Introducing Our New Identity

As we prepare for the summer of 2020, our organization’s 30th summer issuing Camperships, we remember our heritage and the milestones that have shaped our journey from our formation in 1989 until today. The founding purpose, approach and values set in place years ago are still cherished today. They bind our past and present to create a connection that empowers supporters, partners, staff, campers, and alumni in both small and significant ways. With a society that is constantly changing, and an experience that is arguably more relevant and important today, we believe that it is truly a gift to attend camp, because we believe in the power of camp…

We believe spending time in the wilderness can transform our character and soul — building on who we are and preparing us for who we will become.

We believe the future is formed today by the experiences we provide to those who are still growing and exploring. That’s why we identify kids from every walk of life and help them navigate their own path. Our commitment is not for a week, a month or a summer but a lifetime.

We believe the opportunity to go for a hike, jump in a boat, enjoy the warmth of a campfire, make lifelong friends and count stars in the sky should not be limited. So we strive to make it available to as many campers as possible because we recognize the impact we have isn’t on one person or one family but ripples out into society as a whole.

For we know summer camp is magical — it is challenging, breathtaking, fun and nurturing, all at once.

And we want it to last forever.

With growth, change is inevitable, but only change when and where it is needed. The past 30 years have brought new partnerships, new initiatives, new definitions of ‘success’, and a vision to serve many more young people in the future. Recently we crafted a new mission statement. Today we have an exciting change we cannot wait to share. The John Austin Cheley Foundation is delighted to announce a new brand identity.


The Journey To Our New Identity

After interviews with donors, former trustees, members of the Cheley family, campership parents, alumni, partner camps, community partners, and our current board and staff, we aligned with Sterling Rice Group of Boulder, CO to determine consistent themes that ran deep throughout our organization and served as inspiration for this process. With additional support from Judson Design Associates of Houston, TX, we have developed this strong and compelling new brand identity that captures our essence and our mission, communicating WHO we are, WHAT we do, WHOM we serve, and HOW we are different. We believe that this new brand identity embodies our beliefs, values and traditions and lyrically illustrates the longevity of our program while drawing clear links to the wilderness and to camp. We believe that these attributes will help us to achieve our vision by driving awareness, creating differentiation, and guiding our strategy and brand experience over the long-term.

We wanted to take what was familiar from our previous brand identity and turn it into something that means even more to us today. What you see at first glance looks like a landscape but it is actually made up of several symbols – mountains, trees, water, and the night sky, all wrapped in a circle.

The mountains represent the wilderness and the possibility that our program provides the young people we serve, diverse in both landscape and opportunity, reliable and majestic. It is here that they have the chance to disconnect and discover who they are and who they can become.

The trees represent our campers and the personal growth they achieve over a summer. Trees are strong and resilient, yet they require nurturing and the power of the summer sun to grow into the trees they are meant to be.

The water represents the transformational journey that our campers go on, and the ripple effect that transformation has upon their families and the communities they engage with, now and in the future.

The night sky represents freedom. Through the adventure of sleeping under the stars and waking up with the sun, there is an undeniable feeling of freedom. Freedom from social pressure, schoolwork, and technology.

The circle represents the enduring nature of the camp experience – the everlasting friendships, the lifelong memories, the development of life skills and all that comes from our commitment to supporting campers for their full lifespan of camp.

All of these combine to make one singular symbol that embodies our mission, our founding and our belief in the power of camp. One only needs to see our logo to know who we are.

Soon, you will see our new identity appear on our website, social media, annual report, and in future mailings. Although we have a new identity, we are still the same organization at heart. We will always remain the John Austin Cheley Foundation – founded to honor the vision of Jack Cheley and the dream that sparked A Thousand Summers.


Changing Kids Lives Through Transformative Summer Camp Experiences

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