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

Horton Center Presents HC@church - August 2020

HC@church2Here is a brand new idea to bring a little bit of Horton Center to your youth at your church! We've created a remote program called HC@church designed especially for Youth Groups in local churches.

Download the promo flyer and brochure to learn more.


Horton Center Summer Sunday - August 9th

HC_Sunday_Aug_9_2020On Sunday, August 9th Horton Center is bringing worship to you in the comfort of your own home! We are looking forward to ending our successful summer season with you! Together with the Horton Center summer staff, deans, campers and Conference Minister Gordon Rankin, we have put together an awesome worship service full of camp-spirit and energy! If you have been to Horton Center one hundred times and long to see the views from the ledges again or if you've never been to Horton Center and are interested in seeing a bit of what camp is like, please join us. On Sunday, August 9th we will post the link to the worship service video on our social media accounts (FaceBook and Instagram).

Click on the flyer to learn more.

Andra Moran - July 12

Join singer and songwriter Andra Moran for a fun evening of music and sharing! Andra's song "Faith Equals Action" was a camper favorite at Horton Center last summer. Conference Minister Gordon Rankin brought the catchy song with powerful lyrics and super fun hand motions to campers during his weekly visits. Tivvi remembers sitting at her desk the days following Gordon's visits and watching groups of campers walking by the camp office window singing the song and doing the hand motions at least three times a day. Was it stuck in her head for the entire season? Absolutely. But she was never upset about it.

Andra Moran's songs hold deep and relevant meaning for each of us and we can't wait to hear more songs and stories from Andra!

If you missed it, watch a replay of this event at: https://youtu.be/FWsQvqUREk8

HC_at_home_logo Learn more by downloading the HC@home Information Packet (May 7, 2020)

Read a letter from your Camp Directors introducing HC@Home

Read a letter from Rev. Gordon Rankin, Conference Minister, providing an update on  Summer 2020 at Horton Center
(May 1, 2020)

Horton Center Camp Activities on Facebook

You can also experience a little bit of camp by visiting our Horton Center Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HortonCenter)  for Morning Watch, activities and the occasional live sing along.


Outdoor Ministries Sunday Resources 2020

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! We are recommending Outdoor Ministry Sunday be held on Transfiguration Sunday, February 23, 2020. We want to get the word out early about camp and love the idea of doing it at the same time we celebrate  Jesus' radiant transformation on the mountain.

Here are the resources for you to use whenever you decide to schedule your Outdoor Ministries Sunday for:

Four Bulletin inserts to highlight different age camps - to be used different weeks or all at once

Several videos 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 Sunday

A draft worship service highlighting Outdoor Ministry  - Use whatever parts you want!

Camper Certificate templates: PDF and .docx (print for each 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

  • During worship, present certificates to campers who attended Horton Center last summer
  • 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 one of our Horton Center videos 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 2020 brochures and invite new families to register.

Did you take photos or a great short video of your celebration? Share your Horton Center Sunday with us (send to thughes@nhcucc.org)! The best will be posted to our Facebook page!

Registration is Open for the 2020 Summer Camp Season at Horton Center

Check out all the 2020 camp sessions or visit the registration site.

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/