Fall Newsletter 2019
It is a wonderful thing to see God working in the hearts of young people. My prayer has long remained
the same- to witness children believe in Christ and see growth in those who already believe in Him. Each
summer, that prayer is answered many times over. What’s really neat is to see those prayers answered
in the same people from year to year. Many of our campers return summer after summer which allows
us to develop even deeper relationships.
Last year I told you about Brandon, whom we first came to know through our Police Camp. I was warned
that Brandon was better known as “Dennis the Menace” around town because of his tendency to stir up
trouble. He was able to come back later last summer to our regular summer camp program where he
had the same counselor, Scott. Brandon had such a good week that as he was leaving, he was crying
because he wanted to stay.
Brandon returned to camp this summer. I was warned, yet again, he was still a “menace” and influenced
others towards his way of thinking. But since he and Scott had a good time last year, it was a no-brainer
to put them together again. Aside from a headlamp battery exploding and burning two mattresses, it
was a good week. Very good actually…
It was Thursday night when cabins combine and make their fires. I had just finished cabin assignments
for the following week. I stepped out the door and heard the guys all singing and worshiping around the
fire. It was noticeably louder than normal because they were all around one single fire. I decided to
sneak home early at 10 pm. A little later the phone rang. I looked at my watch and told my wife, “Phone
calls at 10:18 are normally not good.” The call came from our camp nurse but when I answered it was
Brandon’s JR counselor, Derek. “Hey, Ryan, I am sitting on the porch of the dining hall and Brandon just
asked Jesus to be his Savior.” I stand corrected. Calls after 10 pm CAN be good!
A few minutes later I was sitting in a rocking chair next to Brandon. He looked as if he was in shock. I
asked him what had happened because I wanted to hear him articulate it. He told me that during the
guys’ worship time he had stepped back for a moment and began crying. He said, “I felt something I’ve
never felt before…and it wasn’t bad.” Derek was able to speak with him and Brandon confessed his sin
to Jesus Christ and received His forgiveness and eternal life.
“I want to be baptized as soon as possible,” he said. For the next little while we talked about the
importance and meaning of baptism. I am happy to report Brandon was baptized that very week. I saw
Brandon in town the other day. He stopped mid-conversation with his friends to run over and give me a
hug. And for a 12 year old “bro” with pink braids known for his rebel-rousing, that’s saying something.
Please pray for Brandon as he begins his new life with Christ.
What Giving Does
Because you pray and give financially Cedar Lake Camp continues to be a catalyst for God
communicating His love and forgiveness. And I rhetorically ask, is there not a greater cause than the
gospel?!! When you give, good things happen.
I truly wish we did not have to charge a dime for kids to come to camp. However, utility companies and
other vendors must be paid and therefore we must charge something. But we do not charge campers
what it WOULD cost if summer camp supplied the annual budget. We offset the cost of camp for each
child by hosting retreat groups throughout the rest of the year in addition to receiving donations from
businesses and individuals. This keeps camp affordable for families. A few minutes on the internet
comparing prices with us versus other camps who offer similar facilities and programming reveals we
are usually WAY more affordable. (I know of a day camp in Nashville that costs $200 more per week for
DAY CAMP than our RESIDENT CAMP! Hello!!!)
Thank you so much for your donations to Cedar Lake Camp. You ARE making a difference in the life of a
child for the kingdom of God!
I have been sharing for years now our hope and dream of building a gym and new pool. That dream took
a step closer to reality earlier this year when we received plans for this recreational complex.
We have been receiving donations already on behalf of this project and would love to hear from
With a full size basketball court, commercial kitchen, new Snack Shack, and large swimming pool the
price tag is 2 million dollars. That means it will require ALL of us contributing generously to achieve this
goal. We need larger facilities to accommodate the growth of camps and retreat groups. Additionally,
we are always subject to weather here at camp. Rainy days, really hot or really cold temperatures are
not the best days for us. But with a gymnasium all that could change. Most of you know the pool we
currently have has served us well for 77 years but it is old, leaks, and honestly, it’s a nightmare to
maintain. Would you please consider helping us build a gym and pool?
Thanks to our efforts and generous contributions thus far we are already over $100,000! But we still
have a long ways to go.
Mark October 24th on your calendars! That Thursday evening we are hosting our first-ever live and silent
auction at Washington Avenue Baptist Church in Cookeville, TN. Be prepared for a nice meal, brief
program and the opportunity to bid on quality items. If you would like to attend and/or have an item or
service of value you wish to donate please call or email us!
If you have a fundraiser idea you wish to share, please contact us so can work together. Traditional
fundraising and out-of-the-box ideas are all welcome. And if anyone you know has experience writing
grants, we would love to hear from you.
Thank you in advance for your generosity!
Fall Camp 2019 Information
Fall camp will be here before we know it! Camp will be happening October 14-18, 2019. Transportation will be available. More details on transportation will be posted in the future.
Praises- Camp is growing…literally:
We acquired 6.5 acres which adds a second cave and the legendary “Lava Rocks”
The new Behemoth cabin is moving along. Expected completion date: May 2020
Our intern, Carley, is now officially a part-time staffer with a focus on marketing
We have started a Gap-Year Program! Our first two students, Ben and Parker, will be
with us throughout the school year
2019 was our biggest summer in camp history with 712 kids
Ben and Parker, our Gap-year students to learn the behind-the-scene stuff of camp ministry
More church, college, school and corporate groups to take advantage of retreat, field trip and
team building opportunities here at CLC
Donations for the gym and pool
Unrelenting focus on connecting people to the King of the Universe, Jesus Christ