Happy New Year
Mountain Matters 2016
Late Winter Edition
Easter/ Mountain Work Weekend
March 25-27, 2016

Appalachian Springs
May 23-17, 2016

Memorial Day/ Homecoming
May 27-30, 2016

Family Camp
July 24-31, 2016

Oct 25-30, 2016

November 23- 27, 2016

Mountain Work Weekend & Easter Program: 
March 25-27, 2016

Many hands make light work for our annual Mountain Work Weekend. Participants ages 14 and up receive a lodging discount for giving their time to the Mountain by completing work projects, cleaning spaces and much more. We have projects for all skill levels and abilities.

Have younger children who aren't able to participate in the work weekend? We have an Easter program the same weekend, offering traditional Easter activities and fun!
More information can be found at our newwebsite
GREAT Programs  This Year For Boomers at The Mountain
Appalachian Spring 
The 2016 theme of  Arts! Music! Dance! provides entertaining and  cultural experiences of southern and mountain life to enable new perspectives on how one's current mind, body, and soul evolved and prompts appropriate choices for one's future.   Details available on this website page:  http://TheMountainRLC.org/event/appalachian-spring-2/ .  Registration is open now with early enrollment discount!  Join us!

Southern UU Fall Institute, 
Oct 2-7
SUUFI (Southern UU Fall Institute) 2016 holds its 5th annual, 6-day/5-night gathering to expand mind, body and soul in a safe 
environment and fabulously inspiring setting with like-minded co-participants, exploring 
Creative Play
with 15+ hands-on workshops to apply learnings from our general sessions and become playful in ways mindfully, soulfully and physically.  Our UU Headliners are: Mindy Simmons  loved for decades of music and fun at Summer Institute (SUUSI) and many congregations and  David Novak  of  Disney Institute fame and an award-winning storyteller on 2 continents.
Come Play!  Bring out "the smiling kid" in you again--and take home a "new U" and friendships via our small group gathering! 
Quick video, flyer, schedule, reviews, and other d etails available on this website page:  http://TheMountainRLC.org/event/suufi-southern-uu-fall-institute/ .  

Save $25 by registering now (early) for either or both events. You/all are most welcome., UU or not.  Bring your friends!
This Year Celebrating
37 Years

Megan Quattlebaum
 Program & MountainCamp Director
2016 Registration Now Open for MountainCamp's
37th Year

Can you believe summer camp is right around the corner? This will be MountainCamp's 37th summer on top of Little Scaly Mountain and we are counting down the days! Registration for all sessions is now open on our website. Be sure to take a look at our website for all 2016 MountainCamp information!

Help Us Help Those Who Cannot Afford to Send Their Children to Mountain Camp

$15,000 will allow us to grant 45 children a Mountain Camp experience. We have already raised $3695 and need your help with the remaining $11,305.
Last year we raised over $11,000 to fund 37 campers.   This year we would like to be able to assist 45 campers!
 We can only do that with your generosity. All donations small and large will make a difference.  
Now Hiring 2016 MountainCamp Staff  

Are you a high school graduate or older? Are you interested in changing the life of a young person by being a positive Unitarian Universalist role model? Do you want to motivate and inspire a camper to be the best that he/she can be? If you are, then you may be a good fit for a Summer Staff position for MountainCamp 2016. This is a paid position, Go to our website TheMountainRLC.org

Applications must be received by  February 28, 2016 

Farm Internship
August 10 - November 20, 2016. We are accepting applications for our Fall Sustainable Agriculture and Experiential Education internship! Learn about farming techniques, group facilitation, and more! For details visit
We hope to see you at The Mountain soon!



Executive Director
Ted Wisniewski

2015 Was a Good Year at
The Mountain

Accomplishments of 2015

Love, compassion and generosity embraced all who visited our hallowed grounds in 2015.  I was told early in my tenure that The Mountain has a way of touching people's hearts and giving them what they need at that time.  I have witnessed this time and time again throughout the year.  Stories of love found, rekindled friendships, self- discovery and healing lives that have all taken place on Little Scaly. 

