An Oswegatchie Christmas!
As we head into the Christmas Season, THANK YOU for all the success we have had at Oswegatchie!
As a culture, as a tribe, as a nation, the Oswegatchie community has been tremendously supportive in all our efforts!
The 2013 short list includes:
Many of you remember the depressing days of fiscal and physical ruin Oswegatchie experienced in the past. It has been your contributions that ended those days. Now we move further into a promising future!
The Season of Giving!
As we enter the Christmas season, we would like to share with you our list of needs we have organized.
We are prioritizing 3 specific wood working tools needed for projects in Sutliff. These 3 items range from $300 to $400, and can be picked up by us at Home Depot. Without adding extra pressure on these donations, this is ideal for a chapter or small organization interested in making a charitable purchase.
Our Other Lists…
Foster Lodge Update – a good read!
Our Wish List – filled with the miscellaneous…
Our Funding Priority List – filled with the small and progressing to the BIG!
Thank you once again, and we look forward to seeing you back at Oswegatchie!
Oswegatchie Educational Center
Croghan, NY 13327
Have You Heard about Foster Lodge?
A New Building?
We have been quietly working on a major addition to Oswegatchie for the past 3 years. Since May 1st, 2013 a tremendous amount of construction has occurred in the heart of Oswegatchie. If you are used to staying in Sutliff and wished for a better way to experience Oswegatchie ,Foster Lodge is the place for you.
Foster Lodge is a 34 x 60 wood frame structure built on a floating slab. This building will serve a dual purpose. During thesummer camp season it will operate as an infirmary. The remainder of the year, it will be the second year round guest lodge that can host groups of 24 or less. It is the first year round structure at Oswegatchie to meet all ADA standards, making it barrier free for those with disabilities. The building has four bedrooms, two common spaces, and a kitchen area for food preparation and service. It also includes a ground level patio, and a deck on each end of the second floor.
Click here to check our support page on www.oswegatchie.org.
The Quiet Stage
In the fundraising world, whenever a major capitol project is begun, a percentage of the project is done in a quiet stage. Meaning, if you need to raise money, you have to raise at least 50% of the funds on a person to person level. Then when the end of the project comes into sight, you can go public and solicit funds from the masses. The reason for this is that people are more likely to donate once they see the progress in action.
The majority of the Foster Lodge has happened in a "Quiet Stage". Before September 2013, the only people who knew this project was happening were donors or people who had been to Oswegatchie.
The Foster Lodge began as a grant writing initiative with several NY FFA Chapters partnering with the NY FFA Foundation. Part of each chapter's grant budget included management fees/stipends. Each FFA Advisor from their school agreed to donate their management stipend to the FFA Foundation as seed money to bring this project to reality. The chapters taking part in this project that have committed management stipends included the following:
Alexandria Bay FFA Prattsburgh FFA
Beaver River FFA Sidney FFA
Cayuga Onondaga BOCES FFA South Jefferson FFA
Lowville FFA South Lewis FFA
Otselic Valley FFA TST New Visions FFA
Oxford FFA Unadilla Valley FFA
Pioneer FFA Walton FFA
Total funds generated from these fees over the past four years equate to over $100,000.
Major Gifts have also been received from the following donors:
The Daryle & Sharon Foster Family- Lead Donor $50,000
Dr. Arthur Berkey $35,000
Bruce and Kathleen Erath-in honor of Dick and Audrey Strangeway- $10,000
Mrs. Victoria Gregory $6,500
Retired Agricultural Educators of NY $3,560
In Memory of Robert Fritz $2,500
Sidney FFA Alumni Chapter $2,500
There remain three ways to contribute to this project.
1. A gift in honor of Richard and Audrey Strangeway
The Owls Nest, which is the name reserved for the second floor of Foster Lodge, has received a matching gift opportunity for up to $10,000 from Bruce & Kathleen Erath. This donation is being made in honor of Richard and Audrey Strangeway. We are currently seeking financial support from those who wish to make a gift in honor of Richard and Audrey. Those who give a contribution to this cause will have their name inscribed on the plaque dedicating the room. The best part, your contribution will be matched. The goal is to raise $20,000.
The Owls Nest will be a multi-purpose space. One third of the floor will be reserved for sleeping accommodations for up to 8 persons. The other two thirds will be a common space for those renting the Foster Lodge. This space will have the capacity to host meetings, chapter officer retreats, and serve as much needed program space for both summer and year round users of Oswegatchie. The second floor will be highlighted by a deck that will overlook Long Pond.
2. Earmark Donor
The other way the individuals and FFA Chapters can get involved is by giving an earmarked donation of money to help us outfit the building. You will be able to go to the Oswegatchie website to see a complete list of the items we still need to buy and the amount required to buy them. Refer to the list and let us know if you want to make a general contribution or if you would like to earmark funds for a specific item. This is a great way for all of our chapters and supporters to get involved in bringing this project to completion.
All contributions made to the completion of Foster Lodge will be recognized on a plaque which will hang in the building. We will also acknowledge each donor with a letter of thanks and tax receipt for tax purposes.
3. Weekend Warriors needed
In an effort to complete this project within our budget, we are still seeking volunteers to come up on the weekends to assist in a variety of final tasks. We are accepting volunteers any weekends through the fall. Call the Oswegatchie staff and let us know what skill you can bring to camp to help us finish this project.
Click here to check our support page on www.oswegatchie.org
The goal for opening Foster Lodge is January 1st, 2014. After that date, the lodge will be rented on a per night basis. The addition of this building will allow us to host more than 1 group on site during the winter time or for our extra large groups to spread out into two buildings. With its kitchen and two common spaces, groups should find a comfortable arrangement in the building. We can not wait to see our FFA Advisors and chaperones sitting on the front deck while students are heading out for experiences with Oswegatchie staff!
