All posts by John

VPCC Summer 2018

Get ready to CONNECT this summer
at Camp Vick and Pathfinder Lodge!

For more information,
use the links in the menu at the top!








Friends and interested observers,

VP Ministries has entered into a new agreement with our CEO John Buskey.  He will be reducing his time with the ministry and adding the responsibilities of pastoring the Manlius First Baptist Church.

The purpose of this agreement is multifaceted, but boils down to John’s desire, supported by the board, to reinvest some of our budget from his salary into infrastructure and program improvements. Including adding staff, building upgrades and investing in our future.  At the same time, he will be assisting the Manlius church to grow in their ministries and outreach into the community.

While this partnership was originally conceived as a way to trim our budgets, we finished the year near even, albeit in the red. The Board and John made the decision and commitment not to step backwards, rather to move forward and reinvest significant dollars into the ministry of introducing people to Christ, equipping them to grow spiritually and to minister to their world.

This is an exciting decision for us as we believe it will propel us into a solid future.  We still face challenges to meet our budget. We still need to foster more donors to keep up with the ever increasing cost of doing excellent ministries.  We treasure and value your support. We invite questions and comments.

Your Partners in Christ,

John R Buskey            Pat Robinson

CEO                            VP Ministries Board Chair


Camp 2017

It is NOT too late to register your child for camp this year! We still have great camp sessions with availability coming up! Register today!


Camp Staff

Enjoy showing Jesus to kids? Camp Vick and Pathfinder Lodge are looking for staff for Summer 2016! Submit your applications today!



Welcome to Vick and Pathfinder Camp and Conference Ministries

We are looking for Children, Teens and Adults who want to have fun, be challenged, to grow, and who want to be transformed by the power and presence of God!  We have several opportunities to introduce you to Jesus in fresh ways, to allow you to grow spiritually and to equip you to minister to your world.

Come and join us!

Our 2017 theme is GEAR UP!

Ephesians 6:10-18

Come find out what it means to stand firm and live a life that glorifies God.  Be equipped to face the challenges of today.



If you search the internet, you can search through the engine Goodsearch. If you go to and enter VP Ministries as your choice, every search will give the ministry one cent. Last month we received $108.00


Giving Tuesday

On this “giving Tuesday, ” I am thinking about fishing. I remember fishing as a child. There were places we would go that seemed loaded with perch or bull-heads. Those were fun trips. Then, there were days when nothing seemed to bite. Looking back I realized it wasn’t about the fish biting or not, it was about the relationship and time spent with my family and friends. It’s like that when it comes to funding this ministry. The money is important BUT the real treasure is in the relationships forged between the people at camp and the one with Christ. While admittedly it’s more exciting to be making the catch, I will never sacrifice the presence of the relationships built.
It is important to finance the ministry so we can continue to help others build relationships face to face.  We also build relationships with Christ so we can grow in our faith.

What Do you do at camp in December?

During this time of year, we spend time giving thanks, eating with friends and family, spending money on sales… And giving to support the ministries that matter to us.

In several conversations recently, there have been two common questions.  What do you do with yourself this time of year?  What expenses does your ministry have now, I thought all of your expenses happened in the summer?  Internally I smile at both of these.  I recognize that every ministry looks glorious and easy from the outside.  The true cost of doing ministry is often hidden to all but the insiders.

October through January are busy seasons in camping getting ready for the next season.  We’ve closed down the facilities, started writing Bible Studies, spent time evaluating what we can improve on, paid many visits, began the hiring process, reconciled the books, we are setting up the schedule, producing a brochure, running leadership seminars, crunching all the attendance numbers and looking at bills coming in for the summer’s groceries, insurance, payroll, maintenance and utilities.  Last, I spend time trying to fund the ministry.  Between now and the end of the year we need to raise $65,000 to finish our fiscal year.  Normally we raise $45,000 in the end of the year giving.  This figure sounds daunting for a small ministry, but we have long since left the arena of small ministries!  Especially when I look at our impact.

I was speaking with some pastors a few weeks ago, they were relaying stories of children and teens whose lives had been changed.  One was telling me of a young teenager who had been in and out of trouble. Since returning from camp, he is a different boy.  “He walks to church early, helps with the sound, never misses Sunday School, he cannot wait to be here.  His father is amazed at the change in his life.” This story repeats itself with another pastor, in almost the exact same words.  I ran into several teenagers at the ABY convention, it thrilled my heart to have them run up to me and tell me of the amazing things God is doing in their lives since they committed to follow over the summer.   I spoke with staff, and have them posting on our facebook page:

“Camp changed me by reading the bible every day for a summer and being around other people to discuss it in a place focused on just that is incredibly refreshing when you go out into the real world… It’s good to know places like Camp Vick exist… Whenever I read my bible now I am much more comfortable in discussing it with people of all walks of life because of camp… One cannot be in an environment like this all the time but I think we all have been equipped and have learned how to bring an environment like this to other people wherever we are… I am truly appreciative to the people who have provided me with the opportunity to work at camp and hope that others for many years to come will benefit from this as well. Philippians 2 has stood out to me a lot of late if anyone is looking for a good passage to read.” 

AND “It feels so weird to be packing up and leaving camp — I couldn’t have asked for anything different… to think that when I was offered the job I was not even going to take it. The thought was do I really want to give up my whole summer? This place is more than just a job, yes there are duties that must be done– but it is a ministry– and everything we do here is a reflection of our Creator! We have an opportunity to impact everyone who steps foot on this camp with the love of God- we have an opportunity to plant a seed into someone’s life– sometimes we are blessed to watch that seed grow year after year, I’m excited for what God has in store for Vick and Pathfinder Camp and Conference Ministries. He is truly doing something great here and I feel like everyone should be a part of it!!! 

These are the stories that keep me going in the fall and winter.  These are glimpses into the reason I take pure joy in the trials of the ministry.  These are the people whose stories are multiplied, for each person who we have an opportunity to minister to.  These are the faces of the people who give me enough courage to ask for people to give financially so we can continue to minister.  It is expensive.  Insurance alone is $42,000 just to be open, payroll for staffing is $170,000.  These are not as glamorous as scholarships for the children and teens who we never turn away, or supporting a specific project so the infrastructure can be there for years to come, but they are a costly necessity.

Would you consider an end of the year gift to Vick and Pathfinder Camp and Conference Ministries?  Would you help support the child who desperately needs to know about God’s love and care in his/her life.  Would you enable us to help a child disconnect from the virtual world, and connect to the reality of a relationship with an incredible loving Creator?  You can donate in honor or memory of a loved one, we will acknowledge it on your behalf!

Please consider making a donation today. You can do so at:

Your fellow laborer,


John R. Buskey