New Blue Lake director wants to move camp forward

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Two days on the job and the new executive director at Blue Lake United Methodist Camp has a lot of ideas for the facility.

“I would like to see us move forward,” Steve Lewandowski said. “We’ve had vast improvements with the last director that was here, and I’m just going to move forward with better things from where she left it.”

Former executive director Phyllis Murray recently retired.

Lewandowski comes to Blue Lake after a long career working with other camps and was site director of Blue Mountain United Methodist Center in Missouri.

Lewandowski said he looks forward to working on these ideas with recently appointed program director Eric Hindmon.

Hindmon joined Blue Lake in May.

“There’s a lot of stuff we’ll be working on,” Lewandowski said. “I’m really going to be pushing in the near future about doing outdoor education classes out here with the public schools.

“We’ve got enough bed space and acreage out here,” he said. “I don’t know where they’re taking their kids to get outdoor education, but if we could get two or three different school districts to commit to come out here, then we can help each other out.”

Being the only camp in the conference that covers all of Alabama and Northwest Florida, there is a lot of organizing and planning to start working on, Lewandowski said.

“A lot of my responsibilities will be fundraising, visiting churches and getting the word out on what we do and what we need,” he said.

The camp will be busy with groups until December when the holiday season starts, he said.

“Pretty much, all the way till December, we’ve got somebody here except on Wednesdays,” Lewandowski said. “We are able to do whatever anybody needs.

“We are affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but we have Baptist retreats out here and family reunions.”

Lewandowski’s wife of 24 years, Elaine, moved here with him last week from a small town between Fort Worth and Abliene, Texas.

He said they have making themselves comfortable in their new home and are looking to becoming more involved with the community.

“We’re excited to be here,” he said. “We’re very interested in being involved with the local Methodist church and the community.”

Lewandowski said he is excited to attend the local high school games once he has free time.

Mrs. Lewandowski is actively looking for employment and has been involving herself at the First United Methodist Church in Andalusia.

The couple has two sons, Joey, 23, and A.P., 21, who both attend college at Southeastern Missouri State University.