Building for the Future Capital Campaign
Building for the Future
There’s something about turning into Lutherlyn’s tree-lined winding drive that offers a sense of space - room to breathe, a relief of daily pressures and expectations. People tell us this often. There’s a closeness to God in this space. Nature has a way of drawing us near. As the noises and distractions of the world around us grow louder, we are in desperate need for reflective space to hear God’s reassuring promises.
In some ways, outdoor ministries are changing and camper expectations continue to rise. These aren’t necessarily negative shifts, but ones we’re committed to consider in our efforts to create intentional space to engage with God’s creation, to provide programming that will strengthen faith and identity as children of God, and to build a place of learning and growing together with shared experience, interests, and goals.
Since 1948, Lutherlyn has become an influential presence in the lives of youth and adults throughout Western Pennsylvania. Borne from the conviction that youth would benefit from a faith-based leadership camp, Lutherlyn has intentionally expanded to include educational opportunities that explore God’s creation.
I’m excited about the plan we’re sharing here with you. I’m energized by the potential work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of youth and adults of every walk of life. The impact of Lutherlyn lives on in generations of campers, retreaters, summer staff, and the communities of which they are a part. What a privilege to be part of this holy work!
I hope you’ll join in this campaign for Lutherlyn—for the future of camp and the future of
youth and adults throughout Western Pennsylvania.
This document contains the details about the need, projects, and goal of the Building for the Future Campaign.
This online form can be used to make a pledge to the Building for the Future Campaign. There is also a link to a printable "statement of intent" form that can be printed and returned through the mail.
All of the letters, announcements, and materials needed for the Congregation Leader to conduct the campaign can be found here.
This is a shorter version of the campaign video (2min 55 sec), if needed.
Campaign Progress: January 1, 2024
To date more than $1.7 million in pledges have been received toward a campaign goal of $2 million.
Fully funded, construction to begin August 2023.
Project: Amphitheater Renovation
The amphitheater is one of Lutherlyn’s most beloved spaces. In this sacred space, we gather in God’s creation for worship, campers are affirmed in their faith, couples vow their love and commitment, retreat groups worship and receive communion in nature. We don’t want to change a thing!
To secure the structural stability of this site, footings and foundations will be placed to minimize further sinking of benches and uneven walkways. These measures will retain the look and feel of the amphitheater while preserving its use for decades to come.
* UPDATE * In the initial project plan, a new cabin village was first in line followed by a complete renovation of the Steininger Memorial Amphitheater. The order of these two projects has changed. When Lutherlyn’s Board of Directors met in September 2022, the current condition of the Amphitheater was discussed. Due to increased deterioration of the Amphitheater, it was determined that repairs and renovations should be completed as soon as possible so that we can continue to use this incredibly meaningful worship space. We are currently finalizing plans and anticipate construction in the Steininger Memorial Amphitheater to begin immediately after the conclusion of Summer Camp 2023. Careful preparation and groundwork, while the weather remains fair, will allow construction to be completed prior to the first day of Summer Camp 2024.
The Amphitheater’s renovation will cost approximately $500,000 and is already fully funded by campaign gifts. The next project of the campaign, a new cabin village, will begin as soon as 75% of the next $1,000,0000 in campaign funds are in hand.
Project: Cabin Village
Lodging is a first-line impression of Lutherlyn’s hospitality. The Shaulis cabins, built in 1958, have served this ministry well, housing thousands of campers over those years. Unfortunately, weather and wear have exhausted these buildings.
To replace these accommodations, a new 5-cabin village will be built on main camp between the pool and the a-frames cabins. This winterized village, complete with upgraded utilities and an access road, will be professionally constructed to meet current building codes. The single village will accommodate Lutherlyn’s pre-pandemic summer camp enrollment while also allowing for an increased number of guests during the retreat season.
A second 5-cabin village to accommodate seasonal staff and volunteers is planned as funding becomes available. This second village is part of the Building for the Future challenge goal.
Project: Remove Shaulis Cabins, Road & Site Improvements
Over the years, the well-used Shaulis cabins have deteriorated beyond repair. Each summer, they require excessive maintenance and upkeep to use “the best” 5 for campers and staff. The “worst” 5 are not usable.
Though these old cabins must be removed, the Shaulis Village area will remain in use. Dogwood Shelter is one of Lutherlyn's most popular gathering spaces, and Wallace Hall, as well as Woodland Lodge, will continue to be used regularly throughout the entire year for our campers and guests. We also anticipate that the village of seasonal cabins (which are considered the "stretch goal" for this campaign) will likely be constructed in the same general area to allow the existing utilities to be utilized.
Additionally, Lutherlyn's main entrance road will likely endure a lot of heavy traffic as construction equipment and materials are brought to camp as we work to complete the projects associated with this exciting campaign. Recognizing this, improvements along and on the driveway will be made after construction of the cabins and amphitheater renovations have been completed.
Project: Seasonal Cabin Village
A second 5-cabin village to accommodate seasonal staff and volunteers is planned as funding becomes available. This second village is part of the Building for the Future challenge goal. We anticipate these new seasonal cabins will be located in Shaulis, re-using the utilities which historically served the cinder block cabins of that area.
- January 1, 2024: Campaign Pledges reach $1,700,000!
- December 1, 2023: Progress at the Amphitheater is outstanding! The entire under-structure and seating has been completed, and just finishing touches like railings and landscaping remain to be completed in the spring of 2024.
- August 7, 2023: Renovations at the Amphitheater have begun. Photos of the work-in-progress are added regularly to Lutherlyn's online photo directory. (password to view: adventure)
- August 6, 2023: Lutherlyn hosts worship in Steininger Memorial Amphitheater and celebrates a re-groundbreaking.
- July 2023: Campaign Pledges reach $1,500,000!
- May 2023: The first dozen congregations have participated in Building for the Future by conducting their own campaigns. Additional congregations are scheduled to hold their campaigns this autumn.
- December 20, 2022: The congregational aspect of the campaign is now underway; 10 congregations’ councils have approved running a six-week campaign and accepted a campaign fundraising goal.
- December 2022: A construction company is contracted and work in the Amphitheater is set to begin in the days following the conclusion of summer camp 2023.
- October 2022: First group of congregational council visit volunteers are recruited and trained.
- July 2022: Campaign Pledges reach $1,000,000!
- April 2022: Campaign Pledges reach $500,000!
- March 2022: Volunteers trained and are now reaching out to Lutherlyn’s community of donors individually (this work continues).
- January 2022: Members of Lutherlyn staff and the Board of Directors were each asked to participate in the campaign; 100% of current staff and board members have made financial commitments.
- November 2021: Campaign leaders recruited, including Bishop Emeritus Donald McCoid who is serving as the Campaign’s Honorary Chair and Ted and Theresa Schroeder serving as Campaign Co-Chairs.
- September 23, 2021: The Lutherlyn Board of Directors votes in approval of the Building for the Future capital campaign