The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Valley

November 29, 2013

Conference Focuses on “Unchartered Waters”

— MIFFLINBURG — The full-time director and board president from Camp Mount Luther recently went “Into Unchartered Waters,” as they attended the annual Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM) Conference. The event was held at Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Executive Director Chad W. Hershberger, of Millmont, and Board President Christopher R. Sands, of West Milton, were among nearly 100 Lutheran camp professionals and board members at the conference. In addition, this year’s conference was held jointly with the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA). It is the second time that the Lutherans and Presbyterians have met jointly like this. The first time was in 2008, also in Lake Tahoe.

This year’s theme was “Into Unchartered Waters.” The Keynote speaker was Kelly Fryer, CEO of the YWCA of Southern Arizona. Fryer spoke of ways that camps can collaborate with others as they are existing in challenging times and going into “unchartered waters.” Worship was led by Rev. Nathan Pile, executive director of Sequanota Lutheran Conference Center and Camp in Jennerstown, Pa.; and Rev. Kevin Shock, pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Pleasant Gap, Pa.  Participants also attended workshops at the event. Two workshops were led by Chad Hershberger on the topic of “Extra! Extra! Read About Camp in Your Local Media,” giving tips on how camps can get information into their local newspapers, radio and television stations. A morning was also spent hearing some new programs that camps are engaged in around the country.

Also during the conference, LOM, a non-profit organization, met in business sessions. LOM is an independent association of outdoor ministry organizations, professionals, board members, businesses and students connected to Lutheran camping, conference and retreat centers. LOM elected new board members and adopted a budget for the coming year.  They also presented their 2013 Innovative Program Award. Camp Mount Luther was nominated for this award, for its new Bible study method called GROW (Gather and Reflect On the Word) Time. Camp Frederick, in Ohio, won this year’s award for its program for children who are dealing with the grief of losing a parent.

LOM and PCCCA held an auction on Wednesday night of the event. Items donated by LOM organizations raised $15,121 for LOM’s operating budget. The PCCCA raised $9,046 at the auction and an additional $1,385 was raised for its scholarship fund as part of a challenge between the two organizations.

Camp Mount Luther is located five miles west of Mifflinburg and is an outdoor ministry and education center of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Upper Susquehanna Synod and is also in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. The camp offers a summer camping program and is available for use in other months for retreats and events for church, civic, community and school groups.  


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