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The Bulletin - Summer 2021

The Encouragement Circle (TEC) seeks to unite individuals who have demonstrated leadership, a high level of involvement, and a passion for the ministry of the Christian Camp and Conference Association. We aim to offer fellowship and updates to its participants and provide opportunities to help support and encourage the current leaders of the Christian Camp and Conference Association. 

Twice a year TEC will send The Encourager to keep everyone updated on events in the world of CCCA and beyond. We also hope to provide insights into a few of the members and fun facts about our shared heritage.  


These newsletters are designed to keep the TEC community connected between Zoom calls which we plan for January and September each year. 

Thanks for your years of service and for continuing to support the great work of CCCA. If you have a story to tell, a little-known fact to share, or an encouraging word to offer, please feel free to send submissions to or post to our new Facebook Group Page (more details below)

Interview with Gregg Hunter

Interview with Gregg Hunter

by Ed McDowell

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Recently I had the opportunity to ask Gregg Hunter, President of CCCA a few questions. It was a great exchange. Please enjoy the dialogue. 


ED: What is the CCCA Team hearing most from the CCCA Members? 

GREGG:  We are hearing hope and cautious optimism for the summer of 2021. There is still a lot of uncertainty about how this summer will play out, but there is hope. We are hearing about the need for God’s provision, mainly through donors, in a year with little or no revenue. And we are hearing typical, though more urgent, prayer requests for summer staff – especially males – which has been a consistent pattern over the last few years. The need just seems significantly more intense this year.

ED: What are some of the ways God has “showed up” for CCCA through this time of pandemic?  A surprising blessing.

GREGG:  With one exception, the CCCA team is intact and holding together well, praise the Lord. The surprising blessing is that we seem closer as a team now than before the pandemic because of the increased Zoom meetings together and the shared experience we’ve all gone through. A huge blessing that God has given CCCA is cash reserves that have allowed us to offer dues relief to members who had trouble paying their membership dues this year. It is evidence of His provision over many years, from my predecessors John Pearson and Bob Kobielush to current days. God also blessed us through a fantastic turnout for last year’s online experience, Resilient, in December. Approximately 1,500 registered for this event, which we were able to provide free of charge to members.

ED: Will there be a national conference this year?

ED:  What is the biggest challenge you think about in relationship to CCCA?

ED: What words of hope are you sharing with Camps these days?

ED: Didn’t you accept Christ at Camp? Tell us about it.


Did you know?

Christian Camping International traces its beginnings to a meeting of 13 camp / conference centre directors at Mount Hermon Conference Centre in California in November 1950. They were called together by Dr. Fulton Lytle, the host, and Dr. Walter Warkentin and Graham Tinning to discuss mutual concerns for Christ-centred camping.

Facebook Group

We have created a private Facebook Group for the use of our members. Click the link to join!


Purpose / Use:

  • Stay connected with each other in Christian Camping

  • Encourage people in Christian Camping

  • Not a place to sell services or resources.

  • A place to pray for each other.

Center Stage with Bob Kobielush

Center Stage with Bob Kobielush

by Steve Altick

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It was a simple question; just a way to start the conversation, but the answer was profound. In typical Bob Kobielush style, he took my question to a deeper level. “What are one or two of your greatest memories of your time at CCCA?” I asked. “I can’t take 35 years and compress it into a few moments. A person should not be confined or defined by one or two memories.” Bob replied.

OK. Was there an experience that was particularly satisfying about CCI that might sum up your 35 years?

“Well, don’t take this wrong.” Bob responded. “But it was driving away. As I left the office for the last time as the CEO and director, I thanked the Lord that I could leave the organization with a strong foundation for the future.” Bob paused and went on. “With the help of a great staff, the strength of a wise board, and the support of my unbelievable wife, JoAnn, we were able to provide a stable platform for the long-term success of CCCA.”

“What did that look like? What created that stability?”


Center Stage with John Pearson

Center Stage with John Pearson

by Stan White

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#1. What is your background in Christian camping (please include the years you were executive director of CCI/USA)?

I grew up in Seattle and my uncle, Cliff Gustafson, was the executive director of Lake Retreat Baptist Camp. My four brothers and I helped my Dad make and donate wood rowboats for the camp (in our basement), so the camp invited me to attend junior boys camp a year earlier than my age allowed. Later I memorized verses in Sunday school to earn “camp stamps” for my savings book.


I was at Lake Retreat Baptist Camp every summer from third grade through college graduation. I was on staff starting in the summer before my ninth grade year. (In high school, I also enjoyed a week at Young Life’s Malibu Club in British Columbia.) At Lake Retreat, I washed dishes, was sports and music director, then program director my last two summers. I also served as:

·        Camp Director, Camp Hickory (Illinois) – 1968 to 1974

·        Executive Director, SAMBICA (Washington) – 1974 to 1979

·        Executive Director, CCI/USA (Illinois) – 1979 to 1990


#2. What is your fondest memory of your tenure as executive director of CCI/USA?

Whew! Just one? At sectional and regional gatherings over those 11 years, I visited dozens and dozens of camps and was stunned with the diversity and creativity of camps and conference centers—many with unique regional/cultural flavors—and visionary leaders with oozing evangelistic gifts. It was a huge privilege to represent CCI/USA at international gatherings in Latin America, Asia, Canada, and probably our favorite trip (for many reasons) to CCI/United Kingdom and then on to CCI/Southern Africa in August 1987. Here is an excerpt from my favorite:

Willard Heck embodied that unique founder spirit we’ve talked about in recent months. In 1958, he and his partner bought almost 1,000 acres in northeast Oklahoma and founded New Life Ranch, a nondenominational Christian camp. (You can read more about Reverend Heck’s vision on the New Life Ranch website or in the camp’s Wikipedia article.) .............(cont.)


#3. What ways have you found to give back to the larger body of Christian camping?

#4. What is the biggest change you have seen in camp and conference ministry since you first became involved?


Worldwide Circle

Worldwide Circle with Norman Doney

by Dan Bolin

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Norman Doney is new to his role as International Director of Christian Camping International, but not new to the world of Christian camping or the fellowship of the international Christian camping family. Norman founded Christian Youth Enterprises Sailing Centre. CYE is a camp ministry in the UK that utilizes a converted naval vessel for its water-sports oriented youth camp. Norman has also been active for decades helping camping ministries in Europe and around the world. 

In a recent Zoom conversation, I asked Norman how the CCI world is responding to the challenges of Covid. As expected, Norman relayed that things are tough around the world. Some camps have suspended operations, laid off staff, and are struggling to survive. However, I was delighted to hear the flipside of the picture.


Three things stood out. 

ONE  CCI leaders are resilient. They are adjusting, creating new ministry models, and continually relying on God’s faithfulness during the pandemic.  

TWO  Four worldwide initiatives have brought the international Christian camping family closer together.   (continued.....)

Facebook Group

We have created a private Facebook Group for the use of our members. Click the link to join!


Purpose / Use:

  • Stay connected with each other in Christian Camping

  • Encourage people in Christian Camping

  • Not a place to sell services or resources.

  • A place to pray for each other.

Current Membership

Click the link below to access our current membership list. If you would like a more detailed contact list of our membership, please contact Lori Price. We ask that all membership information be used solely for the purpose of personal communication and not to be used for other mailing lists or promotional purposes. 

Give Membership Dues

As of Jun 21, 2021 CCCA has received donations for membership fees from 31 members totaling $8,500.


The plan is to use this year's donations for enrichment during the upcoming in-person CCCA Board Meeting in September 2021 as well as other needs to support member camps. There will be a more detailed accounting of the funds during the Zoom Call September 29.


Please see the link below if you have not had a chance to pay your membership fee.

New Members

Feel free to forward this newsletter to others who might be interested in joining TEC.

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