BLUE LAKE FUN
Published 12:02 am Thursday, July 2, 2015
Local camp sees big numbers this summer
With the summer already halfway over, Blue Lake Methodist Camp has already seen between 600-700 kids, and those numbers are expected to rise for the month of July, according to camp officials.
Nestled in the heart of the Conecuh National Forest, Blue Lake plays host camps for kids all ages. During a typical week, the camp can hold up to three camps, depending on what facilities are being used.
Blue Lake Program Director Eric Hindmon said camp has gone well.
“We’ve had good growth from churches who have never used camp or haven’t used camp in a long time, which is really good,” Hindmon said. “That part’s been really good.”
Hindmon said this week, Blue Lake hosted a Quest Camp, which was geared toward the younger age groups, during the first half of the week. A mission camp for middle school and high schoolers will run until Saturday.
Hindmon said during the mission camp, campers learned how to serve other people and how they present Jesus Christ to others.
The number of campers who attend each week depends on which camps are being offered, Hindmon said.
“Last week, we had more than 300,” he said. “This week we had about 150.”
Blue Lake offers different activities based on the camps, but also has the traditional archery, swimming, fishing, and large group games such as capture the flag.
Hindmon said the types of activities offered changes every year.
To help lead the different activities and various programs, the camp boasts staff that stay all summer.
“Many of the summer staff apply and find out about camp because they’ve grown up as campers, or find out about camp from others they go to school with,” Hindmon said. “We haven’t had to do a ton of recruiting. You end up with a good number of applicants from all over. This year we have staff from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida.”
Hindmon said the staff is trained to handle many different aspects of camp life, including providing comfort to a camper who may become home sick.
“It always depends on the child,” he said. “We want to get them involved as soon as they get here and help them get to know the other kids in the cabin as soon as possible. When you see homesickness, it ends up being around the time when you’re around family; meal time or bed time.
“The biggest thing is making sure they’re engaged right away,” he said. “Keeping them busy and doing camp activities. A simple thing to do is talking with them to see what they did that day, or what type of fun thing they did that day. Sometimes, we’ll talk about things to look forward to in the week.”
Hindmon said a good number of local kids have participated in camp activities.
“This week, we had our day camp, and ended up having handful of kids every day,” he said. “We partnered with Andalusia Middle School and did a fun day for the seventh grade. Every seventh grader that did not spend time in some sort of suspension got to earn the ability to hang out at camp for the day.”
Blue Lake is a part of the Alabama West-Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.
However, all churches are welcome to attend the camp, Hindmon said.
“What an awesome opportunity for a kid to come to a place where they end up kind of being away from folks, like mom and dad, and get to be in God’s creation,” Hindmon said. “They get to be around awesome folks like our awesome counselors who love the Lord and are great examples.”
For more information about camping opportunities, visit Blue Lake’s website at www.bluelakecamp.com or call the main office at 334-222-4224.