Covenant Hills Camp News

Fun.  Faith.  Friends. It's all Here!



                      enewsletter vol 20        February 2012                                            
                       Check out the  camp website                     Share your news on   Like us on Facebook

off center camp stonedisc golf 2 weekly directors cabins
missisquoi chapel and cross garden bench     
Highlights In This Issue
Camp Brochure Info
Board of Directors Notes

Quick Links

Check out the NEUMC

Camps and Retreats 

Click below for the UCC Vermont Conference

Click below for the UCC VT Conference

Check out the
Camp Web Site: 




Click below to Register!  




Think of what our mission is when we leave camp as you read the words of Howard Thurman as he writes about what we have left to do after Christmas: 

"When the song of the angels is stilled, 
When the star in the sky is gone, 
When the kings and princes are home, 
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring
peace among people,

To make music in the heart." 

cross reflection in the pond


Join Our Mailing List

Click here to join our mailing list!

remembering special people from camp.......

in loving memory of
Joshua Connelly

Wanna See & Feel It?

Check out the Covenant Hills Video!  It will make you want to be there right now!
Click here to watch!


speaker's list

Do you have a few hours you can volunteer on behalf of the camp?  Can you speak passionately about something you believe in?  Do you like to meet new people and share your life experiences with them?  If you do, then being a part of the Speaker's List might be the spot for you.  Dave MacGowan, Board of Directors Chair, is putting together a team of volunteers who would like to speak to churches and organizations around Vermont about Covenant Hills.  Getting the word out and sharing experiences about camp is one of the greatest promotions we can have.  Word of mouth is often the most effective ways of spreading the good news about camp.  If you're interested in helping in this way, email Dave today!

aca logo
Covenant Hills Christian Camp is an accredited member of the American Camp Association (ACA). The ACA prescribes nearly 300 standards that a camp must maintain in order to be accredited.



If your church or organization would like to include a link that allows this newsletter to be included, copy and paste the URL address below in your publication.  This link will send your reader directly to this enews.  Each enews has a unique URL address (link) and will be published as part of the newsletter such as it is found here.   Spread the good news to everyone about Covenant Hills!!!

the answers

1. humble; 2. helping; 3. friend; 4. adoption; 5. recycle; 6. money; 7. senior; 8. respect; 9. environment; 10. vacation; 11. school; 12. holidays; 13. frosting; 14, greenthumb; 15. workwell; 16. library; 17. knit; 18. veterans; 19. fundraising; 20. tutor

The New England Conference

United Methodist Church

Executive Director Position 


Covenant Hills Christian Camp, a joint ministry of the United Church of Christ Vermont Conference and the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, is seeking an Executive Director.

The position of Executive Director for Covenant Hills Christian Camp is a year round part-time position: full time during the camp season and +/- 20 hours per week during the "off season." A job description and other position information are available by contacting the Rev. James McPhee at We are committed to working with qualified candidates (lay and clergy) to put together other part-time work possibilities and benefits.

In order to apply for the position of Executive Director for Covenant Hills Christian Camp, located in Cabot, Vermont, you must:

  1. Submit a letter of application;

  2. Provide a resume listing previous camping ministry, educational experience, and references; and

  3. If a United Methodist clergy-person serving under appointment, provide a letter from your District Superintendent indicating knowledge of this application.

All materials must be submitted by e-mail  
(please format letter of application
and resume in pdf files) 

to Rosemary McNulty in the UMC New England Conference Office ( no later than February 18, 2013.



1992 staff pic  

   Who will be the faces of the staff this summer??  It could be YOU!   Applications for the 2013 Camping Season for Staff Positions are currently being accepted.  If you have the skills needed and desire to spend your summer in a loving and giving Christian environment (and get paid besides!) then one of the following positions might be the right match for you:

Counselor Supervisor
Maintenance Staff
Counselors (male and female)
Lifeguards (male and female)
Kitchen Staff

   Applications for all positions should be sent to the camp Executive Director or via post to 96 Center Street, Richford, VT 05476.

   We are currently accepting applications for all positions including Counselor Supervisor, maintenance, counselors, lifeguards, kitchen.

