Music Week, a big success in 1979 was repeated in 1980 with Mary Alice Crabb and Judy Gager as directors. In 1981 the camp sponsored a Don Wharton Concert in Greenville. On May 23, 1982 the camp celebrated it’s 25thAnniversary. In ’84 the Camp Manager explored the use of a portable telephone to keep up with calls as he roamed about the camp grounds. (Cell phones a’comin.) The Board explored the possibility of creating a new entrance to the camp from 17 Mile Road. January ’82 Larry Wheeler, announced his retirement, the Board signs on Bob Johnston. Johnston resigns July ’84. Kevin Brooks assumes post of Acting Manager. Larry and Flora Schantz are hired for Camp Maintenance. Flora resigns on September 1, 1985. Kevin Brooks becomes Caretaker, then Manager. Mike and Nancy Rivers accept offers as Program Director and Nurse. Ron and Rose Hansen are recognized by the Board for their OUTSTANDING SERVICE during the absence of Caretakers and Managers. Ron and Rose assume these duties whenever necessary. THE LADIES AUXILIARY disbands after 32 years of great service to the camp, their bank balance totaling $770.87 was contributed to the camp.
On MAY 31, 1987 the camp celebrated its 30th Anniversary at 3PM at the camp. The celebration was a service of thanksgiving to our Lord and King for 30 years of Christian Ministry. Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of Ancient History and Campus Chaplain to the Lutheran students at West Michigan University, well known author, lecturer and award winning educator was the special speaker. Mr. Jim Tews, Trinity, Conklin and Clarence Bernt of Redeemer, Grand Rapids led the senior and junior choirs for this special service.
In the fall of 1987,
Following a successful career with General Electric, Harold Denig, a former camp Board member, retired and settled in Ohio. He was still very much interested in the progress of the camp and offered a proposal to the Camp. He, Harold, wanted to spearhead a fund raising effort to eliminated camp debt. A Capital Funds Committee was organized. Its members were Harold and his friend George Wedel from Zion, Holland; Rev. Allen A. Gartner and Doug Humpries of Hope, Grand Rapids. The total camp debt was $53,000. In addition to the debt, a new outdoor chapel, estimated at a cost of $10,000 was also proposed. Harold got the ball rolling with his personal gift of $10,000, to be matched before the end of 1987. The match was accomplished. The drive was to end December 31, 1988. The actual cost of the outdoor chapel was reduced to $2,522 by designing our own benches and using volunteer labor. The metal bench parts were manufactured at cost by the C. D. Osborn Co., Grand Rapids, thanks to Dick Osborn, Hope, Grand Rapids. The stone altar was the work of Bud Ross, ably assisted by his wife Betty, both members of St. John, Ionia. The cost of the cross was contributed by Paul and Marilyn Choiniere of Holy Cross, Belding. The boulders for the chapel and camp entrance area were donated by Dave Ross of Belding.
The work continued into 1989.
As the Outdoor Chapel was completed. Attention was given to the camp entrance area. Kappes Landscapes, Cal and Gary Kappes, St. Matthew’s, Ada, contributed labor and plants to both the chapel and new entrance. Additional congregations were represented among the 21 volunteers that assembled the outdoor chapel benches. The total financial goal was reached by the end of 1988. A celebration of the successful effort was held on January 22, 1989, in Grand Rapids at Immanuel Church. After the event the Camp Board passed a resolution to raise funds for all future major projects prior to starting them and forevermore remain debt-free.
Debt Retirement Celebration
RETIRING THE DEBT AT CAMP CONCORDIA WAS CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION...
...AND THAT IS WHAT MEMBERS DID AT IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, IN GRAND RAPIDS
on January 22, 1989 at 3:00 P.M.
The special guest was Dr. Oswald C. J. Hoffman.
Assisting in our worship was the Calvin College Capella Choir and organist Jonathan Tuuk, Rev. Allen A. Gartner served as the Liturgist and Dr. K. Frank Graves as the Lector. Refreshments were provided by Lutheran Brotherhood (Thrivent).
A SINCERE THANK YOU to all who helped to make this day possible. Our LORD who puts good desires into our hearts and the courage to act on those desires. The founders of CAMP CONCORDIA back in 1957; the trustees who have served through the years, all our Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood branch contributors; our speaker, Dr. Oswald C. J. Hoffman; the Capella from Calvin College and their director, Professor Merle R. Mustert; organist, Jonathan Tuuk; Immanuel Congregation for the use of their facilities; our capital funds committee; and all who have contributed in ways too numerous to mention. We are most grateful!!!
Bob Johnson becomes Camp Director
Kevin Brooks becomes Camp Director
President - Gary Wells