The Latest News from PCCCA

PCCCA LogoThe April issue of Branches Online, the enewsletter of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association, is available online. You can see all of the latest news and resources by checking out this new issue. You will also find the March issue here. If you did not receive these issues in your email inbox, you can subscribe by filling out the request form.

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Registration is Now Available for the Compass Points Classes in the Fall

Compass Points logoNow is the time to make plans to attend the two Compass Points certificate programs this fall. Non-Profit Business Management will be offered on September 25-28 and the Development course is scheduled for September 28-October 1. You can take one or both of these classes which will be hosted by the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL. Please go to www.compasspointsprogram.org to learn more about these courses and register.

Compass Points Coordinating Council's Spring Meeting

Compass Points Coordinating Council - Spring 2015The Coordinating Council for the Compass Points Certificate Program met at Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, GA) on March 28-30. They welcomed Andrea Scofield to the group. She will serve as the new representative from Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. The Council was excited about the excellent attendance and ecumenical diversity at the last Compass Points courses. They evaluated the February classes, made plans for the 2017 courses (stay tuned for the hosting application for Spring 2017), and approved a new job description for instructors. They hope you will consider attending the Fall classes - Non-Profit Business Management (September 25-28) and Development (September 28-October 1) will be held at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL. You can learn more about these courses (and the whole program) at www.compasspointsprogram.org.

The Meeting of the "Association of Associations"

2016 OMC Gathering at Pilgrim CenterWhat can we do better together? This is the question that is being answered by the annual meeting of the Outdoor Ministry Connection (OMC).  Representatives from the American Baptists, Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers (ECCCA), Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM), Outdoor Ministry Association – Church of the Brethren (OMA – COB), Outdoor Ministry Association – United Church of Christ (OMA – UCC), Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA), and the United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries (UMCRM) gathered together for three days of meetings at Pilgrim Center in Ripon, Wisconsin.

Over the last four years this ‘association of associations’ has been meeting to learn about the ministry of each organization and to discern if there are ways we can share together to strengthen the work being done at the individual sites across the continent. Several important initiatives have begun that will benefit our associations as well as the sites that we serve. 

The largest project is a once-in-a-lifetime shared conference in November of 2019. Imagine a conference with over six hundred participants, top keynotes, amazing workshops, inspiring worship, and opportunities to connect with the best outdoor ministry practitioners from the mainline denominations across the continent. Planning has already begun!

Many other projects are underway as well. The OMC has recognized that research is an area where it would be meaningful to have the participation of all mainline denominations. Research will help us all to tell the story of outdoor ministry and its impact. In a similar vein, an evaluation project is in the pilot phase, developing a common way for camps to measure their effectiveness. Interim director training is being developed, to increase and expand the network of trained interim directors who could serve across denominational lines, serving sites in pivotal moments of transition. Collegial consulting is another area of shared interest across the denominations.

All of our sites have unique gifts to share, our associations have incredible resources to offer, and together we are able to strengthen the body of Christ. We are better together! 

This article was written by Theresa McDonald-Lee of Camp Kintail who serves as PCCCA's Board President.