FEYC Director Message
- Written by Nick Miller
As we surge into the new Elk year, I’d like to take a minute to congratulate all our new lodge officers across the state. I got to meet many of you at the Officer Training seminar in March, and I could not be more excited for the coming year. Your passion and hard work have such incredible potential. I look forward to seeing what you achieve!
I also want to remind you of an incredible tool that you have at your disposal. The Harry-Anna Investment Fund (HAIF) Board of Directors has approved another year of sponsored bus trips to camp. If you’re not familiar with this program, it’s pretty straightforward. If you bring a bus of 40 people to the youth camp for a tour, you will be reimbursed up to $2,000 for the cost of the bus. The people you bring can be Elks, Ladies of Elks and even non-Elks (aka “potential members!”). The only two required attendees are your Harry-Anna Trust Fund and Membership chairpersons. If you can’t find 40 people from your own lodge or community, you can also partner with one or more other lodges and come together. The lodge that pays for the bus will get the reimbursement. Also, if you’re more than three hours away, please contact me to discuss additional options.
Tours typically arrive to the camp around 10:30 a.m. After everyone signs in, we’ll talk about the missions of Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services and the Florida Elks Youth Camp, how these two projects operate, and how we are funded through the HAIF. Even if you’ve been a longtime Elk, you may be surprised at some of the things you didn’t know about our two state projects. Once the basics are covered, we’ll take a short 30-45-minute walking tour of the camp and show you firsthand how we change the lives of children. For those who have trouble with mobility, we provide “camp limousines” (golf carts) for the tour. After the tour, we’ll take you to our dining pavilion for a free lunch on us! During lunch, you’ll have the chance to eat incredible food with some of our full-time staff and hear more stories from camp. Groups are usually back on the road by 1:30 or 2 p.m. On your way home, consider running raffles, stopping by another lodge for drinks or even making mystery stops at other fun places.
This is an amazing tool if you want to make an impact on your lodge. The bus trip itself serves to bind together those who attend and is a great team-building opportunity. The tour is a guaranteed way to impress people in your community with what you do as an Elk, and it’s the perfect opportunity to gain new members. It’s also a great way to rekindle the passion in current members who are overwhelmed or burned out by the day-to-day activities at the lodge. When you’re ready to make the trip, just contact Jen Miller in our office to select a date. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 352-431-8701.
Let me close with a brief update on Summer Camp 2018. By the time you read this, we will likely be completely booked. However, if you find kids who are not signed up but would like to attend, we will continue to keep a waiting list. As we get closer to camp, we often get cancellations. Also, some of these filled spots are currently reserved for lodges that are bringing buses of kids. As we get into May, these lodges will have a deadline to fill those reserved spots. If they do not fill them, we will release them to kids on our waiting list. As always, if you have any questions about camp reservations, please contact Jen for that, too.
It is an honor to serve as your youth camp director, and I am thankful every day for the opportunity to be a part of what Florida Elks do for kids!
Nick Miller, Director
Florida Elks Youth Camp
Summer Camp 2018
- Week 1 June 10-16
- Week 2 17-23
- Week 3 24-30
- Week 4 July 1-7
- Week 5 8-14
- Week 6 15-21
- Week 7 * 22-28
*Military Week: Dependents of veterans and/or active military attend for free!