Outdoor Education Program Reaches 100,000 K-12 Grade Students Over 30 Years

Web of Life Field (WOLF) School provides programs for children to explore and discover nature at camps in Livermore, Aptos, Yosemite and Cazadero.

APTOS, CALIF. (PRWEB) JUNE 28, 2019

For 30 straight years, the Web of Life Field (WOLF) School has been teaching youth about science and nature through outdoor education programs that empower kids to return home with tools to strengthen their communities. Serving 4,000 school aged children per year, for 30 years, means WOLF outdoor education programs have reached 100,000 children.

Outdoor education and team building programs provide vital experiences for California’s students. These programs are led by professionally-trained naturalists at stunning camps throughout California where students explore, discover, and learn through activities designed to encourage kids to develop leadership, communication skills, and cooperation. At camp, away from technological distractions, students have fun, explore the outdoors, sing songs, play active games and learn to live together in a community. This gives students the opportunity to make hands-on connections between classroom learning and the world around them in a safe and positive outdoor environment.

All WOLF School programs are in line with the California State Standards and support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Partnering with school teachers and other organizations, WOLF School is passionate about building respect, appreciation and stewardship.

Currently WOLF School brings its outdoor education programs to Monte Toyon Camp in Aptos, Camp Cazadero in Cazadero, Camp Tuolumne Trails by Yosemite, and Camp Arroyo in Livermore. “We want to provide outdoor experiences for as many people as possible in as many locations as possible.” says Heather Butler, Director of WOLF School

WOLF School specializes in three different programs: First, the Outdoor Science School is a hands-on science education program set in the beautiful redwoods, beach, or in the Sierra pine forest. The students explore the concepts of Energy, Cycles, Change, Adaptations, Communities, Interdependence, and Diversity as they engage directly with the redwoods, tidepools, and other outdoor areas. Secondly, Personal Awareness Community Commitment (WOLF P.A.C.C.) Team Building program focuses on the students discovering the key to successful communication, responsibility, and personal growth. Students achieve this success through unique series of team building activities that summon positive choices, cooperation, and respect. Lastly, the California Living History program takes the students on a journey through California’s history. Students learn about native peoples, our environment, the Gold Rush, and our natural resources through the eyes of immigrants, pioneers, Native Americans, and prospectors.

WOLF School also offers different seasonal camps which are available for children and families to attend and register for independently: Summer Nature Day CampBeginner and Advanced Level Backpacking Camp and Family Camp. Each camp is geared to provide a dynamic opportunity for WOLF’s School’s community to engage in the local ecology of Santa Cruz through a relaxed setting of fun and nature.

Teachers and parents can sign up to receive our WOLF School Newsletters to stay informed of upcoming programming or visit us at wolfschool.org or call (831) 684-0148. WOLF School is program provided by United Camps, Conferences & Retreats.

WOLF School Partners with Camp Arroyo to Bring Exciting Opportunities for Outdoor Environmental Education

LIVERMORE, CALIF. (PRWEB) MAY 30, 2019

Camp Arroyo, a facility of the East Bay Regional Park District, establishes new partnership with the Web of Life Field (WOLF) School and United Camps, Conferences & Retreats.

Beginning June 1, 2019, WOLF School (Web of Life Field School) will partner with Camp Arroyo to provide Bay Area students and teachers with even more excellent outdoor environmental education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) opportunities. WOLF School, a well-known outdoor school where classroom teachers take their students to experience the wonders of Science Camp and hands-on learning, is celebrating 30 years of delivering high quality science camp programs to youth. In addition, WOLF School is beginning a new partnership with Camp Arroyo, part of the East Bay Regional Park District located in Livermore, CA. 

For the last 30 years WOLF School has provided engaging outdoor education experiences to over 4,000 K-12 students and teachers each year at overnight science camps in the California redwoods, near the beach, and in the Sierras. This new partnership will allow WOLF School to continue building Camp Arroyo's traditions as well as reaching more students to fulfill their mission of "building respect, appreciation, and stewardship within the web of life." 

“We are looking forward to working with the staff at Camp Arroyo to continue to deliver high quality programs to their students,” said WOLF School Associate Director Desiree Gant. Gant continues, "We've enjoyed working with Camp Arroyo staff in our professional organization, AEOE [California Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education], and we are super excited to work with Camp Arroyo's students and teachers!" 

WOLF School believes in the transformative power of outdoor experiences and is committed to designing programs that connect youth with nature, empower individuals, and strengthen communities. Through lessons and activities that make learning fun, WOLF School gives teachers the opportunity to enhance classroom curriculum and gives students that chance to gain knowledge, awareness, and respect for their environmental, their community, and themselves. 

From visiting the garden and tasting organic vegetables, to studying aquatic invertebrates at the creek, to participating in the legendary Cresta Blanca hike and learning about California’s early peoples, there is a lot to explore, discover, and learn at WOLF School Camp Arroyo. WOLF School is looking forward to supporting classroom teachers through this new connection and making life-changing experiences at camp for students in Livermore, CA and the San Francisco East Bay Area.

