Board member Jennifer Riley and her family have made the generous decision to name a cabin. Lakeshore has been important to their family for generations.
I first came to Lakeshore, not as a camper, but as a youth leader. I had heard so many great things about Lakeshore prior to my first visit to the ‘Shore, and it didn’t take me long at all to fall in love with this indescribably special place. When my children, Hannah Jo and Cole, became old enough for Parent/Child Overnighter, I promptly signed them up!
Hannah Jo and Cole have been experiencing Life, Love, and the God of Grace at Lakeshore ever since! Hannah Jo hasn’t missed a single year at camp since the age of 4! She began volunteer counseling at age 14 and has served two years on staff as Music Director. When Hannah Jo was only 6 years old, she looked at me and told me she would be Music Director one day! Her love for playing the guitar was born at Lakeshore.
One thing about the Riley family and Lakeshore that I think is great is that Hannah Jo and Cole are third generation Lakeshore campers. Their grandparents, R.C. and Jane Riley both camped at Lakeshore, as well as their dad, Roy. I’m sure we aren’t unique in that several generations of our family have walked this Holy Ground of Lakeshore! I wasn’t exposed to Lakeshore until I was adult, but I have been honored to be a part of programming at Lakeshore as a dean for over 10 years. Being a member of the Board of Directors and being the Program Committee Chairperson has also allowed me to serve at camp in a more behind-the-scenes way.
As someone who has been to camp every summer for more than a decade, I have had the privilege of getting to know and of developing lasting relationships with many of the counselors and staff. I have watched many of these young people begin as campers, become volunteer counselors, and then become staff members as Resident Counselors, Activity Staff members, and even as Program Director and Director of Communications!
As both a Dean and a parent of a staff member, I became aware of the need to update the summer staff cabin. As a Summer Staffer, young people give up their summers to come to the middle of nowhere, work for a very small monetary amount, and live in less-than-ideal accommodations. Having developed a heart for the staff members and appreciating the sacrifices that they make in order to make summer camp happen, Roy, Hannah Jo, Cole and I decided to direct our fundraising contribution to the Summer Staff Cabin.
We all know that the staff members must have super-human powers to survive the heat, the bugs, the sun, the mud, the loudness, the rowdiness, the homesick campers, the excitement, the staff meetings, the umpteen worship planning sessions, and ALL that is Lakeshore! It is the desire of the Riley family to give the staff members an updated place to be able to get away from it all as much as possible, if only to rest their heads for a few hours. When people think about the scope of ministry at Lakeshore, they most often think of the children and teenagers who attend summer camp. However, Lakeshore is so much more! I have seen firsthand how Lakeshore has changed the lives of the young people who serve on summer staff. So hopefully, our family’s contribution to the Summer Staff Cabin will in some small way help the staffers to experience Life, Love, and the God of Grace in the midst of the beautiful chaos that is camp!
If you are interested in naming a cabin or hammock shelter, please contact Jennie Dickerson at (731) 584-6102.