Coastal Redwood Camp & Retreat Center Offers Self-Guided "Nature in a Knapsack" for Guests Looking for Nature Experience

Camp Cazadero, a camp and retreat center nestled in the coastal redwoods and located in Cazadero, California, has announced a new “Nature Knapsack” program for groups of all ages to be released Spring 2019.

With help from the Web of Life Field School (WOLF School) naturalists, nature exploration activities specific to Camp Cazadero are put into a small knapsack for groups to use while exploring trails, forest, and fauna. Nature Knapsack has activities for exploring the 1,000 acre site which groups who come to the site can utilize to enhance their programs. The activities and nature trails are self-guided.

Our Nature Knapsack is designed to get children, youth, and adults outside and bring them closer to nature, while developing their observational skills. This discovery pack includes a guide for tree and animal identification and other aspects unique to the redwood forest.

The Child Mind Institute cites Richard Louv, author of the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder identifies 7 positive growth factors when kids get outside:

1) It builds confidence. The way that kids play in nature has a lot less structure than most types of indoor play. There are infinite ways to interact with outdoor environments, from the backyard to the park to the local hiking trail or lake, and letting your child choose how he treats nature means he has the power to control his own actions.

2) It promotes creativity and imagination. This unstructured style of play also allows kids to interact meaningfully with their surroundings. They can think more freely, design their own activities, and approach the world in inventive ways.

3) It teaches responsibility. Living things die if mistreated or not taken care of properly, and entrusting a child to take care of the living parts of their environment means they’ll learn what happens when they forget to water a plant, or pull a flower out by its roots.

4) It provides different stimulation. Nature may seem less stimulating than your son’s violent video game, but in reality, it activates more senses—you can see, hear, smell, and touch outdoor environments. 

5) It gets kids moving. Most ways of interacting with nature involve more exercise than sitting on the couch. Not only is exercise good for kids’ bodies, but it seems to make them more focused and calm.

6) It makes them think. Louv says that nature creates a unique sense of wonder for kids that no other environment can provide. The phenomena that occur naturally in backyards and parks everyday make kids ask questions about the earth and the life that it supports.

7) Finally, It reduces stress and fatigue. In natural environments, we practice an effortless type of attention known as soft fascination that creates feelings of pleasure, not fatigue.

While this Nature Knapsack program is geared toward children youth, adult groups will enjoy the experience of nature-based activities as well. For child and youth groups, Camp Cazadero is offering a discounted outdoor-education lodging and meal rate for Knapsack program participants.

Camp Cazadero is managed and operated by United Camps, Conferences & Retreats (UCCR), a non-profit camp and retreat management cooperative. The Web of Life Field School (WOLF School) is an outdoor education school of UCCR.

Visit Camp Cazadero on the web at http://www.uccr.org/cazadero/ or call UCCR at 800-678.5102 to reserve a stay.

Camp & Retreat Center Garners Experience and Passion with New Site Director

United Camps, Conferences & Retreats (UCCR)  is pleased to announce new Site Director Susan Souhrada to staff Clover Woods Camp and Retreat Center based in Madrid, Iowa. Souhrada stepped into the new role December 20 and reports directly to UCCR’s Chief Operating officer Kent Shelby and CEO Mike Carr.

Souhrada holds a B.A. in Biology from Luther College (IA) and an M.S. in Nutrition from Iowa State University. Her professional experience includes food service and many research positions at Iowa State University along with the position of Product and Process Improvement Manager for the Burke Corporation  which is a division of Hormel Foods.

Souhrada’s small business experience includes carrying out grounds keeping operations for various county and privately owned properties in Iowa, an endeavor in which she has been involved for more than 20 years. Additionally, Souhrada has worked on the outdoor crew for a painting contractor.

“We are thrilled to bring Susan on-board, she has a wealth of pertinent experience and will surely serve Clover Woods Camp and Retreat Center and customers well.” says Shelby, COO. “Most exciting to us is her long-term dedication to Clover Woods Camp and Retreat as she has lived with her family next door to the camp for years and has volunteered many hours to watch the camp thrive.” continued Shelby.

“I have long been fond of Clover Woods and want as many people as possible to come and see the event space and consider bringing a group to enjoy staying with us.” Souhrada says.

For more info on Clover Woods Camp and Retreat Center visit uccr.org/cloverwoods or for Camp Property Management Services visit camppropertymangement.org or call 800-678-5102



Templed Hills Camp and Retreat Center is Excited to Announce New On-Site Leadership

United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR), which provides camp and retreat property management and hospitality services, is happy to announce two new on-site facility directors at Templed Hills Camp & Retreat Center.

The couple, Andy Lacefield and Miranda Nousek, will serve as Site Director and Associate Site Director of Hospitality, respectively, at Templed Hills Camp. While Lacefield will focus on the property upkeep and maintenance, Nousek will run the office and oversee hospitality to guests.

With a large campus which can offer lodging and meal service for groups from size 10 to 300+, there is plenty to keep the couple busy as they step into their roles. Templed Hills Camp is owned by the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ. Both Lacefield and Nousek have been involved with the Ohio UCC camp programs since their youth. “We have loved coming to retreats here and are so happy to work together and put our passion and enthusiasm to help other groups enjoy this beautiful property as much as we have,” says Nousek.

The Camp and Retreat Center has recently enjoyed many updates and enhancements to meet a wide variety of needs. Templed Hills is open for rental by any non-profit group, school, religious group, family reunion, and special event or other groups looking for camp and retreat space..

“We are so proud of all the list of improvements, we put them on our website,” Lacefield says with a smile.

“We are happy to become part of the UCCR family of camp and retreat staff, ” says Nousek. “We want to encourage groups of all types to contact us about having them stay with us. We give free property tours and want to be here as a community resource.” Lacefield says.

Templed Hills is part of United Camps, Conferences and Retreats, a non profit cooperative which manages 13 sites in the USA.

Templed Hills Camp & Retreat Center and UCCR may be contacted directly at 800-678-5102 or at uccr.org/templed