United Church Camps (Wisconsin Conference)
United Church Camps’ Facilities Get Much Needed Upgrade
When Glenn Svetnicka wanted to get a jumpstart on projects during the campaigning season, he knew the United Church of Christ Cornerstone Fund would play an integral role in their upcoming Campo campaign. Associated with the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ, Glenn is the Executive Director of the United Church Camps Outdoor Ministry–a position that he holds with great pride. Svetnicka is passionate about varying aspects of ministry, but he also welcomes the responsibility of initiating funding in order to maintain or advance building infrastructure.
The United Church of Christ Cornerstone Fund “had a great personal relationship with the us before they ever lent a single dime of money,” says Svetnicka. Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise to find out that the United Church Camps Outdoor Ministry held a previous line of credit with the Cornerstone Fund. Svetnicka valued the relationship with the Cornerstone Fund and wanted to seek additional monies from a faith-based lending company already within the United Church of Christ family.
“I’m in the ministry business and we are changing the world for the better. In everything I do, I want partners that are along for the vision. The mission and the ministry is divinely inspired,” says Svetnicka.
Necessary Building Repairs
The United Church Camps Outdoor Ministry within the Wisconsin Conference houses two main facilities on their Moon Beach and Pilgrim Center properties. Both facilities are sacred–one with a main building dating back to 1902 and the other constructed in 1957. At first, Svetnicka wanted to tear down the original building. It was old and needed a great deal of fixing. Instead, Glenn thought it more important to repurpose the original building structure with additions that are both cost-efficient and sturdy enough to last well into the future.
“The Cornerstone Fund gave us a headstart on the repairs and new building endeavors. HVAC, information technology upgrades, roofs, and additional siding–these buildings needed a lot of work,” explained Svetnicka.
Environmentally Conscious Additions
When upgrading the facilities, Glenn wanted to make sure all of the additions were environmentally friendly. “In order to reduce our carbon footprint, the upgrade plan included the use of composite materials–safer for the environment and still would last for years to come,” explained Svetnicka.
“Throughout the planning and construction phase, it is our duty to be responsible stewards of the earth. We have one planet and we need to give back to it.”
Glenn executed this specifically with the upgrades to the Moon Beach facility.
“Although we kept the metal roof and in-floor hydronic heating system, the facility still needed to be more winterized. With the funding from the Cornerstone Fund, we were able to add an on-demand water heater, double the space in three separate cabins, and partition a much-needed, winterized breakup space in the one of the larger cabins.”
That’s why renewing the Moon Beach site for Camp AweSum was so important. This site houses families and children that have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For several weeks, these families and individuals come to Moon Beach in hopes of fellowshipping with others and connecting to nature in a peaceful setting.
“It is of the utmost importance for us to provide predictable sleeping accommodations and consistent scheduling predictability,” says Svetnicka.
Safety concerns, mold, or unrecognizable smells (due to lack of proper maintenance) can really affect autistic children. “And because we also facilitate a memory camp for individuals with dementia, it was a priority to structure the upgrade with sensory details in mind.” He continues, “We want our all of our guests to feel comfortable here.”
A Future with the Cornerstone Fund
Without question, Svetnicka wholeheartedly recommends the Cornerstone Fund. He emphasizes, “The rates are on par and customer service is stellar. The Cornerstone Fund is an ethical company that understands the church business.”
As for the United Church Camps Outdoor Ministry, there is currently quite the demand for additional retreat programs like Camp AweSum. Svetnicka hopes to meet those demands in the future by providing additional safe-space sites for individuals and families alike. “At first, we were one ministry with two sites. Now, we are hoping to be one ministry with three sites. If we need additional lending, we will surely turn to the Cornerstone Fund.”