By Elizabeth Lizberg, Executive Director —
You may have seen the #tenyearchallenge hashtag floating around social media lately. People are sharing photos and comments on life in 2009 versus 2019. It’s one of many year-end themes your friends, family and even big companies are sharing right now. It’s meant to elicit nostalgia, an appreciation for the time gone by and probably some likes and comments. I’ll play along.
In the past 10 years, Camp Rainbow Gold has grown immensely. In 2009 we hosted a family camp, sibling camp and one week of oncology camp. In 2019, we hosted five camps including two oncology weeks and two family retreats. In 2009, Survivors Supporting Survivors was just starting out as a small group of teens gathering at the office a few times a year. Now, we host 8 events throughout the year for teens in the Treasure Valley to meet, participate in new activities, have fun, and support each other—extending the benefits of camp to a year-round experience.
Ten years ago, our College Scholarship program was in its second year and we awarded 5 scholarships for $25,000. This year, 21 recipients received nearly $50,000. We’ve awarded more than $850,000 in scholarships in total and watched as our scholars grow into the kind, compassionate and driven adults we always knew they would.
NEW DECADE, BIG CHANGES
As we head into a new year, and a new decade, we are standing on the precipice of another incredible time for CRG. Earlier this year, we purchased property to build our permanent home at Hidden Paradise Camp in Fairfield, Idaho. Through a generous pledge from the Nancy and Rich Robbins Family Foundation, the property will be paid in full and our focus has turned immediately to the infrastructure and construction necessary to move CRG camps onto the property in the next few years.
It’s been a year of celebrations, challenges, lessons, hard work and teamwork. This project has been—and will continue to be—a labor of enormous love. We developed a master plan and have kicked-off the initial phase of our capital campaign. We’ve met with some of the most generous and thoughtful businesses, foundations and individuals who are stepping up to join us in building our dream. We are securing the future of Camp Rainbow Gold for generations to come.
WELCOMING NEW BOARD MEMBERS
We’re also excited to kick off the new year with new members and leadership on our Board of Directors. Monica Walker was recently elected to serve as board president with longtime CRG volunteer Tim Tyree as vice-president. Jessie Shaw will continue to serve as treasurer. For the first time in CRG history, a former camper and current volunteer, Carlie Pedersen, has joined our board and stepped into the role of secretary.
We’ve also welcomed new members from Boise, Fairfield and the Wood River Valley who bring a variety of experience and insight as we move into a new era for Camp Rainbow Gold and building Hidden Paradise Camp. I look forward to working alongside this incredible group as new ideas and excitement merge with deep knowledge and years of service to CRG—all dedicated and passionate about sharing our mission throughout Idaho.
BUT SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE
A lot can happen in a decade and I, for one, cannot wait to see what the next 10 years hold for Camp Rainbow Gold. While I’m sure there will be ups and downs, more challenges and lessons, I am also absolutely sure this decade will continue to be full of immense LOVE, HOPE, and FUN and the magic of Camp Rainbow Gold.
When you look at 10, 20 or even 36 years ago, the consistent force behind this organization is our loyal volunteers and donors. Camp Rainbow Gold is here today, serving Idaho’s children diagnosed with cancer and their families, because of the vision of several incredible people and the willingness of many to hold onto that vision and carry it forward.
Thank you for being part of our CRG family and we wish you all the best in the year ahead.