Blog Archives

May Newsletter

Camp is Good in So Many Ways

I have believed for years that camp is one of the healthiest places to be. While at camp, children are away from TV screens and in the great outdoors. They get loads of physical, mental, social, and spiritual stimulation. Kids run around and get sweaty and dirty. They play games, sports, and do crafts. We take them swimming, hiking, and canoeing. These are all things kids NEED to be doing. Staying at home all summer watching TV and playing video games is not healthy. 

At camp, we are away from all the busyness of life and have a chance to think. Being out of the city also means cleaner air with wide-open spaces to enjoy God’s creation and beauty. Sunshine produces Vitamin D which boosts the immune system. We get plenty of that at camp!

We serve delicious, home-cooked meals. Each week begins with spaghetti, salad, and homemade garlic cheese biscuits. (We even make our own bread, hello!!!) Other meals include barbeque chicken with green bean casserole or roast beef and mashed potatoes on Banquet Night. Taco Tuesday is a BIG hit with staff and kids. I remember one Tuesday we did NOT have taco salad. There was almost a riot. 

Breakfasts are something to look forward to with meals like biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon, fruit and toast. You just can’t beat camp’s oatmeal and sausage! We finish the week off with French Toast Friday and Cinnamon Roll Saturday (hand-made of course). For some kids, they eat better at camp than at home and I don’t just mean a healthy variety of foods. Some of them aren’t fed at home like at camp. 

Spending time with friends and making new ones is a good thing. When our staff spends time with the kids it encourages them and lets them know someone cares. Children NEED to be told and shown how important they are. At camp, they receive that. Life-long memories and friendships are forged at camp. 

Of course the greatest need of our lives is to understand God’s love for us and how we can be forgiven of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ. There’s no greater encouragement than to know the God of the universe cares for you enough to give His life and offer you eternal life. 

Our sickness policy is simple. If your child has a contagious sickness, don’t send them to camp. If they get sick while at camp, we have someone to take care of them who will be in touch with you about next steps. We trust you, the parents, to make the right decision. Your children are individuals and each person who gets sick at camp will be treated individually while in communication with you to make the best decision regarding their PERSONAL circumstance. 

Soap is always available for washing hands. We encourage hydration at appropriate times of the day. If it’s too hot we’ll take a break or go swimming. Cleaning is always done with bleach so we know the germs are dead. These are a few of the ways we help ensure safety and health while at camp. 

Camp is good for children and staff on so many levels. We are proud of the opportunity to serve those who spend time with us. Thank you for entrusting your most prized possessions to us for the week. 

Let’s Make A Deal 

In this game show, contestants play for a prize but then have the opportunity to win a bigger prize IF they select the right door or envelope. Sometimes ‘Door #3’ may be hiding a new car. Sometimes it’s a ‘ZONK.’ (You don’t want a ZONK. It’s usually something ridiculous like a pair of designer shoes…made of butter.) 

In January I received a call from a gentleman who helps lead one of our large retreat groups. He asked if we could use another van. I said yes, not knowing where this was leading. I thought he was about to offer me ‘a great deal’- a used van with low miles and well-maintained for some thousands of dollars. I was mentally preparing my rebuttal: “That sounds great but it’s not in the budget,” and so on. 

He said, “Well, I’m going to buy this one and donate it to you guys…if that’s okay.” Yep. That’s TOTALLY okay! I selected Door #3 and knew what was behind it. But was this guy serious? Was this a ZONK? I had no idea. I just waited to see what would happen. 

Months passed and nothing. Then I get a text: “Can I bring the van this week?” And sure enough, he brought the van and a backstory to go with it. It belonged to a friend’s church and knew it to be a good deal. He also knew we could use it. He shared with his wife what the Lord had laid on his heart and she agreed. After I told him yes, he committed to buying it but had to work overtime to do it. Once he worked enough to make it happen, he brought it up. He explained there’s no strings attached. We can use it for whatever we need and his group and we’re not obligated to loan it to his group. I could tell how happy he was to make this a reality for us. 

Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” We are certainly blessed to receive this gift but this generous man is more blessed. There IS blessing in giving. The Lord teaches us to keep a loose grip on the things of this world. I mean, we can’t take it with us when we die anyway. Would you thoughtfully and prayerfully consider what you may give to support the ministry of Cedar Lake Camp? With the current world situation, I assure you, there is a genuine need on our part. We would be so honored to receive your gifts but the greater blessing goes to you. 

Encouragement from Psalm 33

The Israelites were the nation God first chose to be His inheritance. Thankfully, it did not end there! The Apostle Paul explains in Romans how we, as Gentiles, are ‘grafted’ into the family of God like a wild olive tree is grafted into one that is cultivated. Through Jesus Christ, the promises of God are transferred to anyone who believes in Him on an individual basis. We can personally receive forgiveness, salvation from sin, and eternal life. 

