Greetings One Heartland Supporter,
Since 1993, One Heartland has been creating life-changing camp experiences for youth facing social isolation, intolerance, or serious health challenges. Our camps provide a welcoming, bullying-free environment where children, youth, and young adults can feel completely accepted for who they are. The physical and emotional safety of our campers is our highest priority.
One Heartland provides hands-on learning and life-skills training—not in the classroom, but while planting vegetables, performing skits, swimming in the pool, painting murals, exploring the wilderness, writing poetry, dancing up a storm, and lying under the star-lit sky.
At One Heartland, we help young people develop self-acceptance, life-long friendships, and the courage to face the world.
I am reaching out today to share with you some exciting changes happening at One Heartland.
This past Spring and Summer, One Heartland went through an extensive review and strategic planning process. We engaged with different stakeholders including donors, community members, and participants, and mined data from national program research. In that process, the following challenges and opportunities were identified:
- Loss in funding for our Camp 5210 Program
- Significantly reduced funding for our Camp Northstar Program
- The need for more consistent earned revenue streams
- The need to improve our cashflow during certain times of the year
- The popularity of our Camp True Colors Program
In response to the findings, some structural and operational changes have been made. As we all know, change is difficult. But we are excited and optimistic that the changes One Heartland is making will not only strengthen us, but also allow us to continue to serve our mission and provide innovative and needed programs for many years to come.
The changes include saying goodbye to dear friends including our National Camp Director Jill Rudolph who has been with One Heartland for over 10 years. With Jill’s leadership our programs have thrived over the years. However, our new organizational structure and programs require our program positions to be relocated to our Minneapolis office. We will miss Jill and wish her all the best in her new endeavors.
Allison Jones, our Program Coordinator who has been with us for over 6 years, announced her decision this past April to leave One Heartland to follow a different career path. This past summer was her last with One Heartland. We wish her all the best. The position of Program Coordinator is changing and relocating to the Minneapolis office.
The following are the major structural and operational changes that are occurring:
- The National Camp Director position will no longer exist. In its place will be a new Facility Director position. This person will take leadership in running the facility, including the kitchen and grounds, and will be responsible for increasing our rental revenue during the year. The program piece of this position will now be the responsibility of the Program Director located in the Minneapolis office. This position will be responsible for developing and growing our program.
- Our Camp 5210 program for young people struggling with a high BMI will not be offered for the summer of 2020. Over the years funding for this program has continued to decrease. Unfortunately, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel it. We have really enjoyed this program, the young people who make it special, and our partnership with Park Nicollet and Health Partners. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make Camp 5210 so powerful.
- Our Camp Northstar program for young people experiencing housing instability has also lost funding over the years. For the summer of 2020 we will not be holding 2 one-week long sessions of this program. We have received some funding allowing us to welcome around 30-40 campers in Summer 2020. We will be partnering directly with People Serving People as well as Simpson Housing to fill these spots. This program will be on site in conjunction with one of our other programs.
- We will continue running Camp Hollywood Heart in partnership with Hollywood HEART for young people affected by HIV/AIDS. This arts-based program in California welcomes young people ages 15-20 for a week of Arts programming.
- We will continue to focus on Camp Heartland for youth living with or affected by HIV/AIDS (ages 7-17). For the summer of 2020, we plan to offer one week of Camp Heartland.
- We will increase the number of weeks of Camp True Colors for young people identifying as LGBTQ+ (ages 7-17). For the summer of 2020 we plan to offer 4 one-week sessions and one 2-week session.
- 2 one-week sessions for young people who identify as LGBTQ ages 13-17
- 1 week for youth who identify as Trans/Gender diverse youth ages 7-17
- 1 two-week session for young people who identify as LGBTQ 13-17
- 1 week for LGBTQ+ Family Camp
- We are increasing the number of campers on site each week from 60-80 to 100. Having 100 campers per week will allow us to bring the cost of the program down to $750 per week per camper. This will allow us to welcome more campers while being fiscally responsible.
- We have added a new event for the month of June called “Over the Edge”. June is a high expense month for One Heartland with little revenue currently. This will help our cash flow at the beginning of the summer and help us connect with supporters at a vital time for our summer programming schedule.
- Next summer all our programs will start on Sunday and end on a Friday. We are making this adjustment to our programs to improve efficiency in our use of time and money, and to provide more continuity from week to week for our summer staff.
We cannot say it too often or loudly enough: THANK YOU for your support over the years. We are excited for the changes happening at One Heartland and we hope you will continue to support us as we work to provide camp for the kids who need it the most.
Patrick Kindler, Executive Director