Registration for this conference is now closed.
Below is a "sneak peek" at the conference details. Registration for the event will begin in mid-August. We look forward to seeing you at Zephyr Point in November!
Welcome
We are excited to offer a special conference that seeks to address the needs of outdoor ministry leaders from across the United States and Canada. We look forward to seeing everyone at the event hosted by Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center (Zephyr Cove, NV) on November 10-15, 2024. Please check out the details below related to this event.

Sponsoring Organizations

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Endorsing Organization
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Day Sponsors
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

OUR CONFERENCE IS HOSTED BY ZEPHYR POINT

Located in the High Sierras on the east shore of Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center has been a place of rest, retreat, and renewal for over a century. Guests draw inspiration from the rugged beauty of the Tahoe basin, connecting with nature, deepening faith, and growing in community. Zephyr Point is a place of incomparable beauty that provides exceptional hospitality in an atmosphere of welcome and acceptance.

Learn more about our host site

OUR THEME

REFRAME: Growing Leaders through Listening, Learning and Responding

Our faith has been indelibly shaped by the ministry and person of Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if He had stayed around long enough to teach us more about best practices in outdoor ministry? The Good News is that Jesus commissioned us all to be his living witnesses in the world! Stories throughout the Book of Acts model for us what it is to Listen, Learn and Respond with the hope of and commitment to growing together. “REFRAME” will be an enriching conference that will invite outdoor ministry staff and volunteers on a journey of learning, listening, and responding with a spirit and intention of growing leaders with and among us.

Our Keynote PresenterS

Image
Kenda Creasy Dean is an ordained United Methodist pastor and the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her areas of specialization include Christian education and formation, adolescent spiritual formation, youth and young adult ministries, Christian social innovation, practical theology, and theories of teaching. She is the author of numerous books on young people and the church, including Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church, Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church, and Innovating for Love: Joining God’s Expedition Through Christian Social Innovation. In addition, Kenda is the co-founder of Ministry Incubators, a consulting group that helps Christian communities try new things through social innovation and entrepreneurship, and after three years of directing Princeton Seminary’s Young Adult Innovation Hub, she now serves as senior faculty strategist for the Ministry Collaboratory. Kenda also works closely with Princeton’s Institute for Youth Ministry and the Farminary.
Keynote Presentation - Tuesday
Keynote Presentation - Wednesday
Keynote Presentation - Thursday
Image
Chris Lee is the Executive Presbyter of Grace Presbytery in Texas. In 2012, he received his Master of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary. Chris also holds certifications in Executive Leadership from McCormick Theological Seminary and in Religious Fundraising from the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. His passion for biblical justice, outreach and community engagement is lived out in his longstanding involvement with local schools, non-profit organizations, community panels, and various community organizations. Chris believes that God has called him to live out a ministry that seeks to engage with Christ as Christ is working in culture, unafraid and unashamed in challenging the status quo, welcoming strangers, and embracing the "tough" questions that culture, life, and Scripture present.
Keynote Presentation - Tuesday
Keynote Presentation - Wednesday
Keynote Presentation - Thursday

OUR Music LEADER

Image

Matthew Black is a singer-songwriter and worship leader with deep roots in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The literal son of a preacher man, Matthew left his job as a mild-mannered IT manager in 2022 to make music full-time. Most of what he knows about leading music was learned as a summer camp counselor during his college years. His sophomore album was released in May 2024, and is available wherever you listen to music and at https://matthewblackmusic.com.

OUR WORSHIP LEADERs

Image

Since 2021, Laura Barnes has been the Senior Pastor of the El Dorado County Federated Church (a Presbyterian Church USA and United Methodist congregation) in ​Placerville, CA. She served several churches (UCC, DOC, PCUSA and UMC) in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in her home state of Texas. When asked to be a part of this conference, Laura said we couldn't say YES fast enough. She said, "Camp people are my people. Working with youth and young adults for decades, especially in camps and outdoor ministries within the PCUSA (including Zephyr Point and Mo Ranch) and the United Church of Christ (including Monte Toyon and Cazadero) was a career highlight."