But as a nation, the psalmist writes, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!… Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.” May we personally AND as a nation recognize Jesus Christ as the ultimate Ruler of our hearts, nation, and world. 



The long wait is over- Behemoth is finally done! The finishing touches were applied last week- shower curtains, window curtains, and mirror were hung on the inside. Dirt work, grass seed and hay, fascia metal, and door for the crawl space were completed on the outside. The only thing remaining is to have a dedication ceremony and then get some kiddos in there!


A Letter from Board Member, John Strange

It was December 1989 and some of the summer staff had gathered for our annual “New Year’s Eve” reunion.  We did some inside work to prepare for the summer, conducted the real Polar Bear challenge in the lake, and, as always, enjoyed the company of our fellow camp laborers.  I returned home encouraged and excited about what the next summer would bring.  Less than 24 hours later, I received a call from a fellow staff member.  The reason for his call?  Sometime the previous night, a fire started in Deerfoot, the camp’s kitchen and dining hall, and burned it totally to the ground.  Though only a teenager, I understood the ramifications.

There was no kitchen.  No dining hall. Yet, summer was on the way.  Camper registrations would slowly begin to arrive within the month.  This was another critical moment for a place that had faced many before and has faced many since.  A plan was developed for the construction of a temporary kitchen and dining area.  It would take creativity, quick funding, and many volunteer hours, but by the time the first campers arrived in early June, the Pavilion was ready for service.  It would be pressed into service for three summers as a more permanent facility was built.  Today’s staff and campers enjoy the facility known as the Ruth Geiger Memorial Dining Hall.  The Lord was indeed gracious in his provision then as He continues to be to this day.

Cedar Lake is a place that from its beginning, was designed to come alongside people in the spiritual context of their lives. The primary manner for doing so is to introduce boys and girls to the good news of the Gospel through our summer camping ministry.  Every summer there are heavenly celebrations as boys and girls acknowledge a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Leading in this context requires a deep trust in God’s good and gracious provision.  In our humanity, we do not always know where this provision will come from, but we know that our God is trustworthy. 

 Nehemiah 1:3 says, “And they (Nehemiah’s brothers) said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame.  The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”  The men and women who remained in Jerusalem were struggling physically and spiritually.  Nehemiah’s response upon hearing of the state of Jerusalem:

As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the GREAT and AWESOME God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you.  Even I and my father’s house have sinned.

Ryan, Jared, Angela, board members, and staff are following Nehemiah’s example as we ask the Lord to be attentive to our prayers, for his listening ear and open eyes.  We are praying for the ability to be open for business as usual.  We are praying for the opportunity to minister to boys and girls on property.  We are praying for full camps.  We are praying for the opportunity to invest in the spiritual lives of our summer staff.  We are praying for the financial resources to weather this critical moment.  We are praying for retreats for this fall and next spring.  We do not know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know that “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of POWER and LOVE and SELF-CONTROL (II Timothy 1:7).  I ask of you three things:

  1. Join us in praying for the requests listed above.  
  2. By whatever means you can be a positive answer to the requests above.  If you can influence decisions – influence them!  If you can promote camp or send a kid to camp – promote and send!  If you can give financially – give cheerfully!  If you can bring a retreat – we would love to host you and your group.
  3. Pray that we rightly discern the times and, no matter what the days ahead may bring, we exemplify the verse above.

Proverbs 16:3 reads, “Commit your work to the Lords, and your plans will be established.”  The sacred ground and work of Cedar Lake Camp have long been committed to the Lord.  In this time, we patiently, yet with eager anticipation, wait to see the plans the Lord establishes for this place, our staff, and our broader camp family.  May each of you continue to experience the abundant riches of His grace and mercy.

By the Shores,

John Strange

Chairman, CLC Board


We are having an extra week of day camp!! This day camp will be on May 26-29. This extra week of day camp will be available for kids ages 5-10. Register here on our website!

Like other individuals and businesses, nonprofits are struggling financially. Would you consider giving in the participation of #GivingTuesdayNow. This is another Giving Tuesday Campaign to help nonprofits during this time of crisis. If you are willing to donate, click here!

Video Message from Our Executive Director

Click Here for the link to register your child for summer 2020!


Cedar Lake Camp Promo 1 from Cedar Lake Camp on Vimeo.

A Letter from Cedar Lake

Spring Newsletter 2020


I can’t wait for schools to be back in session. Not because I’m tired of my own kids, mind you. But rather, I’m ready for the country to return to normal. For sure, there are some things that need to change in our culture but I mean folks going to work each day, kids going to school, playing sports and music events, eating at a restaurant, and knowing our favorite brand of toilet paper is in stock. These are things that are normal and GOOD. It feels like we have been robbed of ‘normal’ lately.

