Deer Run Camps & Retreats Seeks Donations After Major Loss of Revenue

Deer Run
photo from Deer Run Camp

Deer Run Camps & Retreats in Thompson’s Station is asking the community for donations via a GoFundMe campaign in order to raise funds to maintain the camp after experiencing a major loss in revenue due to COVID-19.

The goal is to raise $1.5 million. Currently, the GoFundMe has raised $17,950.

In June, Deer Run reported that 32 of its summer staff and 3 year-round staff members tested positive for COVID. Camp Director Fred Reyes also contracted COVID-19 and has spent over 70 days in the hospital. A public Facebook Group called Prayer Army for Fred Reyes shares updates on Reyes’ recovery here.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to cancel all 2020 summer camps and most retreat groups since March cancelled their reservations, leading to a catastrophic decrease in operating revenue. Already this year, we have lost over $1.8 million dollars in operating revenue which is over two-thirds of our annual budget. We have eliminated every possible expense and, with heavy hearts, laid off about half of our staff,” states the GoFundMe page.

Fall bookings have also dwindled causing the camp to not be able to cover their operating expenses.

“Because admissions for families is limited and because most school groups and churches are cancelling their retreats for this fall and winter, we are still unable to cover operating expenses, even with a skeleton crew. In order to continue the ministry of Deer Run Camps & Retreats for 2021 and future generations, we must have enough staff to maintain our facilities, take care of day-to-day operations plus plan, recruit, and prepare for next year’s camps. At this time, we have exhausted all operating reserve funds and, without your support, we do not know the future of Deer Run.”

In addition to the GoFundMe, Deer Run is partnering with Chick-fil-A at Berry Farms and Chick-fil-A South Franklin on Columbia Avenue by providing a Spirit Week, September 7th to 20th. Mention Deer Run when you stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner during the entire week, and the nonprofit ministry receives 20% of the proceeds.

Deer Run is open for families for Day Passes and Overnight Staycations as well as birthday parties, family reunions, work from here, remote school or homeschooling, and retreats for churches, schools, and nonprofits. Find out more about Deer Run by visiting or emailing them at

Make donations to Deer Run Camps & Retreats GoFundMe here.