Camp Johnsonburg Hires New Director


Camp Johnsonburg Hires New Director

JOHNSONBURG, NJ – Presbyterian Camp and Conferences, Inc. (a.k.a. Camp Johnsonburg) is pleased to announce the hiring of Elise Bates Russell to the position of Director of Presbyterian Camp and Conferences, Inc., effective Monday, October 21, 2013.

In her new position, Elise will be responsible for leading, motivating, developing, and supporting a ministry team that cares passionately about providing far-reaching hospitality, high-quality programming for all ages, and efficient administration. Together with the Board of trustees, she will discern and develop a vision for the camp that capitalizes on its unique strengths and potential, in conversation with the Associate Director, the staff and Camp’s enthusiastic and diverse community of campers, alumni and supporters. She will work to strengthen the financial health of Johnsonburg through aggressive development strategies, engagement with the seven presbyteries, sound fiscal management and a focus on increasing the year-round use of our facilities. She will also work to provide “big-picture” oversight and management of camp property including land, facilities, improvements, and maintenance. Johnsonburg’s current Interim Executive Director, Rev. Karen Brostrom-O’Brien, will extend her contract with Camp until October 31, 2013 in order to provide an overlap of leadership and the exchange of knowledge.

Elise enjoys all aspects of God’s ministry in the outdoors, but her passions include leadership development, nature exploration, wilderness trips and sustainable architectural design. This has grown out of a lifetime (almost!) of living and working at Presbyterian camps in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Michigan and Minnesota. One of her favorite quotes shared by a camper is: “I just like to hike in the woods to be near God.” Elise couldn’t agree more, affirming the power of outdoor ministry as a vital part of Christian education and faith formation for all ages.

She is a proud alumna of the College of Wooster and has a Masters in Architecture from the University of Michigan. She is part of the consultant team for Run River Enterprises and currently serves as president of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA), an organization serving camps and conference centers across the United States and Canada.

Along with her husband Rick and daughters Anna, Elizabeth and Sophie, Elise likes to travel, be outside, read, visit museums and historical sites, run, create and try new things. They are excited to become part of the Johnsonburg family!

Please join us in welcoming Elise and her family to the Camp Johnsonburg community. Please pray for them as Elise accepts this new call and her family faces the many changes that come with that. Also, please keep Rev. Karen Brostrom-O’Brien in your prayers as she discerns where God is calling her next.

Thank you for your continued support of Camp Johnsonburg and its mission. We hope you will look forward to more news regarding this transition in the months to come and celebrate with us what a wonderful ministry we all share through the Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center at Johnsonburg.

For continued updates and additional information please visit our website at For access to the previous Press Releases from the Board of Trustees, visit the Blog section of our website.

Please direct any questions to the board email address,


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