 Many of you have touched my heart with your stories, strengthened my soul and helped me to see the Mountain's deep meaning and true spirit. Thank you.  

Looking back I am pleased to say that we had another solid year for The Mountain.   Preliminary numbers have our 2015 revenues reaching 1 million dollars. This fiscal growth leads us to exceed budget expectations for a third year in a row. I am proud to say for the second year in a row we paid all of our yearly bills with the year's revenues. We saw increased revenue and enrollment with MountainCamp and for the first time since  2011 our total paid person nights surpassed the 10,000 mark. 
2015 marked for the first time in decades that The Mountain is basically debt free thanks to RK & Linda Whiteheads forgiveness of The Mountains last promissory note.

Our goal of embracing donor's time, talent and treasure was realized with a number of successes. Over 150 individuals gave over 3000 hours of their blood, sweat and time.
 2015's Annual Campaign donations surpassed our goal of $240,000. Large donations allowed us to tackle some huge issues: 
  • Reroofing the lodge,
  • Reopening the ropes course, 
  • Replacement and improvement of MountainCamp's equipment.  
 Specific gifts from additional donors allowed us to replace the ice machine, repair floors and made a huge difference in the quality of care demonstrated to our guests.  No words can express the gratitude I feel from your ge nerosity, 
In 2015 we increased our networking efforts, by
  • Becoming members of Unitarian Universalist Alliance of Camps and Conference Centers, a group of UU conference centers supporting each other to improve services and reduce costs.
  • Became active with the Highlands Farmers Market,
  •  Hosted Leadership Highlands, the Highlands varsity volleyball team and a local business social event at the Mountain. 
  •  Our Many Hands Peace Farm interns continued being the liaison with the Franklin UU Fellowship participating in their monthly Eco -Forum and Raw-Mazing events.
  •  We took some bold steps with advertising in the past year. After taking a critical look at our "E image" (how we are viewed online), we converted our website in September, updated our message, improved navigability and our ability to serve customers. 
  •  We also placed print ads in Northeast Georgia Living magazine and the Highlands Visitors' Guide.
All that we accomplished and all of our successes in 2015 are possible because of you. Your feedback, generosity and faith led us to success. The staff, the Board of Trustees and I are grateful to you and your role with this wonderful place. Without you we would not be able to touch hearts, inspires minds and changes lives. 

 Thank You,
Ted Wisniewski
Executive Director

Now Looking For Future Mountain Leaders, Board Members and
 Committee Participants

A great way to have an impact on the future of The Mountain is to  become a member of one of the two Mountains Boards, The Board of Trustees or The Endowment Board. 

 Every year we look for energetic and qualified candidates to join us as leaders for The Mountain. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact : Eunice Benton ( [email protected]) for Board of Trustees, and Robert E. Smith ( [email protected]) for Endowment Board suggestions.  
Scenes From 2015 

The Mountain 
Board of Trustee

Linda Sterner
Jim Becker  
Recording Secretary
Lem Arnold
Corporate Secretary
Rob Marcy
Financial Advisor

Kathleen Anderson
Eunice Benton
Chris Breivogel
Rev. Chris Buice
Kit Hamblen
David Hudson
Peter Kandis
Jay Kiskel
Rev. Sherman Logan Jr.
Mani Subramanian
Erin Thompson
Cathlean Utzig

Let Me Share With You 
The Mountain's
 2016 Goals

Moving forward in 2016 we must build on our previous successes and learn from our mistakes. We have big dreams and real challenges ahead of us.  I have no doubt that together we can accomplish great things in 2016.

