Dear Friend of Camp Trinity,
As you know, plans are nearing completion for the new kitchen at the Bar 717 Ranch, and I’d like to update you on the latest news and to ask for your help. But, before I get to that, I’d like you to take a moment to think back to your favorite memory at Camp Trinity or to the favorite memories of your children…
Was it that great trail ride? Or watching a sunrise from the top of Gates Mountain? Maybe it was singing around the campfire or jumping off rocks into the clear, cold waters of Hayfork Creek? Maybe it was picking up an exuberant kid from the Camp bus after two weeks away. We all cherish such memories. I know that I do.
I was a city boy growing up in the Bay Area when my parents sent me off to the Bar 717 Ranch. I remember so well Grover Gates saying to me, “Let the hammer do the work, son…” as I struggled to drive a nail by holding the hammer very close to the head so I wouldn’t miss the nail. He suggested that I move my grip down to the other end to allow the momentum of the hammer to drive the nail with much less exertion – voilà, a little life lesson from the Bar 717.
I started at Camp as a pre-teen camper, then worked as a kitchen boy, and finally graduated to being a counselor for five years. My life has been indelibly branded by the Bar 717: the pioneer spirit, the Camp Trinity Way, independence with a respectful attitude for your fellow bunkmates, the chance to sprout wings and fly. Camp has always been a place where it’s safe to attempt something new, to fail and then to try again – to encounter life-building moments. For me, those moments are etched into my persona; they help guide me as an adult and helped as I steered my own children through their youth.
If you’ve spent time at Camp, you know that our kitchen has been cooking up good grub for over 50 years but today is making do in a worn-out structure and with the same old, energy gobbling equipment that has been in use since I was the kitchen boy in the 60’s. As mentioned, plans are being fine-tuned now for the new kitchen building with construction slated to start in August as soon as the 2017 camp season ends. We’re all very excited – the new kitchen will be an enormous improvement in function without losing its rustic charm. Check out details at bar717.com/kitchen/. The clock is now ticking… less than 400 clangs of the mealtime bell before demolition of the old building begins.
To support this project, the Bar 717 Advisory Board has set a goal to raise $200,000 from Camp alumni and friends to purchase new, energy-efficient kitchen equipment. We’d like to reach the top of our “Gates Mountain” of fundraising before campers arrive this summer. I’m excited to report that we’ve received almost $150,000 so far. We are in the home stretch, but we need that little extra boost from those who love Camp to help us meet our goal by June.
The enclosed brochure outlines the project and suggests various levels of commitment from $25 to $25,000. Personally, I love the fresh veggies from the garden so I chose to pledge as a Salad Bar Server. You might want to be a Pizza Roller or Master Chef of Sunday Morning Breakfast, everyone’s favorite cookout. You make the choice at the level that seems appropriate for you and your family. There are only right answers here.
This has to be a gift from your heart. Although contributions to the kitchen project are not tax-deductible, I’ve already received more than a 100% payback from everything I learned at Camp and the life-long friends I’ve made. I am reminded daily that my pledge will help pay that benefit forward to the generations of campers and staff who will savor the healthy and creative menus from a modern, energy-efficient, and functional kitchen.
Please check out the enclosed brochure, pick your favorite gift range, and mail in your contribution today. Or, you may donate online at bar717.com/kitchen/donate/. With your help, we can reach 100% of our goal soon and turn our energies toward making this another fantastic summer for Camp Trinity campers.
Camp Trinity Camper, Counselor, Long-time Friend, & Bar 717 Advisory Board Member
P.S. I hope you will join me and 125 other camp friends who’ve already made gifts to the kitchen fund. And I hope you will think back often, like I do, about the Bar 717. If you’ve already made a gift to the kitchen, we thank you for your generosity. It feels good to help make Camp strong for the future.