By Jeff Casey, Director of Outdoor and Retreat Ministries
Three-and-a-half years ago we considered selling the NIC Camps because of financial losses and low usage by our own United Methodists.
And did we ever – we sold them to you, NIC congregations and agencies. Through the dedicated work of your Outdoor and Retreat Ministries (ORM) board members and camp staff, we have turned the operation 180 degrees by:
• doubling United Methodist usage of the camps,
• making the dining halls and several lodges at both sites wheelchair accessible, and
• stabilizing our finances – 2016 will be our first year in several that the overall ORM operation will actually break-even financially.
We are now partnering with local congregations:
• to fulfill the Great Commission,
• to reinforce and strengthen your own confirmation, discipleship and leadership development efforts and;
• to grow your community and youth outreach through “Traveling Camp” weekends during the off-season.
We’ve achieved these successes by shifting our focus to:
• Recognize God’s Abundance
• Transform Lives, and
• Help Solve Local Church Problems.
Our transformation would not have been possible without the commitment, dedication, and sacrifice of Chris Pierson, and Jim Miller – both of whom completed their tenures with the ORM Board June 30. As Chris said, “It has been a challenge and a joy to witness the increased hospitality and the lives transformed at camp.” Jim perhaps summed it up best when he reported that the Board decided “… to be part of the solution, not part of the problem” and that we succeeded because of partnering with the Trustees, CFA and Bishop to “make it happen!”