Partnering with local congregations for Faith Formation, Spiritual Growth and Leadership Development
Use GoodSearch. Benefit your camps.
CIT Training Event
Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, at Templed Hills
Counselors-in-training (CIT) have a new way to receive their training.
A 2-day training event is offered this year to replace the CIT camp that
was scheduled for week 3 of Summer Camp 2013. Cost for the training
session is $100.
Questions? Contact David Zerby at email@example.com
Summer Camp Information is Available!
It may still be cold outside, but it’s not too early to start thinking about summer and camp! The 2013 catalogs have been sent to homes and churches. If you didn’t get yours, please call our office and let us know. We’ll be sure you get one!
Some important notes:
· We’re renaming our Camp Champions to Camp Advocates. So, if you’ve been a Camp Champion in the past and see notes for Camp Advocates – that’s you! If your church doesn’t have a Camp Advocate, please contact David Zerby, Director of Programming and Promotions at firstname.lastname@example.org to have one identified.
· Camp Advocates – your packet has been sent to your church. Please fill out and send in a new blue sheet as soon as possible. If you have any questions or we can help promote camp in your church in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
· March 31 is the early registration deadline. Save yourself $15 on the price of registration and register by March 31.
· WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU AT CAMP THIS SUMMER!!!!
Outdoor Ministries is pleased to announce the hiring of Adam Schlett as our new Sales Representative for our Nature’s Classroom program. Adam comes to us with both a professional sales background and a strong passion and commitment for Outdoor Ministries.
Adam will be responsible for introducing and presenting our program to new and potential schools who might wish to attend Nature’s Classroom, as well as establishing and strengthening our relationships with schools already participating in our program.
Nature’s Classroom is an integral part of our Outdoor Ministries initiative. Not only does it contribute to the financial health of our ministry but, more importantly, it offers another way in which we can help children experience the wonder of nature and the importance of good stewardship of our earth.
Adam is a graduate of Defiance College and has been a member of St. Stephens UCC in Sandusky, Ohio where he has been a Senior High Sunday School Teacher and a member of Church Council. He has also been a counselor at several of our summer camps over the last 10 years. Adam is excited to combine his love for camp with his skills and expertise in sales and we look forward to having him as a part of our Outdoor Ministries staff.
Director for Programming and Promotions Hired
David will be starting his new position with Outdoor Ministries on January 1, 2013. He brings to our program:
David has both
directed and served as camp naturalist for camps within the United
Church of Christ (Ohio Conference) and the Christian Church in Ohio
(DOC). Of particular note is his time spent in directing a nationally
acclaimed faith based mentoring program (Mountain Mentors). Within that
position he recruited and managed dozens of volunteer mentors and
program support personnel, worked directly with at-risk youth in
challenging settings, raised community awareness and support for the
program, and initiated community collaboration efforts in order to
provide effective and exciting programs.
Click the link below to begin. Log into your account (or create an account if you are new to the system). Select "2012/13 Retreat Registration" and the new page will list the events that are open for registration.
Scroll down to read about the event you are interested in. Click continue to begin. Enter or select a camper and you will be taken to the page to select retreat options appropriate for that camper. Then just follow the instructions to the end!
If you prefer to
register by mail,
Changes at the Hills
Lots of good things are happening in Outdoor Ministries. Our summer season is going strong. We have campers having great experiences at camp, and summer staff – volunteer and paid – coming together to provide wonderful support and meaningful learning opportunities for our campers. It’s not too late to have your campers join us! Registration is still open at www.ocucc.org!
Generous donations have allowed on-going maintenance and upkeep, as well as improvements to camp. Jeff Thompson at Pilgrim Hills and Don Harding at Templed Hills continue to do wonderful work as they maintain our facilities, and welcome and serve our guests – summer campers, Nature’s Classroom groups, and local churches using our camps for retreats and outings.
There are still some challenges we are facing.
We have been following the recommendations of the consultants we engaged 4 years ago, and we continue to be optimistic about our future. However, for us to have a financially stable future there are some changes that need to occur.
We are announcing some organizational changes – job description changes which will allow staff to focus clearly on the specific current needs of our program.