I want to encourage you: do not be afraid. Don’t just take my word, take God’s. The Lord has not called us to a spirit of fear or timidity. There is a verse that has been circulating in my head: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” It’s true God was not speaking about virus concerns in the original context of this passage from Isaiah 41. The principle, however, remains. God loves and supports His people and has shown that time and time again. His care for humanity was most clearly displayed when He became human and ultimately gave His life for us on the cross. If God can conquer sin and death, He can most assuredly conquer a virus and all the associated fear.

When I read the CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of contagious germs, I’m happy to report we already practice them. Hand washing is easy to do. Hand sanitizer is available at camp.  If your child is sick, wait till they are well to send them to camp. If they become ill at camp, we have a nurse to take care of them.

Part of my intent for writing our CLC family is to assure you we are doing and will do everything we can to keep the kiddos safe and healthy.

The other reason I write is to say we are moving forward with summer camp. Not in a wreckless abandon nor in opposition to government authorities as Romans 13 mandates but rather in the hope and confidence this will soon pass and all the prep work we have invested so far in creating a new summer booklet, writing campfire talks, securing summer staff, and maintaining facilities will be implemented. We will forge ahead, praying each day the situation in our world will get better, restrictions will be lifted, and things can get back to normal. As of writing, the federal government has established an April 30 goal of loosening restrictions which is 5 weeks before camp begins. We will plan for summer camp until we absolutely cannot. It’s all we know to do. Restaurants cook food; it’s what they do. Mechanics fix cars; it’s what they do. And we host children at camp. This is what we do!

Our children have had a lot robbed from them lately. Schools are closed. Sports, music, dance, and recreation have all been canceled. Family trips, vacations, and even visits to grandma’s house have all been taken from our children. Even regular church attendance is not an option. If I hear of one more thing canceled…well, I wouldn’t be happy I’ll say that.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have normal restored? If the Lord is willing, we would love to grant ‘normal’ to the youth we serve. Camp is a great place to process events in their lives, with staff who care about them, all with a biblical perspective.

Camp is so important to our campers and staff. Literally tens of thousands of young people have enjoyed Cedar Lake Camp over the years and we have no plans to stop. Each year there are kids who come to faith in Jesus Christ or are challenged to grow in their faith. Staff have an opportunity to live out their faith and share what the Lord has done in their lives. It’s not uncommon for our campers and staff to go on to the mission field or work in ministry in some capacity. The Lord is working at Cedar Lake Camp.

This year we enter season #78. Like each year, if we want to see the next it is imperative parents send their kids to camp. You’ve heard me say it many times, “Without campers, there is no camp.” Our mission is to serve the next generation.

Our board of directors have made a few adjustments in preparation for summer camp including cutting our registration deposit rates in half!

  • Deposits for Overnight Camp are now $90 and Day Camp is $40. (Total cost of camp is still the same, only the deposit amounts have changed)
  • Also, the Overnight Camp early bird discount of $15 has been extended from April 1 to May 15.
  • Finally, group code expirations are also extended to May 15.

I hope these changes are advantageous for your family. These changes are for this summer only in direct response to the current situation in our country. Our refund policy includes a non-refundable deposit that is transferable up to 12 months while the remainder of fees paid is fully refundable and/or transferable up to 12 months.

Please make plans to send your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbor kids, and children from your church this summer! What we do is important in the kingdom of God and in their lives. We would love the opportunity to invest in your child!

Summer Camp Registration Click here

Visit for dates and registration.


In Other News

Coronavirus Financial Impact

We have lost two retreat groups due to virus concerns. Anticipated revenue from both events totaled between $4,000 – 4500. With the current situation, camper registrations are also down. Please pray this revenue will be made up somehow. Almost all our revenue for the year is from camper fees, retreat fees, and donations. When one of these sources wanes another must make up the difference if camp is to be healthy. Entering the summer with a deficit is hard to overcome unless donors make up the difference. Please pray about becoming a monthly donor. It is important to remember we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization meaning all donations are tax-deductible. We are also non-denominational meaning we have no denominational support money as income. This makes our donors all the more important.


Our new cabin Behemoth is so close to completion! We fully expect it to be utilized this summer. The only items remaining are bunk bed mattresses, shower curtains, curtains, toilet paper and paper towel holders, and a little paint here and there.

Of those items listed, bunk bed mattresses are the most costly. Each mattress costs $89.50. We need 14 for a total of $1253. Would you consider sponsoring a mattress? Perhaps you feel led to make a donation to cover the entire cost. Or maybe you would like to cover the costs of the lesser items. As a non-profit organization, we depend on generous donors like you to help us cover the costs. Thank you in advance for your gifts!

New Gym and Pool

Please be in prayer for our board of directors as there are big decisions to make regarding the plans of a new gym and pool. Specifically, we will be discussing a potential partnership with a professional fundraising firm and next steps in regards to the plans for this structure. Complete architectural drawings for this project are priced at just over $67,000.

