Grace Outside Hires New Program Director

tall teen boy and his mom on the beach near sunset

Grace Outside recently hired Allison Vitale as full-time program director for the Michigan-based camp and retreat ministry. The move represents a commitment to growing the spiritual experiences for summer campers and retreat guests at all the Grace Outside destinations.

“Having a year-round program director has been a goal for a long time, specifically since our strategic plan in 2020. In addition to hosting guest groups, we want to offer high-quality programs throughout the year at all our locations,” explained the Rev. David Berkey, Executive Director of Grace Outside. Grace Outside is the program ministry of Michigan Area United Methodist Camping. Lake Huron Retreat Center, Lake Michigan Family Campground and Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center are the three Grace Outside destinations.

“We’re very excited to have Allison on board,” David continued. “She brings a creative energy and depth of experience that people will really connect with. Under her leadership, Grace Outside will grow its slate of events, build a more consistent summer camp program and engage guests in spiritual growth.”

Allison comes to Grace Outside from First United Methodist Church – Brighton Campus where she served as Director of Student and Children’s Ministry since 2021. During this time, she led summer camp programs at Lake Michigan Family Campground as a volunteer. Prior to moving to Michigan, Allison worked in various capacities related to youth and education in churches and schools. She, her husband Rev. Jonathan Vitale, and their family spent four years as missionaries in Asia. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in biblical studies.

Allison shared, “Over the last couple of years, I was able to witness firsthand the transformational power of camp in the lives of children and youth from our church. This inspired me to see the potential in the camp experience to truly change lives.

“I’m so happy to share my love of camping and my faith through this dream job. I’m also excited to discover, encourage, and mentor leaders who will serve children and youth as volunteers or part of the intern program.”

adult volunteer talks with campers and counselors in the pavilion

 The program director will work remotely through the winter and spend the summer camp season at Wesley Woods. Learn more about the programs and ministry opportunities through Grace Outside by visiting