Associate Director of Camping and Retreat Ministries
Yarde is a graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Outdoor Recreation and a master’s degree in Natural Resource Agency Management. He also holds a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from the IU Center on Philanthropy. He will serve in the area of the conference’s Connectional Ministries under the direction of Bushfield.
Yarde first came to camping at Camp Rivervale near Mitchell where he served from 1990 to 1993. He moved to Camp Indi-Co-So near Springville, for a season (1993-94) before settling at Camp Lakewood near Wolcottville (1994-2001). At Lakewood, he oversaw a period of construction that culminated in the raising of the new, timber-framed dining hall while seeing the site through growth in retreats and summer program which increased more than 50 percent in the number of campers.
Yarde and his wife, Nanette, reside in Huntington County where they are members of Mt. Etna United Methodist Church. They have three children: Zach, a sophomore at Huntington University; Jonathon, a freshman at Purdue University; and Leslie, a home schooled sophomore in high school.
Upon his selection to lead in conference camping, Yarde said, “This is the opportunity to continue to ‘make disciples for the transformation of the World’ that is really exciting to me. I don’t know of any tool of the church that holds more promise and delivers more current impact than camp ministry. Together, we now have more resources and a shared geography to really push forward.
“We have a new powerful and skilled camping board, a broader geography and variety of sites, probably the single best collection of camp staff in the country, a very deep and strong history, a very effective current program. We have just started construction on new facilities at Epworth Forest (Conference Center in North Webster), and we have 1,200 supporting churches whom we are anxious to serve. What an amazing opportunity for Kingdom impact. I am blessed to have this opportunity.”