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Muskoka to Host 34th Chautauqua Trail Annual Meeting

The 34th Chautauqua Trail Annual Meeting will be held in Port Carling, Muskoka, Ontario, October 12-15, 2017, during the year of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. The fall in Muskoka is particularly spectacular against a backdrop of rich colour as the leaves are changing.

Muskoka Chautauqua has been a focal point for artists and writers since 1917 when it was known as Canada’s Summer Literary Capital. Gary Froude and Gayle Dempsey revived the idea of Chautauqua in the late 1990s as the Muskoka Lake Music Festival evolved into Muskoka Chautauqua officially in 2004.

Continuing a tradition that started 100 years ago, this vibrant arts community continues to attract visitors who are drawn to personal growth, enrichment and renewal, and the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas.

Muskoka Chautauqua remains an important cultural hub, encompassing the arts, education, reflection and the opportunity for leading thinkers and practitioners to share innovative and creative ideas, while enjoying the awe-inspiring natural backdrop that is Muskoka.

The tentative schedule for the Annual Meeting is as follows:

Thursday, October 12:

  • 10 a.m.–5 p.m.  Registration: Muskoka Place Gallery
  • 6 p.m.   Welcome Reception: Hotel

Friday, October 13:

  • 8:30 a.m.   Welcome
  • 8:45 a.m. Meeting I
    Welcome, Housekeeping details, Call the meeting to order, Approval of minutes from Monteagle, each Chautauqua “Show & Tell” (limited to 5 minutes)
  • 11 a.m. Bala Cranberry Festival and lunch on your own
  • 3:30-5:30 p.m. Meeting II
    Gretchen’s presentation, Agenda items Muskoka wants, other agenda items suggested by other Chautauquas   
  • 6 p.m. Dinner: Hotel

Saturday, October 14:

  • 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Roundtable Discussion: Queries from Atlantic Chautauqua and any other new Chautauquas
  • 1-3 p.m. Meeting III: Election of officers, any unfinished business, announcement from next year’s host: Ocean Park
  • 3-5:30 p.m. Free time/optional activities including boat cruise
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m. BBQ
  • 7 p.m. Dark Skies/Torrance Barrens Or Film Presentation

Sunday, October 15:

  • 9-11 a.m. Sunday Reflections with harpist Michael Moon

Register for the Annual Meeting today!

Lakeside Chautauqua to Host 2017 Generosity & Stewardship Workshop

Lakeside Chautauqua will host a Generosity & Stewardship Conference from Aug. 6-9. Pastors, clergy and laity involved in stewardship and finance, development, foundation leaders and consultants are welcome to participate in this unique learning experience.

Keynote Speakers

The Rev. Dr. Clayton Smith serves as Executive Pastor of Generosity and Stewardship at The Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kans. He has spent years researching generosity and has worked in the front lines of churches. The Rev. Dr. Smith has authored At the Crossroads: Leadership Lessons for the Second Half of Life and Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity.

J. Clif Christopher is the President and Founder of Horizons in Cabot. Ark. He has led stewardship consultations in more than 1,000 churches, conferences, synods and dioceses in all phases of building, finance and church growth. He is the author of Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship and Whose Offering Plate is It?: New Strategies for Financial Stewardship.

Additional keynotes speakers include Michelle Cramer, President and CEO of Cramer & Associates in Dublin, Ohio. She is a fundraising industry veteran with more than two decades of experience and currently serves on the board of The Giving Institute.

The Rev. Jeffrey Taylor is President of the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia, Inc. in Charleston, W.V. He is also a past president of the National Association of United Methodist Foundations and a past president of the KYOWVA Planned Giving Council.

Don’t miss this learning opportunity and a chance to visit a sister Chautauqua. To register, visit

Chautauquas Featured in United Methodist Communications

We are extremely honored to be featured on the United Methodist Communications website. Read the article, "8 summer retreat ideas: UMC camp history and locations," written by Patricia Bates.

"Ministry's great minds often take learning vacations together during the summer at camps and Christian retreat centers. Yet, even if your family and friends cannot afford a trip this year, you can still offer one at (or near) your church that feels like a group getaway.

