Lucinda Colberg joins staff

Member services get a boost with new hire of longtime volunteer

Friends of China Camp is delighted to announce that Lucinda Colberg has joined our staff part time, focusing on member services. Lucinda, shown above holding a “Trail Heroes” sign at a recent event, serves as a critical player in maintaining our member database, streamlining the process for getting annual passes, coordinating fundraising events, and handling the myriad other tasks that impact our members. 

“Lucinda is a real professional,” says FOCC Executive Director Martin Lowenstein. “Her pleasant demeanor and effective communication style have already elevated China Camp’s customer service. I’m confident that we are serving our 3,500 members in a highly responsive and respectful way.”

Familiar face shifts from volunteer to staff

Local girl Lucinda (born at Marin General Hospital, raised in San Rafael, and graduated from then-called Katherine Branson School) loves helping out at a place that she first enjoyed as a kid. “It’s been a great bridge for me since I retired two years ago.” 

Lucinda actually started helping out at China Camp about five years ago when she was still working in sales and marketing for financial services.

“I was perusing NextDoor, and I saw Joyce Abrams’(FOCC’s trail volunteer lead) call for volunteers for a workday at the park. A friend and I showed up; I think I raked the campground. And I got a chance to meet and talk to Joyce,” she adds. “That day led to me becoming a regular volunteer.” 

One of her first “jobs” was to check in campers at the Back Ranch Meadows kiosk. That also included asking hikers and bikers if they had passes before heading onto a trail—a job Lucinda took very seriously.

One particular incident stands out. A couple of years ago, a man walked up to the kiosk, and Lucinda asked if he had a pass. “Why yes, I do,” he said, digging into his pocket for his pass. As he was getting the pass, he told Lucinda how it was so great that she was a volunteer, and how much he and his family loved China Camp. Then he introduced himself. “I’m Armando Quintero. I just got appointed to be the director of the California State Park system.”

“That’s nice,” said Lucinda. “But can you show me your pass, please?” He did.

Membership boom makes timing just right

In addition to helping with trail maintenance and the campground kiosk, Lucinda started working in the Ranger Station. There she noticed that the process for fulfilling memberships could use some improvement. “I saw there were ways to make it systematic. Then Martin asked me if I could participate in a bigger way with membership services.”

Turns out Martin’s timing was fortuitous. Just around that time, COVID hit. In search of safe places to enjoy the outdoors near their homes, visitors from all over the Bay Area (and beyond) began discovering China Camp in a big way. Membership skyrocketed. Fortunately, Lucinda, still a volunteer at the time, was there to keep processes running smoothly.

“We went from 1,400 members to 3,500 members in two years,” says Lucinda. “We worked to take a more strategic approach to memberships, how to maintain and expand our numbers, and how to put a little more conscious thought into planning special events, fundraising, and the like.”

Though streamlining processes does make her feel good, Lucinda, who has a 24-year-old son getting his masters in clinical psychology, says that Friends of China Camps’ camaraderie is a big reason she has joined the organization as an employee. “It’s great working with the other staff and volunteers, and I love the sense of purpose in giving back.”

We are thrilled to have Lucinda on board, not only for her kind and good-natured spirit and hard work, but also for letting us pet Kurro, her cute-as-a-button Belgian barge dog, who hangs out inside the Ranger Station while Lucinda works. Says Lucinda, “Kurro comes to work with me, and everyone digs it, even if she snores during our staff meetings.”

Photo: Harriot Manley