Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association Activity’ Category

Illumination Night 2017 celebration in OG. This year it will be part of the 150th birthday events. Paul Goldfinger © Blogfinger.net.

In 1969, Ocean Grove celebrated its centennial. This is the front page of the Ocean Grove Times on June 27, 1969.  The paper cost ten cents.

1869 — Ocean Grove — 1969

A Centennial Summer of Fun

This edition of The Times salutes Ocean Grove on its

Centennial. Founded in 1869, the world-famed/resort community

has entered a full summer of Activities, many of

them planned around the 100th birthday.

The pageant of history, “To These Shores,” will be presented

14 nights this summer, beginning July 2. A large

cast of residents and vacationists are now rehearsing.

The Centennial Parade is scheduled for July 26. It will

be the largest in Ocean Grove history. The traditional Memorial

Day parade, the season opener, was expanded this

year, as will be the Fourth of July parade next Friday.

More than 700 ladies have become Centennial Belles to date.

Men are joining their ladies as “Brothers of the Brush”

or “Smoothies.” Costumes are colorful, as evidenced at

public functions and promenades.

This is a great season for Ocean Grove. The basic

theme of the Centennial celebration is FUN – . .

The Camp Meeting Association is planning festivities this summer, 2019,  for Ocean Grove’s 150th birthday celebration.  The first big event will be on July 6 when there will be the Independence Day Parade from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

That Saturday’s parade will include a mummers string band, ragtime music, marching bands, floats and dancing in the streets.  There will be music everywhere.

Maybe Martha and the Vandellas will show up.

And, that afternoon a Town Celebration will happen with a D.J., food trucks, games, dancing for all, balloon animals, fireworks, and other activities.   “7-10 live bands” in the Boardwalk Pavilion  (one at a time we hope,) and bonfires on the beach, “appropriately sponsored by the three firehouses.”  And much more…

Stay tuned.

–Paul Goldfinger,  Editor Blogfinger.net

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After Sandy the CMA mobilized citizens and other volunteers to work together in the cleanup Oct 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

Paul Goldfinger,MD.  Editor @Blogfinger.net

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association  used to run this town, but all that changed in 1980 when the NJ Supreme Court turned over our historic village to the municipality of Neptune Township.

None of the “blue laws” were left in effect, except for bans on selling tobacco, sales of alcohol, and closing of the beach on Sunday mornings.  There has been no coherent explanation for those bans and beach closure  as initiated by a private group in a public town.

The CMA retained control over the beachfront and they actually own the boardwalk; they and others worked together to press FEMA to help pay for the boardwalk restoration.  The Camp Meeting still owns most of the land in town as they relentlessly pursue their religious “mission” which is growing year-round and has a profound effect on all who actually live in the Grove.

Interestingly, they have no membership list, so we don’t know how many residents in the Grove are committed to the CMA organization.  Most of their supporters seem to be religious tourists.

There is a group in town of private residents who are mostly secular and who probably number over 5,000 if second homers are included.  But, that group doesn’t seem to have much influence.

So how does the CMA maintain the reigns of power here, in  a democracy,  to influence the residents of this community?

Around 2011,  Blogfinger became interested in the role of the CMA as it relates to the “community ” of Ocean Grove—ie the residents of the town.  We interviewed the  President of the CMA.* He said that the group would focus on its “mission” and not on the community of residents. That’s when I first learned that the CMA actually had a policy regarding the rest of the Grove.

After Sandy hit, the CMA stood tall to deal with the beachfront damage, but they opened their arms to the OG community to help pay for it via the Together Fund.

Clearly the CMA is a sort of neighbor for all of us, but it is a peculiar sort.  They have power and influence in Neptune that enables them to strong arm certain issues in the Historic District such as congestion, parking, land use, North End Redevelopment, and life-styles for residents.  But when do they sometimes use that power to benefit the secular neighbors?

If we ask residents of OG the question: “What do you expect from the CMA,” we suspect that opinions will range from “nothing” to “a great deal.”

If you try to answer that question by thinking about the recent history of the CMA as neighbors in town, consider this summary below.  It is a short list of how they impact all who live here.

a.  They have lucrative large events through the year, especially during “prime time” which effects all of us who live here and which bring no money to help the OG  community.

b. They bring in thousands of tourists for their religious based events, but also because of the town- wide clogging during  mega secular events on Ocean Pathway such as the flea market. They hope to extend their reach year-round.

c. They don’t seem to care much about the residents in town as evidenced by their seeming indifference to issues that effect all of us, such as when they threatened to sue over permit parking before the conversation ever got out of the starting gate.  And you would think that they would be concerned about the Master Plan, the Land Use abuses,  historic preservation, and other matters that involve them.

d.  They were found to be guilty in 2007 of discrimination, and that stained the reputation of the entire town.

e.  They have been intimately involved with the worrisome plans for the Asbury Park South project at the OG North End.

f.  Secular programming has been cut back at the GA.

Of course, there are many positive attributes for the entire town that stem from the CMA presence in the Grove such as: the 4th of July parade; Illumination Night;  Christmas events;  a clean and friendly beachfront; a wonderful summer music program; and activities for families, kids and teenagers.

So, use the comment button below and offer some opinions as to what we should expect of the CMA.

ELVIS:   “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Apologies to Paul Dunlap for mis-identifying him as a past president of the Camp Meeting Association. He is a past president of the OGHOA.

Instead, the correct official referred to in the article was Scott Rasmussen*. Here is a link to our post in February, 2018, where a similar assessment of the CMA was discussed, triggered by a rare clash between the CMA and Blogfinger.
Culture wars in Ocean Grove

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Michael Badger, CMA President, at the North End site. APP photo


In  a press release in April, the CMA mentioned the Ocean Grove North End Development LLC   (OGNED).   This entity was identified by the President of the OG Camp Meeting Association as the new “developer” for the “North End  oceanfront site.”  Pres. Badger put out a press release about this in April, and the link to that is:

CMA: OGNED press release

Badger said that OGNED “stepped forward with a sensible development plan.”   But he did not identify that entity.

