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 northwest of Harrisburg, about 20 miles east of State College, Pa. Known as ‘The Sonshine Place’, it is the Christian Retreat Center of the United Church of Christ in Milroy, Pa.
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 beautiful “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 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 was once a camper there and then worked at Hartman Center for many summers as a counselor and chaplain, and will be happy to give you more information about Hartman Center and the camping opportunities there! Did you know – St. John’s has donated ‘scholarship’ money that may be available to help your St. John’s camper to afford a week at Hartman Center. Please speak with Pastors Sue or Addie for details. It is there for you to use, so please ask!
HISTORICAL NOTES – CAMP MENSCH MILL & CAMP FERNBROOK
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. The PSEC also had camping at Camp Fernbrook near Pottstown for many years.
HISTORICAL NOTES – SALFORD CABIN – OWNED BY ST. JOHN’S 1933 – 2015