Welcome to the 
Association of UMCRM


Upcoming events

    • 21 Sep 2022
    • 11:00 AM
    • 19 Oct 2022
    • 1:00 PM
    • On-line

    Training Part 1: Wednesday, September 21st, 1-3:00 pm ET

    Training Part 2: Wednesday, October 19th, 1-3:00 pm ET

    The CAGA ("Change, Agent, Gift, and Ask")Storytelling Model for Engagement was developed more than 15 years ago as a repeatable system for engaging constituents and telling powerful impact stories. It was built upon and remains grounded in the goals of being “donor first” while telling the impact made possible by a donor’s generosity. Developed by Mitzie Schafer, CFRE, she has used the model in multiple organizations with great success, and it is now available to other non-profits and congregations as well. Using the CAGA Storytelling Model, giving to Epworth Children's Home in Columbia, SC grew 85% in the first three years. This equaled an additional $1.2 million for mission and impact every year. Giving to NovusWay grew 68% over a 12-month period of time and provided an additional $800,000+ in annual revenue. It isn’t just that we need to tell the organization’s story. We need to tell it in a way that directly connects the donor to the change that happens in the lives of those we serve. We need to create an emotional connection between giving and impact. The CAGA Model does this, clearly and systematically.

    Hear from a UM camp & retreat leader who recently participated in this training:

    "I first heard about CAGA Stories during Mitzie’s workshop at the 2021 National Gathering. I knew immediately this was something I wanted to pursue because it felt genuine and doable. I loved that it enabled us to share the excitement we see in changed lives here at Pecometh without asking for money. We did Mitzie’s training early this year and immediately put the concepts into practice. Our first newsletter generated more than 5X the cost of the training AND it’s still paying dividends with every quarterly newsletter.”      - Jack Shitama (Pecometh Camp & Retreat Center, MD)

    During the CAGA Training, we focus on being “donor first” and telling the story of the impact your work has on the lives of those you serve. There are a number of ways to tell a single story. The CAGA model is designed specifically to increase giving to your work. Mitzie will guide you to telling inspiring stories that donors can’t ignore.

    How the Training Works:

    1. The training includes two different virtual workshops scheduled three weeks apart.
    2. The first training lasts from 1.5 hours to 2 hours depending on questions.
    3. During this workshop, we will cover all the foundational principles listed above. Attendants are given the homework of finding, interviewing, and writing 1-3 stories.
    4. During the second training, I edit a couple of the stories live. Students learn how to listen for and capture the emotional connection needed for a successful CAGA story. They learn what content to include or omit.
    5. After their final edits, I review stories and provide a final draft for immediate use in your publications.

      Cost: UMCRM has secured a discounted group rate of $790 per camp/center. Regular full price is $3500(!)  We need 8 participating centers to get this great rate! 

      Questions? Contact Jessica Gamaché

      Mitzie Schafer, CFRE, has more than 15 years of experience in non-profit executive leadership and fundraising for faith-based organizations including Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia, SC and the ELCA Foundation. She specializes in helping non-profit organizations implement systematic, best practices, approaches that shift toxic institutional cultures to healthy, thriving ministries. The focus is on storytelling, transparency, human resource management, communication, and accountability. She utilizes these strategies to strengthen relationships with constituents and grow annual fund efforts and planned giving programs. In her first 3 years at Epworth, she implemented a system that grew the annual fund from $1.4 million to $2.6 million. In her last two years at the ELCA Foundation, she helped congregation members take the necessary steps to create charitable estate plans that will gift more than $24 million to churches, church-related non-profits, and other charities. She served a term on the SC Synod Council and has served on the Bishop’s Mutual Ministry Committee for 10 years. Mitzie is an avid quilter, writing her own patterns in Prosperity, SC where she lives with her husband, Pastor Jason, and two high school- aged children, Ella and Micah.

      • 11 Oct 2022
      • 3:30 PM (EDT)
      • 13 Oct 2022
      • 1:30 PM (EDT)
      • Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center, Moravia, NY

      Connect with UMC Camp & Retreat Ministry leaders from all over the Northeast!

      All-inclusive registration provides 6 meals, 2 nights of first-come first-serve housing, and all programming. 

      • 16 Oct 2022
      • 5:00 PM (EDT)
      • 22 Oct 2022
      • 1:00 PM (EDT)
      • Calvin Center, 13550 Woolsey Road Hampton, GA 30228

      2022 Fall Courses:

      Biblical & Theological Foundations (October 16-19) 


      Program Design & Implementation (October 19-22)

      These courses will be held at Calvin Center (just south of Atlanta, Georgia) and taught by faculty members at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.

      Tuition, Lodging, Meals, and Transportation

      Registration includes $300 tuition per class. The pricing for private bath lodging with meals (Sunday evening meal through Wednesday lunch) is $205.00 for single-occupancy and $105.00 for double-occupancy. A round-trip shuttle from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) can be added for $20.00 per person. For the best value and most "bang" for your travel buck, stay all week to take both courses. Full payment is due by 9/23; contact Jen Burch with registration or payment questions.

