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Board of Directors

Use your skills and experience to give back to your outdoor ministry! Please share with us about your gifts, skills, experience, and interests. Anyone affiliated with Caroline Furnace is eligible to volunteer on a committee. Some committees require appointment by the Board of Directors due to access to confidential information. If you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors, your information will be shared with the nominating task force.

Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center is an outdoor ministry organization with a large, community based network and many organizational partners. The Caroline Furnace Board of Directors manages the affairs of the organization in cooperation with the Executive Director. Our Board of Directors is engaged in the growth and strategic direction of our mission of unforgettable faith, education, and renewal experiences in God’s creation for all God’s people. Our Board members provide valuable skills, varied perspectives, and a voice for the diverse communities that we serve. 


A full Board of Directors has 14 members: a Bishop's Representative from each supporting Synod, five additional Board members from the Metro D.C. Synod, five additional Board members from the Virginia Synod and one additional board member from the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod. The Board of Directors meets quarterly in February, May, August, and November. A term is three years and members may serve up to two consecutive terms. Terms begin and end at the November meeting. Years in parentheses indicate when terms end. Board members with an asterisk* are on second, non-renewable terms. Please contact Board President, Allison Ryals, at with any questions for the Board.

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Metro D.C. Synod

Annabelle Allard (2024)

Redeemer, McLean

Bert Roepe (2025)

King of Kings, Fairfax


Alexandra Werner-Winslow (2024)

Good Shepherd, Alexandria

Rev. Brett Wilson (Bishop's Rep)

Georgetown Lutheran, D.C.

Sharon Vines (2026)

Resurrection, Fredericksburg

Virginia Synod

Executive Board



Alexandra Werner-Winslow

Vice President

Annabelle Allard


Bert Roepe


Wendy Van Fossen

Rev. David Delaney (Bishop’s Rep)

VA Synod ELCA Office

Patrick Dwiggins (2026)

St Mark, Charlottesville

Rev. Joel Neubauer (2022)

St. Mark, Yorktown

Lorrie Runion (2025)

VA Synod

Wendy Van Fossen (2024)

St. Michael, VA Beach

West Virginia -

Western Maryland Synod

Bishop Rt. Rev. Matthew L. Riegel, S.T.M. (Bishop's Rep)

Bishop, WVA-WMD Synod

Meet our Board

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Annabelle Allard (2024)

Redeemer Lutheran Church, McLean

Annabelle first came to Caroline Furnace as a Confirmation Camper. Now she comes to Family Camp each year and brings her older kids to their own weeks of Summer Camp.


She has many wonderful memories of Caroline Furnace, but one of her favorites is of canoeing down the Shenandoah River during the Family Camp Out-Trip. She and her daughter still laugh about how they almost tipped over in the canoe, and the whole family enjoys thinking about what adventures the next Family Camp will bring. She also loves playing gaga ball with her kids, meeting new people who later become friends, and watching her children have fun singing the same songs that she loved as a child.

She loves that Caroline Furnace provides a place to disconnect from daily life; to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and have time and space to think about God and faith. But more importantly, Annabelle appreciates that Caroline Furnace is a community focused on love and acceptance. Being part of these types of communities made a huge difference in her life as she was growing up, and she's so thankful that her children now get to experience this at Caroline Furnace.


Rev. Dave Delaney (VA Bishop's Rep)

VA Synod ELCA Office, Salem

Dave's involvement at Caroline Furnace began in 1973 when his family returned to Virginia and his youth group held weekend retreats here. In fact, the Northern Virginia Senior High Retreat at Caroline Furnace involved as many as ten congregations and served as the inspiration for other areas of the Virginia Synod to construct regional youth retreats. Over the years, Dave has returned for everything from the Church Vocations Conference to campus ministry gatherings, to enjoy fellowship and be refreshed by the Spirit that is always in abundance here.


Some of his favorite memories are the moments during his high school retreats where three or four would be gathered spontaneously at the fire circle or on the steps of a cabin with questions and challenges for one another about what it meant to follow Christ. These memories are part of what directed him to a long life of youth ministry. Dave values outdoor ministry as an increasingly important component of our faith formation work as a Church. It's well-known that outdoor ministry experiences can be a key component in a person's discernment process for ministry, and there's just something about Caroline Furnace that urges people into faith conversation.


Patrick Dwiggins (2026) - Board President

St Mark, Charlottesville

Patrick first came to Caroline Furnace as a camper in 1989 and returned every summer for eight years.  He worked as a counselor in 2004, 2005, and 2006.  His daughter is currently a camper.


Patrick’s favorite memory as a camper was a night spent camping on the Shenandoah River under the stars in a cow pasture.  He also has fond memories of walking up the Ridge Trail blindfolded and winning Lord of the Rings with his hogan in his final year as a camper.  Favorite memories as a counselor include leading “Pharoah Pharoah,” watching the lightning bugs in the big field, and almost convincing his campers that bug juice was made from actual bugs that the staff caught on the weekends.  Patrick is excited to help Caroline Furnace continue providing a space for people to grow closer to God.

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Rev. Joel Neubauer (2025) 

St. Mark Lutheran Church, Yorktown

Joel came to Caroline Furnace as a camp counselor before and after seminary, 2003 and 2007, and enjoyed staying connected as his sister, Janelle, joined summer staff in later years. He has served as a Summer Camp chaplain many years since. His daughter, who has tagged along to Caroline Furnace ever since she could toddle, spent her first week as an official camper in Summer 2019 - and plans on many more adventures! In addition to holy time spent at Summer Camp, he has enjoyed introducing others to Caroline Furnace and Buttonwood Lodge through time on retreat.