Worship - Monday
Worship - Wednesday
Image

Amanda Anderson is the Director of Children ​and Youth Ministries at El Dorado County Federated Church (a Presbyertian Church USA and United Methodist congretaion) in ​Placerville, CA. She is currently an Inquirer In-Care of the North Central California Presbytery and is attending seminary at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Amanda enjoys playing games, talking, and learning with the children and youth at her church.

Worship - Monday
Worship - Wednesday

Some of Our Featured Workshop Leaders

Over half of our workshop sessions will be led by outside experts.  Here is just a sampling of the guest speakers we have secured so far.
Image

Bill Bourdon
Bill serves as the part-time Executive Director of the 34 United Church of Christ camps since his retirement from full time camping in 2016. He was the Executive Director of Blowing Rock Conference Cener (Blowing Rock, NC) for 15 years and for 24 years served on the Conference Staff of the Illinois Conference United Church of Christ. He consulted with Richard K Chamberlian and Associates on over 50 projects and holds a Masters in Recreation Administration.

Image
Chad Cunningham

Chad Cunningham is the Director of Loss Control with the Insurance Board. Prior to this position, he worked for Navigate360 (ALICE Training Institute) as the VP of Education and Curriculum. Chad also served 24 years in law enforcement - achieving the rank of lieutenant while working at the University of Akron Police Department.

Image
Christy Williams

Christy Williams is a graduate of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (MA), and Columbia Theological Seminary (DEdMin). She has spent her career serving as a Director of Christian Education and as an Adjunct Staff person for the Montreat Youth Conferences. She currently serves as the Director of Dogwood Acres Camp and Retreat Center (Chipley, FL) for the Presbytery of Florida and as the staff person for the Presbyterian Youth Workers Association.

Image
Diane Weible

A certified professional coach with the International Coaching Federation, Diane is passionate about the work of coming alongside individuals and organizations seeking to move forward, grow, and transform. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and former Conference Minister of the Northern California Nevada Conference UCC, Diane spent most of her professional life working with churches and organizations in Japan, Hawai’i, Northern California and Northern Nevada, journeying with them to reach their full potential and discover the vitality that is within.

Image

Kent Busman
Kent Busman has been the director of Fowler Camp and Retreat Center in the Adirondack Mountains long enough to watch the trees grow. His commitment to caring for the world has transformed the mission of the camp and helped to make it both more sustainable and able to address many of the needs of the campers in this era. Kent is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America and currently serves as the chair of the Board of Directors for the Outdoor Ministry Association of the United Church of Christ.

Image

Sarah Werner
Sarah Werner is the communications coordinator for Central District Conference, part of Mennonite Church USA and leader of Olentangy Wild Church in Columbus, Ohio. She teaches theology and biblical studies courses at PATHWAYS, a theological education program affiliated with the United Church of Christ. She is the author of Rooted Faith: Practices for Living Well on a Fragile Planet (Herald Press, 2023). She grew up attending Camp Gilmont in Texas (affiliated with Grace Presbytery) and now enjoys camping throughout the Midwest.

Image

Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund currently serves as Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice on the national staff of the United Church of Christ and as senior pastor of First Congregational UCC of Indianapolis, IN. She is an ordained minister in both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the UCC. Sarah served as Regional Minister in the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ and as a Vice President for Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN. She received the Dell Award for Mental Health Education at the 30th General Synod of the UCC. Sarah is the author of Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church and Blessed Union: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness and Marriage.

