Youth Development

Sherwood Forest

  • St. Louis, MO
  • WWW.SHERWOODFORESTCAMP.COM

Mission Statement

At Sherwood Forest, we believe education and opportunity are rights fundamental to all children. This vision guides our mission: transforming the lives of children in need through powerful programs that allow them to discover their self-worth, realize their potential, and become successful adults. We help kids discover the best in themselves so they can grow up to do good in the world.

Main Programs

  1. Quest
  2. Outdoor Education
Service Areas

Self-reported

Missouri

Metropolitan St. Louis

ruling year

1942

Principal Officer since 2002

Self-reported

Ms. Mary Rogers

Keywords

Self-reported

youth development, leadership, education

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EIN

43-0653401

Physical Address

2708 Sutton Blvd

Saint Louis, 63143

Also Known As

Sherwood Forest

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Founded in 1937, Sherwood Forest provides at-risk, economically disadvantaged young people with positive, enriching activities that help them learn experientially and achieve critical developmental milestones key to their long-term success as adults: to be productive, to connect to others, and to navigate healthy choices.

Sherwood Forest provides a unique setting that allows children to learn and grow. Our focus is to support the youth of our community by offering quality out-of-school programs that foster a love of learning and encourage youth to see the potential in themselves. Out-of-school programming is critical to a child’s development and the After-School Alliance states that funding for afterschool and summer learning programs is a sound investment, which will help to ensure that children have access to academically enriching activities, while closing the opportunity gap between higher-income and low-income families (After-School Alliance, 2013). Sherwood Forest provides our community’s youth with the opportunity to establish meaningful relationships, to be successful, and to grow in a safe and nurturing environment.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

Quest

Founded in 1937, Sherwood Forest serves low-income and economically disadvantaged youth in Missouri and Illinois. Over 80 percent of our youth live at or below the federal poverty line as defined by their qualifications for the USDA Summer Food Service Program. In 2015, we will serve approximately 310 young people from grades one through eleven. Families pay only $75 per child, per 26-day sessions in order to ensure that no child is turned away due to monetary reasons. In reality, summer programs cost an average of $150 per child, per day, or nearly $4000 for the entire summer. Support from the community helps us keep program costs low and provides quality summer and out-of-school programs for low-income youth.

Sherwood Forest is a year round youth development agency with programs anchored in a residential summer camp experience. Quest is our year-round program which begins with our summer camp and is followed by school-year Continued Contact programs. This provides youth with opportunities to learn and grow in a unique environment. The camp setting provides fun and recreation with many opportunities for active learning experiences, while school-year activities give children the chance to develop strong relationships with peers and staff in their own communities. Each phase in our Quest Program is designed to promote individual growth and positive relationships.

The Quest Program begins with Mini Camp, a five-day camp designed to introduce first and second grade youth to the summer camp experience. Mini Camp is a co-ed session for 7- and 8- year olds. Boys and Girls Camps are 26-day sessions for youth in grades three through five. The third grade program promotes positive attitudes towards recreational and academic reading while encouraging youth to try new activities and work as a team. The fourth and fifth grade program supports growth in independence and responsibility as youth learn to be accountable for their actions and make decisions without adult assistance. The Leadership Training Program begins in sixth grade and continues through ninth grade. This program helps young people develop leadership skills through college visits, volunteer activities, and summer programming. All youth have the opportunity to participate in camp activities of their choice, in addition to wilderness programs.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Program 2

Outdoor Education

Community Need: Meet the needs of area schools, school districts, churches, and other non-profit organizations that want to offer outdoor experiences and educational programs in a natural setting, but lack the facilities and resources.
Target Population : Outdoor Education programs for youth are conducted in the spring and fall. These programs are available to schools, school districts, churches, and other social service agencies for their independently-sponsored activities while using the professional services of the camp and its staff.
Activities: Outdoor Education Groups allow us to more fully utilize our camp facilities and program resources, spread overhead costs over more units of service, and earn additional revenue by working with area schools, school districts, churches, and other non-profits and social service agencies to develop and implement programs that meet their needs. Programs vary individually. Many groups use our camp as a rustic retreat in a natural setting. For others, we provide not only our camp, but programs and facilities suited to their needs.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

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

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    All programs at Sherwood Forest are informed by evidence-based practice and take part in evaluations to ensure program success. By 2015, 85% of participants will show an improvement of at least 50% in their emotional and social health based on the American Camp Association's measurement tool, entitled "Camp Youth Outcomes Battery", compared to the baseline established by a retrospective pre-test on the same measurement tool. Additionally, at least 50% of Third Grade youth will demonstrate growth in reading attitudes based on a traditional pre-and post test evaluation administered at the beginning and end of the program.

    Project Goals
    Goals for 2015:
    • 64 youth will participate in our Mini Camp program for youths in grades one and two
    • 48 youth will demonstrate growth in attitudes towards reading (Grade 3).
    • 96 youth learn and demonstrate growth in independence and responsibility (Grades 4-5).
    • 128 youth learn and demonstrate growth in responsibility and team work (Grades 6-7).
    • 40 youth learn and demonstrate growth in problem-solving confidence and self-confidence (Grades 8-9).
    • 24 youth will participate in our Counselor-in-Training Program and develop job-readiness skills
    • Serve more than 1000 children and youth through our Outdoor Education Program
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Sherwood Forest is a year round youth development agency with programs anchored in a residential summer camp experience. Quest is our year-round program which begins with our summer camp and is followed by school-year Continued Contact programs. This provides youth with opportunities to learn and grow in a unique environment. The camp setting provides fun and recreation with many opportunities for active learning experiences, while school-year activities give children the chance to develop strong relationships with peers and staff in their own communities. We offer an additional Outdoor Education Program to community schools, churches, and youth groups. These programs reinforce classroom learning by allowing students to explore STEM topics, creative arts, and leadership in an alternate setting.