 5K Fundraiser

The date of our annual fundraiser 5K Fun Run is TBD. This laid back run winds down camp’s driveway and past camp ‘back in the holler’ they say. Look for registration and details soon! If you would like to be a sponsor for this event, please send us a message for instructions.

Non-Cash Giving

Please pray about how you can support the ministry of Cedar Lake Camp. In addition to cash donations, we are also able to take gifts of stock, annuities, IRA Rollovers plus material items such as vehicles, sport/recreation vehicles, rare coins, tools, and more.

Click HERE to see practical ways you can help camp!

Important Dates

Livingston Police Camp  May 26-29

Staff Training Week    June 1-6

First Day of Resident Camp   June 7

First Day of Day Camp   June 8



Jamaica Mission Trip 2019-2020

It’s a strange feeling to leave the dead of winter and step out of a plane into tropical weather. The quandary is this: do you wear long sleeves and pants in the cold knowing you’re going to sweat upon arrival OR wear shorts and a t-shirt onto the plane knowing you’ll be a step ahead? Our Jamaica mission team was about 50/50 on the issue. Things like this “Jamaica me crazy,” as the saying goes. 

I can only brag on the Lord as He was with us the whole way. Even during the planning phase, He was faithful in every little detail. 

Our team consisted of 12 staff and 3 adults- the largest CLC International team yet. We had an awesome travel agent who kept us from getting gouged on airfare (thank you Celeste!) and found a great deal on a hotel. These are big deals, not just from a budget perspective, but also practical. Traveling can be draining and knowing you have good flights and a place to rest at the end of the day is huge. 

As it turns out, the tap water was drinkable in Jamaica (not that everyone dared to do it). This was a far cry from Peru and Haiti where we drank bottled water and STILL got sick. The food was good as well. Rice and beans are a staple at almost every meal and being a in warm climate allows tropical fruit to grow like crazy. We ate fruits I didn’t even know existed! Our driver said the main dishes we MUST try while there were “jerk chicken” and “goat curry.” Everywhere you go there are signs advertising “jerk” which makes me think of beef jerky but it’s not that at all. Jerk is a seasoning they use on different meats. The jerk chicken was great and the goat was okay except all the bones. 

Because we were at a small church in a little town each day during lunch our only option was to get supplies at a local store and bring with us. By supplies I mean bread, peanut butter and jelly. Yes, we had PB & Js five days in a row. Five days! I haven’t eaten that many PB & Js in the last 2 years. But no one else complained. It did, however, provide an opportunity to sample jellies not usually found in American stores. Among the unique flavors were guava, pineapple-coconut, papaya and mango. 

It is true Jamaicans speaks English… but there’s still a small language barrier. Their version of English is not only difficult to understand because of the accent but they actually have other words we don’t use and ways of spelling common words that differs from ours. We all know Jamaicans say “Yaaman” (“yeah, man”). But how about “Wah gwan”? That’s slang for “how’s it going?” To which you reply, “Mi deh yah, yuh know,” meaning “I’m doing well.” I strained my ear listening when they spoke, especially the children. A few times I couldn’t understand them at all. 

We partnered with a local church named Iterboreal Brethren of Christ. They have a very small concrete building with no play area. Thankfully, the primary school next door graciously allowed us to use their building, small yard, and bathrooms. 

Our goal with CLC International is threefold: 1) reach people in other cultures with the gospel of Jesus Christ, 2) provide a cross-cultural ministry opportunity for our summer staff, and 3) equip native churches/missionaries with tools to reach their own children using the tools of camp ministry. It was encouraging to see all three at work on this trip. 

Our staff taught Bible lessons each morning and afternoon. We storied the Bible from creation to Christ. Jamaicans love to say, “No problem.” It’s part of their culture to not want problems, but rather to relax and take it easy. I used this as a launch point to explain that there IS a problem called sin. The book of Romans teaches us that all people sin and the “wages of sin is death.” But praise be to God, the story doesn’t end there. Sin creates a debt that we are unable to pay but there was One who paid it for us through His own blood and death on the cross. Jesus is the solution to our sin problem. By turning FROM our sinful ways and turning TO faith in Jesus Christ we can have forgiveness and eternal life. 


For some of our students, this was their first out-of-country experience. Hopefully, their perspective has been broadened, allowing them to see how other people live outside the borders of our own country. Many of our staff are involved in mission work and CLC International is one more opportunity. 

Each day we gave a gift to the children. Over the course of the week those items included toothbrushes and toothpaste, clothing, toys, candy, and for the grand finale the best gift of all: a Bible. We gave summer camp devotional booklets to the leaders of the church to use when they have need and left our sports equipment with the school. Also, adults in the community were fitted with reading glasses (thanks Dr. Mark!).

I spoke with the host deacon on the last day asking if we had an open invitation to return. He enthusiastically said “yes.” We gave all our games and song lists to them and suggested they do a camp on their own during the summer. He and another youth leader had the confidence to say they would give it serious consideration. 

