Annual Meeting 2012
There are three major Outdoor Ministry projects in play
The collaboration between the
2. The 2012 Pilgrim Lodge season
3. The proposed Pilgrim Lodge capital campaign
1. The collaboration between the
researching the complexities of the issues, it was decided to formally stop all
programs in order to re-imagine the program and deal with underlying policy and
subculture issues. Several work events are planned this summer to aid in
maintaining the physical site.
point, the collaboration is not an official merging of outdoor ministry
programs. There are discussions about
some joint pilot programs and staff sharing, but the focus for NH is on
This collaboration is being held as a model of means by which UCC conferences can work together to support one another’s ministries as we adapt to the emerging realities of the twenty first century.
2. The 2012 Pilgrim Lodge Season is underway. The first youth camp is taking place concurrent with the annual meeting. As of this writing registration is up about 5% from the same time last year.. Maintenance projects move forward as time and funding allow. A new section of boardwalk has been built as a model for the entire replacement project that will be included in the proposed capital campaign. The Outdoor Ministries Committee has worked tirelessly to ensure a safe, fun, meaningful and mission based program. We anticipate another large publicity/education campaign to help retain and grow our connections with local Maine Conference churches. New scholarship opportunities are being pursued. Our volunteers (counselors and deans) are hard working and dedicated. Our staff is outstanding and devoted. This year’s summer staff includes students from three different seminaries. Throughout the new and exciting events that surround us, we continue to keep our eye on the ball: creating an open, safe space for campers to learn to love God, love themselves, and love one another, strengthening the church and helping bring people to an awareness of human worth and dignity, and the ubiquitous, eternal divine love embodied in the ministry of Jesus.
3. The proposed Pilgrim Lodge Capital Campaign will be presented at annual meeting. This campaign represents the culmination of a decade of study and discussion by multiple committees and boards. Included in this document is a three page “Case For Support” and a very early sketch of a proposed dining hall, one aspect of the campaign. In viewing the sketch, please keep in mind that it is a first draft, and that the trees are not representative of the actual site. There is an entire section (including cabin S-1) that is ‘cut away’ to effect viewing of the proposed structures. Phyllis Ives, who has worked with the Carpenters Boat Shop, local churches, and non-profits is working with the conference on the campaign.
In summary, Outdoor Ministries
in the Maine Conference United Church of Christ is vibrant, exciting, and
effective. Everyone who works with such dedication and spirit is eager for the
conference to explore and affirm the future of this ministry. The collaboration
2012 Capital Campaign
Preliminary Case for Support
April 25, 2012
Pilgrim Lodge 2012 Capital Campaign
Preliminary Case for Support
Do you have a special place?
A place where, more than in other places, you feel connected to nature,
to the people around you, to God? A place that has changed you, given you memories which will shape
your life? For many young people
Most Pilgrim Lodge campers come from families in the 161 congregational churches in the Maine Conference of the UCC, but all are welcome. The youngest campers have finished second grade and the oldest are, well, older than that. Amidst all the summer fun of Pilgrim Lodge are the connections formed. Pilgrim Lodge brings our youth to God and ultimately to, or back to, the church. It is a place where many of our young – and young at heart – have heard the call to ministry, felt the wonder of sacrifice through mission, learned to actually love one another “as I have loved you,” and found that connection to Christ in the eyes and hearts of their brothers and sisters.
the Congregational Christian Conference of
Improve Accessibility: It is imperative to the ministry of Pilgrim Lodge that accessibility issues are in the forefront of the capital project, to be addressed post haste. The United Church of Christ says, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” But the camp has not had the resources to make all areas fully accessible to people with mobility limitations.
· The outdoor chapel, the primary location of camp worship, is not accessible. Currently, people with limitations cannot reach the back row, let alone the front so worship leaders and participants are limited to those who can negotiate the steep steps.
· The boardwalk is only partially accessible and needs to be widened.
· The waterfront facilities, docks, etc., need to be made accessible to all.
· The labyrinth is only a word to some.
· The 1930s Lodge needs significant structural repairs. The foundation was built on cedar stumps that are rotting and must be stabilized for safety. The original pine floors have become so thin that they bounce when kids dance, and cannot be sanded down again. The kitchen is exhausted and in dire need of upgrading to be more efficient and fully up to code. Although sanitation is achieved, it is difficult and highly work intensive.
· The boardwalk, the community-building connector for the camp, is in need of major repairs. Many of the sections need to be replaced and the spacing of the railing does not meet current safety codes.
· Cabins 9 and 10 are built into the hill causing bases to rot and attract nesting animals in the off season. Approximately 20 bunks have old metal rungs which are rusting through and falling off. Those bunks and all cabin mattresses need to be replaced.
