2018 Community Report
An Exceptional 91-year History

Established in 1927, this past year marked the 91th anniversary of Camp Sylvester and the 72st year working under the guidance of Stanislaus County Farm Bureau.

Enhance Service Mission

A persistence and focused planning effort to support community needs lead to a record breaking year in 2017 (as charted below). Camp hosted program participation and facility operating resource funds exceeded targeted goals. Current operating methodology and planning has proven a worthwhile endeavor and should continue to place Camp in a strong position for a long-term and successful future. Camp Sylvester’s unique operating model has permitted Camp to continue providing low barrier access to quality facilities for hosting youth, university, family, lifestyle programming and special events.   

As Camp participation growth continues, Camp Management has categorized the following priority groups to help ensure that opportunities provided best match with Camp’s primary service mission to support youth and community enrichment first.

Priority One-(1):
  • Youth Development Programs
  • University and Educational Programs
  • Religious Programs
Priority Two-(2):
  • Lifestyle Enrichment
  • Family Retreats
Priority Three-(3):
  • Wedding and Anniversary Celebrations
  • Business Events 
Growing Attendance

Reservations and program participation is climbing. Camp continued to experience strong growth in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The climb in reservation requests is due in part to an improved economy, quality of facilities and marketing strategy. Camp management is anticipating an estimated 12,250 camper night beds to be occupied in the coming year.

Capital investments

Camp Sylvester Management and volunteers are working diligently to complete new capital investments throughout the facility. Capital projects completed have provided Camp new opportunity to attract new youth and family guests groups. Camp Management has additionally pursued opportunities to increase operating efficiency and reduce long-term maintenance costs.

Project Highlights:
  • Re-opening / restoration of Dogwood Cabin
  • Electrical, heating, flooring upgrades at Restroom Buildings
  • New lighting, tables and furnishing at Deboer Hall
  • Replacement Camp tractor and snow removal equipment
  • New flooring installation at Aspen, Hemlock, Pinecone Cabins
  • Fire / CO2 alarm and protection upgrades
  • New doorway installations at (7) buildings
  • New exterior lighting at Chance Hall
  • New website CampSylvester.org
  • Roadway, trail, signage and exterior lighting improvements
Chance Hall Refinance

Camp Management is pleased to announce the completed refinance of the Chance Hall construction loan with a special acknowledgement to Donny Rocha and Farms & Merchants Bank for their assistance. Completing the refinance of Chance Hall is a significant milestone achieved which was necessary to sustain Camp’s long-term operation goal. The refinance reduces financial stress and allows Camp management to focus more resources on completing safety and efficiency improvements throughout the facility.

Balanced Funding Distribution

As Camp Management looks ahead, Camp expects facility maintenance shares will hold steady through 2022. Interest Expenses will sharply decline in 2018 with the completed Chance Hall refinance. Camp has seen a significant increase in water and sewer fees the past two years. However, collective utility costs have seen a healthy decline due to various efficiency improvements, even with a strong increase in facility use. In late 2017, Camp Management began installation of ultra high efficient faucets and fixtures in various buildings around Camp.

Digital Media

Explore the new CampSylvester.org website and check out the new look and online resources for camp program planning and outreach. Additionally, the new website is now mobile friendly, perfect for accessing via mobile devices and tablets.

Camp Apparel

The new 2018 Camp Apparel has arrived and available at the Camp Sylvester ‘Gearshop Marketplace’ and online via Camp Sylvester’s Facebook Page ‘Shop’. New styles arriving seasonally.

Special Acknowledgments
  • Dave Bradley
  • Dodge Ridge Wintersports
  • Donny Rocha
  • Kenny Peterson
  • Matthew Avila
  • Ron Peterson
  • Tim Sanders
  • Tom Ulm
  • Victor Johnson
  • Yvonne Walton
  • Wayne Zipser
  • Farmers & Merchants Bank
  • Turlock Exchange Club
Join the Cause!

Camp Sylvester is seeking individuals to join the cause and become part of the Camp Sylvester service mission. Committee members meet monthly to review Camp goals, projects, progress, concerns and achievements as it relates to facility operations and opportunities.

Contact Camp Sylvester at (209) 965-3172 to join or pledge your support today!

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