Three camp directors who are seeing their ministries flourish amid economic devastation shared their stories in an InSite article titled “Secrets to Success” (September/October 2009). One of them was Jeremy Hales from Skyview Ranch in Ohio. One summer he converted a staff laundry position to an eBay sales job. The young staffer was to clear out an old building known on camp as “the place of last resort,” where old junk was sent to rot for decades. She raised over $5,000 by selling the junk on eBay. “So often we just throw it in a building. That building should be used for who we are here to serve—our campers.”
Another example of a camp turning junk into cash is Aldersgate Camps and Retreats in Oregon. Maintenance Director Richard Giles says he has always known there was value in recycling metals, but he didn’t know there is more value if you separate ferrous (containing iron, magnetic) from non-ferrous metals (non-magnetic). In spring of 2009 while cleaning the shop, Richard almost tossed scrap wire into the trash. “I decided to take it to the scrap yard and trade it for cash. I’m so glad I did—over $200 glad,” he says.
Moving forward, Richard hopes to establish recycling standards for the entire camp. “Right now we are in the process of coordinating with a church group to pick-up and recycle cans, bottles and unwanted leftovers to feed the homeless,” Richard says. “Eventually I would like to get the kitchen to compost and place recycle bins throughout the camp.”
Can you share an innovative idea you’ve used for turning your trash to treasure?