Fall Festival at Hartman Center - Live Music

If you’ve never checked out Hartman Center Camp & Retreat, fall is the perfect time. On October 13th from 10am to 3pm, we are inviting the public to join in and spend the day listening to live music and sharing in a beautiful outdoor event. With free admission you will get to listen to the music of Jerry Zolten & Richard Sleigh along with the Tussey Mountain Moonshiners. Both bands will appear in the outdoor pavilion.

Come hungry as homemade food and baked goods will be for sale, all proceeds benefiting the summer programs. If you haven’t sent your child to Hartman Center summer program, now is the time to learn more.

Activities include: kids games and crafts, basket auction, fishing derby, hayrides, face painting, prizes, swag and more!

5725 Old US Hwy 322, Milroy, PA.
Contact Patty Dodd for more info: program@hartmancenter.com or 717-502-2246

Clover Woods 4-H Camp & Retreat Center Breaks Ground on New Swimming Pool


Clover Woods Camp and Retreat Center has started construction on a new outdoor inground seasonal pool.

The Iowa 4-H Foundation, owner of the camp and retreat center, received a generous donation to use for facility improvement and decisions were quickly made to add a beautiful new pool to enhance the recreational opportunities for camp & retreat guests.

The camp and retreat center has been undergoing many site improvements as they work to attract new business. Abby Muhlenbruch, Site Director at Clover Woods, says “Swimming pools are fun for campers of all ages. It invites healthy exercise and a cooling off spot in the hot summertime.” 

Other improvements made this summer include new staining on the dining hall, re-shingling a cabin exterior, trail clearing and wood debris removal. “The Midland Power Volunteers spent a day caring for this camp that has brought them so many fond memories,” says Muhlenbruch. “We have many loyal customers who want to keep giving back and make Clover Woods Camp & Retreat better and better so more people will come enjoy the outdoors.”

Clover Woods is available to schools, churches, and all non profit groups for day use, retreats, and other events. Food service, lodging and recreational opportunities are available year-round. The camp is managed by United Camps, Conferences & Retreats, a non profit camp property management cooperative.

Contact Info: 

Mother Nature's Medicine: Green Exercise is Good For Recovery

Any good treatment program for substance abuse focuses on rehabilitating both mind and body, with emphasis placed on behavioral therapies, good nutrition and physical activity. But did you know you could make your exercise regime more effective by working out in the great outdoors?

The Healing Power Of Nature

Studies show that getting regular physical exercise combats stress, builds muscle and bone, lowers blood pressure and improves immune response in the body. Substance abuse survivors experience fewer withdrawal symptoms and are less likely to relapse if they are involved in getting regular exercise several times a week. But getting that exercise outdoors yields even greater benefits. Green exercise provides fresh air and sunlight, causing your body to produce more vitamin D, which combats depression and seasonal affective disorder. People who are exposed to green spaces actually heal more efficiently from surgery and experience fewer complications. Just living in an area with abundant trees adds to your life expectancy.

Adventures In The Wilderness

Experiential therapies are growing in popularity. Engaging in hands-on, purposeful activity can help recovery by enabling participants to engage with and address subconscious issues that may be hampering their treatment. If a person has trouble recognizing, or talking about, what drives them to abuse alcohol or drugs, they may benefit from these nontraditional approaches. Tackling hard physical tasks like hiking, rafting or rock climbing helps patients to learn new coping mechanisms to deal with stress and fear. Working in groups helps to create social bonds and relearn trust. Patients report feeling more capable and self-assured knowing they can manage in the wilderness, and they take those skills and that knowledge back home with them into their new, sober lifestyle.

A New Way Of Living

Every substance abuse survivor has to relearn essential life skills to make a successful transition to sobriety. Mastering conflict resolution, good communication and self-care will ensure you stay mindful and focused on your recovery. Traditional treatment approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can be instituted in green, natural settings to take better advantage of the healing properties of nature. But green exercise can also be something you do on your own to promote your healing process.

Studies show even five minutes a day outside in nature creates marked improvements in mood and levels of optimism. This can be a powerful tool in managing triggers and stresses. If you know you’re headed into a situation that will be stressful, consider a preparatory nature walk to put you in the best frame of mind before the encounter.

Immersive Experience

The Japanese regularly implement something called shinrin-yoku for combatting ill health. Roughly translated “forest bathing,” it refers to immersing oneself in the atmosphere of nature. Studies reveal that just being in the woods, near trees, rocks and running water, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and increases immune response. It sharpens the mind and helps us to maintain concentration and focus. Even the image of the outdoors has potent effects with patients. By having a beautiful, natural view outside their windows measurably decreases post-surgical recovery time, and there are plenty of camping retreats, such as the ones offered by United Camps, Conferences, & Retreats (UCCR.org), that offer you an outdoor experience that will clear your mind and help your body heal.

