I am blown away and humbled by the love, trust, and support Stomping Ground has received over the last five years. In 2015, Laura and I teamed up with an incredible team to run our first week of camp. That first summer we had 64 brave founding campers. It was a wild week and we learned so much, but it was the beginning of something special. In 2019, 24 of those original campers are still campers five years later.
Each summer you have helped us grow. In 2016, we moved from our New Jersey location to Camp Amahami, just outside of Binghamton, New York. We ran three weeks of camp and had 184 “camper weeks”. We do most of our counting by camper weeks. An individual camper that attends for two weeks counts as two camper weeks. Each year we have grown far beyond what I could have anticipated in 2015. In 2019 we will have just over 700 camper weeks, more than ten times what we served just five years ago.
I am proud to be a part of this growth, proud to see the impact of camp on each camper’s life year after year. I am proud that we grew this much without a huge marketing budget or big outside investment. We grew because the kids loved the program, parents loved the program, and our families told their friends. We were able to grow because we were able to build trust.
Laura and Klee spend countless hours on the phone talking with parents about what their child needs, how camp might provide it, and if Stomping Ground is a good fit. Stomping Ground has grown because of relationships and candid conversations. That is how we are approaching this capital campaign, and that hat is how we hope to build a sustainable Stomping Ground.
Product Market Fit
At this point we know we have a program and philosophy that kids and parents alike connect with. We have a tested model that has demand across socio-economic boundaries. We bootstrapped our way to product-market fit. Now we need your help. You have a chance to pour gas on this fire and drive Stomping Ground into the future.
At our current facility we are at capacity. Currently, four out of six of our sessions are totally full with the other two filling quickly. On top of that, we are unable to run more sessions and have been pushed to running sessions much later in the summer, which is not ideal for our staff or families. In 2019 we will run our ten days of staff orientation at a seperate camp and move to Amahami just 36 hours before campers arrive. As you can imagine, this is less than ideal and not sustainable.
We need your help. Your donation will not only provide sustainability for the organization, but it will also allow campers to attend camp and build on their experience. In the spirit of candor and trust building, below is our pro forma operating budget for our new facility.
I would love to talk more with you about this campaign, the impact of a gift, and the transformational power of camp. Let’s talk more.