At its November meeting, the Conference Board of Trustees approved plans to establish The Wesley Fund through the North Georgia Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries.
The Wesley Fund will go toward financial assistance for children and youth who would otherwise not be able to attend North Georgia Conference Summer Camps. This assistance - called “Camperships” - is also available to those whose families are experiencing short-term financial difficulties.
Made possible by the former Board of Camp Wesley, which dissolved in 2015, the Fund begins with $1.25 million in assets. The Board of Trustees has invested that gift through WesPath, the investment arm of The United Methodist Church. The proceeds from the Nov. 20 sale of property once owned by Camp Wesley will also go in full toward The Wesley Fund investment to provide more camperships.
The mission of Camp Wesley, which operated under the former Wesley Community Centers, Inc., was to provide a residential summer camp experience for disadvantaged children and youth. By enabling the creation of The Wesley Fund, the legacy of Camp Wesley will long be felt in our Conference.
The Fund will be administered by North Georgia Camp and Retreat Ministries, with oversight by the Conference Board of Trustees.
Camperships are not merit awards, and are therefore not scholarships, and are not given as a convenience or reduction of fees. These funds will be offered by the United Methodists of North Georgia so that every child and youth might experience God’s grace through our summer camping programs. The generous gifts of North Georgia United Methodist and Glisson supporters will remain a primary source of campership funds.
Camperships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis as funds are available and will go toward participation in any of the family of summer programming offered by North Georgia Camp and Retreat Ministries – Glisson Camp and Retreat Center, the Experiential Leadership Institute (ELI), Grow Day Camps (site sponsorships), New Resident Camp programs (to begin rollout in 2017), and any future summer camp ministries as they are developed.
Additionally, the Wesley Fund will award a limited number of “Sponsorships” of Grow Day Camp sites to congregations - also based on need. These funds are offered by the United Methodists of North Georgia to congregations who seek to use Grow Day Camps to reach out to children in areas that are underserved.
For more information about North Georgia Conference summer camp programs, visit www.growsomewhere.org.