If you weren’t there for the announcement, picture this: hundreds of campers, CITs, families, and staff members were packed into the auditorium for our End of Summer Celebration, a joyful night led by four impressive 15 year-old campers. (Great job Kevin, Emm, Jane, and Seth!) We closed the evening out with the announcement about our new camp home.
Whether you were there or not, we thought you’d enjoy a few key headlines, as well as a flyer with more details.
- In a once-in-a-lifetime act of generosity for Live Oak, Phyllis Taylor has begun constructing a 150-acre camp facility near Columbia, MS. Her investment will have a profound and lasting impact on thousands of young people in the decades ahead, and we are beyond thankful for her belief in Live Oak.
- Live Oak will enter into a long-term lease agreement that makes the site our permanent home. We will continue to operate our model as we have for the last decade, utilizing a balance of tuition and philanthropy to power Live Oak’s work in the summer and throughout the year.
- Domokur & Associates, the country’s leading camp design firm, completed a comprehensive master plan built specifically around Live Oak’s needs, and the project is stunning in scope. As the flyer shows, camp will have a wide range of facilities (e.g. covered basketball court, giant dining hall) and assets (e.g. three lakes) that allow us to continue leading great camp programming with even more resources.
- Importantly, we heard your feedback about cabin improvements, so the new cabins will have multiple sinks, toilets, and showers inside the building. They will also be air-conditioned!
- Lastly, this move provides opportunities to expand our impact in summer 2025, all while staying true to exactly who we are as Live Oak. Check out the flyer to see all the ways we remain the same, while also leaning into four changes to grow our impact and reach.
Based on the reaction in the auditorium last night, we expect that you too are excited about what this means for our future together. You also might have questions, so at our Holiday Potluck in December we will have time to dive in and discuss further. For now, we wanted to share the news with you as soon as we could do so.
As you reflect on the incredible work that our Live Oak community — campers, families, donors, board members, and staff — have done to get to this point nine years after we started, we hope it’s clear that although this represents a game-changing opportunity for Live Oak, we will continue to be the exact same community that you have grown to love.
Thank you for everything, and onward we go-
The Live Oak team