ALL-HANDS-IN-$400K pledges surpassed the $400K goal on June 2, 2022. A huge thank you to everyone who fundraised or donated to this effort.
This officially concludes the Dining Hall Blitz.
As the Board of Directors work toward an affordable new dining hall solution, fundraising is still encouraged and appreciated.
To make a donation, please go to the SUPPORT link above and select DONATE. Thank you!
Dining Hall Update July, 2022:
Our 12-month Dining Hall Fundraising Blitz ended on June 1. And while we celebrate that the All-Hands-In-$400K goal has been reached and pledges toward a bank loan were well underway, our plans have had to change. Please see the letter below from the camp Board of Directors and the “Dining Hall Dinner Bell” words of encouragement from Board President, Tim Nowlin.
From the Board… The board of directors would like to thank everyone for their support of NWOCYC as we have undertaken the largest fundraising effort in the camp’s history. In October of 2021 we began a design-and-build agreement with an estimated cost of $909,955. After receiving the bid, the current economic factors outside of our design partner’s control have driven the estimated cost to $2,555,000. As a result, it is cost-prohibitive to proceed with construction this year. We will not be able to proceed unless the costs return to a reasonable range. In the interest of due diligence, we are going to engage professionals to research the feasibility of restoring the current dining hall and converting it into a year-round facility, while we continue to raise funds and monitor the economic situation, as new construction is still an option. It remains the mission and intent of the board to trust God’s provision for a year-round dining hall facility that will serve the camp and the Lord’s Kingdom for generations to come. – The NWOCYC Board of Directors
Dining Hall Dinner Bell – From 8 years old upward, the ringing of the dinner bell at camp was a celebratory sound! Whether it was breakfast, lunch, or supper, that sound sent the message of a feast. Campers, including myself, would come running to jump in line and begin the traditional marching in song, “When the Roll is Called up Yonder…” It took years before I figured out that all of us being from “sin set free” was not a location on some ancient map. Thanks to great teachers, I grew to understand that Christians are set free from sin because we feast upon Jesus! Jesus spoke of Himself in John 6 as the “Bread of Life.” He taught that we must feast upon Him spiritually. This caused many to quit following Him because they couldn’t understand. Their faith was too weak to follow Him if their head couldn’t understand. They trusted more in their own thoughts and opinions than Jesus who fed multitudes with a few fish and loaves.
NWOCYC is now hearing the dinner bell ringing! No, I’m not referring to the literal bell at camp. I’m referring to the call of Jesus to follow Him in faith. All of us were surprised when the bid for the new dining hall came back two and a half times higher than what we were told only 7 months earlier. We expected higher, but not that stratosphere. So, now we are continuing further research as to which direction the Lord will lead us. Perhaps the economy will bring prices way down. Who knows? Or, perhaps we will discover we can restore and convert the current dining hall into a year-round facility and meet the needs of the next generation without such a financial burden. We don’t know what will come, so we are giving due diligence to research. No rush decisions will be made. Not knowing is our opportunity to walk by faith. Faith only exists in the unknown. So, the feasting bell is ringing for us! Let us accept the journey of faith and keep moving forward until the Lord reveals His will to us. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, donations, and encouragement. We will be like those in John 6 who agreed with Peter when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”
– tim nowlin
New Dining Hall Case Statement
For nearly 53 years, Northwestern Ohio Christian Youth Camp has been a “SAFE HOUSE” for souls seeking to meet or grow closer to the Father, practice independence, find belonging, and become leaders. Today more than ever, our faith communities need a haven of opportunity for children and families to focus on their walk with Christ. Our goal for NWOCYC is to be a year-round facility to serve as that refuge for children, adults, and families to create Christian relationships, develop leadership skills, and grow their faith. NWOCYC currently serves approximately 400 campers with 200 staff over 5 to 6 camp weeks per summer.
The focus of Dining Hall fundraising is to support the urgent need to replace the existing Dining Hall and in doing so provide year-round functionality. Other future improvements are planned such as two heated housing units to further the camp’s year-round capacity.
While the spiritual health of the camp has remained strong and the financial health is adequate to maintain the current status of the buildings and grounds, funds for capital improvements are desperately needed. The entire camp is aging and while many areas have seen improvements, numerous other areas still need repairs and upgrades. We are feeling the burden of responsibility to pass a safe and functional (not fancy) camp to our children, grandchildren and future generations. This cannot become a reality without investing in a new Dining Hall, and having a mindset of continuous improvement.
Our Purpose and Vision – Refuge and Haven
Our Purpose is to Provide…
• Refuge From The Everyday World
• Reflection On The Will and Word Of God
• Relationships That Are Loving, Encouraging and Supportive
• Recreation That Encourages A Merry Heart and a Healthy Body
• Renewal Of Hope Through Jesus Christ
Our Vision is to maintain the beauty of the surroundings and structurally sound, safe, and functional buildings, while transforming our “summertime” camp into a year-round facility to be used to glorify God and share His love.
What We Do – Create Godly Connections
Northwestern Ohio Christian Youth Camp hosts 5 to 6 weeks of camp impacting hundreds of souls each summer. Campers range in age from 7 to 20. Each week is led by a director with staff filling roles of cabin counselors, nurses, cooks, handy-men, teachers, etc. All roles of leadership and camp-week staff volunteer their time and talents in service to the Lord. The camp is governed by a Board of Directors representing Churches of Christ throughout Northwest Ohio.
The director of each week of camp leads the campers and staff through a week of community living, continual focus on the Christian life away from worldly influences, and fun. Camp activities each week include daily Bible lessons, multiple daily devotionals, planned group activities, exercise, recreation, and congregate meals. The rustic cabins provide for age-group accommodations and small group connections.
Our History – God Has Blessed Us
In 1968, a group of concerned Christians founded Northwestern Ohio Christian Youth Camp. Fergus Lloyd first dreamed of a camp to minister to Christian youth and families, and inspired others to follow this dream. A camp board was formed and the camp began in rented facilities on Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio. In the spring of 1979, the Board of Directors purchased a well-developed campground on the Sandusky River three miles east of McCutchenville, Ohio. With much hard work, the new campsite was made usable for the 1979 session and four weeks were enjoyed at what is now the home of NWOCYC.
Over the years, many new cabins have been constructed, both the boy’s and girl’s shower houses replaced, a modern septic/sewer system installed, fire circle bleachers replaced, new electrical wiring installed, bridges and stairs replaced, and numerous other improvements to keep the camp functional and safe. Currently, the NWOCYC property contains 14 sleeping cabins, a chapel, an amphitheater, an Olympic sized swimming pool, basketball courts, a fire circle, a recreation field, Sandusky River, a dining hall, a recreation room, a nurses station, a canteen, an arts and crafts building, and housing for directors and cooks.
Thanks to the past and present camp pioneers – Northwestern Ohio Christian Youth Camp is strong and touches the lives of not just today’s youth and their families, but today’s adults who have the privilege of going as staff. So many consider their camp experience to truly be the highest privilege of their life. As far as spiritual growth and opportunities, camp is alive and well. As far as joyful fun and a place for struggling mis-fit kids and adults to gather, the camp is thriving. When campers and guests pass through the camp gate they can relax and feel the complete love and acceptance of God and fellow campers just as they are.
We love and identify with our camp’s humble beginnings. We strive to focus on God, people, relationships and experiences rather than fancy facilities and over-the-top lures. This approach actually sets us apart in the world of modern youth camps. Back-to-the-basics is a refreshing and novel approach.
With a strong focus on evangelism and missions, we are the only Church of Christ camp in Northwest Ohio.
Generational Impact – Evangelizing
Every camper or staff comes to camp each year with their own story representing Christian families, strong and happy families, broken families, and struggling families. All campers come to NWOCYC to escape unGodly influences and difficult situations, to make strong friendships, and to experience acceptance and the love of Jesus.
