The last 20 years have been full of God’s grace at Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center. We have witnessed incredible changes to the camp and its ministries: new and improved facilities, expanded programming for all ages, and innumerable stories of lives transformed by the Holy Spirit through outdoor ministries.
None of this would have been possible without the energy, vision, and leadership of Rich Swartwood. Rich’s passion for outdoor ministry is evident in the quality of staff who work alongside him, an irrepressible desire to always look to what is next, and his deep belief that children and adults discover the triune God in nature and through the church’s ministry in places like Pyoca. Rich and his family have been a blessing to the Presbyteries of Ohio Valley and Whitewater Valley, and the Body of Christ has truly been strengthened in his faithful service as executive director at Pyoca these two decades.
But, as we know from Ecclesiastes, there is season for everything, and a time for every matter under heaven. For Pyoca and for Rich, a new season is about to begin. Rich has been called to serve as the Executive Director of Clearwater Forest Camp and Retreat Center in Deerwood, Minnesota. Rich’s last day at Pyoca will be March 7, 2014, and he will begin his work at Clearwater Forest the following week. The Pyoca Advisory Council met with Rich today, and has begun the process of planning for this transition. While we are saddened to have to say goodbye to someone we have grown to love and respect, we also know that we are in a healthy and strong position as we look to a future guided by God’s abiding presence.
There will be several opportunities over the coming weeks for you to celebrate Rich and his family’s ministry with Pyoca including an Open House on March 1st at Pyoca. We hope you can share with Rich and Caroline our gratitude to God for all they has done in our collective lives. We will keep you informed of not only plans related to this time of transition in leadership, but also the excellent spring and summer programs which will take place this year at Pyoca. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us, as we are grateful for your ongoing support and prayers.
With a full and grateful heart,
Celebration of Rich’s Ministry
The Pyoca Advisory Council invites you to come and celebrate with Rich and his family at an Open House on Saturday, March 1 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Pyoca.
A Facebook event has been established for RSVP’s.