The Circle of Life Fund

In conjunction with the Historic Methodist Campground’s 150th Anniversary, an endowment fund was instituted called: The Circle of Life Fund to provide stable and perpetual financial resources to support the legacy and ensure the long-term vitality of the Historic Methodist CampGround, a National Historic Landmark established in 1860.


The Circle of Life Fund is a program recognizing those who have included the Historic Methodist Campground in their estate planning or have made outright gifts to the Fund.


We are grateful to each member who believes in preserving history and nature for future generations, and those who want to ensure that HMC continues as a growing, educational opportunity for all who follow.


What exactly is an endowment, and why establish an endowment now?

A financial endowment is monies or property donated to an institution, usually with the stipulation that it be invested, and the principal remains intact in perpetuity or for a defined time period. This allows for the donation to have a much greater impact over a longer period of time than if it were spent all at once.


The Historic Methodist CampGround established an endowment to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the campground – honoring the legacy given to us by our founding members by creating our own legacy for the future. Giving to the endowment will be one of many stewardship options for cottage owners and friends, with the expectation that it will be funded primarily through bequests from long-time members who would like to remember the Historic Methodist CampGround in their wills. Leaving a legacy of their own for an institution that was a meaningful part of their lives, and to preserve for future generations.



What is the difference between the Biannual Assessment, a memorial fund gift, and an endowment gift?


Our biannual assessment supports the operating fund of the campground. These funds are generally used in their entirety to pay for programs, staff salaries, utility bills, office expenses etc. A memorial fund gift will generally be used in its entirety over a short period of time to commemorate a person being remembered. An endowment fund gift will remain in place in perpetuity – with only a portion of the earnings from the gift used annually to support the ongoing capital and operating needs.

What is the investment policy for The Circle of Life Fund?

The Endowment Committee’s investment strategy strives for capital preservation that produces income through a conservation investment approach in assets which make a positive contribution toward the Social Principles aligned with a sustainable business model.


The “support” of this endowment helps makes it possible to physically “support” our campground, as we carefully plan the long-term maintenance of our buildings, our program's and our vision.


How will the funds be distributed?

Annually, four percent of the average value (based on a rolling twelve quarters) of all investments will be distributed for capital purposes and to supplement the operation budget, once the endowment balance (initially) reaches $200,000.

How do I make a gift?

Once the endowment is approved, you may contact the Chair of the Endowment Committee, or fill out a Circle of Life Fund Gift Form.

Kindness in words creates confidence.


Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.


Kindness in giving creates love.

~ Lao Tzu

Endowment Gift Form

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Find us: 

The Chicago District Campground

1900 E. Algonquin Road

Des Plaines, IL 60016

1 (847) 636-6355

© Photo Credits Stan Kotecki