A Look Back at 2016

Now seems like a good time to reflect in the lull between the holidays and the promise of the new year. Last year I started a project to keep track of my year. Every time something great happens, I write myself a note and put it in a mason jar. Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the memories and accomplishments day by day. However, when you look at the sum of the whole year, it is easy to remember how blessed you are. Lakeshore has been unbelievably blessed in its ministry this year. Today, I’d like to share with you some of the things that I think would show up in Lakeshore’s mason jar.

Lakeshore in Review.png

68 summers later, Lakeshore’s ministry is still going strong and growing every year. We ask for your prayers and support for the continuation and growth of this ministry in 2017.


Registration Open for Summer 2017

The wait is over! It’s finally here! Registration is open for Summer 2017: Branching Out! Are you ready to sign up?


A few things you should know.

  1. There are nearly 40 camps to choose from for kids ages 5-18. We are excited to offer new camps like Aquatics and Board Game Camp while expanding opportunities for Hammocking Camp and Dayshore. If you haven’t gotten a chance to look at the opportunities and dates, do so here.
  2. In an effort to make camp affordable and attainable for every child, we are offering both Tiered Pricing and Payment Plans. For information on how it works, find all the details here. Call the Lakeshore office at (731) 584-6102 for more information.
  3. Reserve your spot here, get in your roommate requests, and mark your calendars for the best summer ever!

See you at the ‘Shore!


How to Support Lakeshore Big without Breaking the Bank

The holiday season is expensive. So many presents, cards, parties, hostess gifts, cookie swaps, stocking stuffers–the list goes on and on. Sometimes the organizations you love and support get pushed to the bottom of that never-ending shopping list.

We have a few ways that you can support Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center that won’t cost you any money.

  1. kroger-community-rewardsKroger Community Rewards: For those of you who shop the Right Store. Right Price
    with your handy, dandy Kroger card on you keychain, this non-monetary option will be a bargain on your time with big results for us. Click here to create your rewards account. Have your Kroger card number ready and search for Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center as your organization of choice.
  2. amazonsmile_logo-no-backgroundAmazon Smile:  All you Prime members, this one is especially for you. You can support Lakeshore with one click every time you make a purchase. Add our official incorporated name, Lakeshore United Methodist Asssembly, to your Amazon Smile account for us to gain the reward points. Login to https://smile.amazon.com/ with your Amazon account and designate us as your charity.
  3. Matching Gifts: Lots of companies have a donation matching program. You can find out more about your company’s program through their intranet or by contacting Human Resources. See a list of just some of the companies with matching gift programs below:

    Ameriprise Financial, Cigna, Medtronic, State Farm, AT&T, Cummins, Inc., Nike, SunTrust Bank, AutoZone, First Horizon, Northwestern Mutual, Valero Energy, Bank of America, IBM, Raymond James, CBRE, McDonalds, Regions Bank,  and Smith & Nephew just to name a few.

  4. Non-Cash Donations: There are tons of giving vehicles out there in the planned giving realm. Lakeshore accepts bequests, gifts of stock, IRAs, Life Insurance and Charitable Remainder Trusts. For more infomation, contact Jennie Dickerson at jennie@lakeshoreuma.com or (731) 584-6102.
  5.  Lakeshore Christmas Cards: Ok, this one will cost you a little cash, but if you’re sending Christmas cards already, the proceeds might as well go to a cause you love and support, right?  Plus, look how peaceful Lakeshore looks in the snow. Download the Christmas card order form here.       christmas-card-front

Sow Peace this Christmas


“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward all!”
-Luke 2:14

Hear this greeting from Luke 2 that the multitude of angels sang to the shepherds to proclaim the birth of Christ.

This is an important season—one filled with family traditions, holiday cheer, gift-giving and lots of get-togethers. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, try to take a few moments to reflect on the words the angels said here. As Christians, we are called to love and care for one another and give God the glory for all that we do.

This Christmas, Lakeshore is offering a tangible way to honor family and friends through a donation in their name. We will send a Christmas card with the verse from Luke inscribed on the inside, indicating that you made a gift in honor of everyone on your Christmas card list. We know that Lakeshore is often a family thing, whether biological or spiritual, and we hope you will enjoy sending greetings to loved ones with the serene view of the gazebo this season.

We are asking for a minimum donation of:

$7/card for blank cards and envelopes
$10/card for Lakeshore volunteers to inscribe and mail for your convenience

Download the Christmas card order form here. Order before December 15 to mail by Christmas!



