Even as we gear up for Thanksgiving and have long since packed away our summer shorts, CSA t-shirts and flip-flops, the CSA is always in the back of our minds. Earlier this month the Winter Board of Trustees meeting in Chicago took place and below are some of the highlights of the meeting. Yes, the Crystal View was damaged in October by a driver who crashed into the side of the building, but repair works began almost immediately (no fear, there will be ice cream and hot dogs next summer!) and new playground equipment has been installed at the CSA Lake Michigan beach. Swimmer’s Itch was, of course, a topic of conversation as was the refurbishment of the Woods courts and the wooden floors of the Assembly building.


Highlights from the Board of Trustees Winter Meeting on November 5th 2016.

  • Our final financial statements for the year ending September 30, 2016 are in good shape with no significant changes from what was reported at the August Annual Meeting. The Budget for 2017 was approved. There will be no fee increase. All staff Directors will be returning!
  • As part of an effort to help new Board members come up to speed more quickly, the new nominee slate was invited to attend the meeting. The Board is also updating and enhancing an orientation guide for new Board members.
  • The Assembly Building wood floors were redone this fall and look great!
  • The Woods Tennis Courts will be refinished next spring. The cost is paid from the Tennis Reserve Fund.
  • The new Crystal Lake fire pit is working well overall, and there have been very few problems. It’s a great place to gather with families and friends. The Board agreed to look at installing permanent signage.
  • On Thursday night, October 28th a drunk driver crashed his car into the Crystal View, damaging the M-22 side of the building. No one was hurt. The end of the building was destroyed, including the beautiful new mural. This part of the building was the storage room. We have an inventory of what was stored in the room. Insurance will pay for the broken items and repairs which are already underway and will be completed before next spring. We will ask the artist, Judith Bishop Riviere, if she will repaint the mural.


  • Pilgrim Place Accessibility Improvement - The ramp at the back of Pilgrim Place that provides access to the deck for those who cannot manage the front stairs is not currently accessible. There is no place for a car to pull in and let someone out. Buildings and Grounds is clearing a parking space there for the start of the 2017 season to remedy this issue.
  • The CSA Women’s Association Arts and Crafts Fair, supported by over 100 volunteers, produced revenues of $12,121.70. An additional $740 was produced by Directory sales. These proceeds will, once again, fund a variety of beloved CSA programs in 2017 including Lemonade Sundays, the Authors and Artisans Fair, Children’s Library books, arts and craft classes for kids, Art Workshops for adults and Ecology Fun. One time purchases, in 2017, will include special equipment for the mini-tennis program, including a ball launcher machine, and shelving for Ecology Fun. They will also fund butterfly garden maintenance.
  • Thanks to the generous Dertz family memorial donation, new playground equipment was installed this fall at our Lake Michigan beach. The swings have been tested out - a fine ride. Kids are going to love going down to the CSA Michigan beach playground! 


  • Check out the Forest Care Committee video – themes include Ash and Beech disease and management opportunities, public safety and forest integrity. Click here -
  • In case you hadn’t heard, during the October 2015 Board of Trustees Meeting the Board voted unanimously to move forward with a Membership Committee proposal to extend Associate Membership to all individuals who qualify. The Membership Committee has identified approximately 1,200 individuals who qualify for Associate Membership. A letter will be mailed to these individuals by February 2017 inviting them to become members. Read more about this important initiative by clicking here.
  • The Pilgrim Fund Trustees express deep appreciation to the Lauder Family Trust for a generous memorial donation received last September. The Trustees, working closely with the Lauder family over the summer, completed a number of improvements to the Meeting House including:
  • The existing analog sound system was completely replaced with a state of the art digital system
  • Upgrades to the hearing-impaired system
  • Doubling the # of wireless microphones for the operettas
  • Plumbing upgrades and remodeling of both the men’s and women’s bathrooms
  • Communications Intern: Response to all the communications created by our 2015 Communications Intern, Julia Davis, was extremely positive. The Board approved a Communications Intern for next summer. If you’re interested in the job, or know somebody who might be, click here for the job description and application information.
  • Report from the Waterfront Committee on Swimmer’s Itch cases over the summer. The statistics collected by our waterfront staff make for an interesting read. With the knowledge gained about the conditions that seem to lead to swimmers itch, we can enjoy the water and better avoid the itch! The Board was informed that the waterfront team has agreed to post the conditions daily on the website and Facebook page to help people better assess the risk of swimmer’s itch. Click here to read all about it.
  • We invited Pierce Emata back for a Gershwin concert on the refurbished, 100-year-old Steinway (the parlor piano of its day, and George Gershwin played a lot of private parlor parties). Stay tuned.

The Communications Committee also hope to have some stories to bring you over the winter, just to remind you the CSA is only a click away—if you have ideas for a story that you would like to see, please let us know.  And don’t forget to like our Facebook pager, which we are updating with local news pieces, videos and photographs, including CSAers wearing their CSA gear (so far our logo has been spotted in Bali, Scotland and Tanzania).