Mission and Values

Camp Deerpark is a ministry of the New York City Mennonite Churches – a community of Christ where children, youth, and families from all cultures are welcomed to fellowship together in the serenity of God’s creation.

As an outreach of 18 New York City Mennonite Churches, Camp Deerpark stands alone as a camping ministry owned by and dedicated to serving inner-city Mennonites. The camp offers people of all ages, races, and backgrounds the opportunity to enjoy Christian camping at a reasonable price.

Distinctive to Camp’s program are:

  • Cross-cultural ministry (both in terms of ethnic culture and rural/urban culture)
  • Opportunities for hands-on leadership and ministry experience for inner-city youth
  • Affordable and welcoming retreat facilities

Camp Deerpark Core Values:

  1. Express the Love of Jesus and Biblical Principles
    • To every person that comes on to the camp grounds including summer camp children, weekend retreat guests, individuals on personal retreat, and the garbage truck driver.
    • By having integrity in all business dealings with:
      • Vendors
      • Guest groups
      • Campers and parents
      • Staff and volunteers
      • Donors
      • Neighbors and community
      • Government authority
    • By fostering Christian community
      • We want to be an organization that takes the lead in resolving conflicts, opening communication, and strengthening relationships.


  1. Stay tightly connected to our original mission. Camp Deerpark is owned by the New York City Mennonite Churches and our mission is to serve those churches.
    • We need to make sure that we never take Camp Deerpark in a direction that the owner churches are not ready to go.
    • We need to put our programming resources into programs that benefit all of the churches.
    • An ancillary, yet important result of staying tightly connected to our NYC Mennonite Churches is Camp Deerpark will continue is a bridge between the urban and rural Mennonite Church.


  1. Hospitality is central to our summer camp and retreat ministry.
    • We serve New Yorkers and those who live in the greater New York City metropolitan area. While NYC is made up of a collection of neighborhoods that are often very warm and friendly it can also be a place that is overcrowded and impersonal.  After a hard week of work, fighting traffic home, rushing to church on Friday night, waiting for the folks who encountered even more obstacles, fighting traffic out of the city, and finally arriving at camp an hour or more later than planned; we want our guests to take a deep breath of fresh air, smell freshly brewed coffee, and know that they are in their home in the country.
    • In a world where people are known by their account number we want to be very personal.
    • We do not have a five star facility, but we want to treat every person with a five star attitude.
    • When children arrive for a week of summer camp after a two hour bus ride we want to have cheering staff eagerly anticipating their arrival.
    • We want our staff to be good listeners that encourage our guests and campers to unload their stress.


  1. We are an organization that considers policy in the context of people.
    • Policies are created to ensure that decisions are made to protect the organization and the greatest number of people. However, those policies often make life more difficult for individuals.
    • We want to be very considerate to how our policies affect individuals and find creative ways of meeting the needs of our campers, guests, staff, volunteers, and donors.
    • When we need to enforce policy we want to communicate with compassion and empathy.
    • We never want policies that simply make our lives easier at the expense of people.
    • A policy should never replace an honest and loving conversation.


  1. Be good stewards of the resources God has given us.
    • Approximately 50% of our operating income comes from donations. We don’t ever want to take those contributions for granted
    • Many of our guests make significant financial sacrifices to make their weekend retreat possible. We also don’t ever want to take that sacrifice for granted.
    • We want to continue to use the tool triangle to determine the need for expenditures.
    • We want to continue to make good use of volunteers.
    • We want to be meticulous with maintenance to ensure that our tools, equipment, and buildings are useful as long as possible.
    • We need to be careful that a lack of cash flow does not turn our thinking into a mentality of poverty and result in bad financial decisions.
    • Continue to work towards raising our earned income percentage
    • We want to continue caring for and managing our forest and the 402 acres that we own.
    • We acknowledge that the staff here at Camp Deerpark have and continue to make significant sacrifices to be here. We want to be good stewards of their commitment to this ministry.


Adopted September 28, 2013