When George Dehan was appointed President of Camp Allen in 2001, he had the arduous task to tackle an $11 million debt after major renovations and upgrades took place at the campgrounds during the prior year.
Those upgrades included the building of the 67-acre lake, seven cabins, a Chapel, and the remodeling of hotel rooms.
“Although 22 years might sound like a prison term, and internally at Camp Allen it might have looked that way, the Episcopal Foundation came to the rescue to setup favorable terms and to arrange a payment schedule with the camp management,” recalled Dehan.
The goal was to dramatically raise the occupancy rates and to begin to pay down the debt. The original amortization was $650,000 in payments per year. Dehan stated, “even in really exceptional years of growth, that would be an impossible hill to climb”.
In April 2022, Dehan, received the green light from their finance committee to pay off their remaining long debt from existing cash reserves.
The Episcopal Foundation of Texas (EFT) has a been a partner in the mission and growth of Camp Allen. The problem the camp faced in 2001 was an expectation that there would be high occupancy and net surpluses from operations. So, the board hired a businessperson. That person was George Dehan, its first president.
The terms were renegotiated, and through God’s grace, partially forgiven. Bishop Wimberly was the Diocesan Bishop in 2006 during that time. As part of the agreement, Camp Allen launched a capital campaign to establish an endowment and to pay down the loan to reasonable terms.
Later, Bishop Doyle worked with EFT to restructure the loan and to transfer its remaining balance to the camp’s bank. Those monthly payments have been made for the last three years from operations and completed this month with the successful completion of the Centennial Fund.
As George Dehan has announced his retirement, he had on his bucket list to leave Camp Allen debt free. George stated, “It has not been a straight upward graph, but having EFT and the bishops understand and support our mission, has left us in a great position for the future”.