Jacksonville and Orlando Church Visit and Debut of Preteen Camp Florida!
Last Sabbath I visited the Jacksonville, and Orlando, Florida, congregations. It was wonderful to meet so many of our brethren from the Sunshine State and to be reacquainted with others I have met in past years. Once again, the goodwill and kinship of God’s people was very evident as we interacted and shared common interests in God’s calling and truth.
Rick and Deborah Shabi were excellent hosts as I spent Friday and Saturday nights at their home. I also had the opportunity to have dinner with several key servants from the Orlando congregation.
Sunday morning I drove south from Orlando about 2½ hours where I joined in with around 80 Camp Florida staff members and young campers for the opening day of our brand new preteen camp in Lake Placid, Florida. Jeff and Alisa Lockhart, camp directors, were doing a great job with leading the way as others all pitched in to get everything up and running for the first time ever!
For the past several years quite a number from Florida had traveled all the way to Camp Nacome in Tennessee to give their preteen children a rewarding camp experience, and to also serve on staff. Because of having this new camp in south-central Florida, many miles and much time were saved not having to travel so far, and some children were attending a preteen camp for their very first time. Others were serving at a camp for their very first time and a few came as far away as Illinois and Michigan!
This new camp for United is on the shores of Lake Placid and it has many wonderful amenities for our children and staff to enjoy. I was only there at camp for about 24 hours, but in that short time I saw children laughing, smiling, and joyfully participating in Novelty Olympics. Pastor Chuck Smith gave a rousing Christian Living class on the very animated theme of “Anchored to God.” Children participated in one of the best low ropes challenge courses I’ve seen. Archery, arts and crafts class, human foosball, a very popular giant slip-and-slide class and water sports were also classes I enjoyed watching and even managed to go down the slip-and-slide once!
Regrettably, I had to leave before I could experience it all, but I am quite confident that everyone greatly enjoyed and benefitted from Camp Florida. Hopefully, this will be a venue many will be able to experience and enjoy for years to come!
Thank you again for your prayers for a very rewarding and enjoyable camp season for all our preteens and teens, as well as staff members who seem to enjoy camp just about as much as the kids do!
May you all have a very rewarding Sabbath and weekend!