      Please plan to arrive at Calvin Center by 5:00pm on Sunday, 10/16 (or Wednesday, 10/19, if only attending Program Design). Those riding the airport shuttle will depart ATL at 4:00pm. Please plan your flights accordingly. If you are taking the shuttle back to the airport on Wednesday or Saturday, we ask that you schedule your departure no earlier than 3:30pm. 

      Cancellation policy: Contact Registrar Jen Burch to amend or cancel your registration. Up to 30 days prior to the class, a refund of the program fee will be given minus a $50 admin fee. In the event that Compass Points must cancel the class, a full tuition refund will be given.

      Learn more about the Compass Points Program


      Please contact Joel Winchip: joel@pccca.net or 803.322.0232 with any questions about this class or the certification program.

      • 05 Dec 2022
      • 5:00 PM (PST)
      • 09 Dec 2022
      • 10:00 AM (PST)
      • Alton L. Collins Retreat Center, Eagle Creek, Oregon

      2022 UMCRM Conference Staff Summit

      Why attend the UMCRM Executive Summit?

      Each year camp/retreat executives gather for leadership development, educational opportunities, spiritual renewal, and networking. We are stronger together! During the Summit, we will have time for intentional learning from industry professionals, small group conversation, and opportunities to envision the future of camp and retreat ministries of The United Methodist Church.

      Who is the Summit for?

      Our community includes executives with many years of experience and those who are brand new to their positions. Some serve in roles focused entirely on Camp & Retreat Ministries; in recent years many relate to camps as part of a larger portfolio of ministry responsibilities. This gathering is for all conference staff who oversee camp and retreat ministries in an executive capacity.

      Where is this year’s Summit being held?

      We will be hosted by Alton L Collins Retreat Center in Eagle Creek, Oregon. Come experience the warmth of gracious hospitality while standing in the beauty and wonder of towering cedar trees, lush ferns, and abundant moss-covered vine maples. At the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center, you can step into the transformative environment of creation, spirituality, and community.

      Our lodging is in comfortable, hotel-style rooms, each with two beds, private bath, and private balcony. All linens and towels provided. Registration includes 3 nights' lodging, 7 meals (Tuesday dinner through Friday breakfast, except for our Wednesday dinner out), and all programming. 

      Optional: New Execs Onboarding

      Monday evening and Tuesday, we will hold an “add-on” day expressly for new (and new-ish) annual conference staff with Camp and Retreat Ministry in their portfolio.

      Learn more about the powerful opportunities, unique challenges, and supportive resources available to your work on the conference level in camping ministries. Seasoned execs will share in this day customized to your needs. If you opt to participate in this extra day, registration includes Monday night dinner and overnight, and Tuesday breakfast and lunch. UMCRM will arrange carpool pickups – please plan arrivals by 3:30 p.m.

      We'll coordinate carpools from Portland International Airport (PDX). Please schedule flight arrivals by 3:30 pm on Tuesday, December 6th (or Monday 12/5, if attending New Execs Onboarding). The ride to Collins Retreat is approximately 45 minutes. Departing flights may be scheduled after 11 a.m. on Friday 12/9 (shuttle leaves after breakfast).

      Questions? Contact Jen Burch, Registrar

      Here's some of the group from our abbreviated 2021 Summit following the National Gathering in October at Jumonville, PA: Kayla Hardage (AR), Chris Schlieckert (Balt-Wash), Nancy Folsom Lane (IGRC), Jessica Gamaché (UMCRM), David Berkey (MI), Todd Bartlett (OR-ID), Sue D'Alessio (WI), Arthur Spriggs (SC), Mike Standifer (FL), Gary Lawson (Memphis), Melinda Trotti, Kevin Witt (Susquehanna)

      • 20 Jan 2023
      • 5:30 PM (EST)
      • 23 Jan 2023
      • 12:00 PM (EST)
      • Epworth by the Sea, St Simons Island, Georgia

      Annual In-Person Meeting of the UMCRM Board of Directors

      January 20-22, 2023

      Please plan travel in order to be at Epworth in time for dinner at 5:30 on Friday, January 20th. We can collaborate to arrange rides for those flying into JAX (Jacksonville, FL). The drive to Epworth by the Sea from JAX is about 1.5 hours.

      The UMCRM Board will meet Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday, and will be available to assist the Design Team on Sunday evening and Monday morning prior to the National Gathering. The UMCRM Association will cover the cost of shared lodging and meals for the 3 nights of the board meeting. If you prefer a single room, you will be responsible for the additional cost (between $130-172, depending upon your housing choice).

      First, register for the National Gathering AND reserve your housing. If you'd like to room with another board member for the whole week, this is the time to arrange that with them. 

      Then you're ready to register here. Please reach out to Jen with any questions.

      • 23 Jan 2023
      • 3:30 PM (EST)
      • 27 Jan 2023
      • 9:00 AM (EST)
      • Epworth By The Sea, St Simons Island, Georgia

      Themed "Dive Deep," UMCRM's biennial cornerstone event will be hosted in 2023 at beautiful Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Gather with camp and retreat ministry leaders from across the country for inspiration, education, fun, and fellowship.

      This event is designed to be family-friendly (kids program is free!), and non-United Methodist camp leaders are warmly welcomed. 

      To register, scroll all the way down in the blue sidebar to get to the REGISTER button. For assistance with your registration, please contact our Registrar, Jen Burch via email, or call 862-200-7260. 


      Reserve your room directly through Epworth by the Sea by clicking here. Full payment for room & board is due by 12/16/22. 

      Payments & Cancellation: 

      Payment can be made by check or credit card; balance must be paid by January 16th. Mailed checks should be postmarked by 1/9. Scholarships are available through the Legacy of Leadership FundIn the unfortunate event that you have to cancel, UMCRM is able to issue a refund, minus a $100 registration fee, up until January 6th. Please email the Registrar for assistance if needed.


      Shuttle service will be available from and to Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) for $55 per person round-trip. Book flights to arrive before 2:30 pm on Monday 1/23 and departing no earlier than 12 noon on Friday, 1/27. If you're arriving or departing outside the shuttle times, check our Carpool Site to connect with a ride. 

      COVID Safety:

      Together we will do all we can to keep the Gathering safe and healthy. Dependent upon local conditions at the time of our event, participants may be asked to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and may need to mask in indoor public spaces. We will clarify expectations closer to event date.

      • 26 Jan 2023
      • 2:00 PM - 7:30 PM (EST)
      • Epworth by the Sea, St. Simons Island, GA.
      • 13

      2023 National Camp & Retreat Leaders Gathering

      "Dive Deep" 

      This is the primary education, training, professional and spiritual development, worship, fellowship, renewal event for all involved in United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministry. This event only happens once every two years - you don't want to miss it!

      Scroll down to the bottom of the blue section on the left for the "Register" button.  If you're already in the UMCRM database, please log in with your email to start. Contact Jen Burch, Registrar, if you have registration questions. Contact Allison Doyle, Vendor Hall Coordinator, if you have specific Vendor Hall questions. 

      Please check out these three documents before you register:

      This year our Vendor Hall will have a "Pirate" theme. Feel free to join in! 

      Vendor Hall schedule: 


      12:00pm        Vendor Set-up 

      2:15pm          Vendor Hall Soft Opening

      5:30pm          Vendor Hall Grand Opening Party & Dinner

      7:30pm          Vendor Hall closed

      There IS on-site lodging available for Vendors. To register for on-site housing, contact Tiffany Flavell:

             Phone:  (912) 638-8688

             Email:    tflavell@epworthbythesea.org

    Past events

    03 May 2022 2022 Camp Volunteer Masterclass
    22 Jan 2022 2022 UMCRM Immersion Experience
    29 Oct 2021 2021 UMCRM Conference Staff Summit
    26 Oct 2021 2021 National Gathering - Vendor Hall
    25 Oct 2021 2021 National Camp & Retreat Leaders Gathering
    04 May 2021 Camp Volunteer Masterclass
    21 Oct 2020 2020 UMCRM Bridge Event - Vendor Hall
    21 Oct 2020 Be Whole, Live Well, Come Together: A Virtual Event Series
    05 Oct 2020 2020 Virtual UMCRM Execs Summit
    03 Feb 2020 2020 UMCRM SEJ Gathering
    25 Jan 2020 2020 UMCRM Immersion Experience
    23 Jan 2020 UMCRM Board Meeting & Design Team Planning Retreat
    14 Nov 2019 2019 UMCRM Conference Staff Summit
    10 Nov 2019 RelationShift: The Great Gathering
    29 Jan 2019 2019 National Gathering - Vendor Hall
    28 Jan 2019 ACA Standards Workshop
    28 Jan 2019 2019 National Camp & Retreat Leaders Gathering
    27 Nov 2018 Conference Staff Summit 2018
    21 Jan 2018 UMCRM Immersion Experience
    28 Nov 2017 Conference Staff Summit 2017
    30 Jan 2017 2017 National Camp & Retreat Leaders Gathering
    29 Nov 2016 2016 Summit of Annual Conference Camp/Retreat Ministry Staff (Conference Execs)
    16 Feb 2016 NEJ Camp & Retreat Leaders Gathering
    11 Jan 2016 SEJ Gathering
    08 Dec 2015 2015 Conference Execs Gathering
    28 Sep 2015 The Great Board Meeting
    26 Jan 2015 National UM Camp & Retreat Leaders Gathering
    26 Jan 2015 National Gathering - Exhibit Hall
    09 Dec 2014 Conference Execs Gathering
    23 Sep 2014 UMCRM Board Executive Team Retreat
    21 Apr 2014 UMCRM Display/Banner Purchasing Co-op
    21 Jan 2014 NEJ Camp & Retreat Leaders Gathering
    09 Dec 2013 Conference Execs Gathering
    25 Sep 2013 Executive Team Retreat

    Questions?  Please contact our Association Registrar

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