The Mountain Highlands Camp and Conference Center Newsletter (April-May, 1980)

The Mountain
Highlands Camp and Conference Center
Volume 1, No. 7            Wendie Highsmith, Editor         April – May, 1980


Our UU camp site in the Southeast shall henceforth be known as THE MOUNTAIN or Highlands Camp and Conference Center, the top two preferences of those who voted. Much thanks to Shirlee Gaines Edwards and her hard working committe for all the “footwork” on the contest.


At the end of March, the Highlands Camp and Conference Center Board met on THE MOUNTAIN for a full weekend of work and play (mostly work). Among the highlights of the meeting were:

  • Formation of a long range planning committee to be co-chaired by Don Chery, Athens, GA and Walt Pirie, Blacksburg, VA.
  • Concluding the name contest.
  • Initiation of a project to establish goals and objectives for the corporation. Over six hours were spent on this effort, and several more meetings are planned. The resulting goals and objectives will be published in the Fall for comment and refinement by the membership.

When the Board was not working on these activities, we helped scrape the kitchen floor in preparation for laying the new epoxy seal.
Roger Comstock, President


The fund drive for the Highlands Camp and Conference Center continues. Our pledges exceed $184,000 now, including 120 life memberships!
At the end of March, six of our societies had met or exceeded the fund raising targets established for them. The societies and their fund raising coordinators are:

Deland, FL, Bob Clabeaux
Clemson, SC, Ted Taylor
Gulfport, MS, Chris Kayes
Franklin, NC, Myrtle Lockwood
UUCA, Atlanta, Carnot MacDonald
Tullahoma, TN, Don Male


Mo & Larry Wheeler

That title reminds me of ROCKY sitting in the corner of the ring. . . halfway through the fight! Perhaps our idealism matches his, as we imagine the “victory” of being ready on opening day. At times, it seems impossible. . . at other times, we look around and see all that has been accomplished, and we are believers again!

The UU person-hours that have gone into work on THE MOUNTAIN in the past 2 months are incredible — a rough estimate is about 300 people at 9 hours each, or 2700 hours!! At minimum wages, that’s almost $9,000. Not to mention the special skills donated for electrical and plumbing work—and you know what that costs.

But THE MOUNTAIN pays good wages. It wears out your body, but uplifts your soul. It gives us a home for UUs—a place to be together and know the bonds between us. We thank all of you who have given so much, but THE MOUNTAIN thanks you better.

Program descriptions are now available in the brochure. Registrations are coming in. Our first family registration was from Jo and Bob Birdsall of Asheville, NC, who are hosting their family and grandchildren for a week on THE MOUNTAIN.

Our first paying group (UUCA—Atlanta/ Board Retreat) has met at THE MOUNTAIN. Other groups have come for work weekends from Charlotte, NC, Chattanooga and Oak Ridge, TN, Atlanta, GA, Auburn, AL, Greenville, SC, Charlottesville and Blacksburg, VA, Deland, FL and Columbia, SC. Much has been accomplished under the able direction, of Steve Carter, our Maintenance Manager.

It’s all very exciting. So are the reactions of our many visitors: “I saw the slides, but I had no idea it was like THIS!” “I expected it to be one step up from tent camping—This is terrific—bathrooms in every cabin, even rugs, curtains and comfortable beds!” And on the way home from the Camp the other day, our son, Brian, expressed it for our family, “I just love that place!”


Oops, a few omissions were made in the recent brochure about summer programs. We left out the camp phone number (704/526-5838) and the fact that ALL cabins have bathrooms. Also, the rates given for rooms are weekly, not daily! Apologies.

If you are on the mailing list or if you requested information and have not yet received the brochure, let us know and we’ll send another.


We are pleased to announce the following persons have been hired for Summer, 1980. Their combined talents and experiences will add much to our programming at THE MOUNTAIN this summer. How can we not succeed?

Many of you already know Lee Knight from Summer Institute. Lee is now residing in Murphy, NC, and is coordinating evening programs for some of the family weeks. Lee will be available for folk singing, square and folk dancing, athletic events, and lights & sound for other programs.

Nancy Suda is from Atlanta and is our Nature Director. She has a long time love of the out-of-doors and a wonderfully warm and open manner. Nancy has been discovering new trails, waterfalls, gem mines and wildflowers for us to enjoy.

Bob Geller is Food Services Director and will be cooking up a fancy storm of food for us this summer. Bob was trained in cooking schools abroad and is a professional caterer in Atlanta.

Sally Gaines is our Waterfront Director and comes from Boone, NC. Sally has many skills besides swimming and lifesaving, and is a delightful addition to our staff.

