St. John’s has a long history associated with camping and outdoor ministries. Historically, St. John’s once owned a small campsite known as Salford Cabin, and there were once two camps within the UCC Pa. Southeast Conference, Camp Fernbrook and Mensch Mill. Our church camping opportunities continue today at Hartman Center, a UCC camp run by the Penn Central Conference of the UCC, about a 3 hour drive from St. John’s north west of Harrisburg and about 20 miles east of State College, Pa.
Hartman Center UCC Camp – The Sonshine Place, a Christian Retreat Center, United Church of Christ, PA Christian Camp, Milroy, Pa. (northwest of Harrisburg).
HARTMAN CENTER is the Outdoor Ministries facility owned and operated by Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ since 1964. Since 2013, this has become the official UCC camp for St. John’s and the Penn Southeast Conference. Programming includes retreats, conferences, workshops, dinner meetings, summer camps, and other events which, while designed for particular age levels and interests, are open to all persons without regard to race, creed, or ethnic origin, and who accept the guidelines and philosophy of the Center…
Affirming the Lordship of Christ…to provide opportunities for persons of all ages to:
- Grow in relationship to God
- Become a whole person by showing awareness of uniqueness and special gifts
- Develop trustful and responsible relationships with others
- Experience the joys of outdoor living
- Learn to manage the environment as faithful stewards of God’s creation
Located in the “Seven Mountains” area of central Pennsylvania, Hartman Center is comprised of 192 acres of open and wooded areas, with easy access to nearby streams, hiking trails, and state parks. It is located on Old US Highway 322, 10 miles north of Lewistown (70 miles from the Conference Center in Harrisburg) and about 20 miles southeast of State College. It is about a 3 hour drive from Lansdale.
Our St. John’s Associate Pastor Addie Stong has worked at Hartman Center for many summers and will be happy to give you more information about Hartman Center and the camping opportunities there! Click the link below to watch a promotional video about the Hartman Center produced in 2014 by St. John’s member John Hendricks for the camp.
Historical Notes: Mensch Mill (more to come)
For about 80 years camp Mensch Mill served as a camp, retreat and conference center for the Penn Southeast Conference, located in Barto, Berks County. The camp closed after the 2012 camping season and was sold by the PSEC in 2014. For those with memories of camping or attending conferences there, here is a video that was shown at the closing ceremonies at camp Mensch Mill in 2013, produced by St. John’s member and webmaster John Hendricks.Click to watch ‘Mensch Mill 2013: Honoring the Spirit’ (20 minutes) Below: St. John’s contributes to the building of a cabin at Mensch Mill – 1931.
Below: Sample Camp Mensch Mill Youth Summer Programs – 1972
Historical Notes – Camp Fernbrook (more to come)
Above: Article about St. John’s Youth Retreat at Camp Fernbrook 1960;
Below: Schedule for a Family Camp Weekend at Camp Fernbrook – 1966
Below: Sample Schedule for Youth programs at Camp Fernbrook 1972
Historical Notes – Salford Cabin
Salford Cabin was built in 1933 on land donated by member Harry Schultz. It was built primarily for our affiliated Boy Scout troop but was used by church members for many years. The cabin finally became too difficult to maintain (in a remote area) and was taken down many years ago. The property was recently sold in 2015.
Salford Cabin poster (year unknown); Cabin Committee; map (below)