The Eastern PA Conference owns and operates four unique, scenic camp and retreat centers spread across different regions of the conference: Pocono Plateau in the upper Northeast; Carson-Simpson Farm just north of Philadelphia; Innabah, more centrally located in Spring City; and Gretna Glen in the Northwest area.
Camp & Retreat Ministries involves not only the quality management of these four remarkable sites, but also the diverse, enriching programs and dedicated staff and volunteers who truly define them as ministries. Each of these beautiful, blessed oases are what they rightly claim to be: “God’s place apart, transforming lives.”
All four centers truly come alive during Summer Camp, with hundreds of excited children and youth learning, playing, being nurtured and making friendships and lifetime memories. But three sites–Pocono Plateau, Innabah and Gretna Glen–are busy year-round, hosting retreats, picnics, confirmation classes and other special events of all kinds.
Our Camp & Retreat Ministry centers are places where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience God’s love and creation together in a caring Christian community, as they grow in relationship with Jesus Christ and one another. Contact them today to plan or register for an event. Visit their Web sites at: innabah.org, gretnaglen.org, poconoplateau.org and csfarm.org.
In addition, please support them and help more young people with limited resources to benefit from summer camp through Camper Scholarships. With many families still struggling with economic difficulties, the need for scholarships is greater than ever. Every child deserves a chance to be embraced by God’s love, as experienced in the caring, life-changing environment of summer camp. Please help us make this possible. Send your contributions to the Eastern PA Conference Treasurer and identify them as donations for Camper Scholarships. Thank you.
By John W. Coleman
Eastern PA Conference members heard a resolution presented Oct. 5 that would authorize the conference to sell up to 50+/- acres of land at Innabah Camp & Retreat Center to pay off budget deficits and Innabah’s large payroll liability. The deficits have mounted in the wake of financial losses caused by closures of summer camp and scheduled retreats during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rev. Don Keller, Camp & Retreat Ministries Board Chairman, presented the resolution to a preliminary conference session that took place in a Zoom webinar format. The session was held primarily so that members could practice use of the new e-Ballot secure online voting system. He also responded to questions about the proposal. Learn more…
August 27, 2020
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV)
Greetings to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Community.
It is my prayer that your summer has given you opportunities for worship, ministry with the poor, dismantling racism and time for vacation. I appreciate so much the ways our pastors, lay members and churches have continued to adjust to these ever-changing times and challenges. Through the Lord’s plans for your welfare, you have found a “way out of no way” in the strength of the Spirit.
It is with faith in the power of the Spirit that I write to you on behalf of our Camp and Retreat Ministries. We have four vibrant and unique camps–Carson-Simpson Farm Christian Center, Innabah, Gretna Glen and Pocono Plateau–that fall within the bounds of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. They have long served as important mission extension outposts for our churches and the greater community. They are one of the most effective evangelism tools we have.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all four camps were forced to cancel many of their scheduled retreats and the weekly summer camps that so many children, families, staff and volunteers look forward to. Thus, we have had to make very difficult, painful decisions around finances.
The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans helped a great deal in the spring, and our Conference Council on Finance and Administration provided additional funds to help our camps cover their costs through the summer. But as we move into the fall, we know that trying to maintain even our most basic camp centers’ staff and services would result in a budget deficit.
Thus, I am asking you-churches, members and friends of our Conference-to embrace a vision of what it would look like if every church would donate $300 to support our camp centers and avoid a budget shortfall. Such well-deserved generosity would help them with their already scaled-back payroll needs through the rest of this year and provide some funds to help them plan, resource and launch a new year of exciting retreats and camping adventures in 2021.
Camp and Retreat Ministry Board
Chairperson: Mrs. Nannette Connolly
3405 Davisville Rd.
87 Old Mine Rd.
712 Pughtown Rd.
304 Pocono Plateau Rd.
Visitors to three of the four Eastern PA Conference Camp & Retreat Centers will be in motion this weekend, and all are invited to come join in the fun.
Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center will launch this weekend Run the Glen, a series of three weekend race excursions—on Fridays (5K) beginning at 6 PM and on Saturdays (5K and 10K) beginning at 8 AM. Visitors will literally have the run of the place, as they race—whether running or walking—through the scenic camp grounds. The dates are Sept. 18-19, Oct. 16-17 and Nov. 20-21
“We would love to have you join us for as many of these runs as you would like,” says camp director Apryl Miller, “and savings will stack up the more you Run the Glen (i.e., $10 off for each additional run when purchased together)!”
Masks will be required where social distancing (being 6 feet apart) is not possible. But race rules and allowances will be made to accommodate social distancing. Usage is limited to a total of 100 runners per day. No additional guests will be allowed on site without prior permission. Please encourage your friends and family to support you from home. Read more…
A poignant silence has replaced children’s gleeful laughter and other daily sounds of summer fun at the Eastern PA Conference’s four Camp & Retreat Centers. Yet, they are still helping families celebrate the season in creative ways, despite being prevented by the COVID-19 pandemic from hosting their traditional summer camps.
Gretna Glen in Lebanon has welcomed limited gatherings of individuals and families for fellowship and activities, while practicing safety protocols. Meanwhile, Carson-Simpson Farm in Hatboro, Innabah in Spring City, and Pocono Plateau in Cresco have offered creative, camp-like adventures on their social media pages. And all of the camps have been blessed by supportive donors and volunteers showing up to perform much-needed labors of love. Read More
‘Many tears have been shed’
The four Camp & Retreat Centers spread across the Eastern PA Conference have made the painful decision to suspend onsite summer camp this year, which was to begin in June. That action was taken Friday, May 29, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and severely restrictive guidelines to ensure social distancing and other cautionary measures to protect campers and their families. Read More
The Conference Camping Board has hired Jonathan Curtis as Carson Simpson Farm Christian Center’s new Director, after a lengthy search. Curtis grew up locally in Warminster, and his wife Jessica was raised in Berks County. They met as students at West Chester University, and they have two children, Charlotte (6) and Benjamin (3). Both are “committed to serving Jesus Christ by making disciples through Christian camping.”
Jon has been a teacher of at-risk youth for the past 6 years, and Jessica is a nurse in Philadelphia. “Their family is eager and energized for this new journey to serve children and youth and glorify God,” said Camping Board officials. “We are excited to pass the torch and look forward to all that God will do at Carson Simpson Farm through Jonathan and Jessica,” said Ray and Meg Neitz, who recently retired after running the camp for more than two decades. Ray will remain as camp maintenance manager, and both will assist Curtis and his staff in transitioning the camp to new leadership.