We also welcome Evelyn Carter, who is Crafts Director of the camp. Evelyn has been teaching high school art in Pennsylvania and especially enjoys pottery, weaving and painting.


At Press Time, Pledges Have Increased To $200,000!!!


A CBS made-for-TV movie is scheduled to be shot at our Mountain in late May and during our Work Week.
CBS film crews have already begun arriving to do preliminary work on “The Mating Season.” The movie is set at a camp for bird watching and involves a lonely professional woman and another camp participant. It stars Lucie Arnez and Lawrence Luckinbill.

About 60 people are expected in the CBS film group, which was attracted to this area through the effort of the new movie department of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce.


The Mountain has many needs. Please call the Wheelers if you have something to donate or sell (cheaply) or know of someone who does. Donations are tax deductible. Here are a few things we’re looking for now:


Item Needed Item Needed
Fabric for Curtains Building Supplies
Nursery toys Tools
Pool Table Craft Supplies
Yarn Games
River rafts Leather
Canoes, paddles Clay
Day packs Potter’s wheel
Maps Pliers
Science equipment C-Clamps
Dip nets/insect nets Box cameras
Film developing equipment Books
Magnifying glass Enlarger
Hammers Fishing poles
Rolling Pins Scissors


UU Mountain has own Moses!

Easily distinguished by his height, hair and very presence, Roger Comstock is no stranger to SE UUs. A driving force behind getting the new camp established, it is fitting that Roger be THE MOUNTAINS’s first Board president.

As SUUSI’s Board President last year, he was an active member of the camp feasibility study committee. This year he headed the capital fund drive for the camp, seeking to raise $330,000 from UUs all over the SE.

Roger has been a Unitarian since 1963, having served as Finance Director and treasurer in two UU churches and in a variety of other administrative posts in his present church, UUCA-Atlanta. He was active on the SUUSI staff for 5 years in various capacities. He and wife, Faith, lead the UUA-sponsored Couple Enrichment Program (CEP) for the Mid-South District.

In his business life, Roger is a management consultant with the firm of Robert Davis Associates in Atlanta. They are specialists in governmental and school finance, accounting and business systems, practicing nationwide. Prior to becoming a consultant, Roger had eight years of experience in electronic data processing systems and sales. He holds a BS in industrial engineering and a Master’s in business administration.

Digress a moment to Roger, the UU . . . . He’s been a part of the camp and conference center from its very inception . . . he’s truly committed to it to the point of heading the fund raising. He’s proud of its present accomplishments and has dreams of its future. SE UUs, the leadership of your camp is in good hands.

THANKS AND MORE THANKS! to Susan Thompson and William Benedict for their contributions to the 1980 T-shirt and newsletter designs; to John Vasher for donating several weekends of electrical work; to Ruth Marston for carpeting, curtains and furniture; to Paul McClelland for helping us buy Marlite for the new bathrooms; to Jo and Bob Birdsall for the electric typewriter; to Karolyn Kirk for office furniture; and to Walter and Glendia Manka for printing the brochure (so cheaply) and our newsletters (free!); to Joe and Gloria Gross for records and things; to Dick and Mary Weston-Jones for addressing 1000 brochures; and to the others of you we may have forgotten!


It’s not too early to sign up for Fall. October is filling up quickly. Call the Wheelers if you would like to bring your church group or family or friends to The Mountain.

Your help is needed by the Highlands Camp and Conference Center Nominating Committee. They are seeking:

  1. Names of persons qualified to be nominated for the positions of Board Member-at-Large (3 year term, beginning Nov., 1980) and Nominating Committee (1 year term, beginning Nov., 1980).
  2. Names of persons qualified to serve on the Board (to be appointed by the Board itself) who have specific skills fitting them for the job of Board Secretary and Board Treasurer.

The persons you suggest should be UUs in the Southeast. They do not have to be members of the Camp and Conference Center.
Please notify the nominating committee as soon as possible. They need your suggestions to help them make good nominations. Please reproduce this notice in your newsletter and ask your membership for help.
The election will be conducted by mail in September. Eligible voters will be those persons who are members of the Camp and Conference Center by virtue of a Life Membership or Annual Contribution.


June 29-July 12   Youth Camp   Ages 8-10
July 13-July 26    Youth Camp   Ages 11-14

All youths planning to attend camp are urged to send in your completed applications and registration fees as soon as possible. If you need an application, contact: Pam Phelps, 2812 Vann Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32312.

We are in need of Junior and Senior Counselors and especially need male counselors. Senior Counselors must be entering 3rd year of college or older. For application, contact: Jan Machler, 2265 Sharkey Rd., Clearwater, FL 33515.

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