Call for Speakers

We are now accepting submissions for workshops at Elevate 2021.
Deadline for Submissions September 20, 2020

Questions about workshops can be directed to workshops@umcrm.org or contact Collin Grooms- Workshops Chair- 567-259-9885

New for 2021: Workshop Focus Areas!

Focus areas ensure that a variety of offerings are provided that will meet the needs of different staff roles, site operation modes, site sizes, and learning interests of conference attendees. When planning a workshop, we ask that you select a focus area that best fits your session proposal.

​​​Professional Development: Sessions in this area address the logistics of operating a camp and retreat ministry site including: finance, facilities, human resources, office administration, technology, marketing, strategic planning, site development, fundraising, food service,  board management, trends in camping and more.

​Personal Growth and Self-Care:  Sessions in this area are designed to directly benefit the individual with education and best practices for personal care in the workplace and daily life. Some sessions in this area may include practicing self-care during your time away.

​Faith Formation: Sessions in this area are focused on the faith formation practices that are present in our on-site operations including programming, staff development, and all other aspects of operating a faith-based camp and retreat ministry.

Retreat Ministry: Sessions in this area are intentionally geared towards the nuts and bolts of retreats, programmed events, and conferences. There are skills to be learned that are unique to sites where the majority of ministry is hosting multiple groups, planned programs, and events. This focus area can encompass all areas of site operations including program, staffing, food service, administration, hospitality, and maintenance.

Tips for completing a workshop proposal/planning a workshop:

  1. Workshop descriptions should answer three questions: give an overview of what will be covered, convey how the session will be presented, and why someone (or their camp) will benefit from their time in the workshop.
  2. Session length is 75 minutes – this is a shorter amount of time than it seems, especially when you’re working with a topic you’re passionate about. ​The more you can narrowly focus your topic, the better. For example, rather than “Retreat Programming for Youth,” you could present “Three Great Winter Programs for Confirmation-Aged Campers.”
  3. Clear titles are important! We’ve all written flowery program descriptions in camp brochures only to have parents tell us they pick based on the title and the time slot. With so many great workshop options to choose from, you want the title to tell the story. Most people won’t read the description if they aren’t hooked by the title.

Curious about presenting, but not sure you have a topic?

The best part of the UMCRM community is that everyone is an innovator and an expert in something. We help each other because we are all collectively working together to enhance the effectiveness of camp and retreat ministries.

To pick a topic, ask yourself: What are you passionate about? What have you worked hard to learn that you can share with others? What is something you wish our community talked about more?

A workshop presenter doesn’t have to be the premiere expert on a topic. Maybe you’re a great facilitator that could convene a group of people with similar interests to share in a roundtable discussion. Maybe you learned a lot through trial and error and walking through the process would provide insight to others. Maybe you’re curious about a topic and would like to spend the next year researching to get ready to present. Take the leap! The worst that could happen is you learn something along the way. If you want to present, the first step is filling out a proposal. You don’t even have to have everything planned out yet. All you need is a summary of your eventual session and a couple of learning outcomes.

Still not convinced or feel like you have something to share? Ask your colleagues or supervisor what you do well. Sometimes we don’t realize how awesome we actually are. These folks will be able to point out what you do well or areas of expertise they value in you.

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