Stories

CSA Survey Results

The Board of Trustees is grateful to the 635 people who responded to our survey last year, representing a wide age range. In this longer-than-normal communication, we want to share with you the most important survey findings, and what you will see this summer in response to the feedback. The full survey results can be seen here - CSA Suvey Results..

THE POSITIVES

We are pleased to report that the survey showed a high level of overall satisfaction with what the CSA offers, and the value delivered for the fees paid:

  • 97% of respondents rated their overall summer experience as excellent or good (with two-thirds saying excellent)
  • 89% of respondents rated the value received for fees paid as excellent or good (with 61% saying excellent)

People come to the CSA to spend time with family, enjoy nature, renew and enjoy friendships and get away from it all – this is the glue that holds us together. We also come for the broad range of fun and interesting activities. Children’s activities get better overall ratings than adult activities… and are a bigger draw. Our beaches are also a very important draw, especially for teens and young families.

Volunteers devote significant time to keeping our community running smoothly… and our fees reasonable. As with many organizations, we have struggled in recent years to get enough volunteers. We are encouraged that over a third of survey respondents said they want to volunteer more, but we need more/better ways to communicate opportunities and allow them to sign up.

THE CHALLENGES

Not surprisingly, we are being impacted by larger societal changes that will challenge us as we work to continue our traditions, and get multi-generational continuity and attendance:

  • Spiritual renewal and activities are less important to younger survey respondents
  • Work demands are the biggest deterrent to more time at the CSA, especially among those who say they are coming less frequently. Family circumstances and conflicts with childrens’ summer activities also have an impact

There are three primary Board focus areas from the survey:

  1. Continue to address swimmers itch: With the importance of the CSA waterfront, swimmer’s itch was a big issue in the survey. About a third of respondents with children ages 3 to 12… and 45% of teens… said swimmers itch deters or limits their time at the CSA.
  1. “Bond” 25 – 39 age group to the CSA: Our future depends upon building a lifetime pattern of CSA commitment and attendance for this age group, and the survey suggests we have some work to do:
  • This group was more likely than other age groups to have spent less time at the CSA in the past five years.
  • About a third rated our adult activities only “fair” or “poor” – much more so than other age groups.
  • For ages 30-39, swimmer’s itch is a bigger issue. And almost 1 in 5 in this age group said a preference for other vacation options limits their time at the CSA.
  1. Enhance quality/popularity of our teen activities: Renewing friendships, teen activities and other youth activities are important draws for teens.
  • Almost half of the teen respondents rated our teen activities only “fair.”
  • The good news is that volunteer opportunities are important to many teens. 33% of 13 to 18 year old respondents said volunteering contributes “a lot” to their decision to come more often and/or spend more time. Another 17% said it contributes “somewhat.”

In addition, there were a number of suggestions made in the comment sections of the survey. These have been passed along to relevant committees for consideration. Three specific areas the Board plans to address include:

  • Communications/Web site: People like the email communications introduced last summer, and want to see a more up-to-date Web site and Facebook page.
  • Expand Adult Leadership in Youth Activities: There were multiple requests to expand the role of adult staff in youth activities, in order to optimize safety and enjoyment, and to better mentor younger staff members.
  • Welcome and Include Newcomers. As we focus on enjoying our family/friends, activities, and even “our spot” on the beach, it appears we may sometimes come across as “closed” and/or unfriendly. We can all be part of the solution by being more aware of new people, and reaching out to include them.

ACTION PLANS

A survey comment very effectively summed up the role of the Board in addressing the survey feedback: “While maintaining respect for traditions, continue to embrace the NEW - new people, new programs, new ways of doing the things that make the CSA what it is.” That’s exactly what the Board attempted to do as we set priorities and action plans for this summer. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Continue to work closely with The Crystal Lake Watershed Association to see that everything that can be done is being done to reduce/eradicate swimmer’s itch. This is obviously a multi-year effort, but Glen Lake results are encouraging. We will try to do an even better job of communicating when on-shore breezes may aggravate the problem, and will communicate products/ solutions people are finding to be helpful.
  2. Develop some alternate on-beach activities to encourage the community to congregate at our Crystal Lake beach. The beach is a pivotal piece of our culture. It’s where we meet, talk, laugh and make plans for “later,” and we don’t want to lose that to Swimmers Itch.
  3. Wi-Fi is coming to the CSA. We want to make it possible for people to spend more time at the CSA, by allowing them to conveniently stay in touch with their work and/or life back home. We will install Wi-Fi in the meeting room at the back of the Meeting House… where the digital age will not intrude on our community activities, and people will have a quiet place.
  4. Enhance volunteer opportunity communication/sign-up, including at registration, on the web site and Facebook page, and possibly at the tennis court and Crystal View. As part of this, we will look for opportunities for kids/teens to earn community service hours.
  5. Hire an adult staff member to supervise youth activities, with more direct oversight from Ken Cox.
  6. Continue to make progress in upgrading our Web site and Facebook page.
  7. Make activities more engaging, with better learning experiences, and more disciplined/structured implementation. This will be a multi-year effort. The very popular ecology activities are a good example, and were highly rated in the survey.

You will hear more throughout the summer in our weekly activity emails, and on our Web site. Please be sure to provide an up-to-date email address when you register, so you receive the weekly emails! The survey learning provides a great opportunity for dialogue and ideas, and this is just the start. As we did last year, we will be holding community meetings to get feedback. We also invite you to talk with any Board member, or Ken Cox.

Message from the President

August 17, 2018

No matter how long you were able to be in this wonderful place, the time passes in a flash. I hope you got a chance to relax, enjoy the people and places you love, and participate in some of the many offerings at the CSA, too many to name here.