In the end, it was another great adventure in doing our part of the Great Commission. Thank you to all those who gave of their time, prayers, and dollars to make it all possible! And thanks be to God for His faithfulness to honor those efforts. 

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” –Ephesians 3:20-21



Ways to Raise Money for Camp

The winter season is the perfect time to start fundraising funds for camp for your group or child. 


Looking for ways to help your child earn money for camp?


Having your child raise some money for camp is a great way to get them excited to go! Here are ways that your child can earn money:

  • Collect aluminum cans and recycle them
  • Reach out to a grandparent(s) or a neighbor who may need some things done
  • Allow for some extra chores to be done around the house
  • Walk a dog 


Looking for ways to fundraise for your group?


Fundraising at your church is a great way to chip down the cost of camp for families. 

Here are some ways to fundraise:

  • Have a meal at your church. Provide a suggested donation. Have the kids who are going to camp serve the congregation!
  • Car washes and bake sales are classic fundraisers that can help
  • Have a sports tournament


Happy Fundraising! If you decide to fundraise for your group, post a picture and make sure to tag us. We want to see!

Fall Newsletter 2019

God never ceases to amaze me. The ways in which He shows up and shows off should keep up in awe of who He is. Certainly the Bible is thick with examples of His provision to sinful people who didn’t deserve it. His grace, mercy and kindness are extended over and over again. This is exhibited most supremely in Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for the sins of humanity. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” This is the message we proclaim as Christians and that is exactly what we teach the children who come to camp. We are sinners in need of a Savior. Jesus Christ IS that Savior. God graciously offers us eternal life

He also offers us everyday life. God delights in answering prayers and meeting daily needs. At camp that means He hears us when we ask for campers, staff, safety, fun activities, kitchen appliances, new cabins, and generous donors. He certainly responded when we asked for a great auction and fundraising event. From obtaining donated auction items to securing a snazzy venue, tables hosts, a packed house full of guests, good food and even nice weather- God was with us the whole way. 

In case you weren’t with us that evening, during the program I explained how God has always been with camp, even from its humble beginnings as an orphanage during the Great Depression to its current status as a year-round camp and retreat facility. He has helped us reach thousands upon thousands of boys and girls with the good news of the gospel. He has enabled us to update and even expand our facilities.

The response that night was wonderful. I am happy to report that the silent auction, live auction plus additional donations brought in over $23,000 towards to development of a new gym and pool! I want to take a moment to say thank you to all those involved in the production of this event. First, thanks to all those who donated items and services to be auctioned. We truly had a worthy stock of quality auction items. Thank you table hosts for graciously giving of your time to contact guests. A big thank you to all who were present whose generosity is propelling us forward. And thank you to all the staff and volunteers who worked behind the scenes. I won’t embarrass you by naming you but you know who you are!

Now that we have our “sea legs” and survived the learning curve, our next auction effort should be a success as well. Follow us on Facebook and other social media to stay current on the latest happenings at CLC. We are still receiving donations for the new gym and pool as we are a loooong ways from reaching our goal of $2,000,000. The next step is the have architectural plans drawn up. The price tag for plans is $60,000. If you would like to help us achieve this goal, you may donate online or send us a check and memo “gym and pool.”

Click Here for Partner Page

Fall Camp

Fall camp is yet another opportunity for children to experience the great outdoors at CLC. This year the kids surveyed the book of Luke. They learned about the major themes from the book such as the teachings of Jesus, his miracles, and most importantly how Jesus never strayed from his mission of being the sacrifice for our sins. 

The kids’ days are filled with activities such as building a fire for Smores, playing on the “Lava Rocks” (which we now own as I mentioned in the last newsletter!), and playing in the giant bubble balls. Fall camp also allows us to do a few things that simply aren’t an option during the summer such as taking the kids to a local petting zoo. They were able to interact with goats, miniature cows, sheep and even a camel. Apparently, bison enjoy bread (who knew right?!) and are 7 times stronger than a cow. FYI- a buffalo and cow hybrid is called a beefalo. Yes, I’m serious. 

Consider sending your child to our spring break and fall break camps as a fun alternative to sitting at home watching TV or playing video games all day. These options may also be very beneficial to parents who cannot take off work while the kids are on break. Transportation is available from Cookeville for no additional charge. 



Our latest lodging addition is approaching completion! Behemoth will hold 12 individuals with their own bathrooms and showers. Most recently, the grout was finished on the bathroom tile while lights and ceiling fans were hung. The exterior is caulked and almost completely painted. HVAC units were installed last week. Laying the hardwood flooring is next then completing the bathroom with sinks, vanities, and toilets. This winter will be a good time for our gap-year students, Ben and Parker, to build bunk beds. They are “chomping at the bit” for that project! If you would like to donate towards the competition of Behemoth, visit our partner page and follow the tabs to “Donate”.

