Message from the Sumatanga Board of Trustees

8/22/2018

Over the past months, members of the Camp Sumatanga Board of Trustees have received numerous questions, concerns and suggestions about issues around the Summer Camping Program as well as the general operation of the camp. We are aware that there are many variant voices who have expressed frustration. We are also aware of the deep love of and commitment to Sumatanga which has also been expressed. Where there has been confusion, misunderstanding or lack of clarity we apologize for our failings. We are humbled by our sense of responsibility of stewardship for the camp which belongs to all of us.

On August 17 and 18, the Trustees held a retreat in order to begin a process of honest appraisal of where we are and how we move forward, with continued focus on the mission of Sumatanga to create an environment dedicated to Christian transformation in the United Methodist Tradition. We were led in our discussions by professional consultants who helped us to clarify and address the issues before us. These discussions have taken place against the background of fiscal issues and concerns about the financial viability of the Camp as well as the concerns of our constituents. It was a prayerful process as the Trustees attempted to listen carefully, seek clarification, and engage in frank and open dialogue. The discussions recognized both the need to maintain the unique "Sumatanga Experience” which is central to our identity, while being open to the challenges and opportunities for the future.

Emerging from our time together the Trustees arrived at initial steps to what will be an ongoing process:

  1. We affirm the mission statement of Camp Sumatanga to create an environment dedicated to Christian transformation. This overarching mission remains central to our identity.
     
  2. We affirm our current summer camping model with a central focus on spiritual growth and the use of volunteer leadership. As a Board, we have had honest and healthy conversations about the difficult happenings of the summer, have received honest and cooperative responses from our staff leadership, and have together developed plans and strategies to help us all understand, encourage, and be held accountable to, the values and mission that makes Sumatanga what it is.
     
  3. Laura Sisson has agreed to chair a newly created Summer Camp Design Team which will be responsible for curriculum, the structure and scheduling, and the training and screening of volunteers. This Team will oversee the programming for Sr. High, Mid High, Elementary and Day Camp. They will also address those issues raised during this past summer. The Team will be elected by the Board.

    The Design Team will work in close connection with the current Executive Director who is responsible for the physical plant and staffing for activity centers within it (enrollment, reservation, kitchen, lifeguards, alpine tower, etc.).
     
  4. The Trustees also recognize that the financial sustainability of the camp requires that we expand our audience and income streams. The Board will work with the Executive Director to provide guest services to other groups who are consistent with our mission.
     
  5. Over the next year the Trustees and Executive Director will engage in a strategic planning process to move us faithfully and responsibly into the future. This process will actively seek input from our constituents.
     

This is a time for coming together. The Trustees ask that the thousands of people who have found rest, vision and a deepening relationship to God at Sumatanga move forward with us in a way that respects our traditions, our diversity and each other as we seek to fulfill our common mission.

The Sumatanga Board of Trustees


comments powered by Disqus
Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.