Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank You For A Fantastic 2008!!!

As 2008 winds down, we look back on the fantastic year we've had at Anokijig. Thousands of children and families re-connected with each other and with nature, all while having the time of their lives. It was a challenging year in many aspects for us. We're still working hard every day to eliminate the debt incurred to save Anokijig and we're happy to report we're on schedule to have our principal balanced reduced to approximately $4.1 million as of January 1st, which is down significantly from the original purchase price of $5.5 million just three years ago.

We were unsure how our summer attendance would turn out. We had hundreds of children on our waiting list in 2007 and decided it was appropriate to expand our capacity for 2008. As time went on, we grew concerned that the economy would not allow as many families the opportunity to send their children to Anokijig in 2008. Fortunately, families found a way to make it work and we again experienced record attendance in 2008.

Unfortunately, the economic outlook for 2009 still doesn't look good. Anokijig is still one of the most affordable traditional youth summer camps in the country and with the wide variety of program areas and specialty camping options available, Anokijig has few contemporaries that can offer anywhere near the same amount of activities for a comparable price. We're hoping families continue to appreciate the importance of an experience at Anokijig in the lives of their children.

We're so thankful for all of our wonderful supporters and hope they will continue to help us provide these amazing opportunities for children and families. Many of you have made multi-year pledges and we sincerely thank you for your support and confidence in our mission. We hope we have proven our value and that you will consider renewing your pledges to Anokijig. This is especially important, given the fact that some of our supporters who have made pledge commitments simply cannot fulfill them at this time, due to the economic climate.

The kids that need an Anokijig experience don't know how much the Dow Jones has fallen or what the tax implications of a new administration could mean for them. They just know that Anokijig is a very special place, that they'd miss very much, if they weren't able to come next year.

In the coming weeks, many of you will receive a request for support from Anokijig. We hope you will support our ongoing efforts to serve children and families and thank you very much for your past support and consideration. If you've moved or are not on our mailing list, please visit this link for more information on how you can help Camp Anokijig-

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Newest Addition to the Anokijig Fleet!

Camp Anokijig is the proud owner of a new (to us) 1994 Chevrolet pickup truck. This truck came to us by way of several very generous donors and a very gracious man from Texas. Some of you may remember that Anokijig just added another new (to us) pickup truck to our fleet a few months back and wonder why we need this one?

The answer is simple- Anokijig is an enormous place with a lot of work to be done every day, just to keep things running smoothly. In addition to the 80 seasonal employees who work at Anokijig and the volunteers, who contribute more than 52,000 hours of their time each year, Anokijig also employees nine full-time staff members.

Two of these employees use trucks extensively in their jobs. One is Preston Shoup, who makes sure our buildings and grounds are kept clean and orderly. The other is Scott Stewart, who is our Facilities Director. Between hauling refuse, spare parts, feed, lumber, towing horses and plowing snow, both of these men use trucks extensively. While they make every effort to use our smaller, more fuel-efficient Kubota RTV when possible, many of their tasks require more muscle or space than the Kubota offers.

So why did we get a 1994 Chevrolet pickup? Because Anokijig is committed to green initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint. That sentence may not make sense to a Prius owner, who looks at this truck as a gas-swilling road hog, but looks can be deceiving. Upon closer inspection, one will notice that this truck has a propane tank in the bed, which allows it to operate on a much cleaner-burning fuel source.
Acquiring this truck wouldn't have been possible, without the generous support of several donors, including Twin Disc, Blain's Farm & Fleet, ZBB Energy Corporation and Web-Pro L.P. Gas. We thank them and all of our other wonderful sponsors and donors for the generous support of Camp Anokijig!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Helping Anokijig the Ebay Way

There are many ways to help Anokijig, through the donation of time, talent or treasure. One unique way our supporters can help us is by using the Missionfish program available at Ebay. This program allows Ebay sellers to donate anywhere from 10-100% of their final auction price to Camp Anokijig, with a minimum of $5 per item. If a seller donates 100% of their final sale price, Ebay won't charge them any fees for listing the item! You can learn more about this program at their web site-
Missionfish understands that not all of the people who use Ebay sell items, so they make it easy for buyers to help their favorite causes as well. All items currently listed to benefit Camp Anokijig can be found here-

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thank You Case IH!!!

Camp Anokijig is proud to announce the arrival of a brand-new RBX563, as well as a brand-new DCX131, courtesy of the very generous folks at Case IH.

These beautiful, big, red machines will be put to good use at Anokijig, but what exactly is that use? This equipment attaches to Anokijig's Case tractor, with one being use to cut hay and the other being used to bale it into those huge, round bales that you probably see lined up along the fence lines of farms.

Anokijig uses hay to feed our herd of horses, which now numbers between 50 and 60 strong. The Broken Circle A Ranch has been Anokijig's signature program area for many years and a deciding factor for many of the campers and groups who choose to come to experience the great outdoors at Anokijig. Each year, we farm about 80 acres of land and bale more than 7,750 bales of hay, with the help of countless volunteers, who toil under less than ideal conditions to keep our horses fed.

This is thankless, time-consuming work, which had been done with aging, unreliable equipment. Thanks to Case IH, it has just gotten a whole lot easier. We can't thank Case IH enough, but we also owe a debt of gratitude to the Racine Founders Rotary Club, who helped connect us to the key people at Case IH, making this donation a reality.