CRCG Debt Reduction:
WOW! We are very grateful for all the year end gifts we received! In the beginning of December we received two $25,000 gifts and were challenged to see if our CRCG family would be willing to match those gifts prior to the end of the year! God’s love and faithfulness was shown through his children as we raised $55,000 in matching funds! What a blessing!! With the contributions received during the year and combined with all the year end gifts we were able to reduce our debt by over $250,000! Currently our debt is approximately $620,000 and all our loans are from supporting families and individuals. Hopefully we will be able to pay off the rest of this debt in three years or less. We thank our awesome God for the gifts and support we have received from our supporting families and businesses!
New Ministry Center – Replace the Current Sunshine Room, Store, Kitchen:
No new updates since last fall. We again thank all the campers, cottagers, and visitors who have given us feedback on the future new ministry center which is the planned replacement for the current sunshine room, kitchen, store, registration area, with the addition of new cottage style hotel suites and meeting rooms. Most of the feedback we received were in favor of the new concept with a larger air conditioned sunshine room, a bigger store with more grocery or camping supplies, keeping the ice cream and candy area the same, new camping & cottage registration area with a welcoming lounge, but some reservations on the additional cottage style suites. Taking all those ideas together with what has been approved for by Grand Haven Township, we have a preliminary plan for a 20,000 – 24,000 square foot facility. The ministry center would be located where the current sunshine room building is just on a larger footprint than the current structure (current structure is about 10,000 square feet). The time frame for such a facility is still 3-5 years out with the first priority to pay off our current debt and funding a new septic system. We ask for your prayers as the board continues to seek God’s guidance planning for the future of the Grounds family ministry.
Septic System Improvements:
The Conference Grounds septic waste system was built in the mid 1980’s to accommodate the camping and cottage improvements of the 1990’s and 2000’s. With the addition of our new worship center, year around cottage usage, and the 30 plus years of operations our septic system is getting close to being maximized. To continue our current operations or even consider additional improvements (replace sunshine room, store, kitchen, add cottage suites) we will have to update our septic operations. Our system is currently permitted through the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and is tested and reviewed for compliance by the engineering firm, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. It is their recommendation that we consider connecting to the Grand Haven Township septic system since we do not have expansion capabilities with our current system. Based upon that recommendation the Board of Directors is looking into the engineering requirements and costs of connecting to Grand Haven Township septic system. Currently the Grounds is one mile away from the closest point of connection. You will receive updates from Mr. Mike throughout this summer season!
Additional Cottages and Potential Change to B-Section Camping:
The Board continues to look at the possibility of adding more cottages. The demand for our cottages both for the summer and non-summer season continues to be phenomenal. In order to stay in compliance with our site plan as approved by Grand Haven Township we are limited to where we can locate any additional cottages and most likely would have to remove some B-section campsites. The most feasible spot, due to the infrastructure already available, is the area next to our pastor’s cottage and behind Peace and Joy, which means that some of our B campsites would be eliminated to fit an additional 2 cottages. At the same time the board is considering making the other B-campsites full hook-up (adding septic), with cement pads, and possibly combine campsites (B10 & B25 / B11 & B24) to accommodate some of the bigger trailers and motorhomes that have a very hard time maneuvering and fitting on our current campsites. It would make these bigger sites more expensive. This would be a major change to our campground and cottage footprint. Your prayers for wisdom and direction as our board considers what is best for the future of the Grounds ministry!
Facility Improvements for summer of 2020:
- Fellowship and Retreat cottages have been repainted with new living room furniture
- Pastors cottage – Repainted, new living room furniture and flooring
- Hope, Faith and Rest cottages have new flooring and stoves
- Repairing the lower level of steps going down to the beach.
- New front entrance sign and landscaping.
- Additional Adirondack chairs overlooking Lake Michigan (Memorial gifts)
- Replacing the 30 amp connectors in each of the electrical boxes on each campsite.
Will Mr. Mike Be Hiking the A/T in 2020?
After not being able to hike in 2019 I was looking forward to hiking again in September and early October this year. I was hoping to head back to where I left off in Rutland, Vermont, and hike the next 300 miles of the trail. But my knees have given me a very emphatic NO the last couple of months! So it looks like before I head back to the trail I’m going to need bilateral knee replacement surgery on both my left and right knees. I’m currently considering on having surgery either late summer or early fall with my hiking plans on hold for another year. My desire is still to go back to the trail and hopefully complete it in the years to come, the Lord willing!
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