Camp Arcadia has created the new management position of operations director. We are excited to have Leah Sallach join us to fill this position starting March 7, 2016. As the operations director, Leah will take a lead in managing and coordinating all of the necessary details of our 100 seasonal employees, coordinating our promotional efforts, recruiting and hiring over 60 fall staff, supervising the Trading Post operations, and assisting in fundraising efforts, program management and development.
Our use of the title “operations director,” which can mean many different things depending on the situation, reflects the wide variety of responsibilities this person has and her seasonal staff leadership role. The operations director also will have a public role, talking with guests, managing staff, and helping with the program.
Camp Arcadia has grown significantly over the past 15 years and we continue to grow. Over this time period we have extended our season a month and a half and we have added 1,000 guests. Our teen ministry has grown more than twofold with the fall confirmation retreats in the last three years. In 2015 Camp served the most guests in its 93-year history, and we hired a record number of seasonal staff employees. Camp Arcadia is impacting more people than ever, nurturing their faith, spirit, mind and body. Looking forward, we will be implementing a master facility plan in the coming years. If we are to continue to serve and fulfill these plans, we will need an appropriate staffing plan.
Successful ministries plan for the future, and, as good stewards, make changes as needed. We spent time over the past year analyzing our staffing needs. We listened to guest and staff feedback. We took a look at Camp’s goals as outlined by the LCA Board and influenced by guest feedback, and how achieving those goals would impact our staffing needs. We also looked at other similar camps and how they staff their ministries. Our research with Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA) showed that most camps our size have 11 full-time staff. With the new operations director we have 7.5 full-time staff. This helped us realize that, while we have always prided ourselves in our efficient and productive staff, it might be time to add full-time staff to help us meet our goals.
Part of being good stewards is recognizing and planning for the financial implications of change. In addition to raising funds for a capital campaign related to our facility plans, we also know that keeping our rates affordable will require an increase in our annual fundraising efforts. The cost to operate Camp is increasing due to the cost of maintaining almost 100-year old buildings and serving more guests at Camp. While adding staff increases this cost it also gives us the capacity to grow our revenues through fundraising and increased registrations. The camping industry advocates that camps rely on fundraised dollars for 25% – 30% of their annual budgets. Currently Camp Arcadia is very healthy in regards to our reliance on fundraising (in 2015 our budget was 8% and in 2016 it is 12%), but we know it will be increasing.
As Camp’s operations have grown and we looked to the future, it was became apparent that some of the responsibilities of the executive director needed to be redistributed to allow him to focus on developing Camp’s ministry. Our analysis showed that we could use additional staff to help with seasonal staff management, Trading Post supervision, promotions, and fundraising. Initially we outlined a plan to bring on four additional seasonal, part-time or full-time staff to fill these needs. As we searched for a new program director and learned more about Leah’s professional experience, it became clear that she would be able to fill our staffing needs. Her experience as a program director, who was very much involved in the other aspects of running a camp, made her a great fit for Arcadia. Ultimately it was more efficient financially and effective organizationally to hire one person. We have also learned over the past few years as we look for new management staff, that, due to our location and ministry focus, there is a limited applicant pool.
“This is an exciting time in Camp’s history. We are building and planning for the future with this new position. We are blessed to have an outstanding management team and Leah will be a great addition,” commented Lutheran Camp Association (LCA) President Stan Scheumann.
If you have questions about the new position please direct them to Executive Director, Chip May at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Camp office at (231) 889-4361.