    Each phase in our Quest Program is designed to promote individual growth and positive relationships. Funding from Energizer will be used to serve more than 1,300 children through our innovative, year-round Quest Program and our Outdoor Education programs.



  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Sherwood Forest is the only independent, non-profit youth development agency in the St. Louis region providing both residential camp experiences and year-round programs for youth in grades one through twelve from economically disadvantaged families.
    We are unique in our ability to establish and maintain long-term relationships with our youth and their families. By starting our program as seven-year-olds, our youth are much more likely to meet the high expectations for entry into our Leadership Training program. In Leadership Training, adolescents experience the personal growth and development that will enable them to graduate from high school and pursue postsecondary education – steps key to their success as adults.

    The Sherwood Forest budget includes a well-balanced base of support. This primarily consists of 35% from the United Way, 40% from personal contributions, and 17% from corporations and foundations. Sherwood Forest’s fundraising will be guided in part by the new 2014 – 2016 Strategic Plan. As previously outlined, this builds upon our organizational goals. In 2014, Sherwood Forest revised its organization mission, vision, and brand platform with the help of a Communications Task Force made up of staff and board members. As a part of this, a brand-new logo was designed using pro-bono services provided by FleishmanHillard. This distinct logo was created using our brand platform and is a part of 2015 fundraising campaign. As we move forward as an organization and prepare to expand our programs, the new logo will be used as a way to reconnect with donors, alumni, and staff. It is our hope to use this launch as a way of garnering increased interest in the organization.

    Our new Strategic Plan and Marketing & Communications Plan function cooperatively. We will utilize the specific tactics and follow established timelines outlined in each plan. This will enable us to generate support from individuals and groups that have the ability to provide support, but either do not yet know about Sherwood Forest or do not yet understand the value that Sherwood Forest brings to campers, their families, and to the community at large.

    Awards and Honors
    • Sherwood Forest is accredited by the American Camp Association
    • 2006 American Camp Association’s Eleanor Eell’s Award for Excellence (Leadership Training)
    • 2007 FOCUS St. Louis “What's Right with the Region" Honoree for Improving Racial Equality and Social Justice
    • 2008 and 2014 Stellar Performance Award from Variety, the Children's Charity of St. Louis.
    • 2014 American Camp Association’s Eleanor Eell’s Award for Research in Practice
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Sherwood Forest utilizes research developed by Michelle Gambone, PhD. at Youth Development Strategies, Inc. in addition to the Youth Outcomes Battery designed by the American Camp Association to inform our program development, which is based upon practice-based evidence.

    According to Gambone, in order for youth to enter adulthood with the capacity to be economically self-sufficient, maintain healthy family and social relationships, and be involved in their communities, they must first achieve certain developmental milestones during adolescence:
    • Being productive
    • Connecting to others
    • Navigating a clear and safe path through life

    Gambone's research examines how developmental outcomes impact risk levels and later outcomes. Based on her research, youth who had reached optimal levels on developmental milestones were 41 % more likely to be at optimal levels in adulthood (Gambone et al., 2002).Youth who are at risk are 63 % less likely to succeed and 156 % more likely to have poor outcomes.

    Measurement
    Youth Development Strategies, Inc. partnered with the American Camp Association to develop the Camp Youth Outcomes Battery (YOB). Youth complete the YOB at the end of each session as a retrospective pre-and post test. Results are administered and evaluated by a member of our professional staff. The YOB measures eleven different skills essential to youth development. Sherwood Forest tracks the following five skills based on the YOB:

    • Independence – Grades 4, 5, 8, and 9
    • Teamwork – Grades 6 and 7
    • Responsibility – Grades 4, 5, 6, and 7
    • Problem-solving Confidence – Grades 8 and 9
    • Perceived Competence – Grades 8 and 9

    These skills are indicators that a child is on-track to achieve the program’s long-term outcomes and are measured using a retrospective pre-and post test. This gives youth the opportunity to describe themselves and how programming has impacted them. YOBs are given to those youth who participate in our Quest Program.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The indicators which measured these skills were as follows for 2014:
    • 101 out of 112 youth felt that the statement “I have good independence skills” was truer now than before camp.
    • 141 out of 145 youth felt that the statement “I am responsible” was truer now than before camp.
    • 55 of 58 youth felt that the statement “I have good teamwork skills” was truer now than before camp.
    • 22 of 25 youth felt that the statement “I am competent” was truer now than before camp.
    • 23 of 25 youth felt that the statement “I have good problem-solving confidence” was truer now than before camp.
    Each year, Sherwood Forest tracks the number of youth who return to our programs compared to those who are
    • 189 of 268 youth participating in programs were return participants.
    • 100% youth who have completed the Leadership Training Program since 2004 have graduated from high school.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Missouri

Metropolitan St. Louis

Social Media

Funding Needs

Support from corporations, foundations, and individuals allows Sherwood Forest to offer the benefits of Summer Camp to economically disadvantaged families at prices they can afford.  Camper families are asked to pay $50 for one child to attend. Often they only pay $25.  It costs over $150 for a camper to spend one day at camat a cost of almost $8,000.

Affiliations + Memberships

American Camp Association - Member

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

SHERWOOD FOREST CAMP INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

Sherwood Forest

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Mary Rogers

BIO

Mary started as a 13 year-old at Sherwood Forest and loved camp from the start.  She went on to graduate from the Leadership Training Program, was a counselor, village director, assistant director, camp director and since 2002 has been Executive Director.   She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Education from Harvard University.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Robert Holmes

Commerce Bank

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & 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?