On the evening of July 4, 2018, a fire caused significant damage to the dining hall at Pilgrim Point Camps & Retreats. The fire was due to a propane tank explosion when the outdoor barbeque grill was being lit. No campers were on site at the time of the fire and only a few staff and family members were present. One staff member received minor injuries while trying to extinguish the fire. The dining hall sustained significant fire damage on the west side of the building and smoke and water damage throughout much of the building.
We are so grateful for the commitment and dedication of our Luther Crest site staff and leaders and the many fire fighters and first responders who worked quickly and effectively to contain and extinguish the fire. We are being supported by a responsive team of insurance professionals, fire mitigation specialists, local contractors, and an amazing team of Luther Crest leaders to assess the full extent of the damage and develop a plan for moving forward with the rebuilding process. However, the dining hall will not be operational until at least the beginning of the 2019 season.
Staff are currently exploring options that will allow us to provide meal service at Pilgrim Point for a portion of the 2018 season, but staff will need some time to have a temporary food service operation up and running on site. As a result, we have made the decision to cancel all camps and retreats through July 28. We hope to be operational for Youth Camp, which begins on July 29, and to host the full schedule of camps and retreats for the remainder of the 2018 season. We will provide frequent updates in COMMAntary about the status of the 2018 season and the rebuilding plans for the dining hall.
We are heartbroken by the impact of this loss for our broader Pilgrim Point community. We understand the significance of temporarily suspending operations for our congregations and families. Please hold the MN Conference staff and the Luther Crest staff in your heart and in your prayer as we work to quickly reopen Pilgrim Point as a space of welcome, hospitality, and transformative outdoor ministry.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Rev. Kevin Brown, Associate Conference Minister for Faith Formation with Children & Youth, at firstname.lastname@example.org.