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.
What a wonderful conference! It was great to be together and side by side at the Annual Conference with our friends from the Outdoor Ministry Association of the United Church of Christ. There were so many memorable moments and learnings, but the particular memory that will define this conference for me was singing around the campfire at vespers. Singing together words of scripture as we watched the stars and the reflections on the lake reminded us of the power of outdoor ministry. Many thanks to the wonderful conference Planning Team and the gracious host site, Ferncliff!
At the conference, the board shared with those gathered a bold decision to increase the Executive Director position to full-time. Nine years ago, the Association took the unknown step of hiring an ED and that decision has helped our Association grow and equip leaders in outdoor ministry. The decision to increase the position more clearly reflects the needs of the association and the time and resources necessary to meet those needs. The board wants to thank Joel Winchip for his dedication and service to PCCCA and we look forward to the years ahead.
An expressed need to the mainline camping associations has been for trained interim directors. Through the Outdoor Ministry Connection (OMC), a vision for a training program was born and Lutheran Outdoor Ministry (LOM) has been spearheading this initiative. An Interim Executive Director Training Event is being planned for early May and PCCCA would like to help send some interested individuals. Please prayerfully consider if this is a ministry to which you feel called and then let me know if you are interested. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the ministry of our sites and provide stable and visionary leadership.
PCCCA Board President
Co-Director of Camp Kintail
During every summer, PCCCA's Executive Director and Board President visit our Presbyterian camps and conference centers in a particular region of North America. The goal is to learn more about these ministries and how the association can better resource them. The 2016 itineration on July 17-24 covered Florida and Alabama. Joel Winchip and Theresa McDonald-Lee had a great trip visiting Calvin Center (GA), Montgomery Center (FL), Cedarkirk (FL), Dogwood Acres (FL), Baytreat (AL), Living River (AL), and Maranatha (AL). They got to see some beautiful sites and had the opportunity to spend time with the people who help make these places special. A big "thank you" goes to everyone who was a part of this great trip (you can click on the picture to see it up close).
In the fall of 2016, PCCCA will unveil two new websites. SummerToRemember will help you recruit summer staff. BestSummerYet will help campers and their families find your summer program offerings. Once we get your information for these websites, we hope they will be valuable marketing tools for your ministry.
We also need your help to update your listings on PCCCA's existing websites. The directory on the PCCCA website is a general listing that allows our sites to stay connected. Our BookARetreat website is getting a new look. This website helps retreat groups find the best place for their event.
In order for these websites to be effective, PCCCA needs you to complete your listings. Since the sites address four different audiences, you have the opportunity to tailor your site's description, pictures, and key features for each listing. We ask that you avoid using specific dates in the descriptions of your facility, program, and summer staff. This will allow your listing to last longer without needing to be updated again. Please keep in mind that these websites are just portals for getting visitors to the most important information - the correct page on your website.
To start your updates, please go to www.pccca.net/update_listing. If you should have any questions along the way, please contact Joel Winchip at email@example.com. Thank you for your help with this project.