2020 Conference Session: Preparing for the Worst (Panel)

Hurricanes, wildfires, flooding…most of our centers are susceptible to some kind of natural disaster. This panel will help you be prepared as possible, with insight from folks who have been through it, and the lessons they learned.

Penn Perry, Executive Director of the Trinity Center in North Carolina, will speak specifically to their experience with Hurricane Florence, including working with local agencies, and lessons from the aftermath (insurance coverage, demolition, rebuilding, recovery).

John Horton, retired Administration Director of Camp Stevens in California, will discuss the fire that destroyed a dozen buildings and damaged nearly a hundred acres in 2009, including protocols that worked, and the road to recovery.


John Horton served at Camp Stevens in the Dioceses of Los Angeles and San Diego for 42 years, beginning his career there the day that he graduated from college. In one of his many roles at Camp Stevens, John oversaw the operational and administrative preparation for a disaster, several evacuations, and the recovery from a forest fire that claimed 12 buildings and impacted 80+ acres of land in 2007. John retired from Camp Stevens in 2017.

Penn Perry has been Executive Director of Trinity Center since 2007. Penn spent his undergraduate and graduate degree summers working at Camp Trinity, the residential summer camping program of the Diocese of East Carolina and Trinity Center. In 2001, Penn became the full-time Director of Camp Trinity and Episcopal Youth Coordinator at Trinity Center. He served in that capacity from 2001-2006 before accepting the position of Trinity Center Executive Director in 2007. Penn is a firm believer in the many benefits of residential community-based programming, and he advocates for all children to have access to the various programs of Trinity Center. He also believes deeply in the many retreating experiences that Trinity Center can provide all people. Penn feels that Trinity Center’s emphasis on community and interpersonal connection makes its retreat experiences unique and powerful. Penn anticipates the challenges of maintaining and eventually expanding the many ministries of Trinity Center, and he is dedicated to protecting this fragile environment of natural beauty and spiritual access for all who come to partake of it. Penn’s passions are movies, music, literature, and poetry, as well as spending quality time with his family.

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