Image

Thom Cunningham
Thom Cunningham, Director of Faith Formation and Mission at First Presbyterian Church of Deerfield, draws from over 30 years of experience guiding individuals of all ages in their faith journey. He currently serves as President-Elect for the Association of Partners in Christian Education. Thom actively contributes to the Chicago Presbytery Anti-racism initiative and prioritizes fostering inclusive communities as a certified Intercultural Development Inventory administrator. Recognized for his tireless commitment, he was awarded Educator of the Year by APCE in 2024, reaffirming his steadfast dedication to spiritual growth and social justice.

Image

Tom Neppl
Tom is the owner of Neppl Landscape Architecture. He is a practicing Landscape Architect and Professor of Practice in Iowa State University’s Landscape Architecture program. In Tom's private practice, he works with camps and retreat centers, and outdoor and environmental education centers to develop comprehensive plans and site designs on projects ranging from a few to several thousand acres. His work aims to create significant, inspirational, and environmentally sensitive outdoor spaces for his clients and their campers and program participants.

Image

Tori Smit
Tori Smit went to her first church camp when she was five years old, initiating a life-long relationship that has included camper, counsellor, lifeguard, chef, chaplain, board member, parent, workshop leader, plenary speaker, curriculum writer and most of all - cheerleader. Her favorite camp activities are skit night and campfire (with s'mores of course). Tori serves as a Diaconal Minister and church educator with the Presbyterian Church in Canada and as the President of the Association of Partners in Christian Education.

WORKSHOPS

Do you want to learn about the 36 workshops that will be offered during the Annual Conference? Click on the link below for full descriptions and leadership bios for each session.

As we look towards the Annual Conference this November, the planning team is currently seeking workshop leaders for that event. If you or someone you know would be interested in leading a session, please go to the Call for Presenters form (by clicking the button below) and submit a proposal. Workshop selections will be made by the conference planning team in September.

Click here for more information

Conference Schedule

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8
1:00-6:00pm     Hospitality in the Assembly Inn Lobby
1:00     Airport Shuttles Begin
3:00     Check into Rooms
6:00-7:00     Dinner
7:00-7:45     Conference Orientation/Social Time
8:00-8:45     Welcome and Opening Worship
8:45     Hospitality and Snacks

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9
7:00am     Morning Watch
7:30-8:30     Breakfast
9:00-10:30     Keynote Presentation
10:45-12:00pm     Workshop Session #1
12:00-1:00     Lunch
1:15-2:30     Workshop Session #2
2:45-4:00     Workshop Session #3
4:00-5:00     Free Time
5:00-5:30     Swag Swap
5:30-6:30     Dinner
6:45-8:00     Association Meeting #1
8:15-9:00     Evening Activity (by association)

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10
7:00am     Morning Watch
7:30-8:30     Breakfast
9:00-10:30     Keynote Presentation
10:45-12:00pm     Exhibit Hall
12:00-1:00     Lunch
1:15     Exhibit Hall Continues
1:30-2:45     Workshop Session #4
3:30     5K Run/Walk
5:00     Exhibit Hall Ends
5:30-6:30     Dinner
6:45-7:30     Worship
7:45-9:00     Storytelling and Snacks

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11
7:00am     Morning Watch
7:30-8:30     Breakfast
9:00-10:30     Keynote Presentation
10:45-12:00pm     Workshop Session #5
12:00-1:00     Lunch
1:15-2:45     Association Meeting #2
3:00-4:15     Workshop Session #6
4:30-6:45     Auction and Dinner
7:00-7:45     Closing Worship
7:45     Hospitality and Snacks

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12
5:00am     Airport Shuttles Begin
7:00-8:00     Breakfast

