Updates Regarding the Pilgrim Point Camp Fire

From Rev. Howard Bell, Sabbatical Supply Conference Minister

Along with Ray Croaston from the Conference Board of Directors, it was my privilege to visit Pilgrim Point Camp on Tuesday, July 10th, to meet with Kevin Brown, Dave Holst from LutherCrest Camp, other on-site Pilgrim Point Camp staff, the insurance adjuster, and two contractors who are assisting us with the damage assessment and helping move us forward to re-open camp. Please see Kevin’s report below for more detail. We are in caring, competent and compassionate hands as we move forward during this challenging time. I want to express special gratitude on behalf of the whole conference for Kevin’s tremendous leadership.

I also want to offer my prayers, and request yours, for all those involved in our meeting and others who will be engaged in this process. May God’s spirit guide the decision makers. I also offer my prayers, and request yours especially for those people whose lives were disrupted by the cancellation of congregational camps and July family camp. We pray God’s presence and loving spirit to be with for all those who are grieving these losses.

Thanks be to God for the Minnesota Conference.

A Letter from Kevin Brown, Associate Conference Minister:

Dear Friends of Pilgrim Point Camp,

We are so grateful for the outpouring of encouragement, love and support we have received since announcing the dining hall fire at Pilgrim Point.

Earlier this week, the insurance adjuster, contractors, and a fire damage mitigation company were onsite at Pilgrim Point to begin the process of assessing the damage. Due to the spread of the fire in the roofing structure and the large volume of water used to extinguish the fire, contractors will need to remove large sections of the existing roof decking and much of the interior finishing material to expose the underlying structure in order to assess the full extent of the damage. We anticipate the assessment phase will be complete by late July. Once the damage assessment is complete, we will be able to provide more information about plans for repairing the damage and moving forward.

As we mentioned in last week’s communication, we have cancelled all camps and retreats through July 28. We are issuing refunds to congregations and individuals who have registered for any of the affected programs. Please contact Curtis Griesel, Pilgrim Point Camp Registrar, with any questions regarding refunds.

We are continuing to explore options for having temporary food service operations at Pilgrim Point, which would allow us to host camps and retreats later during the 2018 season. As soon as we have new information, we will provide immediate communication to congregations and individuals currently registered for programs that begin July 29 or later.

We have received several questions regarding the level of insurance coverage for Pilgrim Point Camp. We want to assure folk that we are being well supported by the many representatives from the Insurance Board assigned to our claim. The Conference does have coverage for loss of revenue related to the fire. We are also covered for the expenses related to providing onsite temporary food service operations. Also, the deductible for our coverage at Pilgrim Point is $2,500.

Many individuals and congregations have asked if they can volunteer or provide financial support to help with the recovery effort at Pilgrim Point. In the coming weeks and months there will be much to do and some additional financial support needed. However, we will need some time to figure out how best to engage the work of volunteers and the specific financial implications for Pilgrim Point. In the meantime, we welcome gifts to the friends of Pilgrim Point fund, which will go to help support the ongoing ministries and operational needs.

Please continue to pray for all those involved in the assessment and recovery efforts. And please hold in your heart and prayers the many individuals, families, and congregations who are grieving the loss of their summer experiences at Pilgrim Point. We are hopeful that we will be fully functioning for the 2019 season and once again be able to welcome folk to fully experience the wonder and sacred community at Pilgrim Point.

Grace and peace,

Rev. Kevin Brown

Associate Conference Minister for Faith Formation with Children & Youth

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