ABOUT US

The United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries Association (UMCRM) is a membership organization open to all who share our mission:
Committed to the mission of the United Methodist Church, UMCRM resources, advocates, inspires, and networks to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of camp and retreat ministries.

Formerly the National Camp & Retreat Committee (NCRC), the UMCRM Association was formed in 2013 with the vote of confidence and pioneering spirit of our Charter Members. As a member Association we intend to be a more agile and creative organization to respond to the changing needs of our ministries, our denomination, and the world in which we serve.

Member Driven Philosophy

The Association is a collection of camp and retreat leaders sharing their gifts, enthusiasm, and talents with one another. UMCRM’s role is simply to provide the setting for this sharing to be beneficial and productive for all of us as members. All Association resources, projects, and initiatives that bring benefit to our membership are also initiated and provided by our membership. UMCRM’s expertise in camp and retreat ministries is held in the collective expertise of the individuals that are part of the community, which includes you. Our strong culture of volunteerism and participation in Association initiatives drives our success in bringing timely, relevant resources to our leaders throughout camp and retreat ministries. 

The majority of association work is done through our strong and active committees and teams. You are invited to bring your expertise, gifts, and talents to their projects. Reach out to a committee or team chair below to explore how your gifts will contribute to that committee’s work.

Member Services Committee – Chair:  Joel Wilke 

The Member Services Committee creates valuable services for Association members, communicates that value to and recruit prospective members, and provides for Association member care. This committee houses the Intentional Leadership Groups (ILG) initiative, the UMCRM Book Club, and the Business Affiliate program.

Communications Team – Chair:  Jen Burch 

This volunteer team shares expertise in communications, graphics, and social media. They are asked to contribute 2-4 hours per month and to serve 2-year renewable terms.

Education Committee – Chair:  Cat Holbert

The Education Committee provides direction and input for the full spectrum of educational needs of Association members including the UMCRM Certification program, Sustainable Pathways, online training, National Gathering workshops, partnership with Compass Points, professional coaching, and more.

Event Design Team – Co-Chairs:  Kim Bell  and Matt Williams

 The Event Design Team creates and implements the National Gathering, the primary education, training, professional and spiritual development, worship, fellowship, renewal event for all involved in United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministry. 

Development Committee– Chair: Jeff Parsons 

The Development Committee coordinates and ensures implementation of the fundraising activities of the Association. Members of this committee must have an understanding of best practices of development and have experience fundraising in the camp and retreat ministry context, including branding, case statements, annual fund, endowments, and evaluation.

UMCRM Board of Directors

UMCRM Board Directors are elected by voting UMCRM Association members from their United Methodist Jurisdiction or as At-Large representatives by the UMCRM Board, for 4-year terms, renewable once. As outlined in the bylaws amended at the 2019 Annual Meeting of Members, each Jurisdiction shall elect one representative. Up to ten (10) At-Large Directors may be appointed for diversity and expertise, including two Young Person At-Large Directors.

Apply for the Board of Directors- Jurisdictional Rep application

Apply as an At-Large Board Member

Western Jurisdiction:

Cat Holbert (2011-21) Education Chair

Sharon Godbolt (2014-22) At-Large (Diversity)

Abigail Fuesler (2016-20) At-Large (Young Person)

Genée Morrison (2016-20) At-Large (Young Person)

Brant Henshaw (2017-21) At-Large (Expertise), Treasurer

Ron Bartlow (2019-23) Vice Chair

North Central:

Jody Oates (2017-21)

Jeff Parsons (2018-22) Development Chair

South Central:

Joel Wilke (2015-23) Member Services Chair

Northeastern:

Samuel Richardson (2016-21)

Southeastern:

Russell Davis (2013-21) Board Chair

Arthur Spriggs (2015-23) At-Large (Diversity)

Sarah Ratz (2015-23) Board Secretary

Ex-Officio:

Kim Bell (2019-23) National Gathering Event Co-chair

Matthew Williams (2019-23) National Gathering Event Co-chair

Staff

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Jessica Gamaché, Association Director

Jessica’s role as Association Director is to guide the association and its members in work through visioning and member engagement. After earning her Masters degree in Recreation Management from Slippery Rock University, Jessica served various camps and retreat centers in both the United Methodist and Lutheran connections and most recently as the Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries Coordinator for the Western PA UM Conference. 

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Jen Burch, Association Administrator

Since 2013 Jen Burch has served as Association Administrator on a part-time contract basis. Jen brings experience as a former United Methodist Camp Director and other youth-serving nonprofits. She holds an M.Div. from the Iliff School of Theology. She works from her home office near Denver, Colorado, where she edits weekly S’more Mail and the UMCRM blog, assists the Board of Directors, serves as Registrar for UMCRM events and memberships, and more.

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