Strong Bible basics are taught each day at camp stirring a deep connection to Christ. Most weeks of camp have multiple baptisms of young souls, followed by more baptisms that happen shortly after camp at home congregations. These teachings have a life-long impact on the souls they reach.
Long after retiring from many years of directing a week each summer at NWOCYC, one director tells of a stranger sharing with him that his wife was baptized at camp during one of his weeks. She later brought him to Christ and now they are raising their children in the church.
Another married couple first met at camp as teenagers in 1981. Both their families had the same brokenness, abusive alcoholic fathers who didn’t know God and didn’t know how to love. Their mothers tried to live by faith but were handicapped with the sorrows of dysfunction. They found each other at camp, grew their love for Christ, and now have four christian daughters and sons-in-law. The cycle of brokenness, alcoholism, and abuse was broken in their family by the Lord, and God used NWOCYC to make it happen.
These types of stories are repeated through God’s grace across every week of camp.
Why a New Dining Hall – Immediate Need
The current Dining Hall was built in 1940 and is now 82 years old. In its time it has served as a dining hall, classroom, and game room for young people as they came to NWOCYC to learn more about God. Despite valiant efforts from many volunteers over the years, each year many costly repairs are required to make the Dining Hall ready for the camp season.
Replacing the old dining hall is an urgent need for many reasons:
- Safety: Shelter/Basement. Currently, during inclement weather we utilize our bath houses but it would be best if we have a place below ground for all campers and staff to gather during inclement weather.
- Kitchen Facilities. Imagine trying to cook for 200 people in your kitchen at home. Our cooks have been doing that now for decades. The current facilities were not built to handle the number of people who attend NWOCYC and we need a commercial kitchen to better provide meals for our campers.
- Kitchen infrastructure and equipment need replaced. The food cooler, freezer, industrial pizza oven, restaurant-grade dishwasher, and gas stove and double oven have all aged along with the kitchen structure. Each appliance needs replaced with new, conventional units.
- Health Regulations. Just like any restaurant we have to pass regular health inspections. And those regulations are written for modern kitchens and not for 82 year old kitchens. With each year our staff has to work harder and harder to maintain the kitchen facilities to keep in compliance with all rules and regulations.
- Multi-purpose building. The dining area, basement, and large porch will provide many opportunities for comfortable fellowship and Bible study.
- Expanding months of usage. The current dining hall has no air conditioning and only inefficient wood fireplace heating. A new dining hall allows for use year-round.
The camp Board has taken a very frugal approach, pursuing the best value option for the new building, while assuring a modern, quality construction and kitchen infrastructure. June 2022 construction quote has led the Board to also initiate an engineering study regarding possible renovation and upgrades to the existing dining hall.
A New Dining Hall will undoubtedly better our ability to minister to young people. This would give NWOCYC not only a modern dining facility but will allow us to use the camp year-round in our pursuit of impacting the Church in Northwest Ohio and beyond. We are thankful that God continues to shower his abundant grace upon us as we labor for these young people.
Since its inception more than 53 years ago, NWOCYC has always been driven by a sense of inclusion and family. We need you to become part of our Camp family, and partner with us to complete the new Dining Hall. With your support, we will continue to serve thousands of additional children, adults, and families every year.
Ways To Support
- Host fundraising events in your hometown
- Donate through our new system at the top menu of this website, SUPPORT then DONATE. You can do automatic monthly donations as well as a one-time gift.
- Mail a check made payable to NWOCYC to NWOCYC, 2905 Starr Ave. Oregon, OH 43616
- Estate plans – contact Tim Nowlin, President of the Board, firstname.lastname@example.org or 567.274.8695
- Securities gifting – contact Jeff Endicott at email@example.com or 567.208.7353
If you would like to know more about this project, feel free to contact Jeff Endicott at 567-208-7353.