BC Camping Conference: A ‘Linked Conference’ co-sponsored by the BCCA and FCC
far as we know, the BC Camping Conference (BCCC) is unique in North
America. It is a ‘linked conference,’ co-sponsored by the Fellowship of
Christian Camps (FCC-BC) and the BC Camps Association (BCCA). The two
organizations work together to create one event that serves the unique needs of
first joint conferences were held at Squeah (1995) and Kawkawa (1996). For a
variety of reasons, the two organizations did separate conferences again in
1997, but participants missed being together. Further discussion led to the
adoption of a new format format in 1998. The ‘linked conference’ has been very
successful, and over the years, the BCCC has grown to include up to 180
delegates from 50 camps.
the 1980’s, Christian Camping International (CCI-BC) ran a thriving annual
conference, but the BCCA Camping Conference was faltering. Just as it is today,
the majority of BC’s Christian camps were also members of BCCA. Because budgets
and time constraints are always tight, many camps felt that they couldn’t
afford the time and expense to participate in two conferences. For a variety of
reasons, a majority of those camps that were members of both organizations
chose to attend the CCI-BC event and pass on the BCCA event. The executive of
BCCA approached CCI-BC (now known as the FCC-BC) to see if the two
organizations could join forces.
much discussion and some trial and error, the idea of a ‘linked conference’ was
born. Today, two representatives from BCCA and two representatives from FCC
plus one representative from the host facility form the Conference Committee.
The first 36 hours of the conference is run by the BCCA (they pick the speaker,
set the content and hold their AGM) and the second 36 hours is run by the FCC
(they pick the speaker, set the content and hold their AGM). The workshop
tracks are organized by the committee, and except for a very small number of
sessions aimed specifically at topics for Christian camps (still the bulk of
the camps and delegates in attendance each year), the majority of the workshops
have no faith content.
this “linked” format, the BCCA serves its mandate and membership by providing
inspirational and thoughtful speakers to challenge and equip those serving at
their member camps (faith based or otherwise) while the FCC serves its mandate
and membership by providing speakers to encourage and strengthen the faith of
those serving at their member camps.
change in style and content after the first three plenary sessions is by
design, and it is understood to be a reflection of our decision to work
together in a linked conference format. Typically delegates will grab a coffee
and network if a particular session doesn’t interest them: there is always a
lot to process and new people to get to know!
have a great thing going between BCCA and FCC, and over the years we have built
strong relationships with one another.
Conference Committee looks forward to having you join us this year as we
celebrate camping in its various forms and work together to build vibrant and
professional camping industry in BC!
– Written by Paul