Southgate

Blog #400: The Ministry of Gull Lake Camp

In our weekly church website blogs, we are in the midst of promoting and explaining those missions and ministry groups that we support in our yearly financial budget, as well as with prayer. We have already looked in these blogs at Cornerstone Counselling, Restored Ministries, the Mustard Seed. Today, Adeara Recovery Centre, and the Pregnancy Care Centre. This week we will look at Gull Lake Camp, a camp run by our denomination (The Canadian Baptists of Western Canada).

Our church has partnered with this camp since our inception as McLaurin Memorial Baptist Camp and continuing through to today (as Southgate Baptist Church). Gull Lake Camp itself has been in existence since 1920, on land donated by C.C. McLaurin (whose last name still graces the road leading to the camp). The following comes from the camp website (www.gulllakecentre.ca). His vision was to provide a place historical picture of cabins where Baptist families could “play and pray.” In those early years, campers slept on loose straw in simply constructed cabins and buildings, some of which still exist at the camp. The years following World War II saw the camp change from an Assembly to a family camp with a vacation Bible school also developing. The camp continued to attract large numbers of young people through the 1950’s and 1960’s, causing continuous changes in facility and design to accommodate youth-oriented programs.

As each new generation brought changing expectations to Gull Lake, the growing ministry required continual changes to its facilities. New winterized cabins, washrooms and a large dining hall were constructed in the historical view of camp in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Additional property was purchased nearby which became a 37-site trailer park. In October of 1993, a government building was sold to the camp and transformed into a 40-bed Retreat Centre. In 2007 we built a new main lodge, transforming us from a summer camp that did a few other things on the side to a year-round ministry center. We are still a summer camp and we offer exceptional Christ-centered camps just like we have for the past 99 years, but now we do so much more in the other nine months of the year as well. Since the 1980s, our Leadership Training & Discipleship (LTD) Program has been developing as an intensive 3-year program that continues to challenge young people to grow in their faith and gifts. LTD’s are taught what it means to be disciples of Christ and to share their faith in their world. In 2007 we adopted the Encountering God Framework as our standard curriculum.

The vision for the LTD program is to disciple students to encounter God as life-long, transformed participants in the Kingdom. Through it all, Gull Lake has sought to teach vital principles of life which are rooted in scripture. It has grown over the past few years to focus even more on leadership development while maintaining a high standard on camper experience. More campers continue to come to the camp, usually returning year after year for the relationships that they established. As a church family, we at Southgate Baptist Church are pleased to be able to support the ministry of Gull Lake Centre, and we continue to pray God’s blessings upon it. We offer “campership” money to those interested in going to the camp. As well, out of our church budget, we give financially to this exciting ministry.

Below are the summer camps still happening this summer:

July 14-19 for Junior Teens 1(ages 12-14),

July 21-26 for Kids (ages 9-11),

July 28-August 2 for Youth (ages 10-13),

August 6-9 for Juniors (Ages 7-10),

August 11-16 for Junior Teens 2 (ages 12-14),

August 18-24 for Senior Teens (ages 14-18).

For more information please contact the church office.

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