Category Archives: PYOCA

Float the Boat-a-thon

Float the boat-a-thon

Today (6/5/2018) is the day, Pyoca is hosting a micro-campaign to fund new kayaks and paddle boats for our waterfront just in time for summer campers to arrive. Our goal is to raise $5000 while our summer staffers canoe down the White River. Be sure to follow their Boat-a-thon progress on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

We have already $400 before breakfast. Our Counselors will begin their journey around 10am prayers for a safe trip.

You can contribute to the Boat-a-thon in two ways:

  1. Give online here and be sure to select the Boat-a-thon campaign, or
  2. Email your pledge to and mail a check to:
886 E County Rd. 100 S
Brownstown, IN 47220

Thank you for partnering in ministry with Pyoca and helping to make summer 2018 one of the best on record for our campers.

Mike Davis
Senior Director

Spring News from Pyoca

Grief, Camp, & Remembrance

Written by Acting Executive Director, Mike Davis.

Last weekend, in the midst of a very busy retreat weekend at camp, volunteers young and old from near and far descended on the Pyoca grounds. They carried with them garden implements of every type, plants purchased and plucked from their own yards, and heavy hearts.

Days of service and volunteer projects are a common occurrence at Pyoca, but Saturday was different. As always, we worked to give back to the place where our lives have been changed, but we also worked to honor the saints who have gone before us. They helped to create this place, encouraged us to go Pyoca as retreat guests and campers, and mentored us every step of the way…  Read the rest.

Beyond Belief: The Universe of God

A word from our new Program Director, Molly DeWitt, on this summer’s curriculum and program highlights.

This summer campers will be exploring the enormity of their faith, which inevitably comes with many questions. The daily themes explore: our intimate connection to God, the ability to believe in God’s mysterious and expansive nature, how we define truth, the need for hope, the abundance God has already given us, the call to speak out through our faith, and the ability of every camper to go out and change the world.

Week One Challenge & Transform campers will get to know this summer’s theme via our chapel keynote speaker, Tom Markey, a graduate of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and current youth director at John Knox Presbyterian Church. Tom will explore this summer’s themes each night in chapel and help campers uncover how they are connected in community.

Week Two campers will participate in all of the traditional aspects of camp, including a Talent Show, the Great Pyoca Relay, and much more!

Week Three campers will get to experience our annual Fourth of July celebration, including a spectacular fireworks show put on by our Acting Executive Director, Mike Davis. Be sure to get those camp registrations in soon to secure your spot! Register Now!

Pyoca Youth Conference

October 5th – 7th, 2018 This fall’s theme is: “Why Church?” Youth will explore why the church is relevant in their lives today and will hear the testimonies of young adults who continue to serve actively in the church in a variety of ways. This is a critical question many churches face as they seek to engage youth and young adults in their church communities. We hope to show all youth that the definition of church is much broader than they may imagine and the community that church offers is a vital part of a life of faith.Pyoca’s annual fall youth conference is open to all 7th-12th graders. More information to come at

2017 Pyoca Summer Camp

– The following is the text of the Pyoca Summer newsletter.

Friends of Pyoca,
We are in the midst of transitioning from an unforgettable, very successful summer camp season to a very busy and exciting fall retreat season. While there’s much to look forward to this fall as we have a full conference and retreat schedule, I’d like to say a few words looking back at Pyoca’s 2017 summer camp season.

2017 Summer Camp
We’ve had a fantastic 2017 camp season, ministering to 619 campers since the beginning of June!  That’s almost 100 more campers than last year!  With the theme ‘Branching Out,’ campers learned to reach out to others to deepen their relationships with God, friends, and family. Through bible study, small groups, worship, and activities, they deepened their faith and learned the importance of serving others in need.

We also introduced hunger relief as our service opportunity for our campers this summer. Over 200 hundred campers participated in packing almost 20,000 meals for those in need through the non-profit, Rise Against Hunger. Not only did campers pack meals for the hungry, but they learned about hunger awareness and how to continue to help our local communities and those around the world.

I would like to extend deep thanks to our wonderful staff and volunteers for their great leadership, making Pyoca a transformative and safe experience for our campers and families.

Pyoca High School Conference, Oct. 6-8, 2017
Join us for our third annual HS conference themed ‘Building Bridges’ featuring Rev. TC Anderson as the keynote speaker and worship leader!  Last year we had over 70 high schoolers from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky attend. Help us make it even bigger this year. More information can be found at:

On behalf of the Pyoca Advisory Council, staff, guests, volunteers, donors, and the whole Pyoca family, I want to thank you for your support of this life-changing ministry.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Dr. R. Jacob Hofmeister

Building Bridges image

Above: Inside the new yurts!
Below: A view of the entire finished project. Campers loved them this summer!


Building Bridges, Pyoca HS Conference

Building Bridges imageThis October 6-8, 2017, Pyoca Camp and Retreat Center in Brownstown, IN is hosting the third annual High School Conference, and we want you to join us!
Pyoca High School Conference is open to all high school youth grades 9 – 12 and their youth leaders/parents. Taking place October 6 – 8 this weekend ensures fellowship, fun, and growth.
Rev. TC Anderson will serve as our leadership for the weekend. TC will be delivering keynotes on the Theme: Building Bridges, and also leading us in worship and music.

