FEYC Director Message
- Written by Nick Miller
Happy New Year from your Florida Elks Youth Camp! We hope you’re as excited for 2019 as we are. Registration for summer camp 2019 is open! As with last year, all applications will be completed online. So, spread the word to your families and campers. To register, go to www.floridaelks.org/camp and click “Sign up for Camp!”
Every lodge will again be granted six scholarships. Each scholarship provides a free week of camp to one camper, and we hope that you will use them to make an impact on a child or family in your community. Please remember that each lodge can and should send more than six campers! If the camper’s family or your charity account can afford it, the cost is $180 for each camper beyond your first six. If neither the camper’s family nor the lodge has the money, please send them anyway! We’ll find an Elk somewhere to cover the cost. Dates for this summer’s sessions are listed below. There is no cut-off date for registration, but it will be first come, first served. Last year, we reached our capacity by April 15, and I expect to fill up even faster this year, so please, don’t wait!
As always, if you have any questions regarding camper registration, please contact our registrar, Jen Miller, at the camp. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 352-431-8701.
Summer Camp 2019
- Week 1 June 9-15
- Week 2 16-22
- Week 3 23-29
- Week 4 June 30-July 6th
- Week 5 July 7-13
- Week 6 14-20
- Week 7 * 21-27
*Military Week: Dependents of veterans and/or active military attend for free!
We’re only three months from the end of the Elk year, and as your lodges begin looking at results for this year and the budget for next year, I’d ask that you please appeal to your lodge board of directors to consider directing charity money toward your state projects — the camp and therapy services. I know that many lodges annually underestimate how well their charity accounts will do and end up carrying over larger and larger sums to the next year. I know of lodges that carry over upwards of $30,000 and $40,000 each year. And while it’s wonderful to see our charity accounts swell, it’s all useless if it’s not spent on charity. Worse, it will actually lose value each year if it’s not invested appropriately, as it will be in your Harry-Anna Investment Fund.
So, if we have additional money that must be spent on charity, what better charities to support than our own? We have a thriving youth camp that caters to over 20,000 children a year. We have therapists who treat over 500 children a week! These are projects that make real-world differences every single day. To help keep them running, continue to budget for your local charitable projects, but ask your lodge to direct surplus charity money back to our state projects. Reach out to your local therapist. See what additional tools or toys they need. Check on how many kids went to camp last year from your community and on how many are looking to go this coming summer. Then, send money to the Harry-Anna Investment Fund with a memo noting your project’s specific need.
If you need help determining who your local therapist is or how many kids went to camp from your area last year, please reach out to either Colleen Gallant or me. We can give you very specific details on the children being helped in your area and on what is needed to continue helping them.
This leads me into my second to last topic. One of the most prominent questions I receive from Elks is, “How do I know what kids are sponsored to attend camp from my area, and how many of them need financial assistance?” Our online registration system can provide a wealth of information about our potential and enrolled campers. While you cannot access our system directly, we can provide it to you. If you’d like data on kids from your area, please email Jen Miller in our office. Upon request, she can set up a reminder to email you monthly reports on the kids who have requested to attend camp from your area. These reports show you who has used one of your six ENF camperships, which campers have not yet received an Elk sponsor, which campers are requesting financial assistance, how many total campers are attending from your area, etc.
I’d also ask again that if families have trouble accessing a computer to complete a camper registration, please invite them to the lodge, a local library or their school’s media center. Have a volunteer sit with them and work through the application. As with the rest, if you have questions or concerns, email Jen. She’s incredible at helping the non-tech savvy navigate the process.
Finally, our next major camp event is coming up in February, and we’d love for you to be there! The FSEA February quarterly meeting will be at the camp Feb. 7-9. It’s a great opportunity for you to meet other Florida Elks from across the state and to learn the latest about your major projects’ operations. This meeting is also special as it will be our Grand Exalted Ruler’s official visit to Florida. Grand Exalted Ruler, Michael T. Luhr, will be here throughout the event and will be addressing all Florida Elks at Saturday morning’s session. Don’t miss it! In addition, we’ll have great food and entertainment on Friday night as Re-Creation once again takes the stage here at FEYC. While lodging at the camp is currently full, you can still make reservations at hotels in Eustis, Tavares, Mount Dora or Leesburg. If you’re coming, be sure to register for the event online at www.floridaelks.org.
Thank you for all you do as Elks, and we hope to see you in February!
Nick Miller, Director
Florida Elks Youth Camp