Our non-profit organization is made up of approximately 760 members hailing from across the country. Our mission is to preserve, promote and educate the public and to make our lighthouses accessible to all. Many members join simply from a desire to support our mission, but others come to be the SPLKA membership because of their desire to Lighthouse Keepers at one of our four beautiful lighthouses, Big Sable, Little Sable, Ludington North Breakwater Light and White River Light Station.
In May of 2018 SPLKA was presented the State of Michigan Governors award for “Historic Preservation” of the four Michigan Lighthouses under our care. it is our hope and desire that you will consider becoming a member today joining our award winning organization as SPLKA strives to meet our mission and preserve four of Michigan’s iconic 129 lighthouses.
How much of your fees are considered tax deductible? 60% of your membership fee is tax deductible. None of your keeper confirmation fee is tax deductible, as this fee helps pay costs you incur when you are a keeper.
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For Membership Application
Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPLKA) is a non-profit organization seeking to preserve and promote Big Sable Point, Little Sable Point, Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouses, and White River Light Station. Clean and comfortable accommodations are offered in Ludington State Park and Silver Lake State Park grounds, where you can enjoy the sand dunes and evergreen forests on your way to work at Lake Michigan among friends. One week and two week tours are available, May-October.
How long are the Keeper Tour Sessions?
White River Light Station has availability for day keeping commitments due to no lodging being provided. Little Sable Point and Ludington North Breakwater Lights only require one week commitments. Big Sable Point is a two-week commitment due to the remote location (1.8 miles into the park) and use of the access road is permitted to the volunteers for designated periods.
What are the Keeper’s Duties?
Our volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. There are no pets allowed. Duties include cleaning, tower tours, historical interpretation, welcoming guests, taking admissions, gift shop/cash register training/work, light maintenance duties, stocking, and grounds work. If you live locally and can’t commit to one or two weeks- you can still be involved. We encourage those of you living locally to join our day keeping programs to help with keeping the lights alive!
When can we sign up to Volunteer?
Our volunteer opportunities are available on a first come first serve basis with the discretion of the operations manager. Each year in October there will be a notification emailed out to the membership with a date we will begin accepting applications for the following year. Once the registration date opens you are able to submit applications and they will be date stamped once received by SPLKA.
Expectation and Guidelines Coming Soon!
What if I can’t commit an entire week or two, but I still want to be involved?
If you want to be involved with SPLKA, but don’t have as much consecutive time as you’d need to be a Resident Volunteer Keeper, there are still options available. Read below to learn about the day-long commitments of being a Lighthouse Day Keeper!
Little Sable Point Lighthouse “Seekers”- Day Keepers Program*
The “Lighthouse Seekers” group was formed in 1999 with about 40 members and a goal to someday see Little Sable Point open to the public. That goal was reached and in 2006, after joining with SPLKA, Little Sable Point (LSP) was open for visitors. The Seekers continue to meet as a local Lighthouse group. Many members volunteer at LSP on Mondays and Thursdays from May through Sept as part of the SPLKA volunteer program. Activities, besides volunteering at the Lighthouse, include: beach clean-up, an annual lighthouse trip, and potluck planning meetings. Membership has grown and now over 100 newsletters are sent out each year from the seekers group to their membership.
The exceptional “Little Sable Lighthouse Seekers” program at Little Sable Point is run by local members and day keepers, and their support allows us the opportunity to have this light open seven days a week in the peak season without burning out our resident volunteers. This offers increased exposure of the light to visitors, additional funds for operation through the tower tour admissions and the opportunity to more fully succeed in our mission goals. We appreciate the support that these volunteers and resident keepers offer our organization.
Ludington Breakwater Light Day Keeping “Breakers”
We have a similar day keeping program at the Ludington North Breakwater Light, as well. The local day keepers, “Breakers”, currently help keep the Lighthouse open 7 days a week and allow the resident keepers a day of rest so they aren’t getting burnt out from the day keeping responsibilities.
White River Light Station Day Keeping
At WRLS we have a Curator who lives on the grounds and tends to the Museum therefore we have a need for day keepers to come in and help. If you are interested in working at the beautiful White River Light please fill out the application and get it in to us. Once we receive the application the Curator will be in touch to let you know what dates are available.
If you have any questions please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 231-845-7417.