PLATINUM2023

North Star Reach

Pinckney, MI   |  www.northstarreach.org

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Mission

North Star Reach provides life-changing, year-round programs (at camp and remotely) for children with serious health challenges and their families, free of charge.

Ruling year info

2007

CEO

David Leckey

Main address

1200 University Camp Drive

Pinckney, MI 48169 USA

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Formerly known as

Great Lakes Camp

EIN

26-0347065

NTEE code info

Patient Services - Entertainment, Recreation (E86)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Diseases, Disorders, Medical Disciplines N.E.C. (G99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2008, we commissioned a needs-assessment with the University of Michigan School of Public Health, which found that more than 75,000 families in Michigan and surrounding states are caring for a child with a serious medical challenge. Facing isolating hospital stays, fears about infectious conditions, disruptions in daily life from surgeries, treatments and medical emergencies, and uncertainty about the future, children living with chronic health conditions are at increased risk for emotional and behavioral challenges. Fighting serious illness impacts the whole family—mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. We know from our population that the reality of providing constant care is often overwhelming for parents and other family members. North Star Reach’s free, year-round camps and support programs provide life-changing experiences that help these children and their families to thrive.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Transplant Camp

Transplant Camp is for campers who have received a solid organ transplant. Campers must be 7-15 years old by the first day of the session. (Campers 16 or 17 years old should apply to attend Solstice Camp)

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Solstice Camp is a week for campers ages 16 and 17 with a serious health challenge associated with one of our summer camp sessions or the sibling of a teen living with a serious illness. These health challenges include solid organ transplant, sickle cell/hematology/pain management, congenital heart disorders, epilepsy, and others.

Solstice Camp offers a different program than our typical summer camp session. Programming is intentionally designed for the 16/17 year old developmental age group.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
People with diseases and illnesses

Cardiology Camp is for campers with congenital and acquired heart disease, transplantation and pre/post surgical repair. Campers who are 16 or 17 years old should apply for Solstice Camp.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Epilepsy (Camp Discovery) Camp is for campers who have a diagnosis of epilepsy or a seizure disorder. Campers who are 16 or 17 should apply for Solstice Camp

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Sickle Cell/ Hematology/Pain Management Camp is for campers with hematologic diseases including sickle cell disease, bleeding disorders, anemias (blood cancers excluded). This week is also for campers with a diagnosis of chronic pain that is under the care of a pain management specialist. Campers who are 16 or 17 should apply for Solstice Camp.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Sibling Camp is programming for siblings ages 7 – 15 of campers who have attended a NSR program or who apply to attend in 2022.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Our Family Camp programs (virtual and in-person) are entirely free of charge and open to families with a child who has a diagnosis within the areas associated with one of our family camp sessions. In addition, the child who has a serious health challenge must be 17 years old or younger (yes, infants are welcome!). We ask that families only attend one Family Camp per year.

During our Family Camps, we offer many activities similar to our summer camp programs, such as boating, arts and crafts, archery, evening campfires, morning hikes, and more. We purposefully plan these activities so that families can spend time together.

Population(s) Served

A series of virtual conferences to support caregivers of seriously ill children. Our annual two-day fall conference is designed to help parents and caregivers of children with serious illnesses learn from professionals, and from one another. In the spring, we host a coping with loss conference.

Population(s) Served
Health

Bi-weekly, year-round online support groups for parents and caregivers of children living with a serious illness. The small groups meet under the guidance of a trained professional. Like all North Star Reach programs, these are offered at no charge.

Population(s) Served
Health
Older adults

Bi-weekly, online meetups, exclusively for kids and teens who have previously attended a North Star Reach program. All groups are supervised by a minimum of two trained adults and are offered free of charge.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with diseases and illnesses
Families
People with diseases and illnesses
Families
People with diseases and illnesses
Families
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of campers enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Families, Parents

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of camps offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Families, People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of Family Members at Family Camp Programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Families, People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Family Camp Weekends Offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Families, People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Campers at North Star Reach experience all of the fun, joy and independence that all children receive at a traditional summer camp. Meeting other children with similar medical challenges, often for the first time, gives them a sense of normalcy--and they no longer feel defined by their illness. Campers, staff and volunteers are all impacted in a positive way by the camp experience. Additionally, parents have a much-needed opportunity for respite and many report that their children return from summer camp with a new sense of autonomy and independence.

As a Full Member Camp of SeriousFun Children’s Network founded by Paul Newman, North Star Reach serves children with chronic and life-threatening health challenges across the Great Lakes Region, free of charge. Our 105-acre campus includes a state-of-the-art health center, dining hall, climate-controlled cabins to house campers and staff, arts and crafts center, two heated swimming pools, nature trails, athletic court, sports field, an accessible tree house, archery range, amphitheater and waterfront docks. All spaces are all wheelchair accessible and designed to fit in a rustic camp environment.

Camp can accommodate approximately 1,500 children and family members annually through our in-person, residential programming. Launched during the pandemic in spring 2020, our new series of virtual programming, including a family care conferences, caregiver support groups, and virtual camper meetups, serve hundreds more. As we move out of the pandemic, we intend to resume in-person camp programs in 2022 while at the same time continuing our innovative virtual programs to serve even more children with complex medical needs and their families across Michigan and the Great Lakes area, including the Chicago area.

As the organization heads into 2022, our fundraising goals are focused on sustaining long-term program operations and expanding outreach to leading pediatric hospitals in Michigan and the Chicago area for even greater engagement of our referral network. We also seek to generate non-philanthropic revenue sources, which will include designing and deploying enhanced outcomes surveys and reporting to demonstrate to investors and granting organizations of the improved emotional, social and mental health benefits for campers of all ages after attending North Star Reach programs. Non-philanthropic revenue generation will also come from leveraging our beautiful facility for venue rentals and through more ambitious activation of our already committed volunteer network.

Our dedicated team includes a diverse range of skills and expertise, including experienced camping directors, program leaders, volunteer directors, and project managers. In addition, since 2020, we have gained additional and important development expertise. As a member of SeriousFun Children's Network, our alumni participated in a SeriousFun/American Institutes for Research 2021 groundbreaking study illustrating the positive impact of camp experiences. The study confirmed that camp plays a major role in the lives of campers, even years later. As adults: 90% credit camp for their willingness to try new things; 88% credit camp for their appreciation of diversity; 85% credit camp for their self-confidence. North Star Reach exceptional internal resources--including our individual team members, engaged volunteer network, committed longtime donors and new supporters--TOGETHER with the expertise of the SeriousFun network, will play an important role in helping North Star Reach to meet its 2022 goals, and beyond.

Since 2016, North Star Reach has provided more than 4,000 program experiences for children and family members from across the Great Lakes, with roughly 70% from across Michigan (inclusive of lower and upper peninsulas and more than 35 counties). At a time when pediatric hospitals increasingly specialize and seek to focus on acute care—rather than transitional support—our community-centered experiences give chronically ill children the emotional, medical, and physical support they need to push beyond their limitations and discover their true potential.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

North Star Reach
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

North Star Reach

Board of directors
as of 06/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

MD Matthew Denenberg

Chief of Pediatrics, Beaumont Children's Hospital

Term: 2022 - 2024

Matthew A. Denenberg, MD

Chief of Pediatrics, Corewell Health, Beaumont Children’s Hospital

Sheri Mark, RN, JD

Community Advisor

J.J. Lewis

Chief Development Officer for United Way of the Lakeshore

Anna Maiuri, JD

Retired – Dickinson Wright

Edward "Skip' Walton

Director of the Medical Informatics Unit, Office of Academic Affiliations, US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Dan Craig

President, Hatch Stamping

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No