A group of Christian camp directors recently held a meeting at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega to seek support and encouragement from each other in the age of COVID-19, according to a news release.
“A camp director’s job is unique in that it has all the challenges of managing a business, but also has added challenges common to ministries or churches. Business decisions can’t be dealt with simply considering financial concerns, but the ministry side must be taken into consideration,” according to the release.
Kevin Perrigan of Carson Springs Conference Center and Jimmy Tucker of Linden Valley Baptist Conference Center, both in Tennessee; Lance Howerton of Crossing Ministries in Kentucky; Jeff Yant of Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Florida; Josh Bumbardner of Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center in Louisiana and Will Fisher of Pineywoods Camp in Texas all came to Talladega as the guest of Shocco Springs Executive Director Russell Klinner.
This group was also able to have a Zoom meeting with a representative from the Association of Camp Nurses to discuss vaccines for staff, risks for campers and more ways to social distance.
“During 2020, a few camp directors began reaching out to each other from across the southeast asking for and offering advice and encouragement,” according to the release. “Eventually, a few of them began having periodic video group meetings every month or two, just to keep in touch and receive inspiration from within their small network.”
“The weekend was basically information sharing,” Klinner said. "We treated the directors to a campus tour and discussed donors and donor development, handling finances, challenges of hiring a staff, and even shared advice on software.”
Many camps suffered devastating losses in the wake of the pandemic, and some of them may not ever recover, according to the release. Although Shocco Springs had to deal with guest cancellations that exceeded 80 percent, but they are expected to recover “due to God’s provision through the wise planning and organizational leadership over the past 70 years … Klinner and his management team worked relentlessly to cut expenses and think outside the box for new ways to promote … amenities that Shocco has to offer.”