Camping Reaffirmed

It is not often that an account in Volume 1 of the Journal provokes significant discussion on the floor of Annual Conference. But that’s what happened on Thursday afternoon, May 30. During the motion to accept the historic reports, the Rev. George Covintree rose to speak about camping in the Michigan Area. Speaking as a former camper, counselor, and dean, Covintree said, “I’ve seen what camping has done as an important ministry,” Covintree said. “We as a conference need some sense of oversight.” The Rev. Eric Stone then introduced a motion calling for resignation of the present board and the hiring of an outside consultant to design a new organizational structure and strategic plan for camping.

The Rev. Benton Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministry, addressed the concerns expressed. He pointed out that the Conference’s Committee on Nominations, Council on Finance and Administration, and Leadership Team are taking measures to eliminate partisanship and to bring skilled executive leadership to the camping table. “That will do things this motion points to,” Heisler added. “We are making decisions now that every other conference in the jurisdiction made ten years ago.” The conference did not approve suspension of the rules to act on Stone’s motion.

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