The Lutheran Camp Association annual membership meeting was held on Nov. 7 via Zoom. Thank you to all of the LCA members that voted for the LCA Board members and the Arcadia Foundation committee members. Incumbent board members Kristin Jass Armstrong and Kate Miller were re-elected for their second term. Jackie Spenner Bywater was elected to her first term. Thank you to Steve Williams for running for the LCA Board. All three of the incumbent Arcadia Foundation members were re-elected, John Bates, Tim Jaeger and Chris Schumann.
Thankfulness: Chip May, Executive Director, thanked the Camp Arcadia family for the way it supported Camp Arcadia’s ministry in 2020 through their prayers, notes of encouragement, attendance and financial gifts. He also highlighted the work of the LCA board, COVID taskforce and the management team for creating and implementing a successful plan to run Camp during the pandemic. The management team were thanked for the ways that they performed during this extraordinary season: Rachel Catanese, Office Manger, for her efforts to rework the whole registration process. Taryn Woell, Chef, for creating a new dining experience that kept staff and guests safe. Jess McCallum, program director, for working within the COVID guidelines to create a program experience that guests will remember for years. Franco Marano, Caretaker, for finding a way to stop our buildings from flooding, continuing to make sure our shoreline is protected and for opening Camp without hosting an opening weekend. Most importantly gratitude was given to God for the blessings He continues to bestow on Camp’s ministry.
Staff and Volunteers: In 2020 we had 14 summer staff (normally we have around 40) and 36 fall staff (normally have double that number.) Chip expressed his admiration and gratitude for the hard work and dedication for a staff that had to operate Camp with additional COVID guidelines. While we missed the many staff that were not able to serve at Camp this past summer, we give thanks to God for the servant-hearts of those that were here. Special thanks go to Ryan McKenna, David Wilkins, Jason Gottschalk, Wes and Gina Kaufman, Alison Funke, Sandy Hodges, the Powell family, Marian Zupin, Ryan Eder, Trenton Baty, Shawnee Haseley and Grace Pettinger for helping caretaker Franco Marano get Camp ready for the 2020 season without an opening weekend.
Registrations: While Camp canceled retreats such as the Summer Starter, Alpha and Omega Teen Retreats, it was blessed to serve 1,004 people in 2020, 32% of our 2019 attendance. We averaged 75 guests for our family weeks and 60 people for our fall weekends. Thankfully we had no known cases of COVID-19 and guests felt safe as we operated Camp differently to reduce possible virus exposure.
Financial: This was a challenging year for Camp as revenues were greatly reduced due to a shortened and reduced retreat season. In regards to the operating budget, if we continue to have outstanding giving, expenses come in as expected, and our PPP loan is forgiven we should break-even for 2020. This is amazing, considering back in April we were anticipating taking on additional debt to cover expenses in 2020. Looking to the future, with our savings depleted, it will be important for Camp to increase fundraising to cover maintenance costs and possible revenue shortfalls.
Beach & Flooding: Chip updated the membership on the shoreline protection and flooding prevention efforts. The good news is that everything is working as it should. The additional rock that was installed last fall and this spring have helped protect our shoreline during record lake levels. The dewatering system that is lowering the water table under the Wigwam and Inn is keeping our basements dry. Gratitude was given to everyone that has supported the Spirit of Arcadia Campaign and the Annual Campaign, which have helped cover the costs of these projects.
Program: Jess McCallum, program director, created a wonderful Family Retreat Lite program that focused on outdoor and family-centered activities. Highlights included the Trivia Night and Karaoke on the patio. Thank you to Kris Park for creating a craft kit program so guests could do crafts outside the craft shop. The Dean’s program, which was held outside on the lawn east of the tennis courts, was well received as guests were hungry to hear the Good News of Jesus amidst a troubled and confusing time.
Annual Campaign: The goal for unrestricted gifts to the Annual Campaign is $450,000. As of October 23, we have $317,347. By reaching our year-end goal we will be able to pay off the dewatering system ($150,000) and help replenish our savings so we can continue to be able to react well to crises.
Spirit of Arcadia Campaign: There is a $180,000 shortfall between what we owe on our short-term loan with the Michigan Church Extension Fund and the pledges that are to come in for the SOA. This shortfall is due to additional shoreline protection efforts that were done over the past year. There is also a provision for an estimated $40,000 in unfulfilled pledges due to changes in the donors financial situation. Making the estimated gap between the outstanding loan and the money that will be received in pledges at $220,000. To date, we have received 89% of the $3,700,000 goal. Thank you everyone that has given or pledged to the Spirit of Arcadia Campaign. Members were encouraged to prayerfully consider an additional gift or pledge to the SOA campaign to help pay off the loan.
Next Year – 2021: Camp Arcadia will be promoting a full, normal season in 2021, but planning and preparing for the possibility of another “lite” season. Camp’s leadership is fully aware that we might be forced, due to coronavirus related circumstances, to operate Camp with restrictions in 2021. If we have to implement a similar program as we did for the 2020 season – reduced bathroom sharing, less people in the dining room, and program changes- you will be the first to know. Rest assured that we will do all we can to operate Camp in a safe and healthy manner for you and our staff. We will give full refunds to anyone that has to cancel due to the pandemic.
This year we are reducing our costs by producing a smaller informational mailing to you about the upcoming season. This should come to you around Thanksgiving time. The priority date is January 8. The website will be live on Dec. 1 for registrations.
Stan Scheumann, LCA Board President, closed up the meeting with these thoughts: “On behalf of the LCA board of directors, I especially thank you, the LCA members this year, for all the ways you’ve supported Camp with your gifts this year. You have been amazingly generous in helping Camp survive this year so that our mission and ministry can continue to thrive next year and well beyond 2021. The response to Camp’s financial situation this season was absolutely phenomenal as a record-breaking year. Camp’s ongoing success for its mission and ministry is a full team effort by everyone involved from staff, to guests, to volunteers, to board members. Now I ask you to please continue to keep Camp Arcadia and the staff in your prayers as we look ahead to 2021 and the excitement that the 99th season will bring.”