“It’s a little tiring, but definitely worth it,” said Bill Slocumb, more than half way through his summer visits to 22 Episcopal camps and conference centers in 19 dioceses.
Slocumb, director of member services for Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers (ECCC), began his Face to Face tour attending summer staff training at four different camps. “The staffs are strong and the kids are having a blast,” he reports.
Starting at Todd Hall, a parish-owned retreat and conference center in the Diocese of Springfield (Illinois), Slocumb drove north through Indianapolis to Michigan, then east with stops in the dioceses of Pittsburgh and Albany before visiting five different venues in Province I.
Taking a break to attend the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE), Slocumb learned first-hand how camp had shaped the faith of many young people. Video interviews of youth each day, linked to the parable of the sower, revealed how the seeds of faith can be nurtured by the soil of Episcopal camping, he said.
“Most youth and the adults working with them are aware of their own diocesan camps,” commented Slocumb, “but few are aware that there are 64 different programs around the country every summer.”
Slocumb also noted that the conference centers he has visited are all very hospitable. “At each one I pick up tips I can pass along about how to be even more welcoming,” he added.
“About 4000 miles to go,” he says, describing his plans to head south, ending this year’s travels next month in the Diocese of Atlanta.
ECCC will continue the "Face to Face" program over the next two summers, sending Slocumb to additional camps in other provinces.