By Pat Shea
Summer camp time will be here before you know it, but don’t just think it’s for the kids— at Delta Lake Bible Conference, individuals, families, seniors, groups, and of course, kids, are welcome to come and enjoy a faith-filled camp experience.
And don’t just think camp is only in the summer — Delta Lake Conference Center is open year-round with events and experiences that are fun for any age!
“I believe that camp offers unique life skills that can’t be found anywhere else,” stated Steve Clark, Executive Director for Delta Lake Bible Conference in a recent interview. “Camp is a community environment where staff [and campers] play, worship, work and [live] life together. This gives [especially] a young person, the ability to develop their interpersonal and leadership skills, growing socially, physically and spiritