Monday, November 14 from 11:15am - 12:30pm

Walking Tour of Heartland's Main Facilities

By Dan Scheneman

This is a walking tour of Heartland's lodges and meeting spaces. The tour will start in the lobby of Nunemaker Conference Center and end at the swimming pools. Most of the tour will be outdoors and will consist of walking on the camp sidewalks, trails, and roads. The tour will not include Heartland's rustic tent and cabin facilities, activity areas, or the bulk of the hiking trails.

Dan Scheneman grew up as a camper at Heartland Center, served on its summer camp staff during his college-age years, was camp program director for nine seasons in the 1990s, and became the Executive Director in 2001. Dan is married to Jennifer Scheneman, and they have three children ranging between 17 and 22 years of age.

Workshop Resource
Workshop Recording
Incorporating Online Training Into Camp Staff Orientation

By Jared Briscoe

In 2020 Heartland made the switch to online training due to COVID, and we aren't going back. Learn how we created and structure the online portion of our summer staff training (in addition to onsite training). Hear the benefits we have already seen and where we hope to go in the future.

Jared Briscoe has been a director at Heartland since he graduated from college in 2015. Jared loves anything that has to do with competition, including racquetball, softball, and board games. He is also a passionate defender and advocate of the Kansas City Chiefs, Royals, and the best BBQ in the universe. Jared is lucky to be married to and work with his wife, Jessica, for the last year.

Energy Cost Saving Options for Your Site

By Miriam Stiefel

We will discuss the various ways for you to consume less energy as well as to pay lower rates for the energy you use. The workshop will cover solar energy, procurement, curtailment/demand response, lighting, bill auditing, cogeneration and more. It would be constructive for you to bring your facility's energy bills to the workshop so that the process of account analysis can begin as soon as possible.

Miriam Stiefel has over 20 years of experience helping companies and organizations make the most cost-effective energy decisions for their homes and businesses. As Director of the Reflective Energy Solutions Affinity Program for the last 3 years, Miriam has produced revenue for non-profit organizations while helping members save money on energy costs. To date, Miriam has generated over $2 million in revenue for her Affinity Program customers.

Workshop Handout #1
Workshop Handout #2
Workshop Recording
Diversifying Your Business: New Programs and Partnerships that Might Just Work for You

By Elise Bates Russell and Tommy Campbell

Whether it was crossing the Delaware to run a summer camp program at Camp Lackawanna or hosting our first week of LGBTQIA+ camp, Johnsonburg was and is involved in a host of new programs and partnerships. In this workshop, we'll share about: working with other camps; our Wonderfully Made week; our Social Justice Cohort and Social Justice Summit; Living Waters for the World; and a few other irons in the fire and some of the ones we've let go cold. Come hear our stories, successes, ideas, and what we've learned.

Elise Bates Russell is the Executive Director of Johnsonburg Camp and Retreat in New Jersey. She enjoys all aspects of God’s ministry in the outdoors, but her passions include leadership development, nature exploration, wilderness trips and sustainable architectural design. This has grown out of a lifetime (almost!) of living and working at Presbyterian camps in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Michigan, and Minnesota. Elise is part of the consultant team for Run River Enterprises and recently served as board president of PCCCA. Tommy Campbell joined the Johnsonburg team in late 2021 as the Associate Director of Programs. For nearly five years, he was the Director at Kirkwood Camp and Retreat Center in nearby Stroudsburg, PA. Recently, Tommy has been studying for his M.Div at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va. He is a staff alumni at several other camps, including several PC(USA) affiliated sites in Virginia.

How We Care for One Another – Evangelism at Camp

By Kathryn Campbell

"Evangelism" might as well be a 4-letter word these days. Thinking about how leadership can reach out to its campers in a way that helps them on their faith journeys is critical to their future path. By showing care through the Christian practices of invitation hospitality, nurture, and welcome, campers will build relationships during their experience while growing in faith.

Rev. Dr. Kathryn Campbell is a lover of summer camps and retreats of all shapes and sizes. Kathryn is wife to Austin and mom to Avis (10) and Archer (2). When she's not serving as taxi, working out, or cooking meals for friends and family, she serves as Pastor of Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is currently President-Elect of the Association of Partners in Christian Education (APCE). Her theology is rooted in helping the Fellowship Family understand how caring for friends and loved ones at home is not any different than how they care for each other at church.

Understanding College Students as Staff Members

By Allison Wehrung

Join this part-presentation, part-conversation workshop to explore the gifts and challenges of working with college-aged summer staff. What makes them want to invest time and energy into a community? What kind of feedback works, or doesn't? What do they value most in a work environment? We will look at some responses compiled from actual summer staffers, and have the chance to share questions and lessons learned from our own experiences.

Rev. Allison Wehrung lives in Oxford, MS, where she's the Presbytery of St. Andrew's Associate Executive Presbyter. That involves wearing several different hats, but her favorite ones are serving as the Campus Minister at UKirk Ole Miss and offering support to the good people at Camp Hopewell. Allison is a former board member of the UKirk Collegiate Ministries Association, and feels passionately about nurturing spaces where young adults feel welcomed and supported as they figure out who they are and what God has to do with it.

Monday, November 14 from 3:15pm - 4:30pm

Kitchen and Maintenance Tour

By Lindsay Boehmer, Denise Campbell, and Luke Boydston

For all of you operations-nitty-gritty types, here is your chance to tour Heartland's kitchen and maintenance facilities and ask all of the detailed questions you want. The tour will start in Grace Hall with a tour of Heartland's Kitchen led by Guest Services Director, Lindsay Boehmer, and Food Service Manager, Denise Campbell.  The group will then travel to the maintenance shop to visit with Maintenance Director, Luke Boydston, about anything related to Heartland's Maintenance program.

Lindsay Boehmer started as an intern with Heartland in 2018. After working as the Cultural Immersion Facilitator on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, she came back to Heartland in 2021 and now serves as the Guest Services Director. Denise Campbell, Heartland's Food Service Director, has worked in the food service and catering industry for most of her adult life. Denise has been with Heartland since 2019.  Luke Boydston, like many maintenance directors, is a true renaissance man, skilled in so many trades. If he can't fix it, it isn't broken.

Workshop Resource
Trail Horseback Ride (First Ride)

By the Heartland Staff

Go for a nice relaxing horseback ride through Heartland's rolling wooded hills and golden meadows.  This is a gentle trail ride (one horse behind the other, skill level: novice); no previous experience is necessary. Riders must have a good range of motion, sign a liability waiver, and wear closed-toed/closed heels shoes (long pants are recommended). Space is limited to the first nine riders.

Heartland's trained wranglers will start with an orientation and will accompany the group throughout the ride.

Workshop Recording
From Stagnation to Vitality: Recapturing the Joy of Ministry

By Rev. Lori Neff LaRue of the Board of Pensions

Are you a pitcher or a fountain? Servants of the church are conditioned to pour ourselves out in service to the Kingdom. But what happens when our wellspring is no longer overflowing? In this workshop we will explore perspectives and practices that will sustain us in our ministries, ensuring that our wellspring of life and faith does not run dry. Together, participants will be invited to reflect on where they find purpose and meaning in their calls, to identify practices that enhance wellbeing, and to re-establish healthy boundaries and communities of support and care.

Rev. Lori Neff LaRue is Director, Board University, at the Board of Pensions, where she is responsible for planning, developing, and delivering face-to-face and online educational programs that are rooted in a Theology of Benefits and consistent with the Board's strategic vision and initiatives. Lori has over 30 years' experience in higher education, including 10 years in theological education. In addition to her role at the Board of Pensions, she serves as the preaching pastor at Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church, and serves on the Permanent Judicial Commission for the Presbytery of the Coastlands. 

Workshop Handout
Batch Content Creation for TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram

By Christin Gillard

Learn how to batch create and schedule content for Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok! Make the most of your time and create targeted posts on the most appropriate platforms for your diverse audiences. In this session you will learn how to use the Creator Studio scheduling platform, how to create and save TikTok drafts, and which platforms are most compatible with your skills and resources.

Christin Gillard has a degree in Media Communications, a Diploma in Media Studies, and has kept up to date with post secondary certifications through Hootsuite, the American Marketing Institute, and more. An artist and graphic designer, Christin most enjoys curating a brand image and voice, and has enjoyed the challenge of maintaining continuity through evolving social media platforms. She has worked as the Administrator and Communications Coordinator at Camp Kintail in Goderich Ontario for the last 6 years and looks forward to helping other camps make the most of their time to have the greatest impact in their digital marketing campaigns.

Workshop Recording
Workshop Handout
Growing Older is for Everyone!

By Chris Pomfret

We typically think about aging as something we don't need to worry about until we are in our 60's and 70's; even then, denial can cause us to put off doing the things that we know we should be addressing. The modern day reality is that all generations are affected by the aging of their parents or grandparents or other older family members and so multiple generations need to become aware sooner of the challenges of aging. As normal life expectancy continues to increase, more and more younger adults and children are going to experience, first-hand, the inevitable effects of aging of the older generations in their family. How can these younger adults be better informed, aware, and prepared for what they might witness? How can they interact effectively with older family members who are mobility or mentally impaired. How can one's spirituality assist in the challenges that face us all? This workshop will interactively discuss these issues and more.

Chris Pomfret is a retired aerospace engineer and business owner who in 2013 started the “Third Thirty” concept, looking at how we can age wisely, gracefully, sensibly, and spiritually from 60-90. He wants to challenge conventional wisdom that aging was no fun and best not talked about and he thus set about identifying best practices such that aging can be as enjoyable as possible for the individual and their loved ones. Chris is a former Vice-President of the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network and has conducted many “Third Thirty” workshops across the U.S. and overseas over the past decade.

Workshop Slideshow
Exploring Refugee Ministry Opportunities

By Joel Gill, Emily Wilkes, and Susan Krehbiel

This workshop will introduce innovative ways that camps and conference centers have helped welcome refugees as well as new ideas to be explored. With the lack of safe and affordable housing in many of the cities where refugees are arriving, camps and conference centers have helped fill a much needed gap through transitional housing. Trauma healing programs for refugees and respite programs for those who work with refugees are just two of the possibilities to be explored during this workshop.

Joel Gill is the Executive Director of Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center. It has a special relationship with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance because of it is also houses a warehouse to receive Gifts of the Heart that are given out as part of disaster response with Church World Service. Joel has served on the board of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association from 2014-2021, including two years as Board President. Susan Krehbiel is the Associate for Refugees and Asylum with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. She is responsible for directing PDA’s support to regional bodies, local congregations, national and international partners in refugee-related ministries. Susan has 30 years non-profit experience working with refugees and immigrants, as an advocate for refugee rights and social and legal services that assist refugees and immigrants in their integration into the United States. Emily Wilkes is the Mission Specialist for Domestic Refugee Ministries with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. She is responsible for facilitating connections between refugee and immigrant-led groups and Presbyterian partners to create opportunities for mutual support, learning, and organizing power. She worked at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center as a Young Adult Volunteer as the Farm/Garden Steward, so she is excited to imagine potential future collaborations with camps and conference centers through her position with PDA. Emily has also worked as a pastor, farmer, organizer, teacher, researcher, and writer.

Workshop Handouts
Workshop Recording
What is Success?

By Kevin Cullum

Join us in an engaging conversation where we explore the definition of success in the camp, retreat, and conference ministry world. What are examples of success? What are examples of failure and dysfunction? This workshop will be a great opportunity to affirm your impact on the world as well as focus your ministry more effectively.

Kevin Cullum is the Executive Director for Camp Wyoming, a Presbyterian Summer Camp and Retreat Center in Eastern Iowa. He has served in this role since 2004. Kevin has over 20 years of experience as a camp executive. His strengths are staffing, marketing, and financial management. He has also led multiple successful campaigns. Kevin and his wife, Shelley, have three kids, two cats, and two dogs.

Monday, November 14 from 4:45pm - 6:00pm

Walking Tour of Heartland's Main Facilities

By Dan Scheneman

This is a walking tour of Heartland's lodges and meeting spaces. The tour will start in the lobby of Nunemaker Conference Center and end at the swimming pools. Most of the tour will be outdoors and will consist of walking on the camp sidewalks, trails, and roads. The tour will not include Heartland's rustic tent and cabin facilities, activity areas, or the bulk of the hiking trails.

Dan Scheneman grew up as a camper at Heartland Center, served on its summer camp staff during his college-age years, was camp program director for nine seasons in the 1990s, and became the Executive Director in 2001. Dan is married to Jennifer Scheneman, and they have three children ranging between 17 and 22 years of age.

Trail Horseback Ride (Second Ride)

By the Heartland Staff

Go for a nice relaxing horseback ride through Heartland's rolling wooded hills and golden meadows.  This is a gentle trail ride (one horse behind the other, skill level: novice); no previous experience is necessary. Riders must have a good range of motion, sign a liability waiver, and wear closed-toed/closed heels shoes (long pants are recommended). Space is limited to the first nine riders.

Heartland's trained wranglers will start with an orientation and will accompany the group throughout the ride.

Workshop Slideshow
Supporting Mental Health and Neurodivergence in Campers

By Rev. Pepa Paniagua

Neurodivergence lives at a complex intersection of life and the camp experience for a growing number of youth. As more research is being done to understand the dynamics around neurodivergence, there is a need for specific and intentional camp resources. In this workshop, Rev. Pepa Paniagua will talk about statistics and definitions around neurodivergence in youth, and provide concrete examples of what has worked in her context of kin-dom camp. We will talk about strategies, approaches, and ways to equip camp staff, leadership, and volunteers.

Rev. Pepa Paniagua (she/her) is the founding pastor of kin-dom community, a new worshipping community offering transparent welcome to the LBGTQIA+ community and others who have felt cast out by or uncomfortable in "traditional" church. She is an advocate and ally, and does her best to gently lead others through the sometimes hard conversations about inclusion and the vast expanse of God's love. While she would say she is an "indoor girl.” Pepa has a deep love for outdoor space and nature, and quickly gave a whole hearted "YES!" when she was asked if kin-dom would host a camp for LBGTQIA+ youth, and is so proud to be a co-founder of kin-dom camp.  Pepa and her wife, Kelli, live in North Texas with their two dogs, and they are passionate about good food, good coffee, good road trips, and good people.

Workshop Recording
Ask With Confidence

By Mark Duncan of the FundCoach

Are you new to fundraising? Are you paralyzed by fear at the thought of asking people for money? The most effective way to raise money is through Relationship Fundraising. In this session you will learn how to approach and solicit high net worth individuals for big gifts to support your mission.

Mark L. Duncan is a seasoned fundraising professional with over 20 years of fundraising management experience. He brings over 35 years of experience in the nonprofit sector from a wide range of organizations that include camp and conference ministry, higher education, K-12 education, public media and healthcare. Mark established The FundCoach, LLC in 2016 to empower nonprofit leaders with the skill and confidence to secure significant funds from high net worth individuals through his Relationship Fundraising Method. 

Workshop Recording
Camping Spirituality Opportunities

By Michelle Phillips

During our time together, we will explore, brainstorm, and plan ways to encourage youth and adults in new spiritual practices using the camping setting- Including use of glow sticks, arts, crafts and experiences to help encounter God in new ways.

Michelle (Mich) Phillips grew up going to church camp and has spent over 20 years counseling and directing a variety of camps, using many different types of spiritual practices to enhance the camping experience. Mich currently serves as the Director of Christian Education and Congregational Ministries at The Kirk of Kansas City.  She is also active in a variety of local, presbytery, and national youth conferences.

Strengthen the Business Side of Your Ministry

By Kevin Cullum

Feel like you are spinning your wheels? Doing a lot of busy work yet always just getting by? This workshop will focus on how to strengthen your business through staff (alignment, support, and retention), marketing, and customer retention. Leave with practical ways to strengthen the business of your ministry. This is a repeat workshop from the 2021 Annual Conference with additional content.

Kevin Cullum is the Executive Director for Camp Wyoming, a Presbyterian Summer Camp and Retreat Center in Eastern Iowa. He has served in this role since 2004. Kevin has over 20 years of experience as a camp executive. His strengths are staffing, marketing, and financial management. He has also led multiple successful campaigns. Kevin and his wife, Shelley, have three kids, two cats, and two dogs.

Workshop Handout #1
Workshop Handout #2
Workshop Recording

Tuesday, November 15 from 4:00 - 5:15pm

Solutions for Keeping Camps and Retreat Centers Bed Bug and Odor Free

By Jeff Zimmerman of PrevSol

Bed bugs and unwanted odors can easily become serious problems in your campground. But what is the best way to deal with these issues? How do you permanently and safely eliminate odors? How do you keep campers and staff safe from bed bug infestations? Let talk about the pros and cons of your options for dealing with these pervasive problems.

Jeff Zimmerman is the co-founder and co-owner of Bed Bug Heat Doctor Prevsol, a company that has bed bug heaters being used in all 50 states and Canada. He has over 30 years of experience in the pest control industry with about half of those years owning his own pest control company. Jeff has personally treated over 5,000 hotels and treated over 5,000,000 square feet of treatment space, consisting of homes, apartments, condos, hotels, camps, and more.

Workshop Recording
Gen Z Today: Food Service Trends, Impacts, and Looking Ahead

By Shana Smith of Upper Crust Food Service

Join Upper Crust as we explore food trends, dietary trends, technology trends, impacts of COVID-19 and looking ahead. Gen Zer's are going to want 2022 to be a blend of the best of 2020 and 2021, combined with a bit of futuristic thinking.

Shana joined Upper Crust Food Service in Fall of 2017, as the Director of Strategic Partnerships; she was recently promoted to Vice-President of Strategic Partnership. Shana worked in the food industry as a home economist and food rep for over 12 years and over 20 years of property management experience ranging from single family resident to commercial/industrial leases and then into Greek Housing.

Partner to Your Community: Fundraising Readiness for Community Need

By Evan Moilan of GSB Fundraising

Within the life of the church, our organizations have capacity that others do not. We have space to house in disaster, expertise in volunteer management, professional food service, and a loyal constituency to invite into mission. Camps across the country are often the center of service in crisis; from providing basecamp to firefighters, to sheltering in natural disasters. Our ability to respond in times of crisis as Matthew 25 camps, in part depends on our ability to resource our services by quickly standing up an emergency fundraising appeal. In this session we will explore, disaster based fundraising and what you can do today, to be ready to respond when needed.

Evan Moilan brings energy and innovative thinking, based on over 25 years of Executive leadership and Board service for non-profits. His professional service includes large social service agencies, disaster relief organizations, foundations, global relief agencies, and camps and retreat centers. Evan brings expertise in strategic planning, fundraising, governance, marketing, and organizational growth. Holding the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential, an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University, and a graduate certificate from the University of Texas in Non-Profit Management; Evan brings passion and expertise to organizations large and small.

Radical Welcome: Being a Matthew 25 Camp and Conference Center

By Rev. Carlton Johnson

We will discuss the 8 Habits of Evangelism. We will particularly review the habit of Radical Welcome. We will further discuss how this is connected to our call to be Matthew 25 disciples of Jesus Christ.

Carlton serves as the Coordinator for the Office of Vital Congregations for the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA). Carlton is an associate minister at the First Afrikan Presbyterian Church in Lithonia, GA where he leads the Ujima Men’s Fellowship, Kijana Boys Rites of Passage, Fawohodie Ministry to the Incarcerated and their families, and serves in music ministry. He is a board member of the First Afrikan Presbyterian Church Community Development Corporation, the Presbyterian Pastoral Care Network and NEXT CHURCH (Strategic Planning Team). He is a regular contributor to the Presbyterian Outlook monthly magazine. Carlton and his wife Cara split their time between Atlanta, GA and Louisville, KY.

Sustainable Ministry.  Building a Legacy Giving Campaign through the Use of Stories.

By Rev. Joseph Moore of the Presbyterian Foundation

How do you create a vibrant, Spirit filled culture of legacy giving? In this workshop we will go over some best practices regarding planned giving and non-profit institutions. We will explore the power of harnessing story in developing robust and fruitful legacy giving campaigns. The workshop will be a mix of content and interactive time with attendees.

Rev. Joseph Moore is a PCUSA Pastor, and Ministry Relations Officer at the Presbyterian Foundation. He spends his days walking with PCUSA related ministries as we explore what sustainable ministry looks like in 2022. He helps churches and church related institutions explore creating cultures of generosity, sustainable giving, the power of story telling, and best practices around legacy giving. He is convinced that the Spirit is not yet finished with us. He also believes that camping ministry has the potential to form disciples in ways that can change the world. Joseph lives in Ft. Collins, CO with his wife Shelley, and their three children. When he isn't traveling around for work or his kid's swim meets, he can often be found trying (and failing) to become better at fly fishing.

Supporting Summer Staff Mental Health

By Harry Zweckbronner

This past summer saw more staff dealing with mental health struggles than ever before. How we can we help support these staff so they're able to take care of themselves, as well as the campers in their care? This Program Connection style "crowdsourcing" workshop will give participants the opportunity to share what has worked for them while hearing ideas from others.

Harry Zweckbronner serves as the Associate Director of Programs at Camp Hanover, in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He has been in camping ministry for almost 20 years and also serves as a standards visitor for the American Camp Association.

Workshop Slideshow

Wednesday, November 16 from 11:15am - 12:30pm

Recruiting Summer Staff when Burger King Pays $15 Per Hour with a Sign-on Bonus

By Jessica Briscoe

Summer staff recruiting is the most important thing we do. The most fantastic games and best lessons are irrelevant if you don't have any staff! We have been growing our summer staff each year for the last seven years. Hear about everything we recommend (and don't recommend) as we compete in a tight job market.

Jessica Briscoe is the Day Camp and Recruitment Director at Heartland Camp. She has been a director at Heartland Camp in different capacities for three years. Her time at Heartland started as a 2nd-grade overnight camper, and from then, it has only grown. Jessica feels lucky to be co-workers with and married to Jared Briscoe. She loves puzzles, plants, going to bed early, hosting people at her house, and working on DIY projects.

Workshop Resources
Workshop Recording
Heartland's Target Range

By the Heartland Staff

Try your hand at archery, hatchet throwing, sling-shots, and even launch an atlatl. All four of these activities are designed for the beginner level and they are a lot of fun to do. Participants must have a good range of motion. Space is limited for these activities, so please don't wait to sign up.

Heartland's activity staff are trained in the use and instruction of each activity.

The Ultimate Welcome: Building Sustainable Connections Through Mission-Driven Programming

By Stefanie Marsden of the Texas Presbyterian Foundation

One thing is certain, times are changing, and so is the way we connect with others! Join us for this informative discussion created to help you ensure your staff is creating and disseminating mission-driven programming designed to grow generosity and nurture relationships with all facets of your ministries. Especially now, as we slowly enter these constantly evolving post-pandemic times, it's time to put the mission first.

Stefanie Marsden is an expert relationship grower, “legacy planning guru,” and generosity advocate. As Relationship Manager at the Texas Presbyterian Foundation, Stefanie is responsible for working closely with their Partners to grow relationships, as well as their TPF assets. She loves working for TPF because she can help churches and nonprofits to support them as they strive to change the lives of others, together. Stefanie, in addition to her many roles at TPF, is also a jazz vocalist, fan of vegetables, and most importantly, mom to two crazy boys.

Crisis Communication and the Importance of Pre-Work that Makes it So Much Easier!

By Casey Fuerst of Tic Tac Toe Marketing

In the last few years, Tic Tac Toe Marketing has done crisis communications for several camps for medical (mumps and COVID), inclusivity (specifically LGBTQIA+), and unexpected leadership transitions. It was almost always true that had the camp done a better job preparing for the crisis, the response could have been easier, swifter, and caused less trauma and chaos. We will review the primary components of a strong crisis communications plan so that you can be prepared and ready IF/WHEN a crisis happens.

Casey Fuerst has worked with camps and nonprofits to give them the messaging, strategic marketing plans and collateral materials to support their work for 20+ years. For 18 of those 20+ years, she served as the Director/Marketing & Leadership Development at Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. Casey is a certified StoryBrand Guide and uses this framework to create marketing messaging, plans and collateral to increase impact and grow business. She owns and provides lead consultation for Tic Tac Toe Marketing.

Cultivating a Space of Belonging at Camp

    Sponsored by The Insurance Board

By Rev. Pepa Paniagua

Camp is a transformative experience in the life of all who experience it- but often times there are barriers in welcoming members of the LBGTQIA+ community. Whether limitations or stumbling blocks exist in board/camp policies, housing, staffing, or a need for more education, the importance of cultivating space of belonging at camps cannot be overstated. In this workshop, Rev. Pepa Paniagua will talk about kin-dom camp, a fully inclusive camp for LBGTQIA+ youth ages 12-17. She will share what they learned, what was successful, and what they consider best practices in helping to cultivate a space for belonging for all campers.

Rev. Pepa Paniagua (she/her) is the founding pastor of kin-dom community, a new worshipping community offering transparent welcome to the LBGTQIA+ community and others who have felt cast out by or uncomfortable in "traditional" church. She is an advocate and ally, and does her best to gently lead others through the sometimes hard conversations about inclusion and the vast expanse of God's love. While she would say she is an "indoor girl.” Pepa has a deep love for outdoor space and nature, and quickly gave a whole hearted "YES!" when she was asked if kin-dom would host a camp for LBGTQIA+ youth, and is so proud to be a co-founder of kin-dom camp.  Pepa and her wife, Kelli, live in North Texas with their two dogs, and they are passionate about good food, good coffee, good road trips, and good people.

Workshop Recording
Three-Month Social Media Plan

By Anne Russ

Social media is more effective when you have a plan, but who has time to plan? Bring your calendar and a notebook and leave with three months of social media content. You'll have a plan for the first quarter of the calendar year as well as the tools to plan (and schedule) three months at a time for the rest of the year.

Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has been in ministry for over 20 years. She has been a camper, counselor, volunteer chaplain and board member at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center (where you can hang out on the Anne Russ deck) and currently serves on the board at Johnsonburg Camp and Conference Center.  Anne is a free-range pastor living in New York and runs a digital ministry platform at doubtingbeliever.com. She teaches online classes, creates liturgy and worship experiences, leads workshops, and fills pulpits when needed. She is a fiercely supportive mom to a 21-year-old BFA musical theater student and has been married for almost 25 years (to the same person).

Workshop Handout
Workshop Slideshow
Opening our Eyes to SEE

By Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks

Join us for a time to consider the lived experiences of those who participate in camps and conferences that are not our lived experiences. How can we SEE and use our Holy Imagination to expand our reach while calling ourselves into a deeper understanding of one another?

Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks serves as the Director of Formation for Children, Youth and Their Families at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC. She loves creating space for folks to interact with the Holy through art and opportunities for disruption. Amy Kim is a Co-Director of the Board of More Light Presbyterians, leads workshops and conferences nationally for the PCUSA, and has been published in ministry periodicals about Spiritual Formation and disrupting Racism. Her life is shared with her amazing spouse, Justin, children, Natalily and Isaiah along with Bella and Obed, the poodles. She is thankful for the ministry of camps and conferences in her own formation and looks forward to sharing space at the conference!

Thursday, November 17 from 1:45 - 3:00pm

The Year-Long Internship: What We've Learned in 10 Years, How It's Changed, and What We Would Do Differently

By Anna Rasmussen and Jared Briscoe

Have you considered starting a year-long internship or gap year program at your site? Heartland has had an internship or gap year program every year for the last decade, and we would like to share some lessons we have learned along the way. Join us to hear about the benefits, the challenges, and our best advice if you are looking to start such a program at your own site.

Anna Rasmussen is the Traveling Day Camp and Cornerstone Gap Year Program Director at Heartland Camp. She is a Kansas City (Missouri) native who served for three summers on camp staff at Heartland before joining full-time. Her grandfather, Pete Rasmussen, was the first year-round camp director at Heartland from 1965 to 1990, and she is so thankful to get to carry on the family legacy of working in camp ministry! When not at camp, Anna loves singing in a local community choir, playing board games, and spending time with her niece and nephews. Jared Briscoe has been a director at Heartland since he graduated from college in 2015. Jared loves anything that has to do with competition, including racquetball, softball, and board games. He is also a passionate defender and advocate of the Kansas City Chiefs, Royals, and the best BBQ in the universe. Jared is lucky to be married to and work with his wife, Jessica, for the last year.

The Summit - Heartland's High Ropes Course

By the Heartland Staff

Reach new heights as you are challenged to overcome barriers on the Summit’s 40-foot tower. All safety equipment and orientation will be provided when you arrive for your adventure. Participants must wear closed-toed shoes, be in good health, have a good range of motion, sign a liability waiver, and weigh less than 280 lb. This activity does have a limited number of spots, so please sign-up early.

Our facilitators are trained and experienced to challenge your group while maintaining a safe environment. Heartland Center is committed to a safe and meaningful experience for all participants of our high ropes courses. Our courses are all inspected annually by a certified organization to meet the standards of the Association for Challenge Course Technology.

Workshop Handout
Workshop Recording
Welcoming All: Providing Specialty Camps for Special Populations

By Kenny and Jennifer Rigoulot

Why should you create programs that serve children, youth, and adults of special populations? While we hope all participants feel welcome at all of our camps, sometimes it is beneficial for people to know that their fellow participants share similar life experiences. Join us as we explore how to discover, attract, and serve special populations at your camp!

Kenny and Jennifer Rigoulot serve as Co-Executive Directors of Gilmont Camp and Conference Center in Gilmer, TX. Jennifer serves as Executive Director of Operations and Programs and Kenny is the Executive Director of Development and Spiritual Formation. They have been married for 19 years and have 3 children, ages 17, 15, and 12. Gilmont is a special place for the Rigoulot Family, as Kenny and Jennifer met there as summer camp counselors and their children have attended as campers. They are passionate about the camping ministry and want all participants at Gilmont to have the opportunity to grow closer to God, creation, others, and themselves.

Workshop Recording
Equipping Counselors to Lead Worship

By Anne Russ

Summer staff members come from many faith backgrounds with a range of church experiences. They have many gifts to bring to the worship/vesper experience, but may need some guidance. This workshop will give you some basic worship frameworks to share, an easy primer in reformed theology and worship and ways to talk about leading vs performing with your counselors.

Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has been in ministry for over 20 years. She has been a camper, counselor, volunteer chaplain and board member at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center (where you can hang out on the Anne Russ deck) and currently serves on the board at Johnsonburg Camp and Conference Center.  Anne is a free-range pastor living in New York and runs a digital ministry platform at doubtingbeliever.com. She teaches online classes, creates liturgy and worship experiences, leads workshops, and fills pulpits when needed. She is a fiercely supportive mom to a 21-year-old BFA musical theater student and has been married for almost 25 years (to the same person).

Workshop Recording
The GreatCampGive: Raise $100,000 (or more!) in One Day

By Doug Walters and Clayton Rascoe

Dramatically increase your annual fundraising potential, acquire new donors, enrich the giving experience, and instill a culture of giving in your constituents through well-planned one-day giving events. In this workshop, Doug and Clayton will share all the tips, tricks, timelines, traps to avoid, technology, and techniques used by Camp Hanover and Massanetta Springs over the past several years for online Give Days that have consistently raised over $100,000 in less than 24 hours.

Doug Walters serves as the Executive Director of Camp Hanover in Mechanicsville, VA. Before joining the Camp Hanover team in October 2012, Doug worked in Media Services at Princeton Theological Seminary and served in a variety of leadership roles at various PC(USA) summer camps and retreat centers including Camp Johnsonburg, Chesapeake Center, Dogwood Acres and Ferncliff. Doug has been an active member of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association since 1998 and has previously served as a board member for the organization and a co-director of the Annual Conference. Rev. Clayton Rascoe serves as the Executive Director of Massanetta Springs in Harrisonburg, VA. Claytons calls prior to joining the Massanetta Springs team in February of 2016 include serving the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina as Associate for Outdoor Ministries, Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly as Chaplain Program Director, and Calvin Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, VA as Designated Pastor. Clayton has been an active member of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association since 2003 and has previously served as a board member of the organization and a co-director of the Annual Conference.

Decolonializing Volunteerism

By Jim Kirk and Nell Herring

Volunteers have the best of intentions when participating in a work trip. While the best of intentions is necessary, it takes more. Rev. Lydia Nshangwe, a minister of the United Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa, offers this new paradigm, don’t go out as missionaries to teach the people in the margins how to fish, go and fish with them. And once you become one with them and fish with them, you will become aware of their difficulties. Using this paradigm as a guide, participants will explore ways to build equitable and respectful relationships with those they hope to support before, during, and after a volunteer work trip.

The Rev. Dr. James J. Kirk is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in August of 2016 accepted the position of Associate for Disaster Response (U.S.) for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Jim is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals and a member of the International Critical Stress Foundation (ICSF). Jim was a volunteer with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for over 20 years. In that role Jim has responded to a variety of disaster including natural and public violence. Jim was a part of a team that developed the Disaster Spiritual Care program that is currently being integrated into Red Cross Chapters around the country.

Rev. Nell McNeely Herring is a native of Mooresville, NC and earned a BA in Communications and Religion from Furman University. She later graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Practical Theology with a concentration in Pastoral Care. In September, she was ordained to her new call as the Mission Specialist for Volunteer Ministries with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. When Nell is not working, she can be found with her nose in a book, sipping a cup of tea, and petting her cat, T’Challa.

Thursday, November 17 from 3:15 - 4:30pm

Taking Camp on the Road: Exploring Traveling Day Camp as a Way to Expand Your Camp's Reach

By Anna Rasmussen

Heartland serves over 1,000 campers across the Midwest at over 25 Traveling Day Camp sites each summer. Join Heartland’s Traveling Day Camp (TDC) Director, Anna, for a tour of one of Heartland’s TDC trailers that they take on the road each summer. Anna will take you through what a week at traveling day camp looks like and share some of the things that we have learned over the years of building this program. Join us if you are interested in starting a similar program, or just want to know more about what it is like!

