Saturday, June 13, 2020


Just a quick update about GTD's summer plans. Isn't it amazing how fast things changed in just a couple of months! 2020 kicked off with incredible promise. In fact, I was calling it "The New Roaring 20's" (and, in faith, I still am). We had just finished up 2019 with our greatest fundraising event of all time and our 2020 event calendar was almost full with more groups signing up for summer & fall trips. We were unknowingly blessed beyond measure because almost all of our spring retreats were scheduled before the Coronavirus lock-down and we already had April and part of May clear on the calendar for work projects. We brought on a Volunteer Coordinator to help with all the trips and piles of tasks. We were hopeful that the COVID-19 crisis would be in our rear view mirror by mid June. But that wasn't the case. There were (and still are) so many variables and angles to try to adjust to each day. For the past 2 1/2 months it seems like about every 12 hours something significant changes. Unfortunately 7 out of the 9 groups had to cancel their summer events (not to mention the other groups that were nailing down the dates of their trips). All of a sudden it was like 2010 again with The Great Recession. In just a matter of a few weeks we lost over $25,000 of contracted event income as well as projected income. There are several ways to go out of business, but one of the fastest ways is to run out of funds with no reserves or access to outside funding sources. Funds are to any organization what water is to the body. You don't live to drink water, but you can't live without it. Thankfully, by the grace of God, we were in a better position in 2020 than we were in 2010 to absorb a sucker punch to the face. We were coming off of an amazing fundraising banquet, we had some money in reserves, we have the most amazing & generous & faithful donors, we qualified for the PPP, and we've been approved for the EIDL. It's a comprehensive patchwork of various funds & right timing that's enabling us to navigate the 2020 pandemic & economic shutdown. As I watch many businesses close their doors permanently I am very aware of how fortunate we are to be surviving our 3rd national recession in 24 years of ministry. This summer is going to be very different than our original Plan A and past summers. But praise God, we are still in the fight! We are salvaging the summer, preparing for the fall, and planning for 2021 which will happen to be OUR 25th YEAR OF MINISTRY!! How are we doing it? We are rolling with the punches, riding whatever wave comes our way, finding the opportunity in every crisis, and "praying at all times in the Spirit" (Eph 6:18). I'm walking in such a great level of faith & confidence that God has it all under His control... No hurries... No worries.

Here are some of the adjustments we are making:
- Encouraging groups to postpone or adjust instead of cancel
- Shifting our emphasis off of summer and onto fall
- Encouraging local groups that had to cancel their summer adventures with us in TN to consider doing local day camps instead
- Offering up the new vacancies in our summer calendar to other groups that may be looking for a summer Adventure Trip in TN
- Offering social distancing & mitigation options for camp such as individual tents, 6 feet of separation between camp chairs, hand washing stations, maintaining distancing throughout activities such as rock climbing - rappelling - hiking - and waterfall slides, carpooling or driving individually instead of using vans, etc
- Using vacant dates on the calendar to work on needed projects
- Planning out 2021 (I can't wait to share with you where we are going for SLAMMED 2021!)
- Preparing our Ministry Partner "Christmas In July" mail out of gifts and thank you's to our donors.
- Getting caught up on plenty of office work.
- Praying for discernment so that we are in tune with how God is directing our steps

Thank you for praying for GTD and for your faithful support!

This is a little cheesie, but I was working on our "game-plan summary" for surviving the economic impact related to COVID-19. The first 2 words of the first 2 priorities each started with the letters "S" & "F" sooooooooo I rolled with it and made every priority start with the same 2 letters. I had to stretch a little to make them all work (haha), but here it is. You can call it GTD's [S][F] COVID-19 game-plan.



1) [S]EEK [F]IRST (The Kingdom of God & His Righteousness)
2) [S]ECURE [F]UNDS (Event Revenues, Contributions, Grants, PPP, EIDL)
3) [S]TAY [F]OCUSED & [S]TAY [F]LEXIBLE (Don't get distracted by all the "news" while at the same time remaining open to new opportunities)
   3a) [S]ECOND [F]AVORITES (Adjust to the situation. We can't do your first choice, but how about these alternatives)
   3b) [S]CAN [F]ALL-BACKS (Plan A isn't working out so how about Plan B? C? D? E?)
   3c) [S]URF [F]LIPSIDES (Surf the new wave coming your way. Consider leaning into the open summer schedule for getting other projects done and developing more local day trips)
4) [S]ELECT [F]OOTPATH (By prayer, wisdom, & discernment pick the best path that remains available)
5) [S]TUMBLE [F]ORWARD (This is unprecedented. It won't be perfect so learn from each stumble as you advance your position)
6) [S]ERVE [F]ELLOWMAN (The main objective of all your efforts is to serve others in Jesus name)