We asked the Township Clerk to identify OGNED.   He sent us:   “The Stockholder Disclosure Certification submitted by OG North End Development, LLC which shows the stockholders who hold 10% or more of the issued and outstanding stock to be:”

William P. Gannon II

Paul R. Gannon

Joel  S. Brudner

Christopher T. McCallion

The certificate also revealed their addresses, which we did not include here.  It did not include signatures or a date.


For some time the identity of WAVE was requested at Committee meetings, but that information was never disclosed, so we don’t know if OGNED is the same as WAVE or not.

Since the North End Redevelopment Plan is a public project, this information should be disclosed publicly.

Badger’s press release did not mention the “negotiations” now ongoing with Neptune Township, but he did say that “more detailed planning and construction plans will be subject to township building regulations, when they are brought forward.”




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Just before the start of the Summer Band concert at 8 pm, August 24, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Just before the start of the Summer Band concert at 8 pm, August 24, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Re-posted from summer 2016.


Scene:  The crowd was entering the great Auditorium prior to the Summer Band concert celebrating their 64th anniversary.  Among the visitors to the free concert were some out-of-towners.  We sat down on an aisle.


Man overheard speaking to his wife:   “Look Betty, they got an organ!”


Another out of towner behind us speaking to his wife:

She:  How many seats in this building?

He:  About 600

She:  Wow

Me:   (turning around) The Auditorium seats 6,500.

He:  Oh…I just left out a zero.


Another conversation:

We:  Let’s sit here on the aisle  (Behind us is a couple—they discuss our presence in muffled tones.)  Then they get up and move to different seats.

Another couple sits in those seats behind us:

She:  These are wonderful seats!


VINCE GIORDANO and  THE NIGHTHAWKS   from the movie The Aviator     “Stardust”




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Paul Goldfinger ©. 2012. Ushers March in the Great Auditorium during Choir Festival.

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Ground Rents  (Re:  Appeals Court ruling)

To the Editor:

Having now read the court decision, its not as interesting as I thought it might be.

Condos can’t avoid their ground lease payments.

Pathway Condos (30 Ocean Pathway) and Dardanelle Condos (40 Ocean Pathway) filed a lawsuit last year trying to avoid paying the annual ground lease to the OCGMA arguing that a provision of the NJ Condominium law did not allow condos to be on leased property.

Last year a trial court ruled against the condos. This week the NJ Appellate Court agreed and ruled that the condos have to pay the land lease to OCGMA.

Bernie the Attorney

The writer is a real attorney who writes under the name Bernie—- special to Blogfinger.


Editor’s Note:  So now we can stop kvetching over this, unless someone wants to take the issue of ground rents to the Supreme Court.

And the Home Groaners can stop spending the members’ money on useless lawyers.  Why don’t they make public that lawyer’s opinion about ground rents. I think it cost $7,000.00

The HOA members and the public have a right to see it, especially those who are directly concerned with this matter—eg the condo owners and the CMA.  Post it on the HOA’s useless web site  Muckandgibberish.com

Paul Goldfinger, MD, for the Blogfinger Editorial Board.

And here’s a link about ground rents by Kevin Chambers

ground rents issues


THE BEATLES  with a little known song, but I like it—having nothing at all to do with ground rents.

“Don’t Let Me Down”  from the Blue Album



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Hats never totally go out of style. 6/16/18. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger ©


Girls in their summer clothes.   Hats are in.   Paul Goldfinger © 6/16/18.



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Plant Sale 2014. Ocean Grove Camp Town ladies at work. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©

The ladies in red have  been raising money for Ocean Grove since 1944. They donate thousands of dollars each year to a variety of projects. A few years ago they gave $20,000 to the Together Fund.  And recently they gave $10,000 to the Fountain Fund—Founders Park.   (As announced by the Coaster this week.)

Their events include book sales, fish and chips dinners, plant sale, ice cream social and Christmas Boutique.

The OG Ladies Auxiliary is an arm of the Camp Meeting Association, so we can nickname  OG “Camp Town.”

The plant sale was this past May, but the fish and chips dinner in the Pavilion will be in July. Don’t miss it; it’s great.

Consult your CMA Summer Program Guide.


PETE SEEGER with Stephen Foster’s timeless song    “Camptown Races.”


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Source: “Ocean Grove 2018 Summer Program Guide.”


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.   Shaboom, Shaboom.

The Doo Wops used to usher in the summer season in OG and then return in September with a different lineup. But in the last couple of years, the CMA has eliminated most pop concerts from the summer schedule—except for the Beach Boys.

But now, in a surprise announcement, the CMA has taken seriously the adage “See You in September” with a “Doo Wop Extravaganza” on September one in the Great Auditorium.  The program contains all excellent choices, so this concert should not be missed if you like the music from that era.

There is magic associated with the Doo Wops in Ocean Grove, because every year a large crowd would assemble, and they always seemed to be the same age year after year, never getting older than old enough.

This Doo Wop concert is one of two secular pop  musical shows this season.  The other is The Beach Boys on August 18.

JAY AND THE AMERICANS:   “Come a Little Bit Closer”




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Our sources tell us that Rev. John Digiamberardino has left his position as Chief Operating Officer of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association.  He reportedly left on March 9.  We have no further information.

Here is a link to our 2016 article about his appointment

CMA COO 2016

And here is a link to a post from January on BF analyzing a statement which Rev. John made.  It raises some provocative points about his views.

January 2018 post regarding a CMA statement.

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