Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Consider Investing

Maurice, a sophomore at Notre Dame University, leads young DinoMights on the "Slip-N-Slide" at Silver Birch Ranch

Consider this: if a 20 year-old was to invest $40,000 over the course of 20 years, and let it grow at a yearly rate of 10% until age 65, that investment would grow to $1,007,805! Think about that, invest $40,000 and end up with a million as long as you hang in there long-term.

DinoMights was founded on a similar principle; that long-term relationships between youth and positive caring adults pays big dividends. So, as I was considering the costs of summer programming, the thought occurred to me, “What is a DinoMights summer worth in terms of an investment? What long-term rewards are there, if we hang in there over time?”

Up front we are going to invest about $15,000 in summer programming for 2010. Practically, it pays for things like transportation and fees to Kids Across America and Silver Birch Ranch; ice time for two hockey camps; materials for Academic Power Camp; and printing costs for our yearly publication, the Dino Update. However, when we look at the summer with a long-term perspective we envision a huge payoff.

Consider how valuable it is to invest in DinoMights summer hockey camps. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE 2006) reported that 18-25 year-olds that participated in sports during their youth, “were more likely than non-participants to be engaged in regular volunteering, registering to vote, feeling comfortable speaking in a public setting, and watching news . . . more closely.”

Consider how valuable it is to invest in DinoMights summer Academic Power Camp. 85% of DinoMights graduate from High School compared to 55% from Minneapolis Public Schools (MN. Dept. of Education 2005). That is particularly powerful when one considers the impact of high school drop outs on all of us. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education (2009), “Dropouts from the Class of 2008 alone will cost the nation more than $319 billion in lost wages over the course of their lifetimes.”

Kissely age 7 and Faith age 9 play word games at Power Camp

Consider how valuable it is to invest in the social side of DinoMights’ camping experiences. The trips to KAA in Missouri and Silver Birch Ranch in Wisconsin are the memories that DinoMights never forget. The bonds forged traveling in busses and vans over the summer become unbreakable. Grown up DinoMights stay in touch on Facebook, live as roommates, and stand up in each other’s weddings!

Consider how valuable it is to invest in the spiritual lessons learned at camp. There is no price tag on young, mostly low income kids from the Phillips, Powderhorn and Central Neighborhoods knowing that there is a God that loves them unconditionally, who will never leave them or forsake them. Jesus paid a price with his death on the cross, but truly it was an investment that would keep paying off forever. 2000 years ago someone was dying, for a group of hockey playing inner-city kids that hadn’t even been born, so that they could have life to the fullest. (John 10:10)

When we really consider it, our investment does go a long way! Please consider investing in urban youth by sending a special gift to support Camp Scholarships. Please tune in over the next few days to hear about how you can invest in the lives of DinoMights attending camp.

Joeny, age 16 leads creative activities in her cabin with younger DinoMights at Silver Birch Ranch

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