Click Here for Partner Page


Gap-Year Program Launched

Gap years are a win-win for both the student and the host organization. Students become better prepared for ministry while the host gains a chance to invest in the next generation of leaders. Our Gap Year is called Navigate.

Camp ministry can be diverse, difficult, dirty, and fun. Sometimes altogether! While serving at camp, students will have the opportunity to learn practical skills, grow in their faith, and explore God’s call in their lives. Each season presents new challenges and adventures. Where else can you learn to use a chainsaw, work with concrete, replace toilet parts, cook for over 100 people and prepare a Bible lesson? Building bunk beds, repairing railings, cutting grass and painting are a few more things students will learn. It’s not uncommon for any combination of those jobs to occur in the SAME day. 

Working at camp gives young people exposure to such a wide variety of skill sets as to prepare them not only for ministry but, honestly, for life in the real world. Gap years in a camp setting is a vocational school of sorts, demonstrating how our labor, even cleaning, is used for the purposes of God’s kingdom. 

Ben and Parker- Navigate 2019

Auction Update

With a thankful heart, we are happy to update you about our fundraising auction and dinner! First of all, this night could not have been possible without the help of our friends at CLC. We would like to give a special thank you to Mrs. Sue Mitcham for her helpful expertise when it comes to organizing auctions. Thank you to Ted McWilliams for coming out and auctioneering for us! And thanks to each of you who attended! The auction absolutely couldn’t have happened without you guys… seriously.

Alright, I bet you’re wondering how much we raised…

We raised $22,000 and counting. Wow is all we have to say. We are so grateful for the generosity shown to us. Our cup overflows! We sincerely thank everyone who had a part in this. Fortunately, all the money raised will go directly to the capital building fund. Thank you to Carwile Mechanical, Washington Avenue Baptist Church, and American Bank & Trust for underwriting this program so all funds could go the building project!

(Make sure to remember us next year! We plan on doing this again around the same time next year. October 22nd to be exact.)

Businesses and individuals went above and beyond in contributing to the auction. We had over one-hundred silent auction items and 19 live auction items.

This night was an incredible blessing to us. It was a sweet time of fellowship, fun, and sharing the vision of camp’s future with you all. God proved faithful in the organizing. The tasks seemed daunting at times, but thankfully, God goes before us. And He goes before us in this project. We have been praying for many years for this new facility and pool, and God has brought us so far. We ask that you join us in praying for this project.

Lastly, we want to thank you for partnering with CLC. We could not do what we do with out the support of partners. There are so many ways to partner with us. Click here to see how!


Also, visit our partner page! We have cleaned it up a bit, and there is a new way to give! Check it out!


“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thank you to these businesses and individuals who contributed to the auction:

Pictures from the Evening

Thanks to one of our staffers, Mikaela, for the great snapshots!

Our interns (Ben and Parker) being auctioned off for labor. And they surprisingly went for a whopping $300. 😉

Ryan sharing the vision of the new facilities.

Lots of smiles!

A snapshot of some great items.

Lots of fellowship!






































Fall Newsletter

Fall Newsletter 2019

Kingdom Impact

It is a wonderful thing to see God working in the hearts of young people. My prayer has long remained
the same- to witness children believe in Christ and see growth in those who already believe in Him. Each
summer, that prayer is answered many times over. What’s really neat is to see those prayers answered
in the same people from year to year. Many of our campers return summer after summer which allows
us to develop even deeper relationships.
Last year I told you about Brandon, whom we first came to know through our Police Camp. I was warned
that Brandon was better known as “Dennis the Menace” around town because of his tendency to stir up
trouble. He was able to come back later last summer to our regular summer camp program where he
had the same counselor, Scott. Brandon had such a good week that as he was leaving, he was crying
because he wanted to stay.
Brandon returned to camp this summer. I was warned, yet again, he was still a “menace” and influenced
others towards his way of thinking. But since he and Scott had a good time last year, it was a no-brainer
to put them together again. Aside from a headlamp battery exploding and burning two mattresses, it
was a good week. Very good actually…
It was Thursday night when cabins combine and make their fires. I had just finished cabin assignments
for the following week. I stepped out the door and heard the guys all singing and worshiping around the
fire. It was noticeably louder than normal because they were all around one single fire. I decided to
sneak home early at 10 pm. A little later the phone rang. I looked at my watch and told my wife, “Phone
calls at 10:18 are normally not good.” The call came from our camp nurse but when I answered it was
Brandon’s JR counselor, Derek. “Hey, Ryan, I am sitting on the porch of the dining hall and Brandon just
asked Jesus to be his Savior.” I stand corrected. Calls after 10 pm CAN be good!
A few minutes later I was sitting in a rocking chair next to Brandon. He looked as if he was in shock. I
asked him what had happened because I wanted to hear him articulate it. He told me that during the
guys’ worship time he had stepped back for a moment and began crying. He said, “I felt something I’ve
never felt before…and it wasn’t bad.” Derek was able to speak with him and Brandon confessed his sin
to Jesus Christ and received His forgiveness and eternal life.
“I want to be baptized as soon as possible,” he said. For the next little while we talked about the
importance and meaning of baptism. I am happy to report Brandon was baptized that very week. I saw
Brandon in town the other day. He stopped mid-conversation with his friends to run over and give me a
hug. And for a 12 year old “bro” with pink braids known for his rebel-rousing, that’s saying something.
Please pray for Brandon as he begins his new life with Christ.

