Executive Director/CEO

YMCA Camp Olson seeks a strategic, mission-driven leader to serve as its next Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer. 
Job Description

EXECUTIVE VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

YMCA CAMP OLSON 

Application Deadline: June 24, 2024

Position:  Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer

Address:  4160 Little Boy Rd NE, Longville, MN 56655

YMCA Camp Olson is an equal opportunity employer

committed to valuing diversity and practicing inclusion.

YMCA Camp Olson has a commitment to creating a culture of safety.

Opportunity Overview

YMCA Camp Olson, a leader in youth development and residential camping, seeks a strategic, mission-driven leader to serve as its next Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer. This position represents an excellent opportunity to lead a vibrant and thriving organization and to focus on purposeful and creative approaches to maintain its mission and further its impact.

About Camp Olson

Camp Olson, a coed residential camp, is situated on 1,350 acres nestled in the Chippewa National Forest near Longville, MN. Located on the shores of Little Boy Lake, Camp Olsons’ property borders seven lakes including three private lakes known as the Shurds. Founded in

1954 as a split gender summer camp, today Camp Olson hosts approximately 1,200 coed youth, ages 8-16, and 120 domestic and international staff during the eight-week camping sessions in the summer. Other adults, children and families enjoy additional residential camp programing during the late summer, spring and fall. 

The property was a gift from E.O. and Bella Olson “to preserve a paradise of forest beauty where youth and their leaders can find joy and inspiration in the years to come.” This mission is accomplished each summer by providing programs for youth and adults that develop life skills, cultivate leadership, and foster an ethic of land stewardship and environmental responsibility. In 1971, Camp Olson became an independent YMCA association.

By all measures, Camp Olson is thriving. Camp Olson is a warm, welcoming place to all, and enjoys an active and loyal following of current and former campers, staff members, families, alumni, and community members. The vast majority of its counselors and staff are former campers. Among campers and parents, there is a significant “word of mouth” following and Camp Olson has experienced a wait list each of the last three summers. 

Camp Olson also seeks to remain affordable to a broad range of families and, toward that end, maintains a scholarship assistance program for any child who needs it. The goal is to provide an equitable summer camp experience to as many youth as possible. Enabling access to Camp Olson programs and promoting cultural and ethnic diversity are of growing importance to ensure an equitable experience for all. Camp Olson’s finances have been managed wisely, its endowment has grown steadily over time, and through prudent planning, tuition increases have been modest. As such, Camp Olson remains accessible to many, offers excellent value to its constituents, and is in a strong financial position to continue to offer that value to many.

While Camp Olson's staff is its most valuable asset, its natural lake setting, wooded acres, and facilities surrounded by seven lakes are beautiful and provide a powerful draw for campers, staff, families, community members, and alumni seeking an authentic Northwoods experience. The camp has completed a comprehensive Strategic Plan, which will help further shape its future. 

Our Mission

Our Mission is to share the Spirit of the Northwoods while preserving a paradise of beauty with youth, families, and their leaders through YMCA programs that build healthy minds, bodies, and spirits for all.

Area Amenities and Community Benefits 

The Longville area is the quintessential “Up North” town. Located in the heart of north Cass County’s Lake country, beautiful woods and waters surround this small town, making it a great year-round family destination. Excellent lodging options and a bustling business community make Longville the ideal location for a weekend getaway or a family vacation. With a year-round population of roughly 250, Longville experiences a significant increase during the summer season from a combination of seasonal residents, second homeowners, and vacationers.

Membership 

  • 960 individual youth campers are currently enrolled in 2024, equaling 1,298 camper weeks.
  • 48 families enrolled in Family Camp.

Programs 

  • Youth Camp Programs: Traditional camp, along with various specialty camps in leadership, horseback riding, sailing, fishing, mountain biking, and arts.
  • Family Camp Programs:
    • Two weeks of family camp.
    • Additional programming during the spring and fall, such as retreats, family reunions, and weddings.

Annual Campaign 

  • Prior Year’s Total: $182,125

Capital Campaign (just completed) 

  • Goal: $1,000,000 
  • Funds Raised: $783,500
  • Board Allocation: $225,000
  • Current Pledges Outstanding: $137,000

Financial Snapshot

  • Current Annual Budget Size: Total annual operating budget is $1.5M, with 80% of revenue from camp and program fees and 20% from charitable donations.
  • Current Debt: $550,000 SBA Loans – 30 years at 2.75% interest. Paying principal and interest in year one, with a monthly payment of $2,481.
  • Current Endowment: 
    • Stifel: $2,812,834 (as of 3/31/24)
    • Rochester Foundation: $130,742
  • 3-Year Pattern of Annual Surplus/Deficit:
    • 2023: Managed an operating loss of $23,043, while increasing overall assets by $723,611.
    • 2022: Navigated an operating loss of $16,293 and an overall asset decrease of $8,052 due to investment losses.
    • 2021: Achieved an operating surplus of $16,734 with an overall increase in net assets of $1,402,171 (including income generated from the sale of conservation easement).

