CAMP SOUTHERN GROUND INC

Where Goodness Grows

aka Camp Southern Ground   |   Fayetteville, GA   |  www.CampSouthernGround.org

Mission

The mission of Camp Southern Ground is to provide extraordinary experiences for individuals to recognize and magnify the unique gifts within themselves and others to profoundly impact the world. Camp Southern Ground was founded in 2011 by the artist Zac Brown and is located in Fayetteville, Georgia. Over the summer, Camp Southern Ground offers week-long inclusive, residential camp sessions serving children with inspiring camp programming. The remaining weeks of the year, Camp Southern Ground serves our nation's veterans through two transition programs, Warrior Week and Warrior PATHH.

Ruling year info

2011

President and CEO

Michael Dobbs

Main address

100 Southern Ground Pkwy

Fayetteville, GA 30215 USA

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EIN

27-3082862

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Camp Southern Ground operates with the belief that every child can benefit from the experience of summer camp. We know that the summer camp experience can change a child's life. Camp Southern Ground is the first camp built from the ground up to be an inclusive program that identifies the specific needs of communities, and provides whatever is needed to make sure every child who attends camp is able to be successful and to grow. We serve four main communities: typically developing mainstream children, children with neurological challenges such as autism, ADHD, or emotional and social challenges, children from dramatically underserved areas, and children from military families, especially gold, silver, and white star families. Outside of summer months,Camp Southern Ground is dedicated to supporting veterans through their transition from the military to a meaningful, productive life after service through our Warrior Week and Warrior Pathh programs offered at no cost to the participants.

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?

Summer Camp

Much more than just a week away from home, summer camp at Camp Southern Ground is a chance for kids to grow and learn. They get to connect with new friends and meet people a little different from themselves, explore in nature and spend time outdoors, while eating delicious and healthy food that keeps their bodies feeling good…all geared toward celebrating our differences and putting a little more “good” back into our world.
During summer, Camp Southern Ground offers week-long sleepaway camp sessions serving children ages 7 to 17, bringing together mainstream kids and those with learning and neurodevelopmental issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), while also including kids from all socio-economic backgrounds and those with family members actively serving.
What makes Camp Southern Ground truly unique is the value it places on diversity and inclusion among its campers. While at camp, youth have the opportunity to interact with other campers whose circumstances, life experiences, and outlook on life are dissimilar from their own. This experience helps campers develop a new perspective and a respect for each other’s differences, and teaches that it’s OK to be different – that it is our unique traits that are what make us special. Through this process, youth who may often feel excluded from social acceptance among their peers at home begin to develop an authentic sense of belonging, while more mainstream campers with typical needs grow in acceptance, empathy, and compassion.

Population(s) Served

Camp Southern Ground is dedicated to supporting veterans through their transition from the military to a meaningful, productive life after service. Outside of summer months, Warrior Week at Camp Southern Ground provides veterans, reserves, and active military with the fundamental training, insight, and experience necessary to transition from the military to a successful and meaningful life after service.

Warrior PATHH (Progressive Alternative Training for Healing Heroes) is the nation’s first non-clinical program aimed to cultivate and facilitate post traumatic growth among combat veterans struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and/or combat stress. The program, which is substantiated by an unprecedented amount of proven success, delivers training for veterans to regain the capacity to regulate their thoughts, feelings, and actions, as well as improve their physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic well-being.

Population(s) Served

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

No target populations selected

Related Program

Summer Camp

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2018, Camp Southern Ground launched its first full summer camp operation, serving 353 campers. 2019, Camp Southern Ground hosted the second season of summer camp, a 67% increase over the prior year.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

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

No target populations selected

Related Program

Summer Camp

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2019 Family survey responses: 66.7% campers Built New Social Skills

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed positive relationships

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

No target populations selected

Related Program

Summer Camp

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2019 Family Survey responses, 92% of campers connected with someone different

Number of youth who demonstrate that they are aware of their interests and abilities

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

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2019 Family Survey responses, 82.2% of campers gained confidence.

Number of Military Youth served

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

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Of our total 2019 camper enrollment, 23% of our campers were from Military families.

