Fundraising Letter

Dear Friend,

Alison and I are embarking on an adventure of a life-time this spring. Starting in April 2012, and for the following 6 months, we will be hiking the Appalachian Trail. The trail starts at Springer Mountain in Georgia and continues 2,170+ miles to Mount Katahdin in Maine. You may call us crazy, but we see this as an amazing adventure what will undoubtedly shape our lives. We look forward to meeting people, not being ‘plugged in’ and growing closer to each other and to Christ. We invite you to follow our journey on our blog:

It has been a dream of mine to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail for a while, and Alison has consented to come along for the ride. J As we started making plans we decided to do this as a fundraiser for Swan Lake Christian Camp. We wanted to make this trip about something bigger than the two of us.

Swan Lake holds camps for kids ages 4-18 during the summer and hosts adult and youth retreats throughout the year. You can find out more information at their website:

SLCC has made a profound impact on countless lives, including our own. Both of us have been involved in Swan Lake nearly all of our lives. First we were campers, then counselors and eventually staff members. Renee also has served as Program Director at Swan Lake for the past 9 years. SLCC is where Renee accepted Christ into her heart and Alison reaffirmed her walk. It has been amazing to see how God works through the lives of those that come to camp. These profound changes range from dramatically changed lives after accepting Christ, to a sense of being valued because staff members took the time to play a game with a child that was hard to get along with, to a staff member learning leadership skills and taking ownership of their faith for the first time.

The camp is in the process of fundraising for an addition to their lodge. This will add a new dimension the already fantastic ministry that takes place at camp. Jerry Kroeker, the Camp Director, says this about the project:


“Swan Lake Christian Camp is planning to add sixteen guest rooms, complete with in-room bathroom facilities, to the dining hall along with dining and meeting space. There will also be a space designed for summer staff housing that would be suitable as apartment style lodging for longer term volunteers. The purpose of this building project is to better offer adult ministry programs and to cater to the needs of adults in the same way that we have always strived to meet the needs of youth.”   – an excerpt taken from May 2011 e-newsletter

Some of you are former campers, counselors or staff. We encourage you to remember what Swan Lake has meant to you and donate to this worthy cause. Others of you know us better than you know the camp. We hope that you see our love for this place and are moved to support a cause so near to our hearts. If you don’t know about SLCC, we encourage you to visit them either in person or through their web site. We are hoping to raise $100,000 for this project. You can donate easily online through our blog:
We are excited to give back to the camp that has so richly blessed us. God has done amazing things with the camp and He will continue to do so. We believe He will work through our crazy dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail to benefit a worthy ministry. None of the money donated will be used by us for our Appalachian Trail trip.  All proceeds will go toward the Swan Lake building project.

How to donate:

Go to: and click on the donate button. This will take you to our fundraising page on (Walking for Whippersnappers). When you fill out your information there is a place for a Charity Processing Fee. The default amount is 10%. You DO NOT need to leave a fee/tip. Click on the words Charity Processing Fee and set it to zero.

On you can Join Our Team and share with your address book and Facebook friends about donating. You can even set up your own fundraising page.

Write a check to Swan Lake Christian Camp (please put – AT for SLCC building in the memo line)

Send to:

Swan Lake Christian Camp

45474  288th St

Viborg, SD 57070

Handy ways to figure out how much to donate:

2,170 x $0.01 a mile = $21.70

2,170 x $0.10 a mile = $217.00

2,170 x $0.50 a mile = $1,085.00

2,170 x $1.00 a mile = $2,170.00

2,170 x $1.50 a mile = $3,255.00

2,170 x $2.00 a mile = $4,300.00

Of course any amount is welcome! We know that SLCC will appreciate whatever amount you feel led to donate.  Swan Lake Christian Camp has made a huge impact, not only in our lives, but in the lives of so many people that we know.  We look forward to seeing how God is going to raise this money!

It is our hope that our hike might encourage others to do some creative fundraising for the SLCC. Some ideas might include: organizing a road race, putting on a bake sale, asking your church members for donations, or doing a car wash. There are more than 2170 possibilities!

For those of you that would consider helping us on our trip, here are a few things that would be appreciated. Our mother will be sending us care packages along the way, so please send items to: Anita Neufeld; 44760 283rd St; Hurley, SD 57036 (605-648-3734)

Dried Fruit

Homemade goodies

Phone cards

Letters/updates from your life

$ for sending care packages

Ziplock bags for food storage

Sample size toothpaste

In addition to monetary donations, we desire your prayers. We ask for safety and the opportunity to share Christ with those around us.


We could not do this without your support and prayers. Thank you!

Renee and Alison Neufeld

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