Chapel on the Beach, Healthy Finances are Topics of Annual Meeting

The following is a summary of the recent membership meeting of the Lutheran Camp Association (LCA) meeting, submitted by LCA Secretary Kathy Allen. An electronic copy of the full minutes will be sent to LCA members by December 31, 2012 and is available upon request.

[box type=”box” width=”250″ template=”drop-shadow lifted” align=”right” color=”blue”]LCA President Martha Dourson thanked the group for their support in making the Chapel on the Beach a reality and the highlight of the year.[/box]A total of 380 voting memberships were assembled in person and by proxy at the LCA Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the Boulevard Inn in St. Joseph, Michigan. The membership, with 40 in attendance, re-elected Kathy Allen and Chris Schumann to third terms and Sandy Becker to a second term on the board. Stephanie Jass and Brian Bergman were newly elected to the Foundation Board for three-year terms.

In her summary remarks, LCA President Martha Dourson thanked the group for their support in making the Chapel on the Beach a reality and the highlight of the year. Made possible in large part due to the Kuhlman memorials, the chapel was already the site of a wedding and events, including a celebratory dedication service in late July.

Barbara Unger, former Camp Director, addressed the congregation at the Chapel Dedication Service.

Martha shared that Camp operations continue to go very well. Board conversations about vision are underway to thoughtfully consider all aspects of the Camp’s future, including finances and Camp usage. As always, the Arcadia Cottage Colony Association (ACCA) continues to be a vital voice in these discussions. Martha announced that she will step aside as president of the LCA, a role she has held since 2006. The group thanked her with applause for strong leadership.

Executive Director Chip May, now in his 13th year in the role, shared highlights of the 2012 season. Super Storm Sandy just knocked a few branches down and no more. The logo was changed to incorporate a cross, as was directed at last year’s meeting. A high school student was baptized during Omega Teen Week and a teen from Iran was part of the Alpha Week. Camp met or exceeded budgeted numbers at all retreats in 2012 and registrations for 2013 are coming in strong. Satisfaction levels continue to be exceptionally high based on industry comparisons. He urged people to consider working as end of season staff.

Regarding enhancement projects, Chip shared that the card and reading rooms in the Inn will be combined to expand the new 24/7 coffee area. Camp will convert to natural gas and net significant cost savings. Other 2013 projects include a speaker system update in the dining room and the installation of a power generator for the Inn.

On behalf of the board, Treasurer Chris Schumann and Accountant Norm Ulbrich reported a positive financial picture. Cash balances, investment income and surplus from operations are healthy. Fundraising efforts to date for the year raised $305,000 (86 percent) for all projects. We anticipate meeting our fundraising goal by yearend. The Camp has no debt at this time.

Reporting for ACCA, David Wilkins shared that the Steirholz cottage was completed and construction of the new Colburn cottage has begun. The Nieland family purchased the lot between the Gatz cottage and Crittendens. There are two cottages for sale.

Sandy Becker, reporting on behalf of the Foundation, noted that committee activity has been stepped up in the past year. A fund manager was hired to provide additional investment expertise and the LCA board approved the development of a planned giving society.

The meeting concluded with questions and feedback from members. Topics included the suggestion to add photos to LCA board candidate’s profiles, recent raises for summer staff, the proxy voting practice outlined in the LCA bylaws, and musings as to the next “wow” moment at Camp now that the Chapel on the Beach is in use. Martha said that through strategic planning and visioning the board is looking for impactful projects such as this.

The meeting adjourned at 1:04 p.m. with an announcement that the 2013 meeting will be held Saturday, November 2. Following the meeting, the LCA Board met and elected Kathy Allen as president, Steve Roskam as Vice President, Chris Schumann as treasurer and Bill Beck as secretary of the board.

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