The Beach LodgeShelterwood is set to open a new lodge in the summer of 2015. The new building is the result of generous donors and the recognition that there are many families around the country that need help. The lodge will house eight students, in four different pods, for a total of thirty-two. The unique design is the result of much study and consultation with the State of Missouri and the leadership of CALO.

We have decided to name this amazing new lodge after our late founder, Richard Beach. Richard passed away a few years ago after a long battle with cancer. He started Shelterwood in 1980 and invested all of his energy into developing leaders and caring for families. Richard had a special way about him, always eager to connect and care for others, and willing to talk to anybody. His conversations were always filled with humor and care.

Richard always saw the best in people. He nurtured many people, young and old, into fantastic leaders. I was fortunate because I managed to spend many years directly under Richard’s leadership and deeply appreciated his mentorship. Unlike other leaders that try to hold on to power, Richard always found ways to share leadership. Even with Richards passing, Shelterwood remains living proof of this wisdom, as most non-profit organizations go out of business within a few years of their founder leaving. Not Shelterwood. We are still here and continuing to grow.

Richard trusted the people that he developed for succession. Those who do not finish well seem to always beThe Beach Lodge dissatisfied with whoever succeeds them, almost as if they are looking for, but unable to find, a clone of themselves. Richard did not hold on to power, but instead shared it freely and at Shelterwood, this continues to be our model. Over the years we have managed to develop and then release many leaders to start their own programs. Leadership development through our mentor process does not just apply to the staff that work at Shelterwood Academy, but it is also a critical part of how we interact with our students.

And so it makes sense that our new student residence would be called the Beach Lodge: designed to care for the most hurting of teenagers in an intimate way. We anticipate the Beach Lodge being filled with laughter, compassion and growth and providing an opportunity for young men and women to uncover their full potential.

Watch this fantastic video of Richard Beach share on the importance of love.