Economic Development from a Summer Camp?
The Oswegatchie Educational Center is a state wide destination.
Why would hundreds of students from Syracuse University travel to Croghan, NY to spend their weekends? It’s for the Oswegatchie Educational Center! Long known as the “FFA Camp”, Oswegatchie is set on the shores of Long Pond and has been hosting retreat groups from all over New York. Syracuse University has found Oswegatchie to be the perfect combination of lodging, meals, and educational programs, without the modern day distractions of wifi and cell phones. Syracuse University is an example of the new wave of business that has been filling the property for several weekends each year. Additionally, Clarkson University, Hamilton College, and Cornell University all make annual pilgrimages to Croghan NY to retreat at Oswegatchie.
On 1200 acres, 4 large ponds, and 2 miles inside the Adirondack “Blue Line”, the Oswegatchie Educational Center’s location is both beautiful and refreshing. This summer camp and educational retreat center is in the northeast corner of Lewis County inside the Croghan Township. Its 4 full time staff members live on site and work throughout the year. Oswegatchie is owned and operated by the New York FFA Foundation.
Long term development at Oswegatchie has been steady and pragmatic over the years. Starting with the long anticipated addition of a state of the art shower facility in 2008 and continuing this past year with the addition of a new maintenance building, Oswegatchie has found ways to reinvest in itself without acquiring major debt.
In the past 10 years, major donors have stepped forward to make things happen. Charitable IRA rollovers and Estate planning has allowed large gifts to find their way to Long Pond. More important, Oswegatchie has opened its doors to sponsorships and naming rights for new structures. For 2013, the ground is being broken on a new lodge / infirmary. Naming rights on the structure have started at $50,000.
Oswegatchie is now at a tipping point, and needs the right mix of continued customer support, financial contributions, and collaboration with the industrious people of Lewis County. Our current customer base is very loyal and provides invaluable word of mouth promotion. This has been the cornerstone of our growth. However a little known fact is that 95% of our customers travel from outside of the county to participate in our programs. This presents a great opportunity for economic development for many Lewis County businesses. Many of our customers stop at one of many restaurants, purchase fuel, supplies, and even ice cream cones. Croghan has benefitted greatly from hungry people wanting ice cream, chocolates, and bologna! Lewis County maple syrup is also a valued commodity. Not only is it the best syrup, it is also priced right.
We invite Lewis County residents and businesses to consider planning a retreat at Oswegatchie. Whether for a weekend family reunion, or a staff retreat for your employees, we can plan an event that is unique and unforgettable.
Summer Leadership Camp for youth ages 11 and up continues to be our most popular program. In 2012, the summer program (www.oswegatchiecamp.com ) hit another record attendance with 768 campers during 5 weeks of camp. The Oswegatchie program is packed full of high level programs, including water sports, horseback riding, Zip Lines, climbing towers, and so much more. Summer camp tuition is all inclusive and very affordable. Lewis County youth are encouraged to talk to their FFA Advisor about how they can become a part of the Oswegatchie experience. If your school does not have an FFA Chapter you can visit us individually.
Oswegatchie’s annual AdironDUCK Race (www.adironduckrace.com) has become a fixture in the Lewis County calendar of events not to be missed. With the addition of a new flock in 2012, the opportunity to participate in this event is greater than ever. In 2012 1,700 people attended and enjoyed great food, free entertainment, and beautiful spring weather. We would appreciate your presence on Sunday April 28, 2013 for the 19th Annual Oswegatchie AdironDuck Race.
To learn more about Oswegatchie, go to www.oswegatchie.org. We can be reached by phone at 315-346-1222. We look forward to furthering the discussion about how Oswegatchie can be a big part of the future Lewis County.
This article will run in the Lowville Journal and Republican "Progress Edition" in February 2013.
Here is a quick plug for Oswegatchie's short promo video used to promote maple sugaring education and syrup production.
We have had a tremendous amount of progress with our sugaring operation the past 2 years. Oswegatchie's resident sugar-maker, Jamie Thibodeau has led the charge in making expansions of sugar lines, partnering with local producers, and acquiring new equipment like a new evaporator and a vacuum system.
Click here to learn more our maple education programs offered every March and April!
Thank you to all of the individuals and entities that have provided donations, sweat equity, and grant writing to make our maple improvements possible.
On Behalf of Todd Lighthall,
Oswegatchie Program Director
Send a Kid to Camp!
The Oswegatchie FFA Camp has been a vital part of the New York FFA experience since 1946. Creating an opportunity for FFA members to get away from home, school, and the farm to "recreate" who they are has been an important developmental milestone for countless teens. The chance to socialize with new people has also be powerfully important. Originally, this was to get kids of the farm, but within the 21st century, socializing in person has become increasingly important.
Now a days there seems to be plenty of ways for youth to earn their way to camp. Some schools have grants or fundraisers. Some students have parents with more means. Certain FFA chapters use reward systems to help youth pay their way to camp. However, there are always those FFA members in-between the proverbial "rock and hard place'.
If you are interested in helping a student get to camp, follow this link "Send a Kid to Camp", and read the synopsis. In short, you can earmark a donation for summer camp, where you want it to go, and any other criteria you require. If you want to do a partial sponsorship, the opportunity is there as well.
We thank you for any contributions made. It is with your assistance that the New York FFA Foundation can do its est work, Investing in tomorrow's youth!
The New York FFA Foundation
The NYSFFALTF, Inc., chartered in 1946 by the New York State Board of Regents, is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that provides businesses, associations, other foundations, and individuals the opportunity to contribute to the growth and success of our New York youth. Our mission is to build and maintain a financial base that will allow the New York FFA to generate well-educated and career focused productive citizens. Email our Director at email@example.com .