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. If you missed it, here is the March issue. If you did not receive this issue in your email inbox, you can subscribe by sending your email address to

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From the PCCCA Board President

Kevin CarteeSabbatical – (noun) a time of rest and renewal, a time for focusing on personal, spiritual, and professional growth.

At our Spring meeting, the PCCCA Board approved a sabbatical plan for Joel Winchip, our Executive Director, that seeks to recognize and honor the diligent work achieved over the last 12 years. This Sabbatical, totaling 12 weeks, will be divided into two six-week blocks over the next two summers. The first Sabbatical period will run from May 27 until July 5. 

As our Executive Director, Joel has very capably led us through periods of growth and transition, while also organizing and directing the day-to-day operations and special programs and projects that are so important to our PCCCA family. 

This Sabbatical plan is also designed to be about strengthening the future of the PCCCA! In addition to much deserved rest, Joel’s sabbatical energies will engage him in observation of cutting-edge and innovative programs, organizations and facilities and learning opportunities beyond ordinary “continuing education.” 

As Joel prepares for his Sabbatical time, we are preparing, too! The Board is working with Joel to assure that essential work continues during his time away. We are finalizing details and will publicize additional information soon that will include contact information and coverage plans for the sabbatical period. I want to invite you to join us in preparation by praying for God’s blessing upon this time of enrichment and sabbath for Joel.

More details on who to contact during Joel's sabbatical will be made available in the May issue of Branches (and will be included in the autoreply when you send an email to between May 27 and July 5).

Your PCCCA Board President,

Kevin Cartee

Good Things Happen When Denominations Work Together

OMC Council 2019Representatives from PCCCA, United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries (UMCRM), the United Church of Canada, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM), Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers (ECCC), and the Outdoor Ministry Association of the United Church of Christ (OMA-UCC) gathered together on March 25-28 for a meeting of the Council of the Outdoor Ministries Connection at the Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center (Carefree, AZ). The group heard the latest reports on the Interim Director Training in May and the Great Gathering at Lake Junaluska in November. It is always great when the OMC Council comes together for a meeting. It shows us how much can be accomplished when we work together with our ecumenical partners. If the 2019 OMC Great Gathering is not yet on your calendar, it will be held at on November 10-14 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina.

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.”