· Sections of the septic and water systems are of similar vintage. The septic system’s old cast iron pipes get clogged and break, and should be replaced. The water delivery system includes very heavy tanks located in a rotting wood structure. An existing concrete containment building is not currently in use and could be adapted to house the water tanks.
· The original old hunting lodge cabins, currently being used for storage, are rotting and soon will not be appropriate for any purpose.
Create Gathering Spaces: Rainy days are challenging; there is no covered outdoor space to hold programs in inclement weather. This also limits the possibility of multiple groups using the facility at any one time. Further, there is a need for gathering space to welcome new campers and have high energy morning start ups that preserve the sacred ground of the chapel for worship and more contemplative time.
Increase Traffic Safety: Current traffic patterns require delivery trucks to drive through extremely narrow spaces in the center of camp. There are places of dangerously limited visibility across which campers regularly walk and run. Parking spaces for visitors are few in number, but could be created along the road, keeping cars out of the main camp area.
Add New Program Space: (1) The Arts and Crafts building is small, perpetually over committed and needs more space with water. (2) The existing low ropes course needs to be brought up to code. New elements, and the addition of a high ropes course would greatly increase the excitement and usefulness of this area. (3) Basketball and sand volley ball courts would further build programming.
Upgrade the Waterfront: In addition to accessibility issues, the dock structure is aging and cumbersome to haul in and out. Many of the canoes date back to the 1940s. They, and several of our kayaks, need to be replaced.
Build Endowment: The early seeds of endowment have been sown with a current balance of $51,000. A substantial increase in endowment would begin to generate some relief for the annual operating budget, cover the cost of future maintenance needs and create additional scholarship funds.
With an eye toward the splendid past at Pilgrim
Lodge, the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ seeks to upgrade the
property to ensure countless years of spiritual growth into the future at our
beloved Outdoor Ministries location in West Gardiner,
· Design and construction of lift and ramp systems to the Chapel and waterfront.
· Construction of a new building called “
· Conversion of the current lodge to flexible program space, suitable for expanded arts and crafts projects, multiple groups and rainy days.
· Setting an amphitheater into the natural curved rise between the office and new dining hall, overlooking the lake for morning start-ups and welcome meetings.
· Rebuild collapsing JBJ cabins for modest staff housing.
A successful capital campaign will provide $2.5-million – the resources needed to fully realize our commitment to being welcoming and accessible to everyone, to make urgently needed repairs and improvements to the existing facilities, and add strategic spaces to keep the character of Pilgrim Lodge while making it safe and adaptable for programming well into the 21st Century.
“Often empowerment comes from recognizing the divine through healthy human connection: Christ is in the eyes and hearts of our brothers and sisters. In seeking, and finding that connection in one another, we recognize it within ourselves.”
From the Pilgrim Lodge
The following quotes are from the campers at Pilgrim Lodge:
"Pilgrim Lodge has a sense of love and understanding that just makes you feel loved and respected for who you are."
"At Pilgrim Lodge I felt at home and welcome. People were respectful and kind, and the staff was amazing.”
From the mother of a 4th grader, “She came home talking all about things she learned and enjoyed during vespers. She made some nice new friends, with whom she is already staying in touch."
Look around your church and observe the youth and
adults who are the most active, most involved in the life of the United Church
of Christ, locally, statewide and nationally.
You’ll see folks who are in some way connected to the shores of
PILGRIM LODGE CAPITAL PROJECT BUDGET
· Lodge Foundation – repair foundation, replace flooring, convert to program space
· Cabins - structural repairs, new mattresses, replace 20 bunks
· Replace old cast iron septic system pipes
· Move water delivery storage tanks
· Rebuild old hunting cabins for staff housing
Create Gathering Spaces
· New dining hall and central pavilion for meals and rainy day program space
· New amphitheater in natural curve of land next to lodge
· New gazebo for group meetings and rainy day space
· Replace aging docks for easier, safer hauling in and out
· Replace oldest kayaks and canoes
Increase Traffic Safety
· Build access road to new dining hall and camper drop off point, bypassing areas used daily by campers
· Add visitor parking near new dining hall along access road, keeping cars away from main camp area
Add Program Space
· Add elements to existing low ropes course
· Create new high ropes course
· Build sand volley ball court
· Add 2 basketball courts
· Move/expand existing arts & crafts space to Lodge
Architectural Design/Construction Management (10%)
Construction Contingency (10%)
· Fund future maintenance costs
· Offset general annual operating costs
· Create new scholarship funds, potentially church-specific
Fund Raising Costs