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

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.

FRANKFORT, MICH. JUNE 27, 2018

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.

MILROY, PA. (PRWEB) JULY 26, 2018

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

PETALUMA, CALIF. (PRWEB) JULY 29, 2018

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

BELLVILLE, OHIO (PRWEB) JUNE 20, 2018

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.