   Covenant Hills Christian Camp is an equal opportunity employer.

Here's a fun puzzle to work on during a snowy winter Vermont night.  When you're done, write an email to the Executive Director and become a volunteer!  What a great way to spend a week of your time:  Sharing your talents and life experiences while helping camp in a unique and special way that only you can do.    

crossword puzzle

Running to Help Young People

Michael Jakob

       Michael Jakob has been an integral part of the Covenant Hills Staff since 2009, most recently as the Counselor Supervisor.  In his free time, you could often catch him running/training on Route US 2.  He is currently living in London and will be running the London Marathon in April 2013.  To this end, Michael is currently fundraising for a great charity called Centrepoint, which is the leading charity in the United Kingdom.  This charity supports homeless young people aged 16-25.  It provides a range of accommodation and additional support in health, education and life skills.  Its accommodation includes emergency night-shelters, short and long stay hostels, specialist projects for care leavers, ex-offenders, young single parents, foyers and supported flats and floating support services.  Additional support services include a designated health team and mental health team, specialist support to help young people back into education, training or employment, and the teaching of life skills, which encompasses everything from money management to cooking.  Centrepoint's former patron was Diana, Princess of Wales and its current Patron is her son, HRH The Dukemichael at camp of Cambridge. 

     Centrepoint is challenging Michael to raise approximately $3,000.  If you would like to contribute to this cause, you can do so through Michael's web site   The donations are made in English Sterling (pounds) which translates to one pound equaling approximately $1.50 USD.  The work Michael is doing is a wonderful example of the people who are associated with Covenant Hills Christian Camp. 

GOOD LUCK Michael!



   THANKS to the diligent work of the Promotions Committee under the capable leadership of Chair Bill Backhaus, the 2013 Camp Brochure is in the process being published and will soon be available!


     If you do not receive a copy, send Bill an email or write to the Executive Director.  Remember, there is now less than 6 months before camp!!!     



Our Mission Statement

a&c image cross

The mission of Covenant Hills Christian Camp is to provide experiences which enable people of all ages to grow in their awareness of and response to God as they live in Christian community and in harmony

with God's creation

a&c painting 


You are invited to experience an outdoor world of fun, joy and love. Here is the place to make new friends, grow, share, and live the Christian faith.** As an extension of the ministry of the local church, this Outdoor Ministry provides experiences so volunteers and campers may:

  • Find or renew their faith
  • Grow in relationship to God and others
  • Develop potential and build esteem
  • Experience God's grace and love
  • Share Christian love
  • Discover God's natural world
  • Integrate scripture with personal experience
Please contact us at
if you have additional questions or would like to schedule a camp tour.

A Christian life-style is modeled and no attempt is made to convert persons to any particular denomination.  


Thanks to everyone one who has provided information and help in making our newsletter available.  Be sure to forward it to a friend and spread the good news of Covenant Hills far and wide!!!   May all your days be as bright as the sun and hold the promise of the rainbow.         
 rain bow thanks
faith lodge
Board of Directors

Covenant Hills Christian Camp

2012 Annual Report

Covenant Hills Board of Directors

January 20, 2013


Mission Statement   


"The mission of Covenant Hills Christian Camp is to provide experiences which enable people of all ages to grow in their awareness of and response to God as they live in Christian community and in harmony with God's creation."


Covenant Hills continues to fulfill its mission with joy. Camper numbers were up in summer 2012, reversing a 10-year decline (complete numbers are available at the end of this report). A diverse set of camp offerings offered a range of experiences for all ages of campers. Our partnership with Camp Agape continues to provide opportunities for children with an incarcerated parent. Camp also partnered with Central Vermont Mission to host several mission groups in Vermont to help repair the damage caused by Hurricane Irene.  


Our Executive Director, Kelley Alderman, with Todd Marlow filling in for several weeks, provided strong leadership for our staff and welcome to campers and volunteers. The summer staff was excellent, enthusiastic and willing to take on many roles. Our registrar, Dora Klofach, continues her tireless work enrolling campers. Dora also applies for and receives federal subsidies for our summer food program. Volunteers of all types are vital to this mission: board members, weekly directors and counselors and maintenance helpers are just some of all who chip in to make camp go.


         The New England Conference UMC and the Vermont Conference UCC are the bedrock from which camp springs. Rev. James McPhee, Director of Connectional Ministries for the NEUMC, is the supervisor of our Executive Director, our prime contact with the New England conference, and a supporter of and advisor to camp. NEUMC provides significant financial support to Covenant Hills. The Vermont Conference UCC, through its Department of Christian Education, also provides significant annual funding. UMC and UCC churches are our network to recruit campers, volunteers, and additional financial support.


         The Board of Directors of Covenant Hills partners with the Executive Director to oversee the operations of the camp. The Board has had a busy year, to say the least. Board restructuring was undertaken this year under the guidance of Barb Lemmel, a member of the New England Parish Consultant Network. The result of restructuring was a better understanding of the role and practices of the Board, and a name change. The old "Executive Committee" has now become the Board of Directors. The "Executive Committee," had replaced the long time supervising group called the "Site" Committee" when Vermont moved from the Troy Conference UMC to the New England Conference UMC in 2008.  


The BOD and its sub-committees now look like this:


Board of Directors

David MacGowan, Chair

Rev. David Murphy, Secretary

Bill Backhaus, Chair, Promotions

David Blanshine, Chair, Site

Leslie Desrosiers, Chair, Program. Camp Agape liaision

Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer, Co-Chair, Governance

Vivian Marlow, Chair, Personnel

Rev. Kirk Thompson, Co-Chair, Governance

Laurie Chipman, Program

Lindsay Townsend, At-large




Governance       Personnel       Program       Promotions       Site


In 2012, Governance began the process of clarifying and formalizing the functions of the Board of Directors. Our Personnel committee hired the summer staff, reviewed their performance, and is currently in the process of hiring staff for summer 2013. The Program committee reviewed this past summers' program, designed this coming summer program, and working in conjunction with the Promotions committee, created and published the camp brochure. Aside from its role creating the brochure, the Promotions committee distributed the brochure, advertised, conducted church visits, and publishes a monthly camp newsletter. The Site Committee continues its vital role in opening, closing, and maintaining our beautiful site and buildings.


          After two years of steadfast service to camp, Kelley Alderman resigned this past fall. The Board has begun, in conjunction with the NEUMC, a search for a new Executive Director. The job description has been modified and the position will be advertised soon. Todd Marlow is serving as the interim Executive Director until the new ED is hired. The Board is also undergoing, along with the four other New England UMC Camp and Retreat Centers, a review of our mission and practices with the consultant group "Run River." This work will be concluded and recommendations made in the fall of 2013.


Financially, our ED continues to balance our annual budget. The Covenant Hills budget is composed of two parts: camper fees and financial support. In very approximate terms, only about half of the funds needed to operate camp are received from camper fees. The sub-cost pricing of our camps is intentional. We keep costs low to keep our experience available to all. Direct conference financial support, gifts from foundations, donations from churches and individuals, and thousands of hours of volunteer work fill the gap between what we charge and what it costs.


We are, and have been, concerned about our camper numbers. Our mission statement makes our goal clear, our capacity to host more campers exists, and therefore our goal is to fill the camp to capacity. The Board understands that reaching this goal requires a broad and sustained effort to connect with the two conferences, their churches, and their children. We invite and welcome all to join us to support and expand the vital mission of Covenant Hills. I would be happy to talk to you about how you can get involved. You can reach me with the contact information listed below. Thanks for reading!


Respectfully submitted,

Dave MacGowan



The chart below shows the annual camper visits for the past ten years, broken down by denomination.




 Year            CC        UMC        UMC/UCC        Total Campers


                               2012          61         102                2                    239

                               2011          69           69              10                    216

                               2010          65           74              10                    225

                               2009          90           77                6                    241

                               2008          77           85                1                    247

                               2007          99         108                5                    290

                               2006         122        101                9                    311

                               2005         128          87                5                    285

                               2004         146          95                8                    326

                               2003         162        136                4                    405