Number of Underserved Youth

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

No target populations selected

Related Program

Summer Camp

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Of our total 2019 camper enrollment, 38% of our campers were from families below poverty level.

Number of Neuroatypical Youth served

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

No target populations selected

Related Program

Summer Camp

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Of our total 2019 camper enrollment, Camp Southern Ground provided accommodations and interventions to meet the needs of 42% neurodiverse youth.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

ONE MISSION: TWO CAUSES - Youth and Veterans
The mission of Camp Southern Ground is to provide extraordinary experiences for individuals to recognize and magnify the unique gifts within themselves and others to profoundly impact the world.
At Camp Southern Ground, we believe that individual differences make us stronger when we come together. An inclusive camp, we serve children ages 7-17 with programs that challenge, educate, and inspire. We bring together typically developing children, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), learning and attention issues, social or emotional challenges, underserved youth, and those with family members serving in the military.
Much more than just a week away from home, summer camp at Camp Southern Ground is a chance for kids to grow and learn. They get to connect with new friends and meet people a little different from themselves, explore in nature and spend time outdoors, while eating delicious and healthy food that keeps their bodies feeling good…all geared toward celebrating our differences and putting a little more “good” back into our world.
Camp Southern Ground’s signature Warrior Week provides veterans the fundamental training, insight, and experience necessary to transition from the military to a meaningful, healthy, and fulfilling life after service. Warrior Week begins with a high-touch week at Camp Southern Ground. The goal of this week is to help transitioning veterans harness their strength, perseverance, selflessness, sacrifice, integrity, and honor as a springboard to a productive and fulfilling life after service. We apply a holistic approach to growth and discovery amongst a support network of peers and mentors who will walk with them over the next year of their journey to assist them in finding their new mission in life. The wellness and workforce readiness program helps veterans identify their unique strengths, define purpose, and develop an action plan to transform struggle into profound growth, fulfillment, and productivity.
Warrior PATHH (Progressive Alternative Training for Healing Heroes) is the nation’s first non-clinical program aimed to cultivate and facilitate post traumatic growth among combat veterans struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and/or combat stress. The program, which is substantiated by an unprecedented amount of proven success, delivers training for veterans to regain the capacity to regulate their thoughts, feelings, and actions, as well as improve their physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic well-being. Warrior PATHH programs are available for both male and female combat veterans — active duty or veteran. No clinical diagnosis or prior mental health care is required to attend.

During summer camp, approximately 40% of our campers have some level of special needs, about 30% of our campers are from underserved areas, about 35% of our campers are from military families, and 25% are gold, silver, or white star. In building at camp that truly embodies inclusion, we’ve recognized that each community we serve has specific needs that require extra support.
For our campers with special needs, we provide additional staff with the education and experience to be able to provide whatever support they need. Every activity has accommodations to make them accessible, and we teach our entire camp population that different isn’t better or worse – it’s just different.
For our campers from underserved areas, we recognize that we need to build trust and confidence with the families we serve. It is why we have a dedicated outreach director who visits these communities and schools and why we build partnerships with local non-profits who serve these families every day. We also know that transportation or purchasing all the items on the packing list may be a challenge, so for any family that needs transportation or supplies for camp, we provide it at no cost.
For our military families, we build into our program recognition and appreciation for those who have served our country. We do a formal flag raising each day and talk to our kids about how patriotism means we all share values and an amazing country together. For all of our gold, silver and white star families, we fully cover the cost of camp, including travel, no matter where they are traveling from.
We also know that cost can be a huge barrier to many other families that could benefit from camp. We offer a tiered pricing model that lets families choose the price they can afford for camp. No scholarship applications. No paperwork. Families just pick what they can pay and we fund the rest. This year 91% of our families will get some level of financial support from CSG.
The overall goal of camp for every camper is to grow goodness. We want them to grow unique gifts, grow healthy bodies, and grow strong communities. We offer unique and challenging programs that allow every child to find something they enjoy or are talented in.
Warrior Week, our signature 12-month transition program, begins with a high-touch week at Camp Southern Ground. The goal of this week is to help transitioning veterans harness their strength, perseverance, selflessness, sacrifice, integrity, and honor as a springboard to a productive and fulfilling life after service. We apply a holistic approach to growth and discovery amongst a support network of peers and mentors who will walk with them over the next year of their journey to assist them in finding their new mission in life. The wellness and workforce readiness program helps veterans identify their unique strengths, define purpose, and develop an action plan to transform struggle into profound growth, fulfillment, and productivity.