To find out more about coming to WOLF School at Camp Arroyo contact Desiree Gant at (831) 684-0148 or visit wolfschool.org 

WOLF School is the outdoor environmental education program of UCCR—United Camps, Conferences & Retreats. UCCR begins management of Camp Arroyo on June 1, 2019.

Camp & Retreat Center in S. California Celebrates Diversity

OAK GLEN, Calif. (PRWEB) April 30, 2019

Pilgrim Pines Camp & Retreat Center, owned by the United Church of Christ Southern California-Nevada Conference is intentional about welcoming a wide variety of diverse nonprofit organizations.

Pilgrim Pines Camp & Retreat Center located in Oak Glen, California hosts groups of 10-262 people on its 152 acre campus. The site is home to many groups who rent lodging and enjoy meal service in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Pilgrim Pines Camp & Retreat Center is managed by United Camps, Conferences & Retreats (UCCR), a property management organization that promotes acceptance and diversity at all of the 12 sites they manage across the USA. The rules for acceptance and participation are the same for everyone who makes a reservation for an event or retreat. “We honor diversity and welcome guests without regard to age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin,” says Tina Heck, Director of UCCR Reservations and Communications.

“We want to extend our invitation to the community and let them know we welcome all types of groups here at Pilgrim Pines Camp,” says Site Director Connie Clark. As a full-service camp and retreat facility, Pilgrim Pines has multiple lodging options from lodges to cabins to apartments. The dining hall seats 225 guests and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor meeting spaces for groups to meet. Occasionally the facility offers special discounts, Clark recommends staying tuned for upcoming announcements for fall and winter specials in 2020.

With miles of hiking trails and plenty of recreational opportunities, this site is a serene setting ideal for youth, adult and family camps. Look for fall/winter specials.

California Camp Perseveres After 1960 Forest Fire to Celebrate 60 Years of Residential Experience

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Northern California-Nevada celebrates the Community of the Great Commission's 60th anniversary at region's Annual Gathering

MICHIGAN BLUFF, CALIF. (PRWEB) APRIL 30, 2019

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California- Nevada recently held their Annual Gathering in Sunnyvale, CA. A time of celebration included a cake for the 60th birthday of their camp and retreat center, The Community of the Great Commission.

In 1959, John Holland and Josh Wilson, ministers with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Northern California-Nevada, began to search the California foothills for land to develop a camp for youth and adults to enjoy the great outdoors and participate in the unique aspects of residential camp and conference experiences.

They found a property located in Michigan Bluff, near Foresthill, CA, in the California Gold Country, at an elevation of 4000’. After negotiations with the land owner, the members of the Christian Church Region voted to purchase the land.

Even as they began development, in August 1960, almost exactly one year after the purchase of the camp property, a devastating forest fire swept through the foothills of Foresthill and severely damaged the camp forest. Nearly 80% of the trees were a loss and in some areas, the ash was 2 feet deep.

Nonetheless, the people of the region persevered and began building in earnest. In 1963, the retreat house, known as Claar House, which was named after Adelaide Claar, a laywoman from the San Jose Christian Church who made a sizeable donation, was begun. This building served as the indoor kitchen and dining area for more than 30 years until a larger, more commercial style dining hall was built in the late 1990’s.

In 1965 and 1966, respectively, eight cabins and a lodge were built, giving groups an indoor meeting area and sleeping quarters. Since then, many amenities have been added such as a swimming pool, amphitheater, and a variety of recreation areas.

The impact of these camp and conference centers that were built across the United States by church denominations in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s have had an everlasting impact on those who participated in this center of teaching, learning, and relaxing in a natural setting, set apart from the daily grind and technologies of life “down the mountain.”

Sixty years have passed since John Holland took church members up an old logging road to explore this forest on the ridge. American life has changed significantly with a much faster paced life than might have been imagined in 1959. Perhaps now more than ever, camps such as these offer modern people an opportunity to unplug and experience a simpler surrounding.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California- Nevada recently held their Annual Gathering in Sunnyvale, CA and celebrated the 60th birthday of their camp and retreat center, The Community of the Great Commission, with a cake.

The Community of the Great Commission is managed by United Camps, Conferences and Retreat, a camp and retreat management cooperative.

"On behalf of United Camps, Conferences and Retreats, we congratulate the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on the 60th Anniversary of their beautiful camp and all of the people that have had wonderful experiences there," writes Mike Carr, President of United Camps, Conferences, and Retreats.

Hartman Camp & Retreat Center in Milroy, PA Prepares for 2019 Spring Season with Upgrades

Michaux Lodge, the self-contained retreat house at Hartman Center, will be updated to meet customer service needs.

MILROY, PA. (PRWEB) MARCH 28, 2019

Hartman Center in Milroy, Pennsylvania is getting ready for their spring season with grass growing greener everyday and a new remodel job on the horizon. Michaux Lodge is currently being remodeled to include new flooring, bathrooms and appliances for added guest convenience and comfort.