What Giving Does

Because you pray and give financially Cedar Lake Camp continues to be a catalyst for God
communicating His love and forgiveness. And I rhetorically ask, is there not a greater cause than the
gospel?!! When you give, good things happen.

I truly wish we did not have to charge a dime for kids to come to camp. However, utility companies and
other vendors must be paid and therefore we must charge something. But we do not charge campers
what it WOULD cost if summer camp supplied the annual budget. We offset the cost of camp for each
child by hosting retreat groups throughout the rest of the year in addition to receiving donations from
businesses and individuals. This keeps camp affordable for families. A few minutes on the internet
comparing prices with us versus other camps who offer similar facilities and programming reveals we
are usually WAY more affordable. (I know of a day camp in Nashville that costs $200 more per week for
DAY CAMP than our RESIDENT CAMP! Hello!!!)
Thank you so much for your donations to Cedar Lake Camp. You ARE making a difference in the life of a
child for the kingdom of God!

Looking Forward

I have been sharing for years now our hope and dream of building a gym and new pool. That dream took
a step closer to reality earlier this year when we received plans for this recreational complex.


We have been receiving donations already on behalf of this project and would love to hear from
With a full size basketball court, commercial kitchen, new Snack Shack, and large swimming pool the
price tag is 2 million dollars. That means it will require ALL of us contributing generously to achieve this
goal. We need larger facilities to accommodate the growth of camps and retreat groups. Additionally,
we are always subject to weather here at camp. Rainy days, really hot or really cold temperatures are
not the best days for us. But with a gymnasium all that could change. Most of you know the pool we
currently have has served us well for 77 years but it is old, leaks, and honestly, it’s a nightmare to
maintain. Would you please consider helping us build a gym and pool?
Thanks to our efforts and generous contributions thus far we are already over $100,000! But we still
have a long ways to go.

Mark October 24th on your calendars! That Thursday evening we are hosting our first-ever live and silent
auction at Washington Avenue Baptist Church in Cookeville, TN. Be prepared for a nice meal, brief
program and the opportunity to bid on quality items. If you would like to attend and/or have an item or
service of value you wish to donate please call or email us!

If you have a fundraiser idea you wish to share, please contact us so can work together. Traditional
fundraising and out-of-the-box ideas are all welcome. And if anyone you know has experience writing
grants, we would love to hear from you.
Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Fall Camp 2019 Information

Fall camp will be here before we know it! Camp will be happening October 14-18, 2019. Transportation will be available. More details on transportation will be posted in the future.

Praises- Camp is growing…literally:

 We acquired 6.5 acres which adds a second cave and the legendary “Lava Rocks”
 The new Behemoth cabin is moving along. Expected completion date: May 2020
 Our intern, Carley, is now officially a part-time staffer with a focus on marketing
 We have started a Gap-Year Program! Our first two students, Ben and Parker, will be
with us throughout the school year
2019 was our biggest summer in camp history with 712 kids

Prayer requests:
 Ben and Parker, our Gap-year students to learn the behind-the-scene stuff of camp ministry
 More church, college, school and corporate groups to take advantage of retreat, field trip and
team building opportunities here at CLC
 Donations for the gym and pool
 Unrelenting focus on connecting people to the King of the Universe, Jesus Christ

Why Are We Fundraising?

God is revealing His faithfulness to camp in a number of ways. Our summer just ended and it was an amazing time. Kids made decisions to follow Christ, grew in their walk, and we saw many who made their profession of faith by being baptized. Praise the Lord! God has been working in this camp ministry for over 77 years, and He continues to do so. I’m sure you are noticing all of our announcements about our fundraising events. We have car washes going on this week, worship night, and a yard sale coming up. These are all efforts to get a jump start on a new building project.

We have been praying diligently for a multipurpose building and a new pool. With these new additions, camp can continue growing, reaching more kids with the gospel, and help house retreats during the off-season. We ask that you join us in prayer as we fund raise for this new building phase.

Come and see us and get your car washed this week. Here are the dates and locations:

Monday, July 22- Autozone 558 S Willow Ave, Cookeville, TN, 38501

Tuesday, July 23- FBC Livingston 708 E Main St, Livingston, TN 38570

Thursday, July 25- Central Baptist Church 1346 S Main St, Crossville, TN 38555

All car washes are from 11AM- 4PM. Donations Welcomed.

