Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Camp Anniversary/Team Reunion

Friday night, Parker and I both drove and met up at Warren Willis Camp. There was a weekend long celebration for the 75th Anniversary of Camp and a Team Member Reunion as part of that. We had a lot of fun hanging out together and reminiscing with friends and celebrating camp and its ministry. 

No trip to camp is complete without time on the dock. 

Some of the music in Friday night's chapel was from the 90s and Rev. Kevin Johnson demonstrated the motions. 

Both Kevin and Staci are pastors and were on team in the 90s but after my summer (1997). We're all friends and camp ties are super strong. 

Parker bunked in one of the lodges with his buddies and I stayed in one of the hotel rooms on the conference center side. I got in evening labyrinth walks both nights. 

Saturday morning was the big day. Lots of people just came in for the day to celebrate. I ran into the Irizarry's from CUMC who were volunteering with golf carts and hospitality for the day. Jose had been Wesley's Upwards basketball coach. 

Found my friend Stephanie Johnson Lain as were gathering up. Steph and I served on team and were very good friends. She lives in Ocala now. 

90s team members who were present 

Parker's 2020s team members who were there (many of them were working on staff for the weekend). 

Bradley and I were on team together. We grew up at First UMC Seffner and he and Daryl were in Boy Scouts there together. Brad and his family live in Lakeland now. 

Saturday morning worship - lots of people present. This is one of the biggest weekend events that the camp has hosted since Covid (almost 400 people). 

Bishop Berlin took a few minutes to speak about camp. 

In the afternoon after lunch, Parker and I wandered around a little bit before running into town for some coffee. When we got back, we ran into June Edwards who had been our DS years ago while we were at CUMC. 

The four members of the Cabinet present for the celebration. Someone somewhere has video evidence of all us folk dancing! 

So glad to hang out with these lovely ladies, both who were part of CUMC. Mindy is the camp registrar and Kali is the program coordinator. 

Rev. Scott Smith and his wife Kris met on team. They  are superb folk dancers. 

In the afternoon, Kevin took one of the other Cabinet members teenagers out for her time driving a golf cart. 

Misty and Swain are both from CUMC and I got to eat dinner with them on Saturday night. 

More dock time. And a Lake Griffin gator. 

Saturday night evening chapel. The little ones present had so much fun playing on and around the altar rail while we were all singing. 

Sunday morning we had one last worship service together with those who remained. Dr. Waite Willis whose father started the camp, took a few minutes to honor Mike and Mindy Standifer's 30+ years of service to the camp and called all the camp staff up so that we could pray over them. 

Parker and I headed out to lunch afterwards and finished up his back to school shopping. We parted ways after grabbing Starbucks. 


No comments: