The Cradle and the Call

Date Posted: 1/11/2018

By: Sherri Gragg
In “Notes on Camp,” a podcast by This American Life, camp counselor David Himmel had this to say about America’s favorite childhood pastime: “It changes people's lives. I would not be who I am if it wasn't for camp.” (“Notes on Camp,” This American Life, originally aired 08.28.1998)
Lakeview’s Innovative Programming
Lakeview Conference Center has been changing the lives of United Methodist youth since 1947 by offering them a place to connect with Christ and others through the gift of God’s creation. Continual development of the program changes implemented last summer are paving the way for Lakeview’s future. One important development is Lakeview’s commitment to offer a quality curriculum that provides campers deep roots into Wesleyan belief. “We are the only camp to offer a curriculum based on Wesleyan theology, and we are excited to build on last summer’s success,” said President and CEO, Rev. Matt Idom.
A $64,000 grant from the Young Clergy Initiative has enabled Lakeview to expand their programing to include ongoing support for young people who feel the call into ministry. TAP, The Andrews Program, asks campers, “Has God tapped you to serve?” Campers who recognize God’s call on their life will have the opportunity to attend special winter retreats designed to nurture them in their pursuit of the ministry. The staff of Lakeview will also keep in touch with them throughout the year to answer any questions they and their parents may have.
No Camper Left Behind
Families and campers who need financial assistance to attend camp may now conveniently apply for camp scholarships on-line upon registration. Once the request is received, Lakeview and the Districts will evaluate scholarship eligibility through the consideration of possible family and church contribution. Once this baseline of funding is established, need-based scholarships will be provided through Fair Share Goal dollars, Lakeview scholarships and any additional funds each district is able to contribute beyond Fair Share Goals. “Lakeview and the District Superintendents, working together, will ensure no kid misses camp due to funding,” Idom said.
Lakeview remains committed to its mission to provide a fun, safe environment where kids form the relationships that mold their futures. One practical step is the new “no cell phone” policy to help plugged-in kids disconnect with technology so that they might genuinely engage with each other. Additionally, reorganization of critical staff has been designed to further Lakeview’s mission. Longtime Director of Guest Services, Peggy Jordan, has moved to the position of registrar, and Breezy Lake-Wolfe has been hired as Marketing Director.
One ingredient of Lakeview’s success remains unchanged; strong volunteer support remains vital to success. A small army of college students will be on hand to lead programing. However, essential leadership positions remain staffed by volunteers. Idom believes it is a worthy investment in the future of our children, and the United Methodist Church. “For some kids, summer camp is pivotal and life changing,” he said. “It is where people make the decisions about the kind of person they will be for the rest of their lives. It is the cradle and the call.”

Learn more about the programs available at Lakeview at or on Facebook at