Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center ǀ Synod Update
Spring & Summer 2022

Faith, Education, and Renewal in God’s creation for all God’s people
2239 Camp Roosevelt Rd Fort Valley VA 22652 | (540) 449-0012 |

WHO ARE WE? Caroline Furnace is a place to encounter God in God’s creation and through an intentional Christian community. We believe this experience has the power to permanently change lives. Caroline Furnace is committed to remaining a special place apart, with a focus on God’s grace and presence, and on positive community building.

DID YOU KNOW that Caroline Furnace’s property is only an hour drive away from Martinsburg, West Virginia? We not only provide an 8-week summer camp program but we are open to welcome and host individual and retreat groups all year long.

As a MINISTRY PARTNER of the West VA-Western MD Synod, we are able to live out our mission of providing unforgettable faith, education, and renewal experiences in God’s creation for all God’s people.

LEARN MORE ABOUT Caroline Furnace on our website, or contact our office 540-449-0012 to plan your next retreat!

Spring & Summer 2022 Synod Update

As we enter into the summer months, we are filled with a thankful heart and recognize what these gifts mean to us both personally and professionally. The level of optimism and vision for the future of this ministry grows everyday! We have opportunities in new programs, faith development, and renewal for marginalized people in our communities. We are the most excited about sharing the new Farmhouse renovations, beginning the Pavilion construction, hiring new staff, and welcoming new volunteers and guests. We are grateful for the grace, love, and support that God continues to do through your work in this ministry. Look what you have done in the last couple of years through the pain, suffering, and the unknown of a long lasting pandemic… despite our human brokenness our Lord provides boundless love Beyond Measure.

Total Inclusion Initiative

Lutheran Outdoor Ministry (LOM) began a specific Total Inclusion initiative in 2020 and we are blessed to be an integral part of that. In the fall of 2019 we began intentionally asking, “At Caroline Furnace, what would it be like for us to be more diverse, inclusive, and accessible?”
You answered with: It would look like Christ’s community.

  • No barriers.
  • A place where difference is normalized.
  • Living in a growth zone: new perspectives and being okay with being uncomfortable.

So what have we done since then and where are we going in the future? We began with updating our welcoming statement and our organizational val- ues. Our year round staff enrolled and completed an extensive training pro- gram about Transforming Community with JustMoveCulture. We expanded our partnerships with two black female owned non profit organizations, I am Just Me Movement and Selah Theater Project This partnership provided Trauma Informed Care training to summer staff and an opportunity for these organizations to join us in our team building and renewal time with our Board of Directors.

We are excited about continuing this phased plan into more operational events and programs in 2022. This year we will expand the training of our leaders and staff through conferences, webinars, symposiums and physical work to make our facilities more accessible. We will also offer programs that are easily available to those in the community that are often marginalized.

Summer 2022 Opportunities!

“I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured.” -Ephesians 3:19

We are excited by all God is doing in this place this summer! We are excited to explore all the ways God’s boundless love and presence shows up in our lives with our 2022 theme: Beyond Measure. We have returned to a full Sunday – Friday week with no price increase. New this year is a two week high adventure option for middle and high school aged campers. Your traditional favorites return as well. Register online at! We can’t wait to see you this summer.

Build Solar Beyond Measure Sun Pavilion Capital Campaign

We are all pivoting to live and gather safely as we continue to adapt to life with COVID-19. One of the lessons we learned is the critical importance of both community gathering and open air facilities to comfortably host them. Through the generosity of several major donors, we have raised half the funds needed to pursue an aggressive goal of completing both fundraising and construction on a new rooftop solar-powered pavilion for the lower field by this summer! We know having this covered open-air space is critical for our short and long-term ministry, as well as our efforts to “green” Caroline Furnace’s facilities with renewable energy sources. We invite you to join us in this opportunity to power the future of Caroline Furnace with a gift to the Build Solar Beyond Measure Capital Campaign today! Donate online at Help us fill the sun and build the pavilion to power Caroline Furnace with the renewable energy “beyond measure” creation provides!

