Summer Camp professionals choose to live very unique lifestyles in the pursuit of enriching the lives of others through outdoor camping ministry. Program Connection is so valuable as it offers countless opportunities to find comfort, fellowship, and encouragement from each other while gaining new knowledge and skills. I am thankful for all the things I’ve learned, the places I’ve visited, and most importantly the people I’ve met.” – Christin “Hydra” Gillard (Program Connection attendee at Johnsonburg 2019, Laurel Ridge 2020, and Camp Kintail 2023)
What is Program Connection?
Program Connection is an annual conference for summer camp professionals across North America! It is endorsed by the PCCCA (Presbyterian Camp and Conference Association) as well as other denominations (LOM, UCC). This year, Program Connection was hosted at Camp Kintail in Goderich Ontario, and will be hosted by Cedarkirk in Florida in 2024. Participants share resources and knowledge across a variety of topics that are agreed upon by the retreat attendees.
Camps in Attendance
Individuals with titles like “Associate Director,” “Program Director,” “Youth Program Manager,” “Day Camp Manager,” etc. came from 15 different camp and conference centers. Each camp offers Christian programming and summer camp activities to children and youth.
- Camp Gilmont (Texas)
- Camp Hanover (Virginia)
- Camp Hopewell (Mississippi)
- Camp Kintail (Ontario)
- Camp MoVal (Missouri)
- Cedarkirk Camp & Conference Center (Florida)
- Daycholah Center (Wisconsin)
- Ferncliff Camp & Conference Center (Arkansas)
- John Knox Center (Tennessee)
- kin-dom community (Various)
- Massanetta Springs (Virginia)
- Montlure Camp (Arizona)
- Pearce Williams (Ontario)
- Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center (Illinois)
- Zephyr Point (California)
2023 Discussion Topics
Part of what makes Program Connection so enriching is to find community with other camps who are facing the same challenges and changes as you! Here are some of the things that the camps in attendance discussed:
- Session 1: Supporting Neurodiverse Staff & Campers
- Session 2: Supporting Summer Staff Mental Health
- Session 3: Empowering Counsellors as Faith Leaders
- Session 4: (Daily) Schedules / How to Make Camp Exciting for the Indoor Kids
- Session 5: Creating Pathways for Future Camp Professionals
- Session 6: Navigating Transitions Well
- Session 7 Supporting International Staff
- Session 8 Staff/Volunteer Training
Travis Allison: Kintail was delighted to welcome Kintail alumni, Travis Allison, from GoCamp Pro! Travis facilitated a presentation on the future of camps and the impact current staff can have on the continuity of the camping industry.
Rev. James Clark: James (Labrador) led everyone in an excellent evening of worship! We are so thankful for his gift of story-telling and look forward to seeing him again soon!
Photos from the week:
Thank you to everyone who came to Kintail this winter to share your knowledge and ideas with one another. We hope that everyone has returned home feeling renewed and excited for the summer ahead. We look forward to seeing you all at Cedarkirk for Program Connection 2024!