“It is with great delight that we announce the hiring of Eric Strommer as our Site Director at Crystal Conference Center,” stated Stewart Halstead, Director of Human Resources of United Camps Conferences and Retreats (UCCR). Strommer comes with extended experience in the inaugural season of UCCR operating Crystal Conference Center.
Strommer’s relationship with Crystal dates back more than 15 years as a camp counselor and medical officer. He became a member of the summer staff in 2011, as an Assistant Maintenance and Adventure Course Director for the COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) ropes course and climbing tower, moving up to being Director in the following years.
Strommer will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Crystal Conference Center during the summer months, hosting nine Michigan Disciples camps and retreats, as well as yoga retreats, family reunions, group conferences and meetings, weddings and other groups looking for an inviting event venue along the shores of Crystal Lake.
“We are doubly blessed with the selection of one of our own as Site Director at Crystal and beginning our new working relationship with UCCR as our property managers,” noted Eugene James, Michigan Disciples Regional Minister. “Eric comes with a breadth of knowledge and experience in the operation of the conference center and is well known by leaders and campers alike. We commend UCCR for this selection and look forward to the growth of our summer program and ministry on Crystal Lake,” he added.
Eric has been one of the Michigan Disciples volunteers who provided many weekends over the years to help maintain the conference center for the camp and outdoor ministry program, traveling from his home in Flint. And he has been a part of the group (Benzie Boys) who open up camp in late April and shut it down in October, as dictated by Northern Michigan weather.
“On my first visit as a college student I fell in love with Crystal,” Strommer explained, “and I’ve looked forward ever since to be a part of the camps and groups making use of this beautiful location. I knew, when I joined the summer staff, that I wanted to be part of Crystal and to make it a successful and dynamic place because it is such an amazing place. I’m excited to be working with UCCR who have high expectations and experience in making all their properties successful.”
Strommer has been an elementary school teacher and currently is part of the middle school STEM program of the Flint Community Schools. He was a Boy Scout leader for more than 20 years and has volunteered at various summer camps in Michigan and Massachusetts.
A native of The Berkshires region of Massachusetts, Eric earned a BA at Bethany College in West Virginia and an MS at Eastern Michigan University. He is married to Jennifer who is employed with the Grand Blanc Schools, and the father of two sons, Samuel (16) and Jack (13). The Strommers are members of Unity Christian Church, Swartz Creek, Michigan.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region, owners of Crystal Conference Center, have contracted with UCCR to manage the conference center from April to October each season.
United Camps Conferences and Retreats is a not-for-profit organization managing 15 properties across the USA, providing on-site management and staff, planning, reservations, financial and regulatory compliance, and marketing services. Their headquarters is located in Petaluma, CA.