Pyoca News: Spring 2017

The Pyoca Yurt Project:
$45,000 raised,
$15,000 still needed.
Please support our new cabins! (Click here to donate)

Friends of Pyoca,

This winter and spring have been busy at Pyoca with confirmation retreats, conferences, and summer camp planning. We’ve also broken ground on our new rustic yurt cabins!

2017 Summer Camp
Check out the Pyoca website for our 2017 summer camp schedule! Camps are filling up fast, so be sure to register soon!

The Pyoca Yurt Project
Construction is well underway for our new rustic yurt cabins! We’ve raised $45,000 so far and are looking to raise about $15,000 more to complete the project which includes 2 cabins that sleep 20 each, bathroom facilities, and large outdoor meeting space. To donate, visit our website or mail a check with ‘Yurt’ in the memo line. And we extend our deepest thanks to all those who’ve supported this capital project so far!

Pyoca Yurt Project: “Day of Service”
On Saturday, April 22, 2017, we are hosting a Day of Service at Pyoca to assemble our new cabins! Lodging is available and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP.

Pyoca Middle School Conference
On March 18-19, 2017, 21 middle schoolers joined 14 volunteers/staff for our first ever Pyoca Middle School Conference. Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks delivered the keynotes themed “Impact’ and Phillip Morgan lead inspiring worship on the piano. Look for this exciting new event next winter/early spring. With Kentucky and Ohio becoming more connected with Pyoca, we should see tremendous growth in programs like the Middle School Conference

2016 Annual Report
Based on income, 2016 was Pyoca’s most successful retreat season and second most successful summer camp season in our 65 year history! Take a look at the full annual report here:
2016 Pyoca Annual Report.

On behalf of the Pyoca Advisory Council, staff, guests, volunteers, donors, and the whole Pyoca family, I want to thank you for your support of this life-changing ministry.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Dr. R. Jacob Hofmeister

Pyoca Middle School Conference “Impact”

PYOCA Middle School ConferenceThis March, Pyoca is hosting its first annual Pyoca Middle School Conference, and we want you to join us!

Pyoca Middle School Conference is open to all middle school youth grades 5 -8 and their youth leaders/parents. Taking place March 18 – 19 this weekend ensures fellowship, fun, and Growth.

Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks and Phillip Morgan will serve as our leadership for the weekend. Amy Kim will be delivering keynotes on the Theme: Impact – Colliding with the boundless force of God’s love. She describes it below.

“Get ready for impact!  How do we recognize God in the midst of a broken world, school, family, friends and the mundane minutes of life?  Is God even there?  Let’s uncover what we can learn from wandering Israelite’s, imperfect people and a fisherman that impacts us even today.”

Phillip will be leading us in powerful music and worship and of course there are bound to be energizers!

For registration, schedule, and other information, go to the conference website.

October News from PYOCA

Friends of PYOCA,

This fall has been extremely busy at Pyoca which is great news! We’ve hosted many retreats including large church groups, high schools, and non-proft organizations. Many volunteer work groups have helped us continue to tear down the rustic cabins, spruce up the grounds, and deep cleen the facilities.  Without volunteers, Pyoca wouldn’t be able to offer its outstanding ministry programs at our current level. A big thanks to our volunteers!

Pyoca High School Conference
On Oct 7-9, 70 youth and 20 adult leaders/volunteers joined us for our second ever Pyoca High School Conference. Rev. Mihee Kim-Kort delivered the keynotes themed “This is My Story” and Rev. Jorge Sayago-Gonzalez lead inspiring worship. The keynotes and small group discussions delved into stories of Jesus being the light of the world, the good shepherd, the true vine, and the bread of life. On Saturday night, Jorge and the Louisville-based music outfit, Mundo Brew, played originals and covers, while conference attendees danced and sang, roasted marshmallows, and shared stories around the campfire.

One adult leader said this about the conference, “Our youth truly had a transformative experience. The entire ride back, as well as during our brief stop for lunch, the youth spent their time sharing story after story with me how much they enjoyed the conference. Their experience at PYOCA was one in which they were affirmed as individuals while also being challenged to push themselves outside of their typical comfort zones. They left feeling energized about their faith.”

The Pyoca Yurt Project Fundraiser
On Sept. 10, we had over 70 friends of Pyoca attend our Rustic Cabin Party.  Many shared stories and memories from the 65 summers these cabins were a part of Pyoca’s camp ministry. From the silent auction, we were able to raised over $3,200 for the new rustic yurt cabins! Thanks to all those who have donated and/or pledged.

2017 Summer Camp
Check out the Pyoca website for our 2017 summer camp schedule! Registration will go live in November so be sure to sign up soon!

Next month will mark my two year anniversary as executive director of Pyoca. I continue to be grateful everyday for this place and for Pyoca’s community. I appreciate your continued support of our ministry, our staff, and the whole Pyoca family.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Dr. R. Jacob Hofmeister