More Camps Cancelled, Alternative Plans, and Opportunities to Help

Dear Friends of Pilgrim Point Camp,
The Pilgrim Point Camp Committee met with Conference and Pilgrim Point staff last Friday, July 13, for conversation about the status of the damage assessment process, discuss options available for temporary food service operations, and to make decisions about the upcoming camp and retreat programs.
During the meeting, the group received feedback from the site visit with the major case adjuster from the Insurance Board, the fire mitigation contractor, and the general contractor with whom we will be working. The consensus of the professionals supporting our claim is that the process of assessing the extent of the damage to the dining hall facility and establishing the scope of work for rebuilding will take 6-8 weeks. Throughout this time frame a numberof contractors’ crews will be on site with a variety of heavy equipment to fully open and expose the building’s interior and roofing structure. In addition, we will need to complete a significant asbestos abatement project before other work can begin.
As the Pilgrim Point Camp Committee and staff had conversation about possible options for the remainder of the 2018 programs, three questions guided our deliberations:
  • Can we create and maintain safe space (physical, emotional, spiritual) for all camp and retreat participants – especially children and youth?
  • Can we provide consistently excellent programming?
  • Can we provide a place for rest, renewal, and reconnection with both the community that gathers and the sacred space of Pilgrim Point?
After much conversation and questioning, the group had serious reservations about each of the above questions. Given the additional demands to manage the response to the fire placed on an already stretched staff and the realities of having an active, large scale construction site in the heart of camp during the height of Pilgrim Point’s programming, we made the very difficult decision to cancel all camps and retreat programs for the remainder of summer. We will evaluate the status of the fall retreat programming at Pilgrim Point in the coming weeks and provide an update the first week in August.
Any congregations, families and individuals who have already registered for a camp or retreat through Pilgrim Point’s online system or with the registrar directly will receive a refund within the next two weeks. We are also happy to announce that due to the generous support of First Congregational Church UCC of Anoka, we have been able to coordinate a shortened Youth Camp event. This event will be held at the Abbie N. Larson Memorial Campsite in New London, MN, July 29 – 31. For more information or to register for this alternative youth camp event click here.
The camp committee and staff know the pain and grief this decision will cause many of our congregations, families and individuals who are looking forward to spending time within the sacred space and community at Pilgrim Point. Know that we hold you in our heart and in our prayer, as we focus our attention on restoring camp operations for a vibrant and celebratory season in 2019.
In the meantime, please remember that the ministry of Pilgrim Point is a partnership between the Conference and the many congregations and individuals who give their time, energy, volunteer efforts, and financial resources to support and maintain this vital outdoor ministry of the Conference. During this difficult time, the ongoing ministry of Pilgrim Point will depend on this partnership more than ever. Please consider helping in one or more of the following ways:
  • Mark your calendar and plan to take part in a fundraising dinner and concert hosted by Robbinsdale United Church of Christ on Wednesday evening, August 8. More details will be coming in future COMMAntary articles and via the Conference and Pilgrim Point Facebook pages.
  • Give to the Friends of Pilgrim Point Fund, and if you have already given this year, consider giving a second gift. All gifts will be used to fund the ongoing operations and facilities needs of Pilgrim Point Camps and Retreats.
  • Plan to come for one of the Pilgrim Point work weekends that will be schedule for this fall and spring of 2019. We need lots of volunteer energy to help with the multiple facilities projects around camp. Watch for information regarding specific dates and other details in early August.
  • Contact Kevin Brown or Lori Alford to schedule a time for staff and Pilgrim Point Camp Committee members to come to your local congregation to hear more about what is going on at Pilgrim Point and for your folk to ask questions.
We are in a challenging season, but with the Spirit’s guidance we will find our way forward. Thank you for your ongoing support of vibrant and vital outdoor ministries within the Minnesota Conference.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Kevin Brown
Associate Conference Minister for Faith Formation with Children & Youth
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply