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, our organization is more able 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 camp and retreat ministry leaders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 nominated by Association members, vetted by an independent Board Development Committee, and voted in by the current board. Directors serve a 4-year term, renewable once.
Sharon Godbolt (2014-22), At-Large, Vice Chair
Brant Henshaw (2017-21) At-Large, Treasurer
Ron Bartlow (2019-23) Chair
Jeff Parsons (2018-22) Development Chair
Joel Wilke (2015-23) Member Services Chair
Samuel Richardson (2016-25)
Dail Ballard (2021-25)
Josh Shaw (2021-24), At-Large
Arthur Spriggs (2015-23), At-Large
Sarah Ratz (2015-24) Board Secretary
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.
Since 2013 Jen Burch has served as Association Administrator on a part-time 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.