“We are getting ready to remodel Michaux Lodge, originally built in 1989. It’s due for some upgrades and will be more efficient for groups to stay in, as we’re adding four more bathrooms.” says Zach Hassinger the facilities Site Director. Michaux Lodge already boasts 8 bedrooms, each including a double bed and three singles for a total of 32 beds, a dining room, common room, and kitchen. 

Spring in Pennsylvania provides plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation with temperatures averaging in the 50s during spring and summer highs averaging over 70 degrees. Hartman Center invites all types of groups in search of lodging to come stay and enjoy the beautiful outdoors and meal service on site. Join us to explore our Walking Labyrinth, pond or hiking trails this spring at Hartman Center. 

For more information contact 800-678-5102 or uccr.org/hartman. For a free tour, contact Zach directly at 717-667-2431.

HARTMAN CENTER is the Outdoor Ministries facility owned by Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ since 1964. The property owners have opened the facility to the community for use as event space or as an overnight retreat center. Hartman Center may be reserved for groups needing space for retreats, conferences, workshops, dinner meetings, summer camps, trainings, and other gatherings.

Unique Crystal Lake Lodging in Frankfort, MI Makes Family Summer Vacations and Reunions Memorable

Crystal Conference Center announces a new variation on vacationing for summer travelers. The popular site is now open for reservations for summer 2019.

While Crystal Conference Center hosts groups in the many lodges and dorm options, the Missions House is a charming option for family get-togethers. Missions House sleeps up to 13 guests and offers a full kitchen for guests to have the option of cooking their own meals. Crystal Conference Center is the perfect place to host a summer family reunion at the perfect time of year 

We offer a unique blend of event space, overnight lodging and retreat space for groups of all types.

This site offers lodges & dorms that can accommodate larger groups such as schools, churches, youth events, and family reunions. One of the lodges named Cedar Lodge has four large bedrooms and sleeps 4-8 guests, two bathrooms, a common area, and a kitchenette.

Oaks Lodge is our newest building and accommodates up to 10 guests and features a common living area & bathrooms.

With three separate dormitories aptly named Beeches, Pines and Birches, each are available to book individually or as a unit. Beeches has four dorms, which sleeps 10 guests each; Pines offers a set of five dorms, each sleeping 6-8 guests, and Birches sleeps 6-8 in each of its five dorms.

Guests can do their own cooking in our commercial kitchen or enjoy the delicious meal service provided by our staff. 

Site Director, Eric Strommer shares, “What better place to have a family vacation? Being right on Crystal Lake gives such a peaceful and enjoyable stay. Imagine waking up and seeing the lake right there. It is so easy to want to rest and relax at Crystal Conference all day but we are close to so many wonderful natural and cultural attractions for day trips. Crystal Conference Center is just about close to perfection.”

Right now is the perfect time to book a summer get away at Crystal Lake. The camp & conference center is situated on the shores of Crystal Lake in Michigan. Guests enjoy the benefits of the private beach, with tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, disk golf, horseshoes and a nature trail. As always the staff is happy to provide information on local happenings to guests.

To book at Crystal Conference Center, call 800-678-5102 or visit the website for more information.

Crystal Conference Center is managed by United Camps, Conferences & Retreats (UCCR), a camp and retreat management non-profit cooperative organization with 14 locations across the United States.

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



Craigville Retreat Center Announces New Site Director as 30 Year Veteran Passes Baton

United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR), a California-based non-profit cooperative is happy to announce that Matthew CastleMan has been hired as the new Site Director of Craigville Retreat Center on Cape Cod in Centerville, MA.

CastleMan follows longtime UCCR Site Directors Cynthia and John Diggs in this position. The Diggs’ are retiring after more than 30 years serving as Site Directors at many of UCCR’s California camp and retreat center facilities.

CastleMan grew up in western Massachusetts though since 2014, has been with the Springfield-based Open Pantry Community Services agency where he served as Executive Director. CastleMan holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State University.

CastleMan fondly recalls spending many summers on Cape Cod visiting his grandmother. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the opportunity to live and work here. My family and I feel so incredibly blessed that Mike Carr, CEO and the entire UCCR team have bestowed the opportunity to live on site and manage the property as Site Director. Our gratitude will continue to fuel our desire to be stewards of this beautiful piece of land, and keep the Craigville Retreat Center prospering for many years to come.” says CastleMan.

Craigville Retreat, a historic center overlooking Nantucket Sound, is owned by the Christian Camp Meeting Association (CCMA). UCCR partnered with the CCMA in 2015 to manage operations at the Craigville Retreat Center.

UCCR has been managing all aspects of facility management for camps and retreat centers since 1970. UCCR operates 13 facilities in California, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. All sites managed by UCCR are open to non-profits, schools, religious groups, and organizations for retreats, camps, meetings, reunions, educational and community gatherings. UCCR also provides program partnership to its facilities and owner group organizations through on-site support and the Web of Life Field School (WOLF). The WOLF School is an environmental education provider.

UCCR may be contacted directly at 800-678-5102 or at uccr.org

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

MADRID, IOWA (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 05, 2018

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: 
800-678-5102
uccr.org/cloverwoods