Renew | Camp Carl

Committee Purpose

The Camp Carl Evaluation Committee was assembled to review the existing oversight structure at Camp Carl and to propose recommendations for the future so that Camp can continue to operate effectively, under healthy and godly leadership. This team was made up of men and women from multiple Chapel campuses, and included pastors, trustees, and Camp Carl staff, among others. The committee met weekly throughout much of 2022 and has now completed its work. 

The committee's kickoff meeting at Camp Carl afforded the opportunity to tour the campgrounds, meet the staff, learn about the activities offered at camp, and hear how God has been using Camp Carl since 1964 to change students’ lives for Christ. The Committee made a series of recommendations to the Board of Trustees, who in turn brought the recommendations to Chapel members for a vote in early 2023.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Vote Results

A formal member vote was called on Sunday, January 29, 2023, as part of our annual Members Meeting. Of the Chapel members who cast a ballot on Sunday, 100% formally said “Yes, I affirm this action” in response to the Camp Carl proposal. Additionally, of the ballots cast by non-members, 96.3% affirmed the Camp Carl proposal. These totals reflect the cumulative percentages of voting members and non-members at all seven Chapel Campuses collectively. We receive this result as an overwhelming affirmation of the spirit of agreement that the Lord has continued to work among our membership, and we praise Him for his faithfulness.

With this affirmative vote from the members, The Chapel's existing Board of Trustees and current Lead Pastors can begin the process of registering Camp Carl as a nonprofit Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), assembling a Board of Directors to serve Camp Carl, and completing additional legal, financial, and administrative steps in this process.

Committee Members

Governance Structure

The Camp Carl Evaluation Committee used the following three principles to guide their work as they reviewed potential options and made their final recommendations:

  1. A desire to position Camp to flourish as an asset that fosters evangelism and advances the spiritual growth of families in the Chapel churches
  2. A commitment to uphold the autonomy of the future elder boards who will govern the independent local churches after they launch
  3. A fulfillment of the decision of The Chapel Board of Trustees, as indicated to the membership, that Camp Carl would continue “in partnership with and under the oversight of independent Chapel churches”


After a thorough evaluation, the Camp Carl Evaluation Committee recommends the following:

  • That Camp Carl should be registered as a nonprofit Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). Camp will also have 501(c)3 status.
  • That Camp should be primarily operated by a Board of Directors, the majority of whose members will be drawn from the current Chapel churches. The Board will be charged with following an operating agreement. The Board's responsibilities would include camp operations, budget and priorities.
  • A single church’s oversight elder board would be designated to provide overarching spiritual and organizational oversight to Camp Carl. As the originating church, The Chapel in Akron would be selected, and would designate a member of its oversight elder board to serve on Camp’s Board of Directors.
  • Camp Carl and its board of directors would operate with a high degree of autonomy and responsibility for year-to-year operational activities, priorities, and financial affairs, within the entity’s operating agreement. 
  • Camp Carl would establish a set of policies and agreements to clarify expectations and define future partnership in tandem with the future independent Chapel churches. 
  • This initial governance and operating framework for Camp Carl would be a transitional structure, to be re-evaluated after a three-year period of operating after the launch of the independent churches.


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Legal Structure

Financial Implications

Q: Will Camp Carl remain financially stable? 

A: Yes. Camp Carl is currently in a financially sound place and will remain that way as they transition into their new legal status as a single-member LLC. All current campuses of The Chapel are committed to the ministry of Camp Carl. Our Lead Pastors, Trustees, and Camp Carl Evaluation Committee members desire to position Camp in such a way that it will flourish as an asset that fosters evangelism and advances spiritual growth in families.

Q: What steps will be taken to ensure the financial security of Camp?

A: We have identified numerous avenues through which we will strengthen Camp Carl's financial position, so as to leave Camp in an optimal position to be successful through this transition:

  • The Camp Carl Endowment Fund currently nets Camp Carl approximately $60,000 per year for property upkeep and maintenance. This Endowment Fund will now be under the stewardship of the Camp Board.
  • The Chapel currently holds a significant financial reserve as a "rainy day fund," to cover all of our campuses and ministries in case of emergencies. We are setting aside just over $700,000 from this financial reserve to create the beginnings of such a safety net for Camp Carl.
  • The Camp Director has implemented a robust plan to re-engage retreat season (involving the off-season usage of Camp Carl facilities) to generate additional revenue for Camp.
  • As a legally-separate nonprofit entity, Camp Carl will now be able to receive their own funds, and this funding will not have to pass through The Chapel. Any organization or individual who wishes to give financially to Camp Carl may do so directly. To that end, Camp Carl will now pursue their own donor development. Camp Carl will have the advantage of building their own pool of donors..
  • It is the intention of the Trustees and the Lead Pastors to formalize a plan for the independent churches to give 2% of their annual offering for the next 3 years in support of Camp Carl's ministry, through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).

With the implementation of a Board of Directors to provide financial oversight, we can leverage (to Camp's advantage) the added expertise and strong accountability of this shared responsibility for fiscal management

Q: Can you explain the Memos of Understanding (MOUs) in a little bit more depth? How will those work?

A: Our current Lead Pastors have agreed to work with their future oversight elder boards to produce Memoranda of Understanding that pledge their intent to continue supporting Camp Carl financially, even after the Chapel campuses relaunch as independent local churches. Currently, The Chapel gives $265,000 to Camp Carl annually, out of our Outreach fund. This is approximately 2% of what we receive in annual offering. To replace this flat sum, each independent Chapel church will pledge their intent to give 2% of their future annual offering to Camp Carl for a period of three years, through these pledged MOUs.

In addition to financial support, the MOUs will include a number of other ways in which the independent churches will support and interact with Camp Carl. These may include promoting Camp to the congregations, volunteer opportunities, and more.


Impact on Camp

Q: Will this decision result in any significant changes to camp operations?

A: Yes and no. The day-to-day functions of Camp staff will not change; neither will the opportunities for volunteer and participant involvement. However, the Camp Director will no longer report to an individual on staff at The Chapel; he will report to the Camp Board of Directors who will offer oversight, accountability, and shared expertise. A high-functioning board will offer stronger leadership and more focused attention—a gift we’ve never been able to give to Camp Carl before.

Q: In what ways will the affirmative vote benefit Camp Carl?

A: In the long run, this decision puts Camp Carl in a position to become less financially dependent on The Chapel, by broadening the support base. By positioning Camp Carl as a single-member LLC, we increase the opportunities for outside partnerships with other ministries and organizations, while also assuring continued involvement and support among the current Chapel congregations after launching as independent churches. Additionally, by giving Camp Carl its own board, with responsibility and authority over the entire camp, we are giving Camp Carl the gift of strong leadership and focused attention.

Q: What challenges might Camp Carl and/or its staff expect to face as a result of the affirmative vote?

A: Like all of our Chapel campuses right now, there are challenges as we restructure and figure out how to handle previously-shared services, like Human Resources, IT, and more. This is a challenge that Camp Carl will navigate as well. It may also feel vulnerable, at first, for Camp to do the work of broadening its financial support network. We agree with our Camp Director that the new opportunities outweigh the cost of these challenges! 


Camp Leadership

Q: How will the Camp Board members be selected? How long will their terms last?

A: The Interim Senior Pastor will call a nominating committee to identify the initial Camp Board members. The nominating committee will select approximately 11 representatives, both men and women, from among the current Chapel churches to serve a 3-year term. One seat will be set aside for an appointed member from The Chapel in Akron’s oversight elder board, and the Executive Director of Camp Carl will also serve as ex officio member of the board.

Q: Should we expect any theological changes within Camp Carl’s leadership as a result of the affirmative vote?

A: Camp Carl will operate within the same theological parameters, beliefs, and statement of faith set forth in The Chapel in Akron’s church constitution.

Q: Moving forward, will there be any partnership or collaboration between Camp Carl and the various ministries of the current Chapel campuses (Campus Focus, Student Ministry, etc.)?

A: We hope and anticipate that these partnerships will continue to exist! Ultimately, partnership and collaboration between Camp Carl and other Chapel churches and/or ministries will happen voluntarily, at the discretion of the appropriate ministry leaders. Volunteer work days, youth retreats, and other campus-specific events that are already scheduled to happen at Camp Carl in 2023 will continue as planned.

Q: When will these changes be implemented?

A: We anticipate transitioning Camp Carl into their new legal status in September 2023. 

Mark Scheffler | Chairman

Trustee Board Member

Denny Adams | Vice Chairman

Trustee Board Member

Jennifer Bennett

Akron Campus Member

Amy Butcher

Central Chapel Staff

Mike Castelli

Green Campus Lead Pastor

Zac Derr

Interim Senior Pastor

Sandy Gamby

Green Campus Member

Tammy Kennedy

Akron Campus Staff

Mitch McKenney

Green Campus Member

Bob Schneider

Akron Campus Staff

Tom Sullivan

Camp Carl Director

Greg Warder

Green Campus Member

EJ Watson

Akron Campus


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