Annual General Report 2020
Even more so than most years, 2020 has been
a Dickensian year around the Bible Camp: “It
was the best of times, it was the worst of times,”
Dickens wrote, referring, if I am not mistaken,
to the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year at Crow. Dickens
had unusual foresight, because the months of
October 2019 to February 2020 were terriﬁc,
really, the best of times - ﬁnancially speaking.
Thereafter came the worst of times.
Camp’s ﬁnances have always reminded me of
Tiny Tim from Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Like
Tiny Tim, Crow’s ﬁnances are… not robust; perhaps
even fragile. Like Tiny Tim, Crow’s ﬁnances limp
gamely on, with a cherubic smile, even in difﬁcult
circumstances. Like Tiny Tim, Crow’s ﬁnances
are a symbol and witness to the importance of
choices, and how those choices really do matter.
Like Tiny Tim, Crow’s ﬁnances are known for the
signature catch-phrase: “God bless us, every one!”
The Best of Times: we could not have chosen
a better summer for a massive disruption.
Daniel was off on a planned sabbatical. Vitae
Environmental Construction installed a new
playing ﬁeld, which would have surely been
endangered by hundreds of eager feet in a
standard camp season. Randy had a knee
replacement in September. Due to a government
regulatory decision, Crow has been without
a source of drinking water since October
2019, which was difﬁcult even with a reduced
occupancy, but would have been very, very
disruptive otherwise. These small stories felt
providential to us, in the midst of a summer that
was painful for so many, and for so many reasons.
The Worst of Times: Since March, compared
with 2019, monthly revenue has been markedly,
even dramatically, lower. (You can see the Draft
Finance Statement at https://www.crowcamp.ca/
or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a
more detailed look at the numbers) We’re
seeing a decline of more than 60% year-over-
year, including the substantial contraction of our
rental business, compounded by a reduction in
charitable giving. It may be that some folks do
not have it to give this year. And, of course, fewer
donations is precisely what you would expect,
after a camp season where we saw so many
fewer children: many parents give us a cheque
when they drop their kids off, and this year, there
were simply not as many drop-offs. We also didn’t
sell nearly as many camp mugs, or hoodies, or
t-shirts, and this is a place where every dollar
counts. Like Tiny Tim and the rest of the Cratchits,
we do not have much set aside to help us
weather a lean season (though we always have a
bite of beef on hand, even in the darkest days).
Even in this decline, we see God’s provision.
Thus far, we’ve been buoyed up by the Federal
Government’s Canadian Emergency Wage
Subsidy (CEWS) program. A large portion of
Crow’s salary costs (up to 75%) are covered for
businesses that can demonstrate a reduction in
revenue - and boy howdy, if a revenue reduction
is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right
place! CEWS payments are scheduled to taper
off over the coming months; for now, we are still
stoutly crutching along, a determined Tiny Tim.
Crow is used to this kind of pressure; we’re used
to being ‘up against it‘ from time to time. I’ve
even heard it said - by a Chartered Professional
Accountant, no less - that perhaps Crowsnest
Lake Bible Camp will always face a shortfall,
regardless of how much revenue we generate,
and regardless of how carefully we set the
budget. It seems irresponsible, but perhaps there
is something to it: after all, you are called - as I am
- to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do
not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs
This is Crow’s occupation, too. And as we trust,
we do see God’s continuing provision, even in this
distressing and difﬁcult time.
David Graham, on behalf of the Finance
Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes ﬂesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
~ Jeremiah 17:5-8
Finance Committee Report 2020