Join us at a community night of worship at Cedar Lake Camp! All ages are welcome! Bring your own chair or quilt. A love offering will be taken for the building phase.

CLC yard sale this Saturday, July 27th at I Am Worship located 4483 Cookeville Hwy, Cookeville, TN 38506. The yard sale will be 7AM-2PM. All profits will go to support CLC’s building phase.

April Newsletter

What’s been happening at CLC?

There has been so many exciting things happening around Cedar Lake Camp. Just because summer ends doesn’t mean the work ends. Read about what has taken place during this off-season!

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who built it labor in vain…” Psalm 127:1 has been used to many times to encourage families to keep the Lord as the foundational center piece of their lives, family, and home. That is a wonderful application of this verse but the same principle applies to all of the Christian life. We are to bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ in everything we do, even eating and drinking says the Apostle Paul.

That is our goal at Cedar Lake Camp. We want to point people to God and set their feet on “paths of righteousness for His namesake.” Many people have embraced the forgiveness and salvation offered through Christ while at camp. To accomplish this goal there some essentials needed. First of all, our staff is amazing. Most summer staff were campers then transitioned into staff life at CITs on up to Counselor. Secondly, our program has barely changed over the last 77 years…and that’s a good thing. Brother Geiger, who founded camp, did not need fancy high-tech gadgets to offer children an exceedingly fun and spiritually impactful week. We still operate with a simple modus operandi: safe, fun, and Christ-centered. And of course we need funds to facilitate these functions (thank you donors!).

The last practical item of camp’s success I wish to highlight are facilities. We can have all the lofty goals in the world but without a place to carry them out we are stuck. I praise the Lord for our 84 acres and all the buildings and structures on it. Over these last few years we have added to those facilities. In 2014 we introduced Woolly Mammoth– a brand new cabin with all the bells and whistles (literally)! Last year Cabin 10 (A.K.A Bobcat) received a renovation and was used to house young people, not just bunk bed ladders. This year, we are pleased to announce Cabin 9 (Marsh Beaver) also received a face-lift and is very close to completion.

I hope you saw our social media post about breaking ground on ANOTHER brand new cabin just a few weeks ago. This one will live right beside the Mammoth and is almost as big. The cabin’s shell, made of kiln-dried cedar logs, was donated as a kit through a friend from Maine. Footers and foundation are completed along with the subfloor. This newest gem is named Behemoth (read Job 40…).

Two more items for which we have longed are a gym and new pool. These, by far, are the biggest projects we’ve ever tackled. After years of praying and planning we now have the first step complete- professional plans! I’m saving most of the details for a later reveal but I’ll tell you the gym alone is almost 12,000 sq. ft and the pool is connected to the outside of it. Like most of our projects, this will require fundraising and a lot of it. We’re talking mucho dinero. Please pray about how you may be a part of any of these projects. As I’ve always said, for excellent camps we need excellent facilities.

Buildings may not be the most fun thing in the world to talk about but they are necessary tools. They’re not for us anyways. They’re for the children and guests who enjoy Cedar Lake Camp. Psalm 127:3 tells us “children are a heritage from the Lord.” As we enter our 77th year, we look forward to continuing the legacy of passing the gospel of Jesus to the next generation and building on this heritage. We should never seek to build empires in ministry but rather we add to the Kingdom.

-Ryan Higgins, Director

Summer is just around the corner and we are gearing up to meet it head on. However, Cedar Lake Camp does so much more than summer camp.  From mid-January to Spring Break we hosted After School Adventures at a local church to reach out to children in our community with the gospel.  Each week was infused with games, snacks, homework, and Bible lessons all leading up to Spring Camp over the break.

Each camp that we do is different, whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or international.  With Spring Camp the weather is usually cold, the grass is brown, the swimming pool is empty, but some things never change; Campers are still campers, the staff is still close knit, activities are still fun, and the Bible is always taught.  

This year was no different. Carley, our fabulous intern, lead the charge with the Bible teaching.  Leading the campers from Egypt to Sinai, she expounded God’s word from the second half of the book of Exodus.  Spring Camp obviously has smaller numbers for campers and staff, but the impact can be just as great as we go into it with the intent to love on our campers as Christ has loved us. As for the cold weather, it really seemed to only bother me because the campers were more than excited to get out and enjoy the activities of camp, including splashing in a canoe and even searching for crawfish in the creek.  

One unique thing about our fall and spring camps is that they are day camps only, so in the evening we get the opportunity to invest in the staff a little bit more.  This year my wife, Megan, led the staff through a study to help them learn to be wise in their interactions with our culture. In a culture that seems to be shifting more and more away from Biblical values, it is important that we learn to interact with the culture without letting it shake us from the solid rock of Biblical truth.  As we move into the summer we intend to continue to stand firm on that foundation of truth, teaching it and reinforcing it among our staff and all the campers that God sends our way.

-Jared Marsh, Assistant Director

    Sign up for CLC Emails

    * indicates required