Giving Tuesday: New Summer! New Equipment!

When you run a summer camp with over 2,000 guests a summer and approximately 200 pool and aquatics activity periods, you will always need new life vests and inner tubes. With our ever expanding schedule of camps for 2017, we need your help to be able to purchase enough new equipment for the summer. This Giving Tuesday, help us prepare to have enough equipment for an expanding summer 2017 schedule by sponsoring a lazy river tube or a life vest.*


One of the pride and joys of Lakeshore is the lazy river at the water park. Every swim period, campers can’t wait to grab a tube and float around, make a tube chain, or connect two together for a chance for some real talk.


At waterfront, these types of life vests mean it’s time to try your hand at skiing, tubing or wakeboarding. Campers learn new water sports or show off their skills at something they already know. New life vests ensure we have enough in varying sizes to accommodate everyone simultaneously.

We are already deep into preparations for Summer 2017. Will you help come along with us this Giving Tuesday in support of new equipment? A gift of $35 will cover your choice of one life vest of inner tube. You may make this gift in honor of someone — a great tangible Christmas gift for the person on your list who has everything. We will send a card to the honored recipient. Mark one more person off your Christmas list and support Lakeshore for 2017.

Help support the campaign here: https://www.crowdrise.com/the-great-float-fundraiser

*Funds raised over our goal will go to purchase additional water front and pool equipment as needed. 


Preparations Begin for Summer 2017! Introducing Tiered Pricing and New Camps!

It seems like summer just ended, and if you live in the South it really feels like summer did just end. Even though we are headed into this holiday season, camp is already preparing for the warm summer days of 2017.

We have added new camps like Aquatics and Board Game camp, and we have increased opportunities to come to favorites like Hammocking Camp. Check out the new schedule here: http://bit.ly/Lakeshore2017Schedule.


The schedule isn’t the only thing that has changed. Lakeshore is introducing tiered pricing this year. Summer camp is a positive life changing experience for many children and youth. We believe that every child should be able to come to camp, which is why we are introducing tiered pricing. Lakeshore summer camps are a great value! We are proud to say that all of our basic camp programs are priced under the regional average price.

You may be surprised to learn that the rates Lakeshore has historically charged are subsidized and well below the true cost of a week at camp. Camps across the country are receiving fewer and fewer subsidies, and Lakeshore is no exception. In order to continue to offer the same great programming with new and improved activities, rates would need to increase drastically. Rather than raise prices on all families, tiered pricing essentially asks families with greater financial means to consider picking a tier more closely resembling the direct cost of camp. This honor system approach makes it financially possible for any child to come to camp.

Tiered pricing is intended to recognize the costs related to the camp experience and allow families to select the level of payment most appropriate for their circumstances. Each family may freely choose to participate in Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 level of payment. Every camper has the same experience regardless of the chosen tier and only the office will know who chose which payment level. Lakeshore believes that every child should be able to come to camp and will continue to offer camperships for campers who need greater financial assistance.

An explanation of the three tiers:

Tier 1: True- For families who are blessed to be able to pay first tier pricing, this tier more accurately reflects the true cost of camp including all aspects of maintaining facilities in good condition, insurance, utilities, etc. By choosing this tier, you can help Lakeshore make needed upgrades and continue to grow in the future.

Tier 2: Intermediate- This tier is a mid-level between our historically subsidized rate and the true cost of camp. This tier more closely reflects the direct costs of a week of camp, including program costs, food, summer staff and camp administration.

Tier 3: Historically Subsidized- This tier most closely matches our traditional fee structure, which has been subsidized. This rate does not reflect what it “really costs” to offer camp programs. Because we want to make every effort to keep the cost of camp as affordable as possible, Tier 3 will keep the historically subsidized rate.

Our Goals for Tiered Pricing:

• To offer the highest quality programs possible, providing opportunities for fun, fellowship, inspiration and adventure.

• To make camp affordable for all income levels.

• To preserve camp for generations to come.

• To provide an opportunity for partnership with those in a position to further impact of Lakeshore’s summer ministry.

Again, please note that this program is voluntary and in no way influences the experience children receive, yet it offers the opportunity for families to take an active role in supporting the true cost of their child’s camp experience.

Registration opens December 15 at https://registration.campbrain.com/Portal/Login.aspx?H=LakeshoreUMC&G=403. Give the gift of camp this Christmas by registering early!


BONUS! All Things New: Cabin Campaign Series

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.