Addiction has both behavioral and environmental components, so we should involve both behavioral and environmental approaches in our treatment of it. It isn’t enough to detox and get away from the addictive substance. We must learn new ways to live in the world and focus on healing every aspect of our lives. Connecting with nature with green exercise can be a powerful tool for healing mind and body and can impart important life skills and lessons that help us to build a healthful, sober lifestyle.

Guest Blogger, Michelle Peterson

Historic Conference Center Opens to All Non Profit Groups & Weddings

Crystal Conference Center announces its doors are open to all non profit groups as well as couples seeking a retreat, conference, or wedding venue.


Crystal Conference Center, located on the shore of Crystal Lake, used primarily over the past 100 years by members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Region of Michigan churches, is now making the conference center available to all non-profit groups who are looking for day use, weekend workshop & conference space, family reunions, weddings, or week-long rentals.

Neil Topliffe, spokesperson for the site says, “Crystal Conference Center has been a pivotal place for so many people of all ages, but as we change with the times, we look forward to sharing this beautiful site with any non-profit group that would like to gather and needs a place to do so.”

“With the beauty of Crystal Lake, this facility makes a very picturesque backdrop for beautiful wedding photos. We are happy to supply wedding planners with the information they need to provide their clients,” says United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR) Marketing Manager Laura Chamberlin. UCCR began marketing services for Crystal in January 2018.

The conference center provides a unique and beautiful setting for weddings and other events with a memorable setting on the banks of Crystal Lake.

As Crystal Conference Center prepares for the next 100 years, they continue to offer many outdoor activities to groups looking to combine meetings with team building type activities. “One of the most popular features of the conference center is the fact that we are right on beautiful Crystal Lake with lake access,” says Topliffe.

Overnight accommodation is available in lodges/dorms and a few RV sites. For more information call 517.372.3220 or email ccmr(at)michigandisciples.org

Crystal Conference Center is in partnership with United Camps, Conferences and Retreats.

Camp & Retreat Center Offers Non Profit Groups Lodging in Natural Setting

Penn State Football Fans are invited to hang their hats and roll out their sleeping bags at a cabin in a beautiful natural setting during game season

"We realized church groups that travel to Penn State Games in our area may enjoy the back to nature feel of staying in one of our cabins," says Dave Bushnell, Hartman Center Board Member.


Hartman Center is announcing two Fall & Winter Specials geared toward non-profit groups, schools, and churches.

The camp and retreat center, located in Milroy, PA, is encouraging church groups, especially Penn State Football fans, to reserve a cabin or two to stay at while visiting State College, PA to attend Nittany Lions Football games.

Cabins are a convenient lodging option for church groups or other non-profit groups looking for camp style accommodations. During the late summer and early fall, the pool which was completed in 2017, is a welcome addition to the retreat center which may be enjoyed by all guests.

Hartman Center is owned by the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ and the facility is managed by United Camps, Conferences and Retreats. “As we begin to let the community know that we are renting our beautiful facility, we realized church groups that travel to Penn State Games in our area may enjoy the back to nature feel of staying in one of our cabins or lodges.” says camp board member Dave Bushnell.

“We have a total of 8 separate cabins, each one fully equipped with a bathroom and 6 bunk beds, which sleep up to 12 people.” says Zach Hassinger the facility Site Director. Hassinger oversees the entire 192 acres property. “Being located just 20 minutes from Penn State College, after the games, our guests can fish, hike, look at the stars from our observations deck or swim in the pool.” says Hassinger.

Hartman has a great flat rate fee per cabin for Football season only. The Football Lodging does not include any meal service.

If non profits groups, schools, and organizations want to take advantage of another special during the Fall and Winter season at Hartman Center, a seasonal package runs from October 1, 2018 - February 28, 2019 which includes 2 nights and 5 meals at 10-15% discounted from the regular rates. There is a minimum of 12 people for the cabin area and 16 people for Michaux Lodge.

“One of our most popular places to stay on site is called Michaux Lodge which is a one-story building with eight bedrooms, 32 beds, a kitchen, a dining room which seats forty. It also has a large common room for fellowship and program activities.” says Hassinger. Michaux Lodge will serve any group size 16 to 40 with the option to do your own cooking or eat in our dining hall and allow us to cook for you. This facility is completely handicapped accessible.

Reservations can be made by calling 800-678-5102. Photos of Hartman Center can be viewed online at http://www.UCCR.org/hartman.

