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450+ attend Blue Lake winter event

Some 450 people turned out at Blue Lake United Methodist Camp over the weekend for elementary Winter Retreat 2020.

Beth Allen, dean of the camp, said that the event is for third through fifth graders, with some sixth graders participating.

“Most are from South/Central Alabama and Florida Panhandle,” Allen said. “The farthest north is in Montgomery and the farthest south is Port St. Joe, Fla.”

There were some 40 churches who participated.

Both Allen and Blue Lake Executive Director Steve Lewandowski, said the winter retreat has been going on for at least 20 years.

On Friday, the students participate in games and activities.

“We always have a theme for the weekend,” Allen said. “This weekend’s theme was ‘Love God. Love Others.’ The whole weekend focus is on that.”

On Saturday campers have different rotations and get to see the different parts of camp.

“It gives them a taste for summer camp,” she said.

Students have a Bible study, craft and mission project, as well.

“This year, they made pillows for the United Methodist Children’s Home,” she said.

Children in foster care will receive the pillows, she said.

“Kids will get a pillow with other things,” she said. “We use the mission project to teach children how to reach out.”

On Saturday night, they had a program that included a rope master, who did trick roping and had a message for the children.

This is the biggest Blue Lake Camp event each year, Lewandowski said.