We’d like to share a Snapshot of Servanthood with you. Picture this: it’s nearing 1 am, lake effect snow is blowing sideways, temperatures have fallen to single digits, and visibility is diminishing by the second. In the midst of this storm sits a team of 4 guys, bundled up as if they’re about to ascend to the summit of Mount Everest. They wait patiently and they barely speak but the words they do say are nothing short of kind and encouraging, even at this hour.
They wait for groups to arrive for a weekend retreat at Lake Ann Camp. In the parking lot, to their left, sits 2 tractors, each with 4 wagons attached. Their purpose? Deliver luggage to the respective cabins of each arriving group. Did I mention it’s after 1 in the morning? The retreat director and staff headed to bed a long time ago.
Sleep deprived and most likely hungry, these 4 men work as if it’s 1 in the afternoon. They smile and laugh and encourage the weary students departing buses and vans, clutching pillows and blankets. Like a surgeon, they carefully unload each piece of luggage precisely at each cabin and return for more. By the time all is said and done, it’s 3:45 in the morning. They’ll all awake in 3 short hours to begin a full day of service to the guest groups.
This is Lake Ann Camp
This is Lake Ann Camp and a snapshot of servanthood. Venture through the welcome center, the dining hall, across the way to The Red Canoe, down to the zipline, over to cross-country skiing or even the top of the tubing hills and you’ll find them- loving, caring, servant-minded people, wearing the Lake Ann Camp badge with pride, serving as if Jesus was standing beside them in physical form.
I’m often asked why I’m willing to lead a trip of 200 + students and adults 8-9 hours north, at times through blinding snow, when there are tons of camps and retreat centers between Indianapolis and Lake Ann. The answer is simple- “I’ve been around tons of camp staffs before,” I answer. “I’ve never seen a staff who serves and takes care of guest groups like the staff at Lake Ann.”
Something special happens every time I’m at Lake Ann
Something special happens every time I’m at Lake Ann. I can’t explain it but I know it has a lot to do with the people who serve there. What I’ve learned in 16 years of student ministry is that when you have a group of people who are committed to service and taking care of the people who stay at their facility, it removes all distractions and allows God to work in powerful ways. That’s partly why our annual winter retreat at Lake Ann is so special.
I could go on and on about the amazing (and beautiful) facilities on the campgrounds. The gorgeous chapel or dining hall that makes you feel like you’re in the mountains out West. The comfortable guest cabins that let any group leader know their students and adults are taken care of. And let’s not forget the service and coffee at The Red Canoe that rivals the biggest name coffee establishments across the nation. But all of this means zero if the staff that goes with it isn’t committed to service. The staff at Lake Ann Camp is! They are the, in my opinion, some of the greatest examples of servanthood I’ve ever seen.
One of my students recently took a picture of a plaque at the camp that quotes Isaiah 41:13 which says “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your hand and says to you, do not fear, I will help you.”
This is not just a verse quoted on a fancy sign for the staff at Lake Ann Camp. It’s a way of life!
Written by Mike Berry.