A Report from Menucha on the 2019 Maintenance Connection

by Tim Kurkinen of Menucha Retreat and Conference Center

Maintenance Connection 2019On February 25 to March 1, Menucha Retreat and Conference Center (Corbett, OR) hosted the 2019 Maintenance Connection. The group spent the week exploring the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area and Portland as well. Much of their time was dedicated to learning from instructors and presenters including the United States Forest Service. The participants learned about wild fire prevention (especially as it related to the Eagle Creek Oregon fire of 2017) and how to prepare your site to increase its resilience and safety. They also learned from local County personnel on their efforts to manage invasive species and how that can be factored into landscape management. The event offered workshops on chainsaws, tree care, and the grand old ax too. It was a wonderful time of learning, networking, and much needed rest.

We wish to thank all who attended, participated and volunteered, and to their sites for letting the event borrow them for the week. Your giving made this year’s Maintenance Connection exceed expectations. Menucha was so honored to have hosted and thoroughly enjoyed showing our participants the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. From all of us here at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, we sincerely say, “thank you.”

Planning for the Future of the Compass Points Certificate Program

Compass Points Coordinating CouncilOn March 6-9, the Coordinating Council for the Compass Points Certificate Program met at Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, GA). This meeting brought together representatives from the four outdoor ministry associations (PCCCA, UMCRM, LOM, and OMA-UCC) that share this program. The Council's gathering featured very productive meetings with the President and the Associate Director of Admissions of Columbia Theological Seminary. The Council's work included bringing on new members of our committee, the evaluation of previous classes, scheduling of upcoming courses, lining up new faculty for these classes, and setting up the capstone process for the fall (we could have as many as 11 people graduate in November!). The Council is excited about the future of Compass Points and we hope you will help us spread the word about the program. There will not be classes offered this fall (so they will not conflict with the OMC Great Gathering), but will start back in March of 2020. Please go to www.compasspointsprogram.org to learn more about the overall program.

PCCCA Member Sites Represented at the APCE Conference

Joint PCCCA Booth at APCE 2019On February 6-9, nine member sites (and PCCCA) were part of the exhibit hall at the Annual Event of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators. This conference, held in Galveston, TX, brought together 700+ educators from across the United States and Canada. We had a huge space for our joint booth presence. The represented member sites were Laurel Ridge (NC), Ferncliff (AR), Fellowship (SC), Mound Ridge (MO), Ghost Ranch (NM), Mo-Ranch (TX), Menucha (OR), Montreat (NC), and Highlands (CO). 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 another joint booth at the 2020 APCE Annual Event in Little Rock (January 29 - February 1). If you are interested, details on this opportunity will appear in a future issue of Branches Online.

Peace Works: The Summer Camp Curriculum for 2019

Peace WorksPeace is a prayer for some and a life’s work for others. It’s a blessing we share with others and a longing within each of our hearts.  Scripture is filled with the stories of peace and justice and camp in the perfect place to share them.  Peace isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth the effort, because we know that peace works! 

Peace Works, the newest offering from InsideOut Christian Camp Resources, is a complete outdoor ministry resource for camp planners and directors at Chiristian camps everywhere. Created by an ecumenical team of veteran camp ministry professionals, Peace Works is packed with materials and ideas for seven days worth of camp. Written for multiple ages, it’s flexible to use, easy to share with staff, biblically sound, and community-focused.

From bible studies to creative worship to community-building games to creative arts projects, Peace Works will educate and empower your campers to become peacemakers in their churches, communities, and world.

Upon completion of your order, you will receive an email from insideout.techsupport@chalicepress.com within 48-72 hours of your order, with a unique login and password to access the online resource. Your license to access the product is valid for one year from the date of purchase.

The new all-online resource for Summer 2019 includes:

  • More than 350 printable pages of camp activities and curriculum in PDF and Microsoft Word formats
  • Extra resources with additional arts and crafts, games, science fun, table talk prompts, whole-camp worship plans, and more
  • Biblical and theological overview for each day
  • Training materials, including a video, presentation slides, handouts, and exercises
  • Staff Devotionals
  • High-quality customizable graphics
  • New for 2019: Expanded Worship Section with even more ideas for creative worship experiences for your campers!

 You can learn more about this resource by going to the InsideOut Curriculum website.