Our Vision for the Camp
The general goal for Lasting Impressions is to become a self-sufficient campsite that impacts the youth of Zimbabwe to become it’s future leaders.
Lasting Impressions is a non-profit agency and is dependent on the donations of its supporters. Below are ideas and goals for needs and necessary improvements in infrastructure that will allow us to become self-sufficient and not reliant on donations alone.
We would like to expand the ministry to reach out to lower income students and target companies who would benefit from their employees attending a middle management course. The management courses would also accomplish the goal of developing the leadership of Zimbabwe. Those courses will generate income to balance the needed income for the lower income camps. We would also like to use the facilities to generate income during the time period when camps are not in session. There is a market for hiring of the safari tents or lodges by families or small groups. The camp overlooks a lake that is a popular weekend getaway spot.
We have made exciting initial steps in the development of Lasting Impressions. We have fully paid for 450 acres of property. We have electricity and water at the campsite. The buildings completed include; six large safari type tents that hold 72 campers, two large bathrooms, an outdoor kitchen facility, 5 staff houses, a cottage, and a workshop. With regards to recreational activities, there is a high ropes course, an archery range, a volleyball court and canoeing on the river. With the current facilities we can run basic youth camps for kids from middle-income families.
Phase 1: To develop the facilities to the point where we could generate more income and become more self-sufficient, we would like to obtain or accomplish the following 5 goals:
1. Generator: Currently Zimbabwe experiences severe power cuts and it is affecting our ability to pump water and run programs efficiently. The generator would need to be a 12 KVA, 3-phase generator to ensure adequate coverage. The current cost for this in Zimbabwe is: $10,200USD
2. Bunk Beds: The students that come to camp are required to bring their own mattresses and they sleep on the ground. This has limited the schools that can attend camp because some simply can’t afford the transportation to bring all the extra bedding, some don’t have access to it and some are fearful of the many African creatures that may crawl on them at night. To make bunk beds and mattresses to accommodate 72 children it would be $6,720USD
3. Lodge Completion: (Cabin) We have almost completed one lodge that would accommodate 12 kids or a large family. The basic building and roofing is complete. It just needs glass in the windows, the plumbing and electrics, paint and fixtures. Once this is complete we can use it for hiring out during the weekends and during the week teachers or principals will utilize it. The cost to complete this is $3,300USD
4. Dining room Roof: The dining room is built up to roof level. The next major need is to put a gum pole and thatch roof on it with loft areas over some of the dining area to increase storage and accommodation. This is a major need because it will allow us to run more camps in the rainy season. At the present time many schools will not come in January to March because of the heavy rains and we currently do not have adequate shelter. Estimated cost for roof $16,000USD. UPDATE! The dining hall roof was completed in November 2010!
5. Vehicle: Lasting Impressions does not have a vehicle of its own and relies on the director’s personal vehicles, other staff member’s vehicles and friend’s vehicles to continue the ministry. Their vehicles are older and not 100% reliable. It would alleviate a lot of stress and inconvenience to acquire a new or fairly new second hand vehicle for Lasting Impressions. Due to the roads to and from the camp a four-wheel drive vehicle is essential. The cost of a reasonable one would be around $25,000USD
Phase 2: By this stage it is estimated that Lasting Impressions would have a better ability to sustain its employees and general running costs. The next development phase is to ensure its ability to reach more people and generally expand the ministry. A ministry that does not continue to dream and develop becomes stagnant. So our next priorities are as follows:
1. Kitchen: We are currently working from a small outdoor cooking facility that has one gas stove and a couple places where wood fires are used to do the cooking. This is adequate for preparing food for up to 75 people but gets very challenging when doing more than that. There is only one small freezer to keep food at the camp and the rest of the camp food is kept in personal fridges and freezers at the directors’ house. With completing the roof for the dining area we will also essentially be completing the roof for the new kitchen. The structure will be complete but the plumbing, equipment, tiling, painting, pantry completion, walk in refrigerator, etc. will need to be finished. The cost of all this will be approximately $18,000USD
2. Water Reservoir: In phase two the goal is to expand the capacity of the camp and before we bring in more people we will need an additional water reservoir to meet the demand for water. This will be approximately $5,000USD
3. S wimming Pool: F rom the middle of August till the middle of May, Zimbabwe has a wonderful warm climate. At times this warmth gets down right hot. A pool is a wonderful way to cool down in the hot months and it is a great recreational tool. It would be a drawing factor for many people who wish to hire out the lodge or tents. Other camps that we have worked at in Zimbabwe all have pools and it is considered a high priority for most people. The cost will be $ 12,000USD
4. Recreational & Grounds Development: A field for sporting activities, additional canoes, and general grounds development. The field will require rental of a bulldozer for a few days, putting in an irrigation system and getting lawns established. The general grounds development will include extension of the current underground irrigation system at the campsite and establishing more lawns and flowerbeds. Total cost: $8,000USD .
5. Lodges: We have 5 more sites chosen to build additional lodges. These lodges will each accommodate 12 children or a family. The lodges will have greater appeal for some people than the current safari tents. It will also double the amount of people we can have for a camp. Each lodge is about $15,000USD, so 5 would be $75,000USD.
6. Meeting Hall: The goal is to build an amphitheater-style meeting hall with a thatched roof. It will have a storage room and a sound room at the back and a stage area in the front. The cost will be about $30,000USD.
There are many more dreams for future development but this represents the goals for the time being. It is amazing what can be accomplished for a very reasonable amount of money in Zimbabwe. It is more amazing how many lives will be impacted in the future if these dreams become a reality. Please join us in developing Lasting Impressions into a camp that will impact the future leaders of Zimbabwe.