$50,000 Challenge Grant Launches Fundraising
It all started when the 1970's summer camp staff, back at Lutherhaven for a reunion a year ago, said "Why'd you stick us in this dump?"
They were talking about Pine Crest Lodge Retreat Center at the top of camp, which is where they wanted to stay during their reunion because "That was the new building at Lutherhaven in the '70's when we were here!"
But four decades of year-round campers later—picture a 40-year stream of kids, teens, adults and families—and Pine Crest Lodge was just plain worn out. Furniture was shabby, carpet was patchwork, lighting and paneling and bathrooms were out-of-date, accessibility was limited. So these former camp counselors passed the hat and collected almost $2,000 to start a fund to remodel Lutherhaven's historic Pine Crest Lodge.
This March an incredible $50,000 was added to that ... a challenge grant from the LJC Fund of the Inland Northwest Community Foundation. The $50,000 was given to spur hundreds of smaller donors to pool their dollars and match that amount two-to-one to see the Pine Crest Lodge renovation to completion!
Prominently located in the center of camp, the original Pine Crest Lodge was constructed during the winter and spring of 1945-46, in time for the camp's dedication in May, 1946.
As the original Administration Building during Lutherhaven's opening decades, Pine Crest Lodge served as the manager's office and as "faculty and guest" lodging for volunteer pastors and teachers from the various Lutheran churches who rotated through each week during the summer months.
As it so happened, a quarter century later Pine Crest Lodge found itself in the center of camp in a different sort of way: Lutherhaven was broke. The camp needed some sort of change in direction if it was going to last beyond its 25th Anniversary.
After consulting with national leaders in Lutheran camping, the Board made the bold decision (they had no money) to move from summer to year-round programming. They would winterize the camp, hire a year-round Executive Director, and turn Pine Crest Lodge into the signature four season Retreat Center at Lutherhaven.
The New Building on Camp!
In the summer of 1971—less than a year after plans begun—the new Pine Crest Retreat Center was dedicated as part of Lutherhaven's "25th Silver Jubilee". The 5,800 square-foot project included a three-story addition off the back, rooms to accommodate 60 or more guests, three meeting spaces, a summer infirmary, and offices, all at a cost of $25,000. (That's $150,000 in 2012 dollars!)
Lutherhaven's Pine Crest Retreat Center has welcomed eight decades of campers, retreat-goers and staff. Literally tens of thousands of campers of every age have used the lodge as home base for the Christ-centered spiritual discovery, growth, restoration and renewal found at Camp Lutherhaven.
Pine Crest Today
It's been 40 years since the Pine Crest Retreat Center was remodeled. Much of the decor looks as it did in 1971: carpet, paneling, light fixtures, signature circular fireplace.
More importantly, critical structural elements are equally dated. There is little insulation. Many windows no longer close, letting in winter cold and summer bats and bugs. Electrical wiring is antiquated and furnishings back up to electric heaters. Indoor plumbing, a camp luxury in the 1970's, is woefully inadequate for today's guests. There is no handicapped access to the building for people with mobility challenges.
Ten years ago Pine Crest was barely adequate for retreat guests attending fall, winter or spring weekends at Lutherhaven. Now—especially with a remodeled Good Earth Lodge and east side cabins—Pine Crest is the least accommodating accommodation on camp. Hence the "Why'd you stick us in this dump?" that jump-started this project!
Plans for the restoration and renewal of the Retreat Center will return the building to its former place as the central gathering, meeting and accommodations facility at Lutherhaven for adults, families and youth.
The goal: raise $150,000 for the project, complimented by another $200,000 in staff and volunteer labor.
The Pine Crest Lodge renovation will foster a beautifully enhanced Christian camp and retreat experience at Lutherhaven, helping fulfill our mission and core values to serve as a relational, family-oriented, and inter-generational outdoor ministry … a place set apart for renewal and intentional Christian growth in faith and life.
Make a donation to the Pine Crest Lodge Remodel!