Redwood Glen is ready to step into the future, and I invite you to come along. There are two reasons why I make this invitation:
60th Anniversary Celebration
On Sat. Nov. 3, over 120 people gathered at Redwood Glen to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Camp and Conference center. 60 years of “Sharing the Light.”
During the festivities, Andrew Gonsalves, Water Manager, and Chad Plantenberg, Director of the Water Production Team, led tours of the new water treatment facility showing people how the water would be treated with the membrane filters. This high tech unit comes complete with a visual touch sensitive monitor for easy access to and understanding of the controls. Hooked up wirelessly, Andrew will be able to control the unit with his tablet from anywhere there is wireless internet access. He will be able to send and receive reports and receiving warnings should there be any problems.
In honor of the 60 years of the Redwood Glen and the dedication of the Water Treatment Facility a fountain was constructed next to the treatment building (shown at right). The fountain is a simple piece of wood holding a water spout with water flowing into a half barrel. The wood and spout come from the original wood tank at Indian Point, part of the original water system when Redwood Glen was first founded.
Just before dinner we dedicated the new water treatment facility. Speakers included myself, Chad, and our project engineer from SRT, Lisa Pezzino. She explained how rare it is in the State of California that a new water system is built for surface water. Lisa has been on this project for over three years and she is excited to see this come to completion.
When it came time to cut the ribbon, you knew it had to be different for us at Redwood Glen. Instead of a ribbon cutting, we had a pipe cutting. The scissors (… I mean, the saw) was brought out by Wyman Chin, who was the first water project coordinator four and a half years ago. He handed the saw to Lara Egbeola-Martial, another engineer at SRT who has worked on this project. She handed the saw to Lisa, who then passed it on to Ronald
Gonsalves, Redwood Glen’s Maintenance manager and the building coordinator. He gave the saw to Chad, who handed it to Andrew. Andrew cut the pipe in two with water pouring out from both ends of the pipe.
Jay Nordgaard, former Executive Director of Redwood Glen, gave closing words and the benediction for the ceremony.
Many dear friends and supporters of Redwood Glen then enjoyed the dedication and dinner together including Doug Siden, Director of Camping Ministries for the American Baptist Churches of the West for close to 30 years and one of the founding pastors of Redwood Glen; and former Camp Managers Ray Miller, Jay Nordgaard and Mike Socia. It was indeed a fun day.
Redwood Glen’s Water Challenges
Can you believe that our water problems started over four and a half years ago? Seems like it has been going on forever. But when the water was turned off, three different challenges immediately came to the forefront to face us here at Redwood Glen.
Challenge #1 was to find an immediate source of water to keep Redwood Glen operating and serving our campers and our guests. We’ve had three different water hauling companies to deliver water paying anywhere from 15 to 25 cents per gallon. With our water tanks at the top of the hill, we had to add some tanks down near the pump house as the water trucks could not make it to the upper tanks.
Challenge #2 was to find a solution to providing water permanently. SRT engineers were hired and they developed a Community Water System that could serve Redwood Glen for the next 60 years. Wells were drilled that produced a minimum of water . . . not enough to sustain operations. It was decided to go back to how we obtained water back at the beginning, water from Hoffman and Piney Creeks. After three and a half years of working with SRT, the County of San Mateo and the California State Water Resources Control Board, the treatment facility is complete and ready to run.
We are happy to say that these two challenges are looking at a completion date. On Wed., Nov. 28, representatives from the State Water Resources Control Board will come to Redwood Glen and observe the water system in full operation. We are getting prepared for that visit and expect the outcome to be a “Certificate to Operate”. Challenges 1 and 2 are about to be completed.
Challenge #3 has, in one sense, been the most difficult. That challenge has been, and continues to be, paying for it all. The bill for the first two challenges so far has exceeded $1.3 million. The good news is that in the past four years we have received two thirds that in gifts and donations. You have been very generous.
But it has not all been paid for. Our immediate need is to raise $200,000 to get us through the winter months where our costs normally exceeds our income. If you were at our 60th Anniversary Celebration, thank you for a fulfilling start to reaching this goal as we received almost 15% in gifts and pledges. If you were not there, you have the opportunity to help Redwood Glen make that step into the future.
I would ask you to consider becoming a financial partner with us at Redwood Glen by making a three-year pledge. For instance, an annual pledge of $1,000.00 or $83.00 per month would help us reach our funding goal. This type of commitment is the backbone of our ministry. Whatever level you might choose would take us a step closer to meeting our funding goals. Or you may choose to send a cash gift which would be helpful as well.
Enclosed is a booklet telling about Redwood Glen, with a card and envelope for you to make your year end gift or pledge.
Let me close with a quote from Samantha Balderas, a college student who has been a camper at Redwood Glen and is now a counselor during our summer camps. She, spoke at the 60th Anniversary Celebration and pretty much summed up what Redwood Glen is all about.
“When I was younger and a camper at CMAD (Children’s Music And Drama Camp) I learned from my dad (who was the speaker that week). Now that I’m a counselor, I want to make sure that I talk to them (my campers) too. So the thing that I think is the most important about Redwood Glen is that it passes things forward. It’s a boat that never ends. It keeps going and going and going. Someone started this place and 60 years later we’re all standing here having dinner together with someone who helped start it at the very beginning.”
What impressed me the most about the celebration last week was seeing not just Samantha, but many other young adults there who, in past years, were campers, and are now in leadership positions, not just at camp, but at their church as well. In fact, Samantha’s dad, Danny, is also a former Redwood Glen camper who attended as a 5th grader back in the 1970’s. A Barna poll taken last year among pastors states that 60% of pastors attended camp as a child and 40% felt a call to the ministry while at camp. That is an important statistic.
Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to read through this packet. I hope you understand how important Redwood Glen is for our young people. More than ever, today they need Redwood Glen. And today Redwood Glen needs you.