Interim Director of Outdoor Ministries

Melinda Trotti

Melinda Trotti, the new Interim Director of Outdoor Ministries and Pilgrim Lodge, brings over 20 years of church camping and not-for-profit leadership experience to the Maine Conference. As a specialist in interim camp and retreat ministry, she has a proven record over the past decade in leading camp and retreat centers in Florida, California, Oregon, and Massachusetts through a successful and sustainable transition. She began her camping experience first as a Girl Scout camper and then in developing camp programs for children in the foster care system in Mississippi.

The approach that Melinda takes in a time of transition is to first listen and learn from those involved in the ministry. There is inherent freedom as an “outsider” to see and speak to interim situations from an objective viewpoint, bring experience from other sites around the country which have gone through similar transitions, and provide a solid setting for a new leader to take over when the transition ends.
Melinda approaches ministry as a collaborative leader, seeking the best out of the people with whom she works. She has taught personnel management for the United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministry certification program through Drew Theological School and has mentored many young leaders in the field throughout the U.S. She also brings a passion for justice and a Christian commitment to the poor and oppressed having served as both a community organizer and Director of Justice and Outreach Ministries for the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.

As a certified spiritual director, Melinda also focuses on self-awareness when working with staff and groups. She has a passion for the outdoors and the relationship between ecology and theology and the practice of stewardship of the land and all of creation. Having served in an Interim position in which she oversaw the $600,000 remodeling of a retreat center, she was able to utilize the knowledge she gained from both previous camping positions and her growing up in a family of contractors.

Melinda’s current home base is in Southern California where she lives with her husband, the Rev. David Berkey, and her dog Gouda who will be joining her for the summer at Pilgrim Lodge. She knows New England and the northeast well having received two masters degrees in Boston and Cambridge, the second a M.A. in theology from Episcopal Divinity School, and also as a settled Director at a United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center in the Hudson Valley of New York.

The Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ has been intentionally planning for the sustainable future of Pilgrim Lodge, and the hiring of Melinda Trotti as Interim Director is the next step in insuring that sustainability for generations to come. Melinda is familiar with the Pilgrim Lodge Sustainability Report, completed by Kaleidoscope Inc., a consulting firm for camp and retreat centers. This report was received in 2017 and is being used as guide for Pilgrim Lodge’s next steps. That report can be found here.

We welcome Melinda to Maine and pray for her, the staff, volunteers, and campers as they prepare for another exciting season at Pilgrim Lodge.

To contact: E-mail or call Pilgrim Lodge 207-724-3200 or by cell 310-773-6657.