Outdoor Ministries

Outdoor Ministries are the programs that are offered though the New Hampshire Conference Outdoor Ministry Board. While many of these programs take place at our site (Horton Center), they also can and do occur at many different sites. Each of these programs is planned, run and evaluated by both seasonal staff and year round staff and volunteers. The mission of our Outdoor Ministry program is to invite all God's children to experience Christian community in the natural world.

Horton Center is the Outdoor Ministry site owned and operated by the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ. Horton Center is a seasonal site, located on Pine Mountain in the Northern part of the White Mountains, just outside Gorham, NH. During the summer months, we operate a program for children, youth and families. In the non-summer, warmer months (May- June and Aug - October) the facility is available to rent for church groups, colleges, schools, or other groups whose mission is in line with our mission.

Outdoor Ministries Sunday Resources - May 2019

Hello Pastors and Church Leaders!

Happy spring!  It’s time to think about summer and getting up to Horton Center! To help that to happen we are providing materials to support you in having an Outdoor Ministry Sunday and highlighting Horton Center, our beautiful camp on Pine Mountain near Gorham, NH!

 4 Bulletin inserts to highlight different age camps - one for each Sunday in May

A video about Horton Center to inspire folks to go there!

A poster to put up near the HC Brochure, with different roles at camp folks could do.

A Litany for Outdoor Ministry

A worship service from the Outdoor Ministry Group (OMG) -Use whatever parts you want!

2018 Camper Certificate template (make one for each 2018 camper to present in church) 

A Guided meditation tour of Horton Center (to use during worship)

Song suggestions

Shalom Circle  - In the tradition of Horton Center, invite the congregation to make a circle in the sanctuary, holding hands, and sing the Shalom Song.

Celebration Ideas

  • Present certificates to all campers who attended Horton Center last summer during worship.
  • Ask campers or a HC person from your midst to share a highlight, story, testimonial, or song.
  • Share what makes Horton Center so special: We love God, our neighbor, ourselves, and the environment more with each fun activity and challenge. It’s something that has to be experienced.
  • Share our 4-minute video, “Come to Horton Center!” with your congregation.
  • Include the Outdoor Ministry Litany in your service, or write your own.
  • Wear Horton Center T-shirts, backpacks, or hats.
  • Ask campers to sing a camp grace at coffee hour before serving lemonade and cookies.
  • Pass out Summer 2019 brochures and invite new families to register.
  • Announce Open House is Saturday, June 8, 11 am - 4 pm.  Bring up a van-load for the day!

Have a great short video of your celebration? Share your Horton Center Sunday videos with us (send to thughes@nhcucc.org)!  The best will be posted to our YouTube channel!

Horton Center Listening Sessions with the Conference Minister
Conference Minister Rev. Gordon Rankin held five listening sessions to share stories of Horton Center's past, share updates about its present, and to collectively dream about its future.  Those sessions were as follows:

Wednesday, February 27th (6:30 - 8:00 pm)
The First Church Nashua
Congregational, United Church of Christ

Monday, March 11th  (6:30 - 8:00 pm)
Community Church of Durham, UCC
Monday, April 1st  (6:30 - 8:00 pm)
First Church of Christ, Congregational, UCC
North Conway
Thursday, April 11th  (6:30 - 8:00 pm)
Congregational Church, West Lebanon
Thursday, May 2nd  (6:30 - 8:00 pm)
The United Church of Christ in Keene

Registration is Now Open for the 2019 Summer Camp Season at Horton Center
(January 15, 2019)

Download the Summer Camp Brochure or visit the registration site.

2019 Horton Center Summer Season
(November 2018)

Right now we are looking for great, enthusiastic, caring adults to be deans, counselors and staff members for the 2019 Horton Center Summer Season!

If you, or someone you know, loves working with kids, loves to be outdoors, loves God, and can spend some time away from regular life, then please contact Tim Hughes, Acting Director, Horton Center, at thughes@nhcucc.org or 603-545-9660.

See photos and drone footage of the summer/fall 2018 season at Horton Center:

Board Sets New Direction for Horton Center
(July 2018)

With input from two camping consultants (see below) and after extensive study and discussion, the Board of Directors had decided to collaborate with neighboring Conferences in outdoor ministries programming across various sites, including Horton Center. Read the full details in a letter from Board President Marcie Miller and Transitional Conference Minister Charles Buck.

United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR) Initial Assessment Ready for Review
(March 2018)      
In January we reported that the Conference Board of Directors had contracted with two professional consultants, Kaleidoscope and United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR), to provide assessments as part of a visioning and strategic planning process for Horton Center.

The preliminary assessment report from UCCR is now available.  

Download the report >>

Kaleidoscope Report
(February 2018)      
The preliminary assessment report from Kaleidoscope, Inc. was made available February 1, 2018.

Download the report >>

Horton Center Welcomes Tim Hughes are the new Acting Director

IMG_7907Tim Hughes officially began his work as Acting Director of Horton Center on January 16, 2018.  Mr. Hughes retired in 2015 after twelve years as the co-director (with his wife, Anne) of Silver Lake Conference Center in Connecticut. Prior to that, he served on the camp’s board of directors (as a member of the Connecticut Conference UCC Coordinating Council), and has been a long time member of the UCC’s Outdoor Ministries Association.

He brings to us his experience and skills in program and staff development, volunteer recruitment and training, and marketing and fundraising. We look forward to working with Tim on our mutual commitment  to making Horton Center “vital and viable”.

For more information about our summer camp go to www.hortoncenter.org/