Let me share with you some of our specific goals for 2016:
  •  Increase  attendance of our Mountain produced programs that include Spring Work weekend,Appalachian Spring, Homecoming, and SUUFI.  These events are not only cost effective, but the programming is well worth the drive. 
  • Expand the opportunities for congregations to visit The Mountain. In addition to the traditional congregation retreat we envision groups coming to the Mountain at a reduced rate to assist in completing specific service projects. This win-win model was very effective with men from NWUUC last spring when they completed our garage renovation while being able to enjoy The Mountain's many wonderful attributes.
  • The windows in the Great Room and Library are on the top of the 2016 priority list followed by Sally's deck. The lodge and deck is our most picturesque meeting space and resonates with every guest. As we assess the damage to the window seals and beneath we will get a clearer picture of the costs. Initial estimates are in the $50,000 range.
  •  Continue work with the State of North Carolina on our lake and dam. Although we are in the preliminary stages we know this will be a large and costly project
  • Our Gay Spirit Vision brothers have a dream of a building adjacent to the Lodge and  have raised $25,000 as seed money; the next step is to complete a rendering of the building.
  • The goal with Guest services in 2016 is to become more consistent. I believe collecting specific data from surveys and conversations is essential to plot a course of improvement and consistency.
  • Reviewing the 2015 data it is clear that hiring several skilled cooks and improving room amenities are necessary steps to move our quality of care forward.
  •  You've noticed our improved website, now we turn our focuses to improving our online registration / donation and data systems. We believe this is another key to improving and enhancing customer service.
  • 2015 was a strong year for The Mountain's internal volunteer program featuring programs and activities with the Many Hands Peace Farm. 2016 goals include strengthening and expanding these community outreach activities.
I don't have to tell you that The Mountain is an amazing place. It is a beacon of light and hope for so many.  The Mountain flame burns strong today and lights the way for our sons, daughters, family and friends. That is because of the passion and faith of you,our stakeholders, care givers, friends and employees that have given the resources and strength for us to move forward.

 As stewards of this amazing place we hear the call and accept the responsibility. It is clear that it's time to move forward and take the next steps. We are moving away from the fear, the darkness, and the insecurity of financial demise.  Positive momentum has been building for a number of years. We are entering a critical time as we move away from being an emergency-centric model to one of planned sustainability. 

The last four years, individuals demonstrated courage by stepping forward and giving generously to The Mountain. The Mountains staff and Board have responded with humility, respect and results. As we move forward into 2016 and beyond, I ask you again for your support, guidance and faith.
With it we can continue to fix our infrastructure, allow kids to experience MountainCamp, and embrace our new initiatives.  
Blessed Be    
Theodore D. Wisniewski
Executive Director
Mountain Capital List
 2016 & Beyon

Currently Completing
  • Low & high ropes repair and add elements            
  • Outdoor ground lighting                                                       
Top priorities
Lodge: $181,000 to include
Windows, doors and siding....     $70,000
Decking around lodge ...........      $45,000
Sally's Deck ..........................     .$15,000
Interior of lodge -
HVAC .....................................    $30,000
Carpets .....................................   $6,000
Ceilings......................................  $10,000
Replace 106 mattresses    ......  . $10,600

Tree-House $27,000 to include
  • Windows
  • Rec hall floor,57x25 1425 sq/ft .  
  • Septic tank repairs (4)
  • Dam and spillway repairs 
  • Hot water tanks 80gaeach
  • Dining hall chairs 100  
Secondary Priorities
  • Dining Room Windows  
  • Trailer 3 Demolition 
  • Cabin floors - Vapor barriers for cabins, dining hall, offices
  • New Server Total 5 Monitors, Workstation Upgrades 
  • Re-pave Ring Road
  • Re-pave road to cabins  1-4
  • Tower Rejuvenation
  • Replacement vehicles
Down the Road Projects
  • Staff & volunteer housing
  • Stables- convert form storage to classroom or meeting space
  • Tree-house Attic renovations
  • Pave Lake Road
  • Gravel parking Lots
  • New lodging building at cabin 5 location  
The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center 
828 526 5838 | [email protected] | http://www.TheMountainRLC.org
3872 Dillard Road P.O. Box 1299
Highlands, NC 28741