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Upcoming Events

The following programs are sponsored or endorsed by the Outdoor Ministries Association.

OMC Great Gathering - RelationSHIFT
November 10-14, 2019
The Outdoor Ministries Connection is offering the Great Gathering which will bring together all of the denominations for a huge joint conference. The event will be held at Lake Junaluska, the Methodist conference and retreat center in Lake Junaluska, NC. The theme of the conference is RelationSHIFT. As our society and churches shift around us, Outdoor Ministries must find new ways to collaborate in our nurture of fellow disciples on their journeys.We are excited to have OMA-UCC as a part of the largest ecumenical gathering of outdoor ministry leaders in history. While there will be much to learn from the other denominations, there will still be time for OMA-UCC to gather within this event. Kaila Russell of Pilgrim Firs and Tiffany Ludwig of Moon Beach are the OMA representatives to the joint planning team. You can learn more about this event by going to the conference website.

Program Connection
January 13-18, 2020
Program Connection is the annual gathering of program-minded people from camps and conference centers across the continent. The 2020 event will be held at the Laurel Ridge Camp, Conference and Retreat Center (Laurel Springs, NC). We invite all Program Directors, Summer Camp Directors, Program Staff and anyone who has an interest in programming in the Christian camp and conference context to attend. Come share the great ideas your site has successfully implemented, as well as learn from other camps and conference centers. The schedule will include time for sharing, discussion, hands-on activities, workshops, and plenty of fellowship time! Discussion topics are decided by participants at the start of the event, so sessions are aimed at what you need to learn or what you want to share. Come prepared to learn, to share, and to have fun! The brochure for this event has not yet been released. Please contact Scarlett Dowdy at if you have any questions.

Compass Points :: Personnel and Leadership
March 1-4
The quality of leadership at all levels relates directly to the growth and sustainability of the organization. Purposeful leadership promotes staff retention, an effective board of directors, and well served campers and guests. This course will focus on the role of top leadership in the organization, how ones’ faith is played out through service and role modeling, and policies and procedures for staff, board, and volunteers. This course will be offered at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center (Little Rock, AR) and will be taught by Bill Bourdon of OMA-UCC (Albuquerque, NM) and Kim Carter of Camp Tanako (Hot Springs, AR). You can learn about this Compass Points program at

Compass Points :: Development
March 4-7
Strategic planning in the camp and retreat setting is built upon the concept of knowing where your camp and retreat ministry is today and then outlining the steps to move to a relevant and sustainable future. The Master Site Plan, and the Financial Development Plan are the road maps to the future. This course will focus on best practices in Strategic Planning, using tools and techniques to assess where you are today and your future; The Master Plan, looking at design characteristics, the role of architects, planners, officials, and consultants; The Financial Development Plan, focusing on annual appeals, capital campaigns, consultants, development staff, and materials; Board and staff development, looking at roles and responsibilities in concert with the mission, vision, values and strategic plan. This course will be offered at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center (Little Rock, AR) and will be taught by Arthur Spriggs of South Carolina United Methodist Camps and Retreat Ministries (Greenville, SC) and Jason Gerdes of Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (Ashland, NE). You can learn more about this class (and the entire Compass Points program) by going to

Compass Points :: Nonprofit Business Management
September 27-30
Success for our camp and retreat ministries depends upon the use of sound business practices. Understanding and implementing these non-profit management practices can spell the difference between a thriving vibrant ministry and one that fails to meet its potential. This course will challenge students to adopt effective practices in such areas as communications, risk management, finances, and an administrative plan. This course will be held at at Pilgrim Center (Ripon, WI) and will be taught by Dan Scheneman of Heartland Presbyterian Center (Parkville, MO) and Lauri SoJourner of Lake Logan Conference Center (Canton, NC). You can learn more about this class by going to

Compass Points :: Personnel and Leadership
September 30 - October 3
Do you know where your ministry is going? Can you clearly articulate for others who you are, and why you exist? Identification and implementation of mission, core values, and philosophy are central to all aspects of successful outdoor ministry: program, site management, hospitality, marketing, finances and more. Participants will delve into their organization’s mission and core values. This course involves organizational introspection and will engage with a wide variety of concepts, ideas and activities. Course work will challenge a new, or clearer perspective concerning mission, philosophy, vision and core values in your outdoor ministry. This course will be held at at Pilgrim Center (Ripon, WI) and will be taught by Randy Youngquist-Thurow of Agapé + Kure Beach Ministries (Fuquay-Varina, NC) and Cat Holbert of Lazy W Ranch Camp and Retreat Center (San Juan Capistrano, CA). You can learn more about this class by going to