Blue Lake Camp marks 65th year this Saturday

Published 12:20 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Blue Lake United Methodist Camp has four hours of special events planned this Sat., April 1, to mark its 65th anniversary.

Surrounded by the Conecuh National Forest south of Andalusia, Blue Lake serves the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the Methodist Church, and can accommodate as many as 525 overnight guests. The facility hosts annual church camps and retreats, and the facilities also can be rented for other events.

As recently as this past weekend, it was used for a writer’s retreat, executive director Steve Lewandowski said.

“We had people driving in from Florida and Alabama, and some who flew in and rented a car,” he said. “The workshop director is already looking for a date for next y ear, and a lot of the people who were here were wanting to come back.”

One of the more unusual events, he said, is an annual Mary K training event.

“We have a parking lot full of pink Cadillacs,” he said. “But they get to experience the transformation of lives that we do here at Blue Lake. It doesn’t have to be a high mountaintop religious experience. It can be a relaxing experience of connecting with nature.

Courtesy photo

“Everything doesn’t have to be religious-based thing here,” he said. “People can find God coming for a football camp.”

In its 65-year history, much of Blue Lake United Methodist Camp has remained unchanged.

“In some ways we’ve changed, in some ways we’ve stayed the same,” executive director Steve Lewandowski said. “One of the things we haven’t done, is change course in midstream to go with whatever the popular thing is. A lot of our camps have old-school type activities.

“For example, we don’t have a high ropes course, and we never went through a paint ball phase,” Lewandowski said. “We relied greatly on just the tradition of Blue Lake itself, what it means to members of the United Methodist Church, and for people who come here for any other reason.”

The anniversary events begin at 1 p.m. this Sat., April 1, and continue until 5 p.m.

Lewandowski said there will be hayride-type and walking tours of the camp, depending upon personal preference. The canoes and archery areas also will be open.

Beginning at 2 p.m., a praise and worship service will begin in the gym. Andalusia’s Joe Proctor will talk about his family’s involvement in a chapel on the grounds that dates to the 1800s.

The children’s choir from St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Pensacola will perform, followed by Jeb Hunt at approximately 2:40 p.m. Mark Stewart, who is a storyteller, is slated for 3:15 p.m., and will be followed by James Keith Posey from Frazier United Methodist Church’s Pike Road worship team. Bishop David Graves will close the serves.

There also will be a groundbreaking ceremony for a new house planned for the facility. Lewandowski said the last housing was built in the 1960s.

“That’s the house I live in,” he said. “Our new house will be for the new program director. We just moved a 1970s double-wide trailer further into camp so we could build a home where it used to be.”

For information about Blue Lake, visit the web site at