WhenWhatWhere
1:00-6:00pmConference Check-inAssembly Inn Lobby
1:00Airport Shuttles BeginAsheville Regional Airport
3:00Snack Reception (sponsored by GSB Fundraising)Assembly Inn Lobby
3:00Check-in Time for RoomsAssembly Inn
3:30-5:30Idea Grab Bag for Recreation Leaders with Jim CainWayout 1
6:00-7:00DinnerGalax Dining Room
7:00-7:45Conference OrientationConvocation Hall
7:00-7:45Social TimeAssembly Inn Lobby
8:00-8:45Welcome and Opening WorshipUpper Anderson Auditorium
8:45Evening Snacks (sponsored by the Presbyterian Mission Agency - Office of Christian Formation)Assembly Inn Lobby
WhenWhatWhere
1:00-6:00pmConference Check-InEcho Peak
1:00-6:00pmAfternoon Snack ReceptionEcho Peak
3:00pmCheck-in Time for Rooms
6:00pmDinnerTallac Dining Hall
6:45pmConference OrientationFallen Leaf
6:45pmSocial TimeEcho Peak
7:45pmWelcome and Opening WorshipInspiration Point
9:00pmEvening Snack ReceptionTallac Dining Hall/Talking Mountain
Learn More About Our Free Afternoon Options

EXHIBIT HALL AND SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Our exhibit hall is completely sold out, but perhaps your company or organization would like to be represented at the “Shaping Our Story” Conference without even traveling to North Carolina. A very limited number of sponsorship opportunities are still available. We hope you will consider the possibilities by clicking the link below.

LEARN MORE
Lodging
We have some different lodging options for your five-night stay during the conference. All of the accommodations are located within an easy walk to meals, workshops, and plenary sessions. For families that will be attending the event, we suggest the Tallac Center.
Image
Image

Tallac Center  
(private bath lodging – single, double, and triple occupancy)
Tallac Center has hotel-style accommodations with a beautiful view of Lake Tahoe. These buildings offer guest rooms with private baths and have either two or three queen beds in each room. These rooms are also fully-accessible and the building has elevators.

Single Occupancy (private bath, queen bed, linens/towels, wifi)     $595.00 per person (limited availability)
Double Occupancy (private bath, two queen beds, linens/towels, wifi)     $297.50 per person
Triple Occupancy (private bath, three queen beds, linens/towels, wifi)     $198.33 per person (limited availability)


Image
Image
Lakeview Lodge
(dormitory lodging with shared baths - single and double occupancy)
Lakeview Lodge is a two-story structure with 15 guest rooms. It has meeting rooms, wood-burning fireplaces, a commercial kitchen, and communal bathrooms. All the rooms have twin beds.

Single Occupancy (shared hall bath, twin bed, linens/towels. wifi)     $287.50 per person
Double Occupancy (shared hall bath, two twin beds, linens/towels, wifi)     $143.75 per person

Image
Image

Cabins
If you are part of a group that wants to stay together during the conference, you could choose lodging in one of Zephyr Point's cabins. The historic cabins are each unique in size, price, furnishings, and accessibility. All cabins include a fully equipped kitchen, linens, and Wi-Fi. Cabins bookings must be made separately, and availability is limited - book early if you are interested in this option! For more information and to book, visit https://zephyrpoint.org/guest-groups/cabins.


Image
Image

Belden Pond Yurts - THIS LODGING OPTION IS NOW FULL.
These cabins are youth-oriented, yet adult-friendly. The rooms contain five sets of bunk beds, but we will only be putting up to three people in each cabin. The bathroom and shower area is adjacent to the yurt.

Triple Occupancy (cabin-style accommodations with an adjacent bathroom/shower area)     $199 per person


Image
Image

Retreat House
The building has five bedrooms, three full baths, one half bath, a full-service kitchen, a large dining room, washer and dryer, two living areas, and wifi. The bottom bunks in this building have Tempurpedic mattresses.

Family - Cabin-style accommodations with a private bath (7-10 people per room)    $525 per family


Image
Image

The Vines Center
The limited number of hotel-style rooms at Ferncliff do not allow us to offer single-occupancy lodging on site. A 4H Center is located just a half a mile up the road (or trail) from Ferncliff. We have reserved a block of hotel-style rooms at the Vines Center. You will book your room using the conference registration form and we will make arrangements with the 4H Center on your behalf.

