LAKELAND, FL – Mike Standifer, the current Director of the Warren W. Willis Camp, will serve as the part-time interim Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministry, according to the Board of Camp and Retreat Ministry (BCRM) for the Florida Conference. Standifer will assume the position on January 1, 2012, which became open when current Executive Director David Berkey accepted the Director of Camping position for the California-Pacific Annual Conference.
“I am excited about this opportunity,” said Standifer. “I’ve been on the Conference staff before, and am looking forward to strengthening the connections between our Camp and Retreat Ministry and the Conference as a whole.” During the 9-12 month interim period, Standifer will continue as Director of the Warren W. Willis Camp.
The BCRM held several work sessions to explore the best path forward to fill the vacancy. Alex Shanks, BCRM chair, held discussions with current site directors, as well as national-level camping leaders, other Conference leaders, and the Florida Conference Strategic Leadership Team. “We initially assumed we would hire another full-time Executive Director,” reflected Shanks. “As the conversations developed, this alternative emerged. It will provide solid interim leadership for our Camp and Retreat Ministry, and it supplies more time for the Strategic Leadership Team to complete its strategic planning process and to set clear priorities.”
Standifer joined the Conference staff as the Youth & Summer Camp Director in June 1993. During his 19 years overseeing summer camp at the Warren Willis Camp, participation has grown from 1200 campers in 1993 to over 3800 in 2011. Standifer demonstrated his leadership abilities in both program management and facility oversight when the BCRM merged those roles in 2005.
“One of the conference’s clear priorities for Camp and Retreat Ministry is the newly-begun construction on Barnett Lodge at WWW Camp,” stated Beth Fogle-Miller, Director of Connectional Ministry. “Whether as Director of WWW or as the Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministry, Mike’s top priority will be overseeing the Barnett Lodge improvements and working with the Bishop’s Capital Campaign, ‘For Kids and Camp.’
“There is a very strong staff in place at each site, including WWW, so the BCRM believes this is the best scenario for finishing the Barnett Lodge project before the next Summer Camp season begins,” she added. “Taking time for a search right now would have required a great deal of resources and focus, which we need to be directed to the construction project and the overall continued success of the ministry.”