Anna Rasmussen is the Traveling Day Camp and Cornerstone Gap Year Program Director at Heartland Camp. She is a Kansas City (Missouri) native who served for three summers on camp staff at Heartland before joining full-time. Her grandfather, Pete Rasmussen, was the first year-round camp director at Heartland from 1965 to 1990, and she is so thankful to get to carry on the family legacy of working in camp ministry! When not at camp, Anna loves singing in a local community choir, playing board games, and spending time with her niece and nephews.

Person-Focused Marketing: A Mindset to Make Camp Marketing Fun and Effective!

By Jared Briscoe

Camp is about building relationships that change lives. Often our marketing does not reflect those deep bonds. Learn how to shape your marketing strategies to put the person you are talking to first. You will find joy in marketing and be more effective in it.

Jared Briscoe has been a director at Heartland since he graduated from college in 2015. Jared loves anything that has to do with competition, including racquetball, softball, and board games. He is also a passionate defender and advocate of the Kansas City Chiefs, Royals, and the best BBQ in the universe. Jared is lucky to be married to and work with his wife, Jessica, for the last year.

Workshop Handout
Workshop Recording
Building Resilience for Stressful Times When Times Are Stressful

By Jim Kirk and Nell Herring

Our resilience has been tested in ways thought unimaginable. With the stress of living through a pandemic as the norm, there have been a multitude of additional stressful situations. We have heard the expression, “building the plane while flying the plane.” This practical workshop will equip participants to strengthen their resilience to stress and trauma in the midst of stress and trauma. Mitigating one's reaction to stress and trauma is an effective way to help others mitigate their stress reactions. Participants will also learn of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance resilience workshops that can be offered to your staff and volunteers.

The Rev. Dr. James J. Kirk is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in August of 2016 accepted the position of Associate for Disaster Response (U.S.) for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Jim is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals and a member of the International Critical Stress Foundation (ICSF). Jim was a volunteer with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for over 20 years. In that role Jim has responded to a variety of disaster including natural and public violence. Jim was a part of a team that developed the Disaster Spiritual Care program that is currently being integrated into Red Cross Chapters around the country.

Rev. Nell McNeely Herring is a native of Mooresville, NC and earned a BA in Communications and Religion from Furman University. She later graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Practical Theology with a concentration in Pastoral Care. In September, she was ordained to her new call as the Mission Specialist for Volunteer Ministries with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. When Nell is not working, she can be found with her nose in a book, sipping a cup of tea, and petting her cat, T’Challa.

Workshop Recording
Think Again: How to Help Our Budget Say Yes (and No) To Opportunity

By Ryan Moore

Money isn't the ultimate goal for your ministry, but it does determine if your ministry will be here tomorrow. Tight budgets make life difficult for organizations, and that makes for hard choices. How can we move from making guesses about programs or facilities to making confident decisions that can chart a path forward? This workshop will provide a framework for evaluating your organizations usage and budget against industry norms and thriving camps so that you can move forward with confidence.

Ryan Moore serves as the Executive Director of NaCoMe Camp and Retreat Center in Tennessee, managing all aspects of the operation. In addition to serving in this role, Ryan is also a consultant with Kaleidoscope, Inc, providing services to help camps thrive. He excels at data analysis, strategic thinking, and helping leaders set visions for the future.

Workshop Recording
Using Story to Connect with God and the World

By Renda R. Brinson

Storytelling has long been a way to connect our stories with God’s story. Today’s literature for children and youth can open conversations about life, faith, and the world around us. What are some recent books that can be used in camp and congregational settings to inspire and encourage deeper faith? What is are some best practices for using books to open discussion about racism, diversity, God’s presence, and current cultural issues from Alzheimer’s to zeitgeist?

Renda Brinson is a Certified Christian Educator, currently serving in a joint position for the Presbytery of Charlotte and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte as director of their Resource Center. She has worked in churches with children, youth, and adults. She loves using literature and film to facilitate discussion about the world we live. Renda is currently serving as the President of the Association of Partners in Christian Education (APCE). She lives in Matthews, NC, with her husband, Earl. They have four adult sons and seven grandchildren.

What's in a Name?

By Glenn and Tiffany Svetnicka

One of the important needs in Outdoor Ministry is embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ... and with good reason! But what if the very name of your organization is neither inclusive nor respectful, even though it has years of tradition and deep theological roots? There is no choice but to evolve, but the steps of change need to avoid cultural appropriation and be solid relationally for everyone. Together we will explore our DEI blind spots and what we can do about them. From Board education to gaining stakeholders, this workshop will open your minds and give you actionable steps in becoming a more inclusive organization.

The newly married Tiffany and Glenn Svetnicka have served Outdoor Ministry for a combined 35 years where they helped lead United Church Camps, Inc. as the Executive Director and Director of Marketing and Development. During those years of leadership, they have "stepped in" delicate situations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. While not perfect, Tiffany and Glenn have grown immensely from these situations.