When asked about his favorite memory, Joel has many: color tag and creekwalking and early cups of coffee in the quiet lodge, campfires casting long shadows at dusk, the remnants of campfire smoke in sweatshirts that still smells like joy months later, singing grace at mealtimes, dancing through praise breaks, encounters with wildlife and encountering how wild God's life is, friends and family and friends-who-become-family, picking berries along a walk to swim time at the lake - and that moment when the friend you invited catches on that this is holy ground, and now your lives are joined through Christ in this miraculous place.

"Among the legendary saying of Jesus is an ancient quote: 'All things have reached me. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Life up the stone and you will find me there.' I am continually amazed at the power and presence of God to be revealed in the body of Christ in the water, among the trees, beneath the slag, and beside the friendships forged here, naturally and spiritually.

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The Rt. Rev. Matthew L. Riegel, S.T.M. (WV-WMD Bishop's Rep)

Bishop, WVA-WMD Synod

Bishop Riegel holds this position as a representative of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod. He appreciates learning more about Caroline Furnace as a ministry and the history of this place. Bishop Riegel values the sharing of the faith that happens in this place and as part of our ministry here at Caroline Furnace. 

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Wendy VanFossen (2024)

St. Michael, VA Beach, VA

Wendy first experienced Caroline Furnace through her daughter, Tori, who served on summer staff from 2014-2016. Wendy particularly saw the positive effects Caroline Furnace had on her daughter when she was a counselor and how she was enriched by sharing her faith with others. Wendy loves that Caroline Furnace ministers to all and gives children the opportunity to know and love God when they may not otherwise have the opportunity. 

One of Wendy's favorite memories of Caroline Furnace was when she and her late husband were visiting Tori during one of her summers on staff. They both loved to fish and took a canoe out on the lake to fish while she read a book in the sun on the shore. It was a beautiful relaxing day!


Alexandra Werner-Winslow (2024)

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Alexandria, VA

Alexandra first came to Caroline Furnace when she joined summer staff in 2009. By the time she wrapped up a summer as Program Coordinator in 2011, it was clear Caroline Furnace would be a lifelong love affair -- one she made official in 2019 when she married her husband Adam at St. John's and celebrated in the Sukkah Village. 

One of Alexandra's all-time favorite camp memories is seeing a group of competitive teenagers voluntarily choose to lose a game in order to include their five- and six-year-old teammates. She loves the sense of community that Caroline Furnace fosters in everyone from the youngest camper to adult retreatants, and the totally unique reverence that this holy ground inspires. Caroline Furnace has made outdoor worship her forever preference, and whether on a solo walk in the woods or part of a group singing "Star of the Morning" around a campfire, Caroline Furnace's faith community is really special. She's honored to be part of it.

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Rev. Brett Wilson (DC Bishop's Rep)

Georgetown Lutheran Church, Washington DC

Brett served on Summer Staff in 2004, 2005, and 2008, and continues to serve as a volunteer chaplain during Summer Camp. From her many fond memories here, the two things she values most are the peace that is found in quiet moments and the way that campers can bloom in just one week at camp. From Brett: "Seeing hesitancy, concern, or self-doubt give way to laughter, joy, exploration of faith, asking questions about God, and singing with gusto is a beautiful thing!" 

She loves the way that the place, the community it fosters, and the mission together are interconnected and resonant with each other. The place - keeping God's creation and camp as being "away" and unplugged to listen instead and notice nature matters. The community it fosters can also be away from the usual distractions, cliques, biases, and things that hold us. The mission, to share faith and provide for supporting it, fits in this place and gets achieved through summer camp, the hospitality provided (by excellent, warm staff!) for retreat guests, and the ways in which camp can help support folks and ministries more broadly all matter.


Sharon Vines

Resurrection Lutheran Church, Fredericksburg

Sharon first experienced Caroline Furnace with her husband and children in 1987 when they came to Family Camp. They continued to come to Family Camp each summer until 1999 often bringing friends with them.  Sharon began bringing a homeschool youth group to camp in the mid-90s. They usually stayed in the Sukkah Village (the first year there were still hogans). That lasted about a decade. In 2019 they came to spend New Years Eve at the Farmhouse bringing their three children with spouses and four grandchildren with them.  That has become a tradition each year since. 


So many memories!  Capture the Flag in the big field, Sardines in the Farmhouse, creek walking, sitting around campfires, hikes around camp, challenging jobs during work weekends, meeting new people at retreats. Sharon loves to introduce people to Caroline Furnace. A memory that stands out is a child hiking down to the lake for the first time running back up the trail to exclaim to her mother, "Mom, this place is so wonderful! We have to come again!" It was a chilly, rainy day and she still saw what a special place it is. 


Caroline Furnace brings people together and helps build relationships. It is where they can renew their spirits and grow in faith. There have been so many changes since 1987 but the essence of Caroline Furnace remains - a place for all to get close to God's creation and find a home. Sharon is looking forward to helping Caroline Furnace continue serving all those who come. 


Lorrie Runion (2025)

Virginia Synod

Lorrie was first introduced to Caroline Furnace, specifically the retreat house and the lake, during the summers she attended camp with her church group as a child. In 2009, she joined the summer staff and discovered that Caroline Furnace had much more to offer than she had previously seen and experienced. By the end of that summer, camp was no longer just a job, it had become her home. Lorrie has remained connected with camp as a volunteer, support staff, and now a parent who enjoys including her toddler in camp related events.


For Lorrie, some very special aspects of Caroline Furnace are the inclusive and welcoming community, witnessing how Caroline Furnace transforms the hearts and lives of the people who experience camp as well as bonding with folks who become family. “There is remarkable joy in sitting around a fire with your camp family, singing songs, sharing laughter, rejuvenating your faith and making memories!” She is grateful to be a part of this community and looks forward to helping Caroline Furnace remain a space of faith, education and renewal in God’s creation. 

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