Camp Southern Ground serves youth from four distinct communities because we believe the world is a better place when people who are different come together. In addition to TYPICALLY DEVELOPING YOUTH, we also serve
NEURODIVERSE YOUTH Every child has a distinct neurological profile and a unique set of strengths. We provide accommodations and interventions to meet the needs of neurodiverse youth, such as those with autism, Tourrette syndrome, learning differences and social and emotional challenges, including:
• A team of dedicated Inclusion Specialists, including Board Certified Behavioral Analysts
•Extensive review of each camper’s unique needs as a component of the application process, including review of Individual Education Plans (IEP) and Psychoeducational Evaluations
•Program accommodations and interventions for every camp activity
•Resources to help families prepare their child for camp
•Sensory-inclusive facilities desi
UNDERSERVED YOUTH One in five children in the U.S. live in families below the poverty level. We know poverty makes it less likely that children will benefit from rich learning experiences and enrichment opportunities. Camp Southern Ground ensures equal access to the camp experience by providing:
•Over $830,000 in scholarships for summer 2019 (40% full and 51% partial scholarships)
•A dedicated outreach director to build relationships, earn and understand the needs of underserved communities
•Transportation for campers who otherwise would not be able to get to camp
•Provision of camp packing list items as needed
MILITARY YOUTH Camp Southern Ground is deeply committed to serving veteran and military families. We emphasize outreach to Gold, Silver, and White Star youth, respectively, those who have lost a parent in the line of duty, had a parent injured or disabled, or lost a parent to suicide post deployment. To honor the sacrifice of these families we provide:
•Partnerships with organizations serving military families including Semper Fi Fund, TAPS and Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund
•100% scholarship, including travel, for all Gold, Silver, or White Star families in need
•A program reflective of military values, including a formal flag raising and lowering each day
WARRIOR WEEK - We engage in team building exercises on the high and low ropes course, eat amazing food together, hear from world-class instructors that train on Clifton Strengths and Enneagram assessments, and spend time writing down a comprehensive plan that will get them where they want to go next. We also use the week to help veterans get connected to the massive veteran support network that exists in the non-profit sector. All of this instruction and support helps each veteran develop their new mission. The three part mission includes: Discover Your Strengths, Define Your Purpose, and Develop Your Life Plan. Our partnership with the Boulder Crest Retreat has enabled us to conduct the proven Warrior PATHH program at our facilities.

Since our founding in 2011, Camp Southern Ground has come a long way. From 2011 to the present, we launched a $83.3M Capital Campaign. To date, we have raised $45.8M and completed land acquisition (400 acres), infrastructure, utilities installation, a state-of-the-art LEED Certified dining hall, a LEED Certified residential lodge, a Space Crab treehouse, a multi-purpose shade pavilion, a high and low ropes course, and zip line, an Certified USDA organic farm, and a fire pit. In 2015, we convened nationally recognized leaders to guide youth and veteran program design and strategic planning. We piloted fall mini adventure camps, and hosted over 250 youth during five weekend sessions. In 2018, we hosted the first season of summer camp, serving 353 young people. We also piloted Warrior Week to help 24 veterans transfom the high stakes period of transition from the military and one of struggle to profound growth in the civilian world. In 2019, we hosted the second season of summer camp, hosting 590 young people, a 67% increase over the prior year. We scaled Warrior Week from two to eight sessions, serving more than 136 veterans. We rolled out Warrior PATHH post traumatic growth program in collaboration with Boulder Crest Retreat.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

CAMP SOUTHERN GROUND INC
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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

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CAMP SOUTHERN GROUND INC

Board of directors
as of 9/17/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Zachry Brown

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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/20/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/20/2019

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.