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.

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