God has blessed Lutheran Island Camp wonderfully over the past 60 years. The stewardship of His gifts remains a priority for all of us. That stewardship extends to the facilities, the programs, and the campers who come or may come to Lutheran Island Camp and Christ Serve Ranch.
Early in the history of Lutheran Island Camp it became obvious that the only way the Island could be used was for a “bridge” to be built from the mainland to the Island. Hundreds of people from throughout the region came together to construct the causeway that exists to this day. Rocks came from area farms. Trucks came from as far away as East Grand Forks and Bellingham. Volunteers came from around the state. Together they built a road nearly half a mile long and 20 feet wide. Other than an occasional load of gravel, that “bridge” has stood the test of time for over 60 years.
In recent years Lutheran Island Camp has been faced with some significant challenges and some wonderful opportunities. Both the challenges and the opportunities will provide us with an opening for God’s people to participate once again in building new bridges. These bridges will be different than that original causeway. They will be bridges connecting floors, connecting buildings, and connecting new constituencies for our programs.
As we move forward with plans for the further renovation, development, and construction of current and future facilities we will continue to ask for God’s guidance in the matters of stewardship, programming, and construction.
What are the needs? We always consider the safety and comfort of our guests as a first priority in all that we do. To that end there continue to be several projects that need to be completed. These include repairs and updates on our cabins, an elevator in the ERC, a new, more up-to-date kitchen, a safer way to go from the ERC to the chapel area, improved rustic housing for weekend and adventure camps, and safe waterfront docks and equipment.
Since that first group of visionaries decided that Bald Island would make a good camp for children of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Lutheran Island Camp has always used debt as a means to achieve its goals. There was a brief period in 1972 when the camp was debt free. While the amount of debt relative to our income and assets is at its lowest in recent times, that debt still has an impact on our bottom line and our ability to take advantage of opportunities that come our way. We want to move forward with paying off the existing operating debt and the current mortgage. We would also like to establish in the Lutheran Island Camp Foundation a revolving fund that would be available to meet short term needs for operations or for equipment and smaller improvements.
The purchase of Christ Serve Ranch by the Friends of Creation Science LLC has allowed us to move forward with beginning to build new bridges in programs, facilities, and constituencies. Plans are being developed for numerous exhibits and facilities at the Ranch. These include assets for our creation science, horseback riding, leadership, and adventure camps as well as income producing assets and a camping area for tents and recreation vehicles. Included in our efforts will be completing the purchase of Christ Serve Ranch by the Foundation.
Building New Bridges will have Four Key Elements identified below: