A message from our new Executive Director

Dear Friends,

It is an honor to have been selected as the new Executive Director for ECCC. Although I’ve been working for the organization for the last several months, I’m looking forward to working in a new capacity, collaborating with you to further outdoor ministries in The Episcopal Church and beyond. I’m passionate about working for social and environmental justice and to have the opportunity to support camps in becoming more inclusive, doing the work of creation care, and raising up diverse leadership.

As a former ECCC board member and center Executive Director, I had the privilege of working with both Peter Bergstrom and Bill Slocumb. Peter and Bill both helped build ECCC into what it is today, an essential ministry of The Episcopal Church. ECCC will continue to build upon this legacy, working alongside our board members, stellar staff member, Ashley, and our Episcopal and ecumenical Partners.

The Board and I aim to increase our capacity to provide the necessary advocacy, education and development to further our mission of sustaining and enhancing the ministry of all camps and conference centers of the Episcopal Church. I’m excited about what our future work together will bring.

Yours Faithfully,

Patty Olson-Lindsey
Executive Director


Announcing ECCC's New Executive Director

Dear ECCC Membership,

After several months of careful planning and discernment, the transition committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce that we have appointed the next Executive Director of Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers, Patty Olson-Lindsey.

Patty has served as Executive Director of Ascension School Camp & Conference Center and Episcopal Service Corps, on the ECCC Board of Directors as Conference Program Chair and Secretary, and most recently as ECCC's Acting Director. She brings deep experience and passion to this position, the organization, and its community. Patty will begin serving as Executive Director on May 1, be based in Cove, Oregon in the Diocese of Eastern Oregon and can be reached at director@episcopalccc.org. 

When we embarked on this transition in late 2018, we committed to an intentional and thorough process. We are grateful to all of the applicants, to the final candidates, to those who served on the transition committee, and to you for your prayers and trust. 

With gratitude,  

The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior and Eleanor Reeves
Search Committee Chair and Board President


In Memoriam: Peter Bergstrom (1946-2018)

It is with great sadness that we share that Peter Bergstrom, founding member of Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers, its Executive Director for nine years, and Executive Director of Camp Stevens for forty, died on Christmas Eve.

Peter was the 2012 recipient of ECCC's Hero of Camping Ministry award, a visionary and empowering leader of camping and retreat ministries, an advocate for our outdoor places, an incredible mentor, curious traveler, supportive friend, and wonderful partner to Vicki.

If you wish to send a card, the address is 1038 Orchard Lane, Julian, CA 92036. In lieu of flowers, donations to any of the following would support work that was close to Peter's heart: Camp Stevens, Volcan Mountain Preserve Foundation, and James Hubbell's Ilan-Lael Foundation.


Peter Lodge Bergstrom

A person of boundless curiosity and joy in exploration, Peter Bergstrom was equally inspired by nature and by his fellow humans. As directors for 40 years of Camp Stevens Episcopal Camp and Conference Center in Julian, CA, he and his wife Vicki created what they called “a peaceful place apart” where people from all over the world could come to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and experience a sense of community with others.

After attending UC Santa Barbara in the late 60’s, Peter joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in Chicago, where he met Vicki when the volunteers were all recalled to the downtown YMCA during rioting in the aftermath of Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination. Thrown together in this time of upheaval, they became engaged within six weeks of meeting, and were married on September 2, 1968—Peter’s 22nd birthday.

As a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, he, along with Vicki, did two years of alternative service with the Church of the Brethren Volunteer Service in Germany and in Greece working on projects furthering international relations and youth development. After returning to the US, Peter completed his degree in Anthropology at UCSB in 1972, and while there saw a job posting for a camp executive director position in the small town of Julian. He and Vicki decided to try it out for “a year or two” and the rest, as they say, is history.

During his time at Camp Stevens, Peter developed a wide variety of programs, from the “adventure group” style of summer camp, to Outdoor Education for school groups, to adult retreats. Wilderness exploration trips to Baja and the Sierras, international travel for students and adults, and recruitment of staff from many countries added to the richness of the Camp Stevens experience.

His efforts also expanded the area of the camp, preserving an additional 200 acres of wilderness for future generations of campers. Several new buildings were constructed and older ones modernized, and after the Angel Fire of 2007, which destroyed twelve structures, he gathered support to further rebuild and improve.

Broadening his interest and influence in the world of camping, Peter was a founding member of the Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers organization, and later served as its Executive Director for nine years until his retirement in 2015. He was also a leader in environmental stewardship within the Episcopal Church, and in recognition of his service he was named an Honorary Canon of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Camp Stevens was also designated a Jubilee Center by the Diocese of San Diego, for its “extraordinary transformational efforts” within the community.

Peter was also a dedicated citizen of the town of Julian, serving on the school board and helping to organize the Julian Wild & Scenic Film Festival among other community events. Most far-reaching was the founding of the Volcan Mountain Foundation in 1987, which to date has helped to preserve more than 30,000 acres of land as the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve.

In his free time, Peter was always out exploring the world—planning trips overseas with friends and family, fishing and hunting throughout Baja and California, and having adventures with his children, Jenne and Erik. He had a lifelong interest in progressive politics and activism, and worked on many campaigns from local to national, most recently as a founding member of the Julian chapter of the Indivisible movement.

His many friends and colleagues remember his warmth, compassion and generosity, his love of great conversations and good food, his dry sense of humor, and most especially his uninhibited joy in singing and dancing. Peter died after a long series of illnesses, surrounded by his family, in a beautiful place that he loved. He would have liked to have more time to explore this world, but his favorite thing was always a new adventure, and as Peter Pan said, “to die will be an awfully big adventure.”

Peter Bergstrom is survived by his wife, Vicki Bergstrom, his children Jenne Bergstrom and Erik Bergstrom, his daughter-in-law Erin Pitts, and his brother Kip Bergstrom and sister Robin McCormick.



Staffing Update -- December 2018

Dear ECCC Members,

The Board of Directors of ECCC is committed to carry out our mission to sustain and enhance the ministry of all camps and conference centers of the Episcopal Church. After months-long work, we have begun a management restructuring that will aim to strengthen ECCC for the future. Change is never easy and is not taken lightly or without extreme care. Any change is only addressed through living into our mission.

Today, we thank Bill Slocumb, Director, for his commitment to ECCC. He has been an important part and strong advocate of the mission of this organization. He supported Peter Bergstrom, former Executive Director, as the organization expanded and offered more services to the membership. When Peter retired and Bill became Director, Bill ensured that the level of services offered by ECCC continued. I am thankful to Bill for his service, passion and dedication. The position of Director will no longer be part of our organizational structure and Bill will leave the organization at the end of December.

The board has determined it is time again to have an Executive Director; a strategic leader to further the mission of ECCC who can lead us in visioning for the future. Soon, the board will conduct a nationwide search for an Executive Director and we will send that announcement and job description to you. As of December 12, Patty Olson-Lindsey, former Executive Director of Ascension School in the Diocese of Eastern Oregon, has agreed to be our Acting Director for six months or until the search is complete. Ashley Graham-Wilcox remains as Director of Communications. Patty can be reached at director@episcopalccc.org or (541) 280-2505. I am also available at jack@bishopsranch.org or (707) 433-2440 x105.

As our core values direct us, we will continue to nurture, foster, strengthen, and advocate for all camp and conference center ministries within the Episcopal Church. I ask that you keep Bill and ECCC in your prayers during this transition. We count on your continuing support.

In Peace, 

Jack Dowling 
President, ECCC Board of Directors

The Update: With You on Your Journey