Staff

Current Staff 

  • FT – 6
  • PT - 120 

CEO Direct Reports

  • Camp Director
  • Facilities Director
  • Office Manager 

Board of Directors

  • Number of Directors: Permitted range of 7-19, at present there are 15.
  • Committees: Finance, Site & Stewardship, Executive Director Evaluation, Marketing & Communications, Board Development.
Qualifications

Requirements:

  • Alignment with Camp Olson’s values and mission.
  • Strong passion for experiential education and youth development.
  • At least 10 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector.
  • Robust business acumen and strategic planning capabilities.
  • Proven ability to build relationships, communicate effectively, and lead teams.
  • Experience in financial oversight, fundraising, and operational enhancements.
  • Demonstrated analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Familiarity with marketing, brand management, and strategic communications is advantageous.
  • Previous experience in a camp or educational setting is preferred.
  • Must obtain a YMCA Organizational Leadership Certificate within three years of hire, if not already certified.

Personal Attributes:

  • Demonstrates positive energy, strong work ethic, and accountability.
  • Goal-oriented and strategic thinker with effective leadership capabilities.
  • High emotional intelligence, exceptional relationship-building skills, and persuasive influence.
  • Resourceful problem-solving abilities and resilience in the face of challenges.
  • Ability to delegate effectively, balancing confidence with humility and integrity.
Essential Functions

The Executive Director will be a strategic leader and persuasive communicator focused on furthering Camp Olson’s mission and organizational excellence. A hard-working, mission driven professional, this person will be the face of Camp Olson and represent its values and mission with confidence, integrity, and humility. The successful candidate will be responsible for deepening and developing meaningful relationships with the Board of Directors, the Camp Olson family, Longville community, parents, alumni, and other constituencies. With broad oversight and responsibility for all aspects of the organization, the successful candidate will be accountable for the organization’s culture and financial health, and will ensure that Camp Olson continues its emphasis on helping youth develop their own voice, build their confidence, enjoy healthy relationships with each other, and foster the leadership skills that will serve them over a lifetime.

Modeling the YMCA Camp Olson values of equity, caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, the Executive Director will champion an organizational culture of inclusion, strong character, and life-long learning. This individual will foster an environment where diversity is celebrated and where all campers, staff, program participants and volunteers can reach their full potential. 

Leading by example, the Executive Director will see themself as a servant leader who puts the interests of the organization first. The successful candidate will value the input of others, exhibit high emotional intelligence, and manage change with an appreciation and respect for Camp Olson’s many traditions.

The Executive Director will be accountable for ensuring a safe, caring, and positive experience for program participants, campers, staff, and their families. This individual will also be responsible for the creation and implementation of the budget, and for fundraising efforts and constituent relations. The Executive Director will provide the vision for strategic planning, continue the commitment to the Longville community and work with the Board and other constituencies to further develop the organization’s culture of philanthropy.

Key Performance Objectives 

Reporting to the Camp Olson Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead a team of direct reports with functional responsibilities in three areas: Camp Director, Office Manager, and Facilities Director. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Directors to further the organization's mission, vision, strategic plans, and goals. The Executive Director will be responsible for the organization's overall financial health and growth. The successful candidate will develop and manage the budget and be responsible for all financial reporting. The individual will attract, retain, and develop the talented staff necessary to drive success across the organization. Working closely with the Camp Director and Facilities Director, the successful candidate will lead a dedicated team of experienced summer staff. The Executive Director will be responsible for the success of Camp Olson’s fundraising efforts and serve as the primary spokesperson and liaison to other organizations and the community at large.

