On March 6-9, the Outdoor Ministries Connection (OMC) steering committee met at Ross Point Camp and Conference Center, our PCCCA member site in Post Falls, ID. This gathering brought together outdoor ministry leaders who represented Episcopalians (ECCC), Presbyterians (PCCCA), United Methodists (UMCRM), Lutherans (LOM), United Church of Christ (OMA-UCC), United Church of Canada, and the American Baptists. PCCCA's representatives were Theresa McDonald-Lee (Board President), Kevin Cartee (Board President Elect), and Joel Winchip (Executive Director). This meeting focused on OMC projects like the upcoming Interim Executive Director Training Event, the research initiative, our relationship with the American Camp Association, and the Great Gathering (the OMC conference that will bring all of the denominations together at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina on November 10-14, 2019). It is wonderful to have PCCCA as a part of the OMC steering committee. This group represents the incredible work that can be accomplished when denominational outdoor ministry associations work together to support our mutual ministries.
For most of our camps and conference centers, their PCCCA membership expired on January 1. Now would be a great time to join or renew your PCCCA membership. You have the option of joining for one year or saving some money by paying for two years. Please keep in mind that PCCCA membership now lasts one (or two) years beyond your renewal date and does not follow the calendar year. If you are a smaller camp, keep in mind that there is a new discounted rate for membership. You can join using a check or credit card by going to www.pccca.net/membership.
by Mike Little of Crestfield Camp and Conference Center (Slippery Rock, PA)
Heartland Center in Kansas City, Missouri graciously and wonderfully hosted this year’s Maintenance Connection at the end of January. Sixteen camp and conference centers from the United States and Canada were represented this year, all of whose ministries will certainly be blessed.
We toured both Heartland and the Hollis Renewal Center (Lutheran). There we learned how other camps may do things differently (or the same) and get new perspectives including a no fee or suggested donation billing system like they have at Hollis. Also, we toured the local Harley-Davidson manufacturing plant and dealership. No, they don’t give you a free one for touring even though we asked nicely.
There were “hands on” demonstrations and installations for super polymer insulated siding and ceramic tiling. The week was filled with discussions including but not limited to: alternative energy, working with volunteers, roofing, high efficiency boilers, carpeting and flooring, solar energy, trail maintenance and much more. During one session, we broke into groups and had discussions with the staff at Heartland about their particular departments - directing, programming, hospitality, and maintenance.
Of course there was fun, rest, and vespers. Thursday afternoon we went to a World War I Museum and had world famous BBQ from Joe’s Kansas City BBQ. Many evenings were spent in conversations about our camps and catching up with friends. Even a game of Class Struggle broke out one evening. All Hail Mitch from Canada - eh! Each evening concluded with reflection and a bible study led by one of the Heartland staff members.
Thanks to Dan, Michael, Luke, Emma, and the interns at Heartland for making this a successful event. The 2018 Maintenance Connection will be held at St. Columba Episcopal Conference and Retreat Center in Memphis, TN. See you then!
Six PCCCA member centers were part of a joint exhibit hall presence at the Annual Event of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators. We had our largest presence ever at this conference - five booths in a row! The event was held on January 25-28 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center (Denver, CO). The conference brings together Christian educators from across the United States and Canada. The sites represented at the joint booth were Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly (TX), Menucha Retreat and Conference Center (OR), Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center (NM), Montreat Conference Center (NC), Highlands Camp and Retreat Center (CO), and Dwight Mission Camp and Conference Center (OK). These centers responded to an invitation that appeared in the Branches Online eNewsletter. Are you seeking a national audience for your camp or conference ministry? We will be doing a joint booth at the 2018 APCE Annual Event in Louisville, KY. If you are interested, details on this opportunity will appear in a future issue of Branches Online.