The Arcadia Foundation: A Brief History

In November of 1991, the Lutheran Camp Association created the Arcadia Foundation – an endowment to support the long-term sustainability and viability of Camp Arcadia.

By this time, several endowment gifts had been made to the Lutheran Camp Association (including a gift from the Breimeiers in support of a nature education at Camp and a gift from the Uhligs in support of financial scholarships). In 1991, the paperwork was drawn up for a Foundation Committee to oversee the investment of a designated endowment for the benefit of Camp.

The 2012 Foundation Distribution supported the construction of the Chapel on the Beach.

Upon its creation, two initial gifts were made to the Foundation. Richard (Dick) and Marilyn Albrecht made a gift to cover the administrative costs of establishing this new fund. (Dick served as the Chairman of the Foundation Committee from 1991 – 1997.) The other gift was made by Frederick (Fred) Schmid – the first unrestricted gift to the Foundation.

Since that time, many have committed to planned gifts toward the Foundation in their estate plans or wills, becoming Camp Arcadia Legacy Builders. There are currently 113 Legacy Builders. Generous gifts, both planned and outright, to the Arcadia Foundation have grown its total assets to over $812,000 (which even factors in the current, ongoing ‘market woes’). These funds are invested under the supervision of the Arcadia Foundation Committee, a six-member advisory and oversight team. Annually, the Foundation Committee determines and designates a distribution toward projects or programs where funding is needed. Since its inception, the Arcadia Foundation has distributed $196,298.00 to fund various projects and needs at Camp Arcadia.

In celebrating 30 years of investments in Camp Arcadia’s mission, we also want to take this opportunity to say, “Thank you!” to the many women and men who have given their time as members of the Foundation Committee throughout the decades. Their leadership and insights have been invaluable.

Part of 2019’s distribution was used to update our mountain bike fleet.

Past projects supported by funds from the Arcadia Foundation include…

  • Chapel on the Beach (2012)
  • Inn Coffee Lobby (2013)
  • Ballfield Restroom (2014)
  • Refinishing the Trading Post Floors (2015)
  • Camp-Owned Cottage Renovations (multiple years)
  • Archives Celebrations (LCA 50th, Camp’s 100th)
  • Mountain Bikes, Equipment for Promotions & Podcasting, Scholarships & Respite Learning Tools (2019)
  • Replacement of lost revenue during Covid-19 Pandemic (2020)
  • Electricity needed to run the dewatering system (2020)
  • Inn Dressers & Tennis Court Renovation (2022)

Looking forward, the ongoing costs of maintaining our beloved facilities will not decrease. Over the next five years alone, Camp will spend over $1.5 million dollars on routine upkeep and maintenance costs around Camp (ex: refinishing floors, replacing doors and windows, replacing pipes and trim, updating bathrooms, boiler and electric maintenance, etc.). As we steward our historic facilities well and maintain — and improve — the charm of the Camp we all love best, a thriving Arcadia Foundation plays an essential role in taking pressure off of both registration and annual fundraising revenue.

Imagine the impact of the Foundation if unrestricted assets matched Camp’s operating budget ($1.3 million) – a possible distribution of $52,000 annually, which could cover the cost of a new roof for the Assembly or replacing the basketball court. Imagine the impact the Foundation could have if unrestricted assets were double Camp’s operating budget – a possible distribution of $100,000 annually, which could fund the purchase of new boilers throughout the Inn and Kitchen or a full refresh of the Assembly’s interior (paint, pipes, window refinishing).

When it comes down to it, gifts to the Arcadia Foundation are about legacy! So many generations of so many families call this place “home.” Because we have received the gift of a thriving Camp Arcadia, it is incumbent upon us to invest in this special place and ministry so it may continue to serve the generations of our families (and new families!) for many years to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Arcadia Foundation or becoming a Legacy Builder, contact Sarah Olson for more information.

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