United Camps, Conferences and Retreats Issues a Call to Non Profit Program Leaders


United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR) is excited to announce a call for program leaders looking for space to hold their programs. UCCR has three camp and retreat centers in the Sierra Nevada available for day use or overnight retreats. As the organization moves toward 2020, UCCR is reinvigorating its efforts to serve the non-profit community by hosting groups that need locations for day training or overnight lodging programs.

All three sites are unique and offer a variety of indoor and outdoor meeting areas, recreational opportunities and lodging options. With almost 50 years in camp, conference and retreat center management, UCCR provides hospitality, food service, and lodging. With today’s continual connectivity, people want to get back to nature and decompress in a beautiful setting while enjoying the benefits of food service and recreational choices.

The first site, Community of the Great Commissions (CGC), is located in Foresthill, CA and serves group sizes 10-104 people. CGC is offering fall and winter specials which begin October 1, 2018 and run through February 28, 2019. Specials include homemade meals and overnight lodging with discounts. Group leaders can focus on their program while site staff take care of the cooking and cleaning.

Secondly, Applegate JRC is located in Placer County, conveniently located just above Auburn. As one of our most popular and busy sites, groups can take advantage of a variety of meeting spaces and lodging options including the newer Oak Lodge. Oak Lodge has 12 rooms, each room sleeps 4, attached conference rooms and a beautiful screened in porch with rocking chairs to seat 20.

Camp Lodestar is in Calaveras County, located above Jackson in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, and can host groups size of 12 to 165. Camp Lodestar offers 450 acres of hiking. Indian Grinding Rock State Historical Park is nearby.

"These Sierra foothills sites offer guests a great opportunity to enjoy the forests and views while enjoying hospitality services," said Tina Heck, UCCR Director of Communications & Reservations.

A video tour of each site is available online along with a photo gallery of each site.

Reservations or questions can be made by calling 800-678-5102 or emailing reservations@uccr.org. Photos and site videos are available at uccr.org

Templed Hills Camp Renewed & Refreshed


United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR) is pleased to announce our “Refreshed & Renewed” on site improvements at Templed Hills Camp and Retreat Center. The camp reopened in February 2018 after being closed for the past few years.

Until recently, the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC) owned two camps, Templed Hills Camp and Pilgrim Hills Camp. The Conference closed Templed Hills a few years ago and moved all of their programs to Pilgrim Hills Camp. In the Fall of 2017, Pilgrim Hills Camp was sold to a private party.

Templed Hills Camp has now been updated with many improvements as we renew our commitment to serving the camp and retreat center community.

A dedicated crew of volunteers from the owner group, the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ, along with our UCCR staff who manage the site, have worked earnestly to provide everything from updated day use meeting space to overnight retreat center lodging for group sizes 10 to 225 guests. The facility is available for any non-profit group to use year-round.

UCCR Marketing Manager, Laura Chamberlin, says, “We are so pleased with the Refreshed & Renewed campaign and excited to offer the refurbished space to returning groups and new groups for off-site meeting space, weekend workshops, retreats, family reunions, and week-long programs.”

The site, located in Bellville, Ohio, near 1-71, is just over an hour from both the greater Cleveland and Columbus areas.

United Camps, Conferences and Retreats can be contacted directly at 1-800-678-5102 or visit Templed Hills Camp at http://www.uccr.org/templed for more information.

UCCR's New Branding & New Website

Last weekend we launched our new website. Wow. We're very excited about it...and feel a bit like we've been able to ride the wave of user-friendly technology, i.e. moblile friendly and all. Plus, we know More Pictures, Less Words! We worked with Wildflower Marketing owner Lindsey Perry who did an outstanding job for us.

In conjunction with our new website, you will see a new logo and new branding for UCCR and each site. When you visit us on FB, everything is flowing visually with the UCCR brand. Many thanks to our Marketing Manager, Laura Chamberlin, for her work on the logo and re-branding.

UCCR has expanded in the last year to include and welcome Clover Woods in Iowa, Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos, and marketing services for a beautiful site on the shores of Crystal Lake in Michigan, Crystal Conference Center. 

Marketing-wise, we have added a Marketing Manager because, as you can imagine, we have a lot of ongoing research & outreach to our potential guests. We have traditionally reached out to religious groups, non-profit orgs, and schools. We are beginning to be more intentional about our materials targeting specific groups...yoga, martial arts, quilters, high school coaches, etc. 

As always, we welcome any kind of suggestions and groups you think might be good matches for any of our beautiful sites within the UCCR family. Thanks in advance for your connection!