Friday, July 23, 2010

Making improvements.

What a busy day Wednesday was. After the committee agreed to move forward with the camp's fundraiser, I have hit the ground running with both feet.

First of all, I spent most of the day with two different camp directors, asking questions and getting a tour of each of their facilities. The first stop was made a Camp Maranatha in Scottsboro.

The guy over the camp, Gene Joiner, was very helpful and very passionate about his ministry there. He is very program-oriented and has really added some great things to the camp in the short time he has been there (just shy of two years). As a matter of fact, he told me that the camp finally turned a small profit last year.
He's installed several different youth activities including a climbing wall, a giant slip-n-slide, and there's soon to be a zip line. They have a great place and location as well . . . right on the water. They have a newer facility which is similar to a hotel, which he says stays booked.
I was more interested in seeing the cabins, which was the main reason for my visit. They used to have some very small cabins that he called hogans, but those are now used strictly for storage.

They did have several cabins, however, that are bigger and are used often.

The next place I went was the Marshall Baptist Retreat Center, in Guntersville.

The manager there, Phil Robeson, was very helpful and spent some time with me, even though he had one group that had just left, and two more groups coming in. Phil spent 25 years in the Park Service before the Lord led him to Marshall. This retreat area is also located right on the water, and has much to offer.

We toured the place and I was especially pleased with the set-up of the bunk houses. I believe this is something we can do -- Phil is going to try and find me a blueprint.

Both of these camps had an obstacle course for the kids to go through. I thought it was a great idea when I saw the one at Maranatha, but knew we could not afford the set-up they had. I was ready to discard the idea when Phil said he wanted to show me something. We took the golf cart (which would be nice to have), and drove around to an area tucked back into a corner. It consisted of a wall and some tires and a couple of things built from ropes. The light went on -- this would not be too expensive or difficult to build! I am on this.
I left around lunchtime, full of ideas and happy to have spent some time with these two gentlemen. Next I had a meeting with some local Christian businessmen, to see if they would be interested in making an investment into the camp. What I'd originally anticipated being a 15-minute meeting turned into two hours. I left that meeting feeling like I had really made a connection with one of the guys there. They both assured me they were on board.

Tuesday I had lunch with a couple of fine men from Christian Southern Archers (CSA) Ministries, who said they will bring out a crew to help with our fundraiser event. The Camp MACOBA Fall Jamboree is counting down. It is scheduled for Saturday, September 18th, from 8 am until noon. This is only the beginning -- there is much blood, sweat, and tears to go here; excitement does not begin to describe how I feel about this right now!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

VBS vs. Disaster Relief!

With so much going on lately, we had a close one out at the camp this past Tuesday! I had contacted Wayne Miller about having the Disaster Relief Team come out and cut up a couple of trees that an earlier storm had blown down near the pavilion.

Kay Howard, who has been doing the Hispanic VBS out at the camp, had told me (I thought) that they would not be out at the camp on Tuesday, as their own church (Winchester Road Baptist) would be having their VBS that Tuesday, and they would take the kids there.

Wayne had called me the night before and everything was set. I got out there early, made some coffee for the guys, and awaited the arrival of the Disaster Relief Team. And who shows up bright and early? Kay! I apologized for the miscommunication on my part.

Just as she gets everything set up and leaves to pick up the kids, the team arrives! They had a great bunch of men on this outing and they made quick work of all the downed trees.

Let's see, working this particular project were Wayne Miller, Wells Johnson, Bob Dougan, Gordan Raney, Al Drost, and Forrest Callicut.

About four different churches were represented and one of the guys even took off from work to be out there. They did a great job.

I think Kay moved game time around to the beginning and the disaster relief guys were finished before the next Bible study session started, so everything worked out fine in the end.

Wells told me bits of a story about how he was involved with the camp back when the ponds were put in. I'll do a follow-up entry on this at a later date.