Single Occupancy (private bath, linens/towels. wifi)     $511 per person


MEALS
The conference meals are Sunday dinner through Friday breakfast. The dining hall in the Tallac Center provides guests with delicious, cafeteria-style meals with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. Each meal incorporates nutritious options for guests including those with most special dietary needs.

Adult:     $205.00
Children (Age 4-12):     $153.75
Children (Age 3 and under):     Free

TrANSPORTATION

Flying to Zephyr Point
The conference will be providing a shuttle service from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) on the first and last day of the event. Zephyr Point is about an hour from the airport. Cost for the shuttle will be $25 one-way or $50 round trip. Please schedule your flight to arrive before 4:00 pm on Sunday, November 10.  Please book your departing flight no earlier than 5:30 am on Friday, November 15.

You may choose to fly into another airport, but you will need to provide your own transportation. Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is the next closest airport and is about 2.5 hours form Zephyr Point.

Arriving Late or Departing Early?
The South Tahoe Airporter offers shuttle service from RNO to hotels in Stateline, NV, a short 5-minute Uber ride to Zephyr Point. For the most efficient travel to/from Zephyr Point on the Airporter, book your arrival shuttle to the Golden Nugget Lake Tahoe. Upon departing Zephyr Point for the airport, schedule your shuttle pick-up from Bally's.

Driving to Zephyr Point
Zephyr Point is located at 660 Highway 50, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448. Zephyr Point is located on a busy highway and left turns into the property are not recommended (if coming from the south). To avoid a left turn, please proceed past the conference center to turn around at Zephyr Cove Resort before doubling back to Zephyr Point.

Please plan to arrive between 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Sunday, November 10. When you arrive on the Zephyr Point grounds, turn left past the parking garage and drive down to the Tallac Center to check-in, unload your belongings into your room, and receive your arrival materials. Once you are checked in settled in your room, please return your vehicle to one of the parking lots at the top of the hill and walk back down to the conference facility. The Zephyr Point staff will also be operating a golf-cart shuttle during check-in to help you return to the Tallac Center.

Registration INFO

REGISTRATION FOR THE CONFERENCE WILL BEGIN IN AUGUST

We encourage everyone with a role related to outdoor ministry to attend this amazing event. All staff (executive, program, office, facilities, hospitality, kitchen), board members, and volunteers will benefit from outstanding workshops, worship, and professional connections.

The registration fees for the conference can be found below.

ParticipantNon-Participating SpouseChildren & Youth
Registration Fee$249$149$249

Children and Youth Program

The conference is an intergenerational event – offering a  program for children and youth (ages 5-14) during keynote and workshop times. The children and youth will engage in a combination of indoor/outdoor activities and learning opportunities. The program will run from 8:30am-12:00pm and 12:45pm-5:30pm daily. The registration deadline for the Children and Youth Program is September 15, so we will need to hear from you soon after registration begins in August.

Cancellation Policy

Prior to October 11, 2024 all but $125.00 will be refunded to you. After this date, the entire fee is nonrefundable.

Scholarships

If you need financial assistance in order to attend the conference, please contact
Joel Winchip for PCCCA/Campfire Collective
Joe Richards for OMI-UCC
Bill Bourdon for OMA-UCC

Registration

Conference registration is not yet available, but will go live in August. If you should have any questions about the event, please contact Joel Winchip at  joel@pccca.net.

REGISTER NOW
Registration for this conference will begin in August.

FAQ

Image

Gathering As One

A Virtual Outdoor Ministry Conference

November 17th-19th, 2020

Login for Conference Content
We hope you will be a part of the virtual conference that brought together camp and retreat leaders from all over the United States and Canada. The event is endorsed by the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association, the Outdoor Ministries Association of the United Church of Christ, the Association of Disciples in Outdoor Ministry, the Outdoor Ministries Association of the Church of the Brethren, and the Outdoor Ministries Institute of the United Church of Canada.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image