Camp Friedenswald is committed to working towards resilience and sustainability. From 2017-2022 our strategic plan was framed by the triple-bottom line of environmental, social, and financial sustainability. As we live into our 2023-25 strategic plan, resilience and sustainability continue to be core to the way Camp Friedenswald operates.
Stay posted for news about Camp’s journey in this area. Let us know if you have ideas or thoughts about steps forward! Email [email protected] for more information or to give your feedback.
1. Environmental Resilience and Sustainability
Produce and Lease Solar Energy
Camp is now producing solar energy! Thanks to generous constituents, Camp installed 180 solar panels on the Dining Hall roof in September of 2019. Camp also leases 80 community solar panels from our local utility, Midwest Energy, which provide clean energy to our staff housing.
View our real-time solar production here.
Compost Food Waste and Napkins
Work to enhance biodiversity, control invasive plant species, and help protect specific endangered species like the Mitchell’s satyr butterfly and the eastern massasauga rattlesnake through ecological restoration projects
Read blog posts about our prairie fen and about our habitat restoration efforts.
Use 100% LED Lighting
The following materials are now being recycled at camp: plastic, cardboard, paper, glass, metal, e-waste, batteries, Styrofoam, plastic films, and toothbrushes/toothpaste tubes/floss containers.
Support Electric Vehicles
- Partner with Corey Lake Orchards and others to serve local produce.
- Reduce trash and unhealthy food consumption by NOT selling candy or drinks at Camp Store during summer camps
- Installed occupancy sensors for lighting in many areas
- Set thermostats to have maximum and minimum temperature settings in all buildings
- Reduce use of motorized transportation on Camp property by using bicycles.
- Installed dark sky lighting for outdoor lighting, which avoids light pollution at night.
- Purchased metal roofs, energy efficient appliances, 100% recycled content indoor and outdoor floor mats, replaceable carpet squares (instead of rolled carpet), and Indiana-made durable furniture for new and newly renovated buildings.
- Purchase 100% recycled napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues and office paper.
2. Social Resilience and Sustainability
A major component of our social goals at Camp is to increase education to both guests and staff on the topic of environmental sustainability. We get really excited about education here, as it can create a ripple effect for positive change in the homes and communities of all our guests.
- We weigh food waste with our youth campers and outdoor education schools to help promote “take what you can eat and eat what you take”.
- We have developed additional programming with the theme of sustainability, including sustainability tours of camp, a class on making cricket cookies, a sustainability camp experience, restoration retreat, and sustainability retreats for congregations.
- Program Statement from program director, Jane Litwiller: “In the fall of 2021, the Program Team made an intentional decision to attempt to strengthen campers’ relationship with God by deepening their understanding of the natural world at Camp. It is widely documented that being in nature can provoke deeply spiritual moments of connection to God, to each other, and the larger world. It’s innate. Humans were made this way on purpose and we too, are part of God’s Creation. Mary Oliver says it nicely when she writes “For me, the door to the woods is the door to the temple.” We’re trying to intentionally live into this reality at Camp in careful ways that foster a love of God and a love of God’s Creation recognizing that it’s inseparable. If we love the Creator, we also need to love, steward, and advocate for Creation.”
In our efforts to work towards social justice, from 2020-2022 Camp:
- Created and integrated a land acknowledgment statement
- Joined the Repair Network of the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition
- Published an inclusion statement for employment at Camp
- Instituted a Camp Board-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force
3. Financial Resilience and Sustainability
Every Camper Comes
We are committed to ensuring that every summer camper who wants to come to Camp Friedenswald can do so, regardless of financial ability. We offer camperships (scholarships) to anyone who has the need for it. If you feel you would benefit from this program, please call us at 269-476-9744 for more details.
We are committed to providing a living wage for staff at Camp, which includes consideration for minimum food, childcare, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities (e.g. clothing, personal care items, etc.) costs. We are happy to say everyone employed at Camp is at or above a living wage as designated for a single person in Cass County, Michigan by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.
In order to provide camperships, living wages, and excellent experiences for all our guests, financial stability and even growth are necessary for Camp to be resilient and sustainable. See our “By the numbers” publications for more on the financial outlook at Camp.