Monday, November 14, 2011

Why is Camp Gallagher Not Open for 2012?

This is a question many people have, and we would like to answer. Last year CYO camping was in a hard financial situation. Camp registration numbers had been dropping significantly over recent years, and with it, a drop in revenue. An internal audit was done of the camp services department because it was significantly over budget. It became clear that CYO Camp Services could no longer operate three summer camp sites and have the costs associated with those properties. As a step towards financial stability, Camp Gallagher was mothballed so resources could be focused on the other two camp properties. By closing Camp Gallagher for residential summer programming CYO was able to save a significant amount of money last summer.

This summer we served 1256 campers, while needing 1590 to break even. Even with reducing our costs and changing our pricing structure in most programs, we still fell short by $81,787.24. The camp services department worked hard to bridge this gap, looking at both what needed to be done with the remainder of this fiscal year and how to proceed in the next. To overcome the budget shortfall for this fiscal year, three full time positions were combined into one full time position which will be supported by two new seasonal positions.

When the camp schedule and programming for this summer were being determined we analyzed the ability to open Camp Gallagher for residential camps this summer. We looked at a variety of options for how this could work. We looked at opening it up fully, opening for part of the summer and having Hamilton open part of the summer so as to share one staff, and a variety of other options. None would have been fiscally responsible in the end. Unfortunately CYO will not be able reopen Camp Gallagher until it is a financially viable option. The fiscal health of the entire Camp Services department needs to be solid prior to reopening the property for residential use.

While it is not currently home to a full residential camp, we are currently able to use Camp Gallagher as a Nanamakee launch point and campsite. We can do this because we do not need to open any of the buildings for use by the Nanamakee campers and the staff needs are significantly smaller. We all long for the day when Camp Gallagher will be brimming with campers once again. Until that day, it is currently being maintained by our maintenance department with the help of a site staff member from another Archdiocesan facility that lives close to the property. General maintenance is still happening onsite to ensure that the property is maintained in good working condition.

--The CYO Camp Services Staff

(Shawn, Megan, Sarah and Debbie)


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