By Katie ClineMCA


Last week, Laurelville had the privilege of hosting the Mennonite Camping Association Bi-National Conference. It truly was a joy to have camp and retreat center staff from the US and Canada journey to our place in the Laurel Highlands.  I had never been a part of an MCA event before but had a feeling it would be an amazing experience after meeting some of the same people at summer staff recruiting days.  I wasn’t disappointed!

Our week was filled with professional development, informative workshops, spiritual encouragement, peer group discussions, and much more.  I was particularly grateful for the chance to spend time with those who are also in programming.  Their willingness to welcome new people, share ideas, and offer support made me feel so uplifted and encouraged.

Another highlight was having Leonard Dow as our evening speaker.  He encouraged us to live a fruitful and unhurried life like Jesus, to take time to rest in Him.  When working in this type of ministry, it’s easy to give of ourselves constantly but not take time to care for ourselves or recharge.  Leonard challenged us to let the Holy Spirit lead us, to not always rush around for the sake of being busy.  His messages were very timely and meaningful for many of us.  As our summer season approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum.  By taking care of ourselves and letting the Lord lead us, we’re able to make a greater impact as individuals and organizations.


Leonard Dow

It was a fantastic week of refreshment for all of us, and I look forward to the next MCA gathering!  Thanks to the MCA board, the workshop presenters, and those who attended for making it such a fun and valuable week.  Also, thank you to AMSC, Church Insurance Specialists, Inc., Campwise, and Everence for sponsoring this event.


Laurelville is a Christian Retreat Center in the Laurel Highlands in Southwestern Pennsylvania.


Katie Cline is our Program Coordinator at Laurelville.