just an overnight stay.

    May I share one of those precious memories? A college graduate, I had driven from DC through pouring rain and tears, after leaving a friend and friendship behind. But through the tears, I sensed God’s presence, just behind the clouds. When I arrived at camp and parked my van, I stepped out into the damp and walked toward the Lodge. Two little girls who knew me from the prior summer ran to me, and each took a hand, walking joyously with me HOME, home to God’s love.

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