Upcoming Events & Retreats

  • June 12, 2022- First Day of Summer Camp
  • September 16-18, 2022- Fall Work Weekend
  • September 23-25, 2022- Seeds & Spiritual Sprouts Retreat Weekend — How are we related to each other and the land itself? Join us for summer book study offering and a Hybrid Weekend Retreat (in person or virtually). This summer book study and fall retreat invites reflection and participation on the relationship between humans, other animals, trees, plants, and all earth elements through the indigenous principle “we are all related.” We are excited to have in person facilitator Nellie Adkins, a local friend and educator who will share the history of our Virginia relatives, seeds, and our land. This will be a weekend of spiritual reflec- tion time, a Seder service, sharing of food made with ingredients from ancient seeds, and some local wine/cider tasting. On a national level we will also connect virtually with Diane Wilson, award winning author of the 2021 novel, The Seed Keeper.
  • January 13-15, 2023- Wild Women Retreat

Find more information and register online at

2021 In Review

What an amazingly powerful and purpose filled year we celebrated in the year 2021 with many blessings given and received in every direction on our compass! We affirmed the generosity of our donors with the completion of a successful Save Summer Camp Campaign. We lived with our summer staff and campers for 10 weeks of safe, fun unforgettable experiences. We gathered with school and retreat groups returning in the late summer and fall to both educate and renew themselves. Finally and most recently our Board of Directors were able to retreat together to solidify strategic plans and connect new partnerships with local minority owned non profit organizations.

  • Revenue: $483,357
  • Expenses: $431,252

Key Accomplishments:
Summer 2021

  • ACA Accreditation achieved for the first time since 1996
  • Family Retreats at an all time high
  • Summer camp restart: staff and campers gathered safely
  • Hired Rev. Sarah Lyon Hess as the Director of Sales, Marketing & Communications
  • New board members: Wendy Van Fossen and Alexandra Werner Winslow
  • Retiring board members: Michael Noll, Rev. Matthew Day, and Tori Smith

Fall 2021

  • School groups and smaller retreats
  • Fall Work Weekend
  • Successful Adventure Weekend
  • LOM Conference in MN (Total Inclusion)

Winter 2021-2022

  • Two updated bathrooms completed in Farmhouse renovation project
  • The Annual Campaign Matching Opportunity led to a total of over $24,000.00 in matching gifts

We are ACA Accredited!

We are ACA Accredited! We did it together with hard work and a team effort over many years. It was a tremendous effort preparing and organizing ourselves and our standards to become accredited by the American Camping Association. We have not accomplished this goal since 1996 and now here we are 25 years later. Congratulations! It takes a team to attain excellence and you all are super amazing! Thank you staff, board members, and volunteers who gave many hours and effort to make this a better camp and retreat center.

Get Involved! Summer & Beyond!

We are excited to continue to offer programmed retreats, host groups, and organize events throughout the year but we can always use your help! We are looking for folks interested in volunteering their week- end time to help host retreat groups, support the kitchen, and other additional program aspects. If you are interested in sharing your gifts while spending time in a place you love, contact us today! We have so many opportunities for you to volunteer with us this sum- mer! Serve as a volunteer chaplain or support staff member by registering online at Continue to be on the lookout for summer camp program needs!

You Have Blessed Us Beyond Measure!

We give thanks to all of the individual donors and to congregations and organizations for your donations and gifts in 2021. As always, we are so grateful for the continued support of our three Synods. We are one as the body of Christ, and we are so very blessed by your abundant generosity. The Lord has provided us with wonderful gifts, that we may proclaim the gospel boldly through Caroline Furnace. Perhaps the most important gift as we seek to minister to a world in need is YOU. We respectfully ask for your continued donations and that you continue to support the incredi- ble work done here. By providing, participating, and praying for Caroline Furnace, you share Christ’s love with a world in need and provide a sacred space for all. Support Caroline Furnace Online at


Tom Powell, Executive Director
Monica Springman, Director of Programs
Rev. Sarah Lyon Hess, Director of Sales, Marketing & Communications
Rev. Heidi David-Young, Director of Resource & Program Development
Lee Ann Powell, Director of Food Service Operations
Bryan Hepner, Director of Facilities & Maintenance
Steve Van Stee, Assistant Facilities & Maintenance
LuAnn Woodard, Bookkeeper & Housekeeping


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