Sunday, November 3rd was a proud day at Glisson Camp and Retreat Center. Alumni campers, counselors, and many more gathered at the site of a new dining hall that will serve campers and retreat guests for generations to come. Another ground breaking took place for a new double cabin dedicated to former Glisson director, Bob Lanford, which will be used as a leadership lodge for summer staff and small retreat groups.
With the help of its much appreciated supporters, the extended Glisson family has raised over $4.4M of the $4.9M total needed to complete the project. After a phenomenal push to raise $700,000 between July and September, the Board voted to approve groundbreaking this fall with 91% of the funds now pledged. The double cabin will be between the boys and girls cabins while the dining hall will sit beside Sparrowwood Lodge .
The wife of Bob Lanford, Mary Lanford, broke ground on the future cabin alongside the Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries, Russell Davis. A small group of past campers and staff gathered for worship and to share memories of “Uncle Bob” during their Glisson summers. Others in attendance were Glisson’s Phil Dodson, Kim Bell and Cameron Jones. Bishop Watson and Connectional Ministries Director, Mike Selleck, delivered prayers and blessings for the new cabin before heading to the future dining hall site.
All seats were filled for the special dining hall service alongside Cane Creek. Bishop Watson commemorated the event as members of the Glisson family dug their shovels into the grounds of new fellowship and memories. Together, attendees sang hymns and felt a sense of compassionate connection with everyone present.
The dining hall and cabin will be put to good use, as Glisson campers have increased from around 1,000 when the current dining hall was built to around 2,500 last summer. Aside from the traditional summer camps, Glisson has also piloted and then launched stand-alone sibling ministries known as Grow Day Camps and the Experiential Leadership Institute in recent years. Grow brings the flavor of camp to the local church so that more children can experience what camp ministry has to offer. The Experiential Leadership Institute, or ELI, is a program geared towards teaching upper high school students how to become leaders, not only in a camping environment but also in their own churches and communities. Participants go through intense leadership development then have the opportunity to volunteer as counselors for up to eight Grow Day Camps during the summer. Learn more about ELI and Grow Day Camps at growsomewhere.org.
The new Glisson dining hall is expected to be open for use by the fall of 2014 . Please, view our pictures from this special day in Camp Glisson history