Hello Lions,

The 2016 Summer camping season has officially come and gone. We here at the camp have really enjoyed this past season.

cuphotoAll of the seasonal summer staff worked really hard and deserve a great big Thank You. All of them are now preparing for the next step in their lives. For some of them it is getting ready to go back to or start college, . Others it will be seeking a full time job.

Campers this year were a real blessing to us all, they always are. We had about twelve new campers this year, most of them were in the pre-teen group. We did have about three that were previous campers. We were hoping to reach a total camper attendance goal of one hundred this year. We had one hundred and four campers that attended camp. This was twenty-seven up from last year.

Every week when we pulled up to the camp after making the trip back from Macon, the campers knew where we were when the bus made that final turn. Excitement was in the air. They looked forward to being with friends from last year and they were excited about the activities that were planned for them during the upcoming week.

It was time for some good food, fun, and fellowship. Time to let your hair down. For those that had hair!

This year we were blessed to have the Women’s club of Woodbine, Ga. come each session and provide an arts and crafts activity for the campers. They were co-sponsored by the Woodbine Lions Club.

Campers made crafts such as wind chimes, bandannas, decorated flower pots, decorated cigar boxes, and many others. It was a fun time for them all. I think Mrs. Teresa enjoyed it the most.

All age groups performed their talent shows this year and they all were great as usual. Many performed and some were just audience participants. All had fun.

Pool time was a big SPLASH. Campers aren’t patient when it comes to the swimming test. They want to just jump in and get wet. The test is only on the first day and the rest of the time they just have to wait on the lifeguard to tell them they can swim.

The horses and the animals became a camper favorite also. Everyone loves Horses and Dogs, well almost everyone. Eddie Davenport wasn’t able to come so he missed out on riding the Clydesdale horse( pony more like it)!

Every week the campers were treated to a carnival. They plated games, socialized, ate popcorn, got their faces painted, and many other activities.

The climbing wall was fun as usual. Except for the older adults, They stayed out of the heat this year. The nurse did not need any heat strokes or exhaustion to tend to. Although I think the older adult male campers liked going to see the nurse. They said they were getting over heated. I think they just like being pampered by the nurse.

Oh, didn’t I tell you? Our Nurse this year was phenomenal!! I could not have been blessed with a better person. Her being a nurse was just icing on the cake. She stepped in and helped in places where ever she felt she was needed.

Of course, Mrs. Gail (my wife) the camps office secretary was a big help to me also. Not only did she perform her office duties, she managed the kitchen staff and helped me out when ever she could.

This years Staff, counselors, volunteers, cooks, and summer maintenance helpers were a great group to work with. All in all the 2016 Rising Sun Summer Camp Session was Great.

As you know, each week had to come to an end. Campers would be tired and sad they had to leave. They would also want to know about Christmas Camp for this year and next years camping session. Plans are already in the making.

I spoke with the counselors at the beginning of the season and told them that the weeks would go by quickly. At the time, they did not understand what I was talking about. On the last day, they got it! I can only hope they enjoyed the campers as much as I do. The Campers are what this camp is all about.

It is a blessing to help put a smile on a young child’s face, spends some time getting to know the camper, talk with them about what they want to do later in life. Help them understand that they are very important to us all and we will be here for them if they need us. Listen to the older campers tell their stories about past experiences here at the camp. Feel the love they have for the Georgia Lions Camp! The love they have for each other and the friends they have made with past and present staff members. They even talk about how important you Lions are to them. They know how hard you work to keep this place going for them and they really appreciate you all.

Yes this 2016 camping Season is over and it is time to take the next step. Let us all take a step forward, look to the future and plan what we need to do to make next year even better. I am looking forward to it. How about you?

Here is a little information on what is scheduled here at the camp for the remaining part of the year. Even though our camp season is over, we have other groups coming in to use these facilities.

We just had the privilege to have a group from Calvary Baptist of Valdosta, Ga. here. They put on a summer camp for their youth group. They had eighty-two in attendance. They have already reserved the approximate same time to come back here next year.

Coming soon, the first weekend in  August is a local youth group that has used our camp for the past two years, they sleep here for two nights and fill our 80 beds to capacity. A sad note to this is that for the same weekend we had another group that needed a place for forty-eight individuals and we do not have the space for them.

The very next weekend is a repeat family reunion. Later in the month of August we have another group using our camp site for the weekend.

In September, The Walk To Emmaus group will be back. They set up the first weekend in preparation for their two upcoming weekends of men’s and women’s conferences.

The following weekend we have another repeat family reunion group coming in. So, September is full also.

Think we have a break in October? Nope. We have a new group from Armstrong State College coming in for a three day retreat. Eighty to one hundred young ladies. I think they may bring a camper or two. RV’s that is.

November is busy also. An organization called Camp Hope will be coming here for a one day support day for individuals that have been helped through Hospice.

Remember Ms. Hanna the lady on the bicycle that has ridden all over this part of the U.S. She is coming back to go with me to Mule Day in Calvary, Ga. This is the beginning of her mission to ride her bike to promote your Georgia Lions Camp.

Next is December. Christmas Camp! Looking at the second weekend of The month.

2017 reservations are already in the planning stages. Looks like February and March have some dates that are ready  to be reserved.

So as you can see. We are not finished yet. People are beginning to hear about the camp and are interested in using these facilities. I am excited. How about you? Oh, did I ask you that question already.

 

Don’t forget the many ways the camp can be supported. Not only by Lions but by your friends also. Tell them what you have here and what its purpose is. You’ve worked hard! I am blessed to just be a small part.

 

Great ways to give;

Memorial Garden Bricks,

Century Club,

Special Edition of the 1976 Society,

Keep The Camp Fires Burning,

Just to mention a few!

 

I hope I have been able to give you a little information on what has transpired here at the camp and what is in the near future. I did not mention the Strategist Planning Committee. They have some great ideas also. If you missed their meeting on Lions Day, You missed a great meeting.

Keep in touch with us here at the camp. Call if you need something. I would be honored to come speak with all of you. Hopefully we can make some plans to come visit your club soon.

 

Mike Williams

Acting Director

Georgia Lions Camp Inc.