I am grateful for the hardworking staff and volunteers who help make this a place of harmony. Wishing you all the best as you move into fall.

Barb Perry
CSA Board of Trustees President

Secretary

Job Opening CSA Secretary:

This is a volunteer position. It starts in June 2018. You will shadow the current sectretary, Julie Walton, as she prepares for the June 30th & August 3rd, Board of Trustees Meetings and August 4th, 2018 Annual Meeting. You will be elected as Secretary at the Board of Trustees Reorganization Meeting immediately following the Annual Meeting. If you are interested in applying for the position, please contact CSA President Barbara Perry at 

Below is a description of the duties:

The Secretary attends and takes minutes of all Board of Trustee meetings - Annual, Reorganization, and summer, fall-winter meetings - and ensures there is a quorum. Minutes must be accurate as they are the official record of the Assembly. The minutes of the Board meetings must be distributed to the Trustees within two weeks after regular summer meetings and within four weeks after the annual meeting or fall meeting. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Coordinate with Assembly office staff to prepare for all Board meetings
  • Remind committee chairs to submit written reports electronically at least three days before each summer meeting, and three weeks before the fall-winter meeting
  • Make all arrangements for the fall-winter meeting, communicate these to all Trustees, Managing Director, Office Manager, and committee chairs, and prepare the meeting packet (print and/or electronic)
  • Ensure that the published Bylaws (on the website) are up to date
  • Update the list of Committee members and chairs each fall. The document is named CSA Official Committee Member List and is located on the CSA Google Drive
  • Assist the office staff and managing director in editing the “galley” copies of the Assembly News
  • Archive all reports and minutes for the Archivist.  Minutes are labeled DRAFT until they are approved at the next regular meeting.  A hard copy of all reports and minutes are filed by year.  The Secretary keeps possession of two years’ worth of files, giving the third year to the Archivist each summer

 

CALL FOR THE 2018 ANNUAL MEETING

The Congregational Summer Assembly Annual Meeting shall be held on Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. in the Assembly Building, CSA, Frankfort, Michigan. The following business will be before the meeting:

NOMINATIONS

The following five candidates have agreed to be nominated at the 2018 Annual Meeting to serve as trustees from 2018-2021:

1. Carol Edmonds, 2. Jeff Peoples, 3. Cathie Walker, 4. Shannon Wise, 5. Beth Wolszon

VOTING BY PROXY

Members eligible to vote who are unable to attend the Annual Meeting should file proxy votes with the secretary at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. Proxy votes, which may be left at the office, must include the name of the voting member, name of the member authorized to vote in proxy, name and date of the meeting to which the proxy applies. No more than 7 proxy votes shall be held by one person. Associate Members are not permitted to designate proxies.

The following is a sample proxy which would apply to any business which properly may come before said meeting. You may limit such a proxy to certain issues or motions if you wish.


 

“Know all persons by these presents. That I _____________________________________________________________

of ____________________________________________________________________do hereby constitute and appoint _____________________________________

  _______________________________________ my proxy at the meeting of the Congregational Summer Assembly to be held at C.S.A. on the ______day of 20____.

Signature ______________________________________________

Date   _____________________________________

 

2016 Annual Meeting

Click here to read the CSA August 6 2016 Annual Meeting Minutes.

2015 Annual Meeting

Click here to read the CSA July 25 2015 Annual Meeting Minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Managing Director

We are now in our final week of the 2018 season.  The weather is very summery, even a bit muggy today.  Many families have headed home for their fall school preparations.  We'll have our final choir rehearsal tonight, getting ready for the last Sunday service this weekend.  I'm wondering if anyone knows how to slow the clock down just a little bit....  it's incredible how fast our summers go by here at Pilgrim. 

 

 

 

Nominations

The Nomination Process for the Board of Trustees

In an effort to make the nominations process transparent, below is information on how the committee selects nominees. The Nominations Committee meets once each summer, and in the course of a couple hours of very lively debate, selects five nominees: three Lot Owners and two Associate Members. 

The ideal candidate has a record of sustained service to the Congregational Summer Assembly, works well in groups, accepts responsibility, and possesses expertise on issues such as finance, land use and personnel. At least one nominee is chosen because he/she appears to be capable of eventually assuming the CSA presidency. The committee tries to select a slate that represents a balance of ages, genders, interests, and professional backgrounds. The committee ensures that there is always a member of the clergy on the Board of Trustees. Anyone wishing to nominate someone for the Board is encouraged to contact a member of the committee.

Following the committee meeting, each nominee is contacted and asked if they are willing to serve as a trustee for three years, attend nearly all Board Meetings (particularly the fall meeting), accept the financial costs and the sacrifice of time that go with being a trustee. Most nominees readily consent to serve as trustees. However, if a nominee asks to be considered at a later date or declares themselves unable to accept the post, one of the well qualified nominees on the back up list is contacted. If there is a vacancy on the Board during the winter, the Executive Committee is provided with one or more nominees from the back up list to serve until the next annual meeting.

The following five candidates have agreed to be nominated at the 2018 Annual Meeting to serve as trustees from 2018-2021:

1. Carol Edmonds, 2. Jeff Peoples, 3. Cathie Walker, 4. Shannon Wise, 5. Beth Wolszon

Committee Members:

Liz Gottlieb, Chair

Jonathan Buntain

Anne Burt

Joel Buzzell

Molly Bazzani

Debbie Cenname

Ellen Herscher

Lou Rollinson

Bob Schmidt

Helen Wangard

Nancy Weir