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‘Nomads’ give Blue Lake Methodist Camp facilities make over

One group of “Nomads” is working to help spruce up a “home away from home” for Blue Lake Methodist campers.

The group of Nomads, (Nomads on a Mission Active in Divine Service), and provides volunteer labor and tools for all sorts of projects, which include new construction remodeling, repairing and reconstruction at Methodist camps and other missions around the country.

For the last two weeks, four couples, Ruth and Jim Davidson of Indiana; Janet and Marshall Neill of Texas; Barbara and Gene Wengert of Wisconsin and Warren and Carolyn Walbert of North Carolina, have been working to get a fresh new coat of paint on some of the rooms at the camp, repairing portions of buildings with water damage and repainting the outside of the dining area at Blue Lake.

But, for the Nomads, the reward isn’t any fame or fortune –simply they do it to help others.

“And we’re blessed in the process,” said Ruth, who has been a Nomad since 2002. “We do a lot of work in the homes devastated by hurricanes. Our reward is the people. Sometimes they just need the help.”

Ruth said she also enjoys working at youth camps because of the young people.

“Church camp is sort of a renewal for myself,” she said. “It takes me back to being a child. Our efforts could change their lives.”

For the most part, the Nomads say they don’t work with the same people, but this time Ruth and Jim had the rare opportunity to work once again with Barbara and Gene, who have been Nomads for seven years. The couples worked together previously at the Selma Children’s Home.

But, Barbara said one of the neat things about being a “nomad” is that they learn new things and get to meet new people, all while doing God’s work.

Carolyn said an amazing part of the program is that there always seems to be someone in the group who knows how to do what needs to be done.

“It’s amazing how the talents we bring are the talents they need,” she said.

Barbara agreed, “God always provides a plumber, if we need a plumber or whatever else we need,” she said.

The Nomads have one more week left at Blue Lake before parting ways.

The Nalls and the Wengerts will go home for a while, but the Davidsons will travel to Moss Point, Miss., to help a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina and the Walberts have four more opportunities to help, ranging from Illinois to Georgia, on their list.

The Nomads contribute three weeks of their time at each project, some participate in many projects a year, while others do one or two.

A list of projects is issued twice a year and the Nomads apply for jobs they are available for.

Blue Lake Camp Director Phyllis Murray said there is always a need for Nomads throughout the country.

Murray said they put in the request and were put on the list.

“The volunteers picked us and then were chosen,” she said. “We want to make ourselves available to those who want to come and stay and work on projects at the camps.”

Anyone interested can volunteer regardless of denomination.

For more information, visit nomadsumc.org.