New Outdoor Ministries position:
Director of Programming and Promotion: This person will focus on continuing to grow our summer camp program, continuing to foster and support our relationships with local congregations, and creating Fall, Winter and Spring retreats for campers of all age groups (college aged, young adult, young families, non-traditional families, seniors, etc). To assist in the funding of this position, we will no longer be utilizing a contract Camp Development Leader.
New Nature’s Classroom positions:
Sales: We are creating a Sales position, focusing solely on connecting with schools – public, private, charter, and homeschool organizations – and increasing our business and revenue within Nature’s Classroom. It is this revenue that supports our ability to keep our camps open year round and available on weekends for retreats, seminars and other use by our local churches.
Director of Nature’s Classroom: To absorb the cost of the new Sales position, we are combining the oversight and management of the Nature’s Classroom program (curriculum, new classes, adherence to state educational standards, hiring and training of staff, etc) with the responsibilities of the Nature’s Classroom site director at Pilgrim Hills. The Director of Nature’s Classroom will reside at Pilgrim Hills and be responsible for the delivery of the actual Nature’s Classroom program to each school that comes on site, as well as being responsible for keeping our Nature’s Classroom curriculum fresh, relevant and up to date.
The people who have filled the positions that are ending, Erin Lumpkins, Michael Milroy and Michael Brooks, are to be commended for their dedication to and support of Outdoor Ministries during our transitionary years. We wish them well in their next adventures.
If you have any questions regarding our staff structure changes, or anything else within Outdoor Ministries, please be in touch with Joyce Oyler, Executive Director for Outdoor Ministries. Questions, thoughts, suggestions and ideas are always welcome as we continue on our journey.
We are excited to introduce The Jean Winegardner Family Camp Scholarship, created by her family in honor and memory of Jean Winegardner, a dear friend and supporter of Outdoor Ministries. Jean’s daughter, Lisa Winegardner Bowersock, Associate Minister of Dublin Community UCC in Dublin, Ohio, shares, “In July of 1960, my family went to Pilgrim Hills for the very first time. My parents, my two sisters and I attended Family Camp. I was only four years old, but I clearly remember being there. It was a life changing experience. For my mother, Jean, that week at Family Camp started what would become a lifelong love of Pilgrim Hills and the Outdoor Ministries of the United Church of Christ. She was passionate about the camps, serving on many boards and committees through the years, as well as returning often to direct camps. She always said that Vesper Hill at Pilgrim Hills was her favorite place on earth.
My mother, Jean Winegardner, passed away November 22, 2010. It is in her honor and memory that this Jean Winegardner Family Camp Scholarship is named. I know nothing would please her more than to know other families will have the opportunity for the life changing experience of camp."
One scholarship will be awarded each year. This scholarship can provide up to 60% of the registration cost for one household/family to attend the Labor Day Family Camp at Templed Hills. Scholarship applications can be downloaded by clicking here.
New Logo for Outdoor Ministries
The Division for Outdoor Ministries has introduced a new logo portraying our vision of Outdoor Ministries: who we are, who we serve, our goals and how we express our mission. We set out to maintain “a bit” of the previous logo, but with an entirely new look and feel.
The path in the center of the logo is maintained from our previous logo and conveys the feeling of journey. It draws your eye into the serene setting. The setting is surrounded by the oval, conveying security or sacred space, while the tree and “swoosh” breaking out of the oval provide the “thinking outside the border” mentality of forward thinking and openness to new growth. Some see the path as a foot path, others as a stream of water. Some see the “swoosh” as depicting hills, valleys, energy, or possibly the symbol of God’s renewing promise in our lives.
One person shared, “When I look at the logo, I visualize a safe and sacred space in nature for spiritual journeys, with the exciting movement of the Holy Spirit flowing through and moving us forward into our future as people of God.” What do you see?
Outdoor Ministries is gathering information from our alumni and friends so we can stay connected. If you’ve ever been to camp as a camper, cabin leader, director, staff, participant in an retreat or as a visitor, we’d like to hear from you. Please download and complete this brief information form, and fax, mail or email us your information.