Mike Huber (far right), associate director of Camp and Retreat Ministries of the UNYAC, speaks during the Northeastern Jurisdiction United Methodist Camp & Retreat Leaders gathering. (Photo courtesy the NEJ UM Camp & Retreat Leaders Facebook page)
In early February, 43 individuals from across the Northeastern Jurisdiction – including 19 from the Upper New York Annual Conference – travelled to the biennial NEJ Camp and Retreat Leaders Gathering at the Wesley Forest Camp in the Susquehanna Annual Conference in Pennsylvania.
The team from the Upper New York Area represented all six camp and retreat centers, a wide variety of ages and experience, and multiple ethnic and cultural backgrounds – including Latino/Hispanic, Native American and Guamanian.
“I was proud that we were able to bring such a large and diverse team,” said Mike Huber, associate director of Camp and Retreat Ministries of the UNYAC. “This really speaks to the vitality of our conference and its camp and retreat ministries. It was also a great opportunity for our team to spend some quality time together and gather new ideas for our common goal of transforming lives.”
In addition to times of fellowship and worship, the Jurisdictional gathering offered learning opportunities on a variety of subjects, such as: partnering with organizations, cost accounting, new program ideas, using software to track maintenance projects, and ideas for the kitchen, among others.
For first-time attendee Nairobi Smith from the Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center, the gathering proved to be very bene
ficial. “It was great to meet others in the same line of ministry and hear about the cool things they’re doing at their sites. I particularly enjoyed the social media workshop that was offered – it was informative and I came away with some great insi
ghts on how to better utilize some online outlets.”
As Sky Lake’s Food Service Manager Kevin Hester put it: “The gathering helped reaffirm my faith in camping and retreat ministries and in my job.”