Leadership transition announced at Barbara C. Harris Center

A leadership transition is underway at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in Greenfield, N.H.

John Koch File photo John Koch

The center’s board of directors announced on April 16 that longtime executive director John Koch will be leaving at the end of April to take a position at Bishop’s Ranch, a retreat and conference center in the Diocese of California.

“John has served at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center for more than 11 years with faithful leadership and good humor. We are very grateful for his many gifts that he shared with us and for all the knowledge, guidance and patience he has given to the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in both good times and tougher seasons.  He will be greatly missed when he leaves on April 30,” the board's announcement said.

Bishop Alan M. Gates of the Diocese of Massachusetts offered his gratitude for Koch’s ministry of hospitality. “For over a decade we have been richly blessed by John Koch’s dedicated service at the Barbara C. Harris Center. John has provided a precious combination of three dimensions of leadership:  keen knowledge and experience in the realm of facility management; deep interpersonal gifts for building a staff team and relating to all those who have been welcomed to both camp and conference center, from the Diocese of Massachusetts and beyond; and his own humble faith and grasp of how to reflect our Episcopal ethos in camp programming and stewardship.  We will miss John deeply!  We offer our undying gratitude, and our blessing upon his next chapter of service in California.”

Due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, an opportunity to offer appreciation for Koch and his ministry will be planned at a later date.  

The center's board also announced that it has invited the Rev. Deacon Helen and Rick Hargreaves to serve jointly as interim directors, arriving before Koch’s departure to ensure a smooth transition. They have experience as executive directors of Camp Mitchell in Arkansas and as interim directors for both Sandscrest Conference and Retreat Center in West Virginia and Cathedral Ridge Camp and Retreat Center in Colorado.  

“We are fortunate to have them help us through this time of transition and rebuilding as we begin our re-opening process following the pandemic closure,” the board said in its announcement. “With Helen and Rick in place, we will hold our summer family programs as planned, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center over the coming months.” 

Prevented by the pandemic from hosting groups since March 2020, the center announced in February its plans to re-open June 1 and to offer “Family Camp Weekends” instead of traditional overnight summer camp this summer.  Visit https://bchcenter.org/familycamp for Family Camp Weekends information and registration.