Fiscal Management: Use high-level financial analysis to forecast financial trends, growth, and stability, while consistently leading the organization to balanced or surplus operations by growing earned revenue and contributions while controlling costs. Empower and guide staff leaders to achieve successful financial operations in their departments. Develop and implement stewardship strategies. Key competencies: Fiscal Management, Critical Thinking & Decision Making, Developing Self & Others, Philanthropy

Develop and Implement a Strategic Plan: Work effectively with volunteers, community leaders, and key staff to create and develop a strategic plan that addresses the needs of the communities served by Camp Olson and includes defined organizational strategies, a clear implementation plan with deliverables, and measurable goals. Key competencies: Change Leadership, Communication & Influence, Critical Thinking & Decision Making, Program/Project Management

Improve Operating Performance: Engage the board and appropriate staff to develop an annual tactical plan for identifying and achieving key goals and objectives aimed at operating with safe, relevant, and sustainable practices. Quickly address issues as they arise, forecast future needs, and manage and direct Camp Olson’s operations and activities. Key competencies: Developing Self & Others, Critical Thinking & Decision Making, Innovation

Steward Fundraising Efforts: Develop and implement an annual fundraising plan that will establish Camp Olson as a leading nonprofit organization within the community through the engagement of members, volunteers, staff, and donors. Identify the need for successful capital fundraising, while elevating the organization’s effectiveness and impact in annual giving and endowment. Key competencies: Philanthropy, Engaging Community, Communication & Influence

Build and Lead Staff: Ensure a talent development system is in place and executed effectively with cultural competence. Hire, motivate, nurture, retain, and hold staff accountable for key objectives. Work towards recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting staff that represent the diversity of the communities you serve. Encourage the team by creating a spirit of camaraderie, inclusion, and a sense of mission and purpose. Create a learning organization to help staff achieve their highest potential. Key competencies: Developing Self & Others, Inclusion, Emotional Maturity, Change Leadership.

Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership: Work closely with the Board to craft and execute both short-term and long-term organizational strategies.

Financial Oversight: Manage a $1.5 million annual budget and safeguard the organization's $2.8 million endowment and physical assets.

Revenue Management: Oversee all income streams, including tuition, off-season programs, fundraising, and partnerships.

Program and Safety Oversight: Ensure the safety of all camp participants by adhering to local, state, and federal regulations, along with ACA and YMCA standards. Actively engage in daily camp operations during peak seasons, promoting a strong work ethic and the camp's core values.

Team Leadership and Development:  Provide continuous feedback to staff, help set professional goals, and maintain high standards of property management in collaboration with the Facilities Director.

Fundraising and External Relations:  Lead fundraising efforts and alumni relations in partnership with the Development Director. Serve as the main liaison with national bodies such as the YMCA and ACA and participate in related organizations as needed.

Policy and Process Improvement:  Develop and implement policies and procedures to enhance organizational effectiveness and align with our mission.

Salary Range:  The proposed salary range is $90,000 to $110,000, contingent on experience.  

Benefits

  • On-site Director’s House (optional)
  • Health Insurance 70% YMCA covered
  • Dental Insurance 70% YMCA covered
  • YMCA Retirement Plan (12% of salary)
  • Short Term Disability
  • Paid Time Off

Residency Expectation: The CEO is expected to be highly engaged in the Longville community. Living in the YMCA’s service area during the camp's operating season is required, and year-round residency is preferred.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

YMCA Camp Olson is committed to advancing equity, inclusion, and diversity within our camp community and promoting access and opportunities for all. See more details: https://campolson.org/equity-and-inclusion/ 

Other sites for information:

www.ymca.net

 YMCA Camp Olson www.campolson.org 

Longville Area Chamber https://www.longville.com/ 

Northland School District https://www.isd118.k12.mn.us/ 

Walker, Hackensack, Akeley School District https://www.wha.k12.mn.us/en-U

Key Dates & Deadlines

Applications accepted through:     June 24

Preliminary interviews*:               July 18 & 19

Final interviews* (onsite):            August 12 & 13

New CEO on board (anticipated): TBD

*Dates for preliminary and final interviews pending candidate availability. 

To Apply

Candidates will apply via the following website: https://tinyurl.com/YMCA-Camp-Olson-CEO

 

Application, References, Background Check, and Organizational Leader Certification: 

Candidates must submit both a cover letter and resume in their online application, via PDF upload. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.  

Candidates who advance to final interviews will need to submit six references (four professional and two personal). References checked only with prior notification. The successful candidate accepting the offer must pass a background check and must have a current Y-USA’s Organizational Leader Certification or obtain certification within the first three years from start date as the CEO.

Questions regarding this position should be directed to:

Grace Matos

Director, Executive Leadership/CEO Search 

YMCA OF THE USA  

Phone: 312 419 6810  

Email: [email protected]

Chris Stenberg 

Director of Alliance Services | Minnesota 

UPPER MIDWEST ALLIANCE OF YMCA's 

Phone: 218.591.2617 

Email: [email protected]