Research and find a camp, Christian retreat center or Chautauqua

So much thought goes into the programming every June through August by individual leaders of the 207 locations and offices within the United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministry. The ministry serves more than 1 million guests annually, and 17 faith-based facilities offer programs in the Chautauqua Network on the Chautauqua Trail. They arrange their schedules from six to 12 months ahead of time, but you could organize yours in hours by using many of the resources on their websites.

Chautauquas inspired by United Methodists

Chautauquas are spiritual learning centers, but they are not affiliated with any one denomination. They were inspired by Methodists in 1874, when John Heyl Vincent and Lewis Miller rented the shores of Lake Chautauqua in western New York after a Methodist camp meeting. They first wanted to train Sunday school teachers, but soon enrolled other students. Read more...

Bay View Named One of the “Prettiest Painted Places in America”

Bay View was awarded with a great honor of being selected as one of America's "Prettiest Painted Places" by the Paint Quality Institute.

The purpose of the competition is to give recognition to places that use paint to express pride in their communities, and highlight how an attractive exterior paint treatment can enhance the curb appeal of virtually any home, building or exterior structure.

In late July, Carlin Smith, president of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce, forwarded the details of the competition to Catherine Sommerfeldt, Communications coordinator at the Bay View Association.

Upon reviewing the competition details with the Executive Director, John Stakoe, and other staff members, Sommerfeldt received approval to enter Bay View in the competition. The final entry was submitted in early August, with a total of 15 pictures of cottages and buildings on campus as well as a brief description of Bay View.

"I had only been working at Bay View for a short time, but I just knew Bay View fit the criteria of the competition perfectly." said Sommerfeldt. "It really comes down to the member's care and love of this place that made this possible."

A panel of judges with expertise in paint and exterior color schemes reviewed the entries and named two winners from each of six different geographic areas in the United States. Debbie Zimmer, North American director of Communications for the Paint Quality Institute, stated, “The truth is, we had so many worthy nominees that we could have presented many more awards. The field of entries in this year’s competition was truly exceptional and selecting just a dozen winners and only nine exceptional merit communities was daunting.”

This is the third time the Paint Quality Institute has conducted a search for the prettiest painted places in America. It held the first competition in the 1990s and another in year 2000.

Bay View would like to extend its gratitude to all of its members for their time and dedication to make Bay View a beautiful place. See the photos and learn more about this competition.

Lakeside Chautauqua Wins National America in Bloom Award

Honors for the prestigious 2012 America in Bloom (AIB) national awards program were announced at the annual symposium held in Fayetteville, Ark., on September 22.

America in Bloom Executive Director, Laura Kunkle, said, “America in Bloom participation is helping communities achieve their potential. The accomplishments and progress shown by this year's towns and cities is remarkable.”

Lakeside Chautauqua was judged on seven criteria: overall impression, community involvement, environmental awareness, heritage, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays, across three sectors: municipal, residential and commercial.

Specially trained judges visited towns of similar populations and spent two days touring each town, meeting municipal officials, residents and volunteers. Additional competitors in this category were Slippery Rock, Pa.; Hummelstown, Pa.; and Gallipolis, Ohio.

Lakeside competed in the population category of 3,001-4,500, receiving a three bloom rating, and a special mention for its efforts in Community Involvement, and won in its population category.

The judges, Diane Clasen and Bill Hahn, commented, "Congratulations, Lakeside, for placing a high value on quality of life, and for embarking on a quest with America in Bloom which we hope will further enhance many facets of life for your residents and visitors. Lakeside is no traditional community, but is definitely a destination."

Registrations for the 2013 national awards program can be submitted until Feb. 28, 2013.

America in Bloom is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting nationwide beautification programs and personal and community involvement through the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements. America in Bloom provides educational programs, resources, and the challenge of a friendly competition between participating communities across the country. For more information, visit

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Chautauqua Trail Officers

Elected in 2010

Frank Gwalthney,
Ocean Park, Maine
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First Vice President:
Betsy Loyd Harvey,
Bay View, Michigan

Second Vice President:
Kevin Sibbring,
Lakeside, Ohio

Secretary/Newsletter Editor:
Kathy Snavely,
Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania

Vanessa Weinert,
Chautauqua, New York