Welcome to Camp Mark Seven


December 2, 2010

*Letter from Dr. Andy Brinks, Executive Director and Charmaine Hlibok, Chair of Mark Seven Deaf Foundation in regards to the program fees:</strong>

Thank you all for your inquiries and sharing your concerns about the sudden jump in tuition fees; we apologize for not explaining this as it was an oversight on our part—we intended to include it with the fees but, in a hurry to post it on the website, it wasn’t. We want to take the opportunity to respond, and justify what brought us to this very difficult decision. Historically, especially in the past few years, CM7 has been operating on a bare bones budget. We tried to get by, even though we increased our tuition only $150 in the last twelve or so years. This past summer several unexpected expenses have put us in a position where we needed to take a hard look at and address our budget to be more fiscally prepared to offset future expenses, especially with our 100+ year old lodge. Furthermore, we factored in your input/feedback on the quality of our services; due to this, this impacted our decision to increase fees. Allow us to explain further.

For those of you who are very familiar with CM7, our vans (1990s) are run down and are in constant need of repair. Two of them need to be replaced. Our payroll, food costs, gas, program supplies, insurance, maintenance, you name it, has continued to rise over the years while tuition fees remained the same. We also provided CM7 scholarships out of this same budget. Significant cuts have been made in all areas especially food and gas, as well as the increase in cost of materials/supplies and labor to maintain the low tuition rates. We cannot continue in this manner—if we do, we will affect the quality of CM7 operations. We have a responsibility to ensure that CM7 continues to provide quality services including ensuring the safety of our campers and staff. CM7 is an accredited Camp with the American Camping Association (ACA), and maintaining this status requires our staff and administration to ensure that our facility and services to all our campers and guests remain top-notch. If you look around and compare our programs to other ACA camps that offer the same services, you will note that our fees are still much lower in comparison.

Again, providing optimal care and quality of programs to our campers is our first and foremost priority, and we need your full support to enable us to continue to do so. CM7 will continue to provide camperships and we encourage those who need it to apply. We hope you will understand and continue to support CM7, so we can continue to provide the best services and programs possible for our CM7 family, which you are all are an important part of! As always, we welcome anyone to help with fundraising projects as we cannot do it alone- it takes a united community to keep CM7 alive and strong!

CM7ly yours,

Andrew Brinks, Executive Director, CM7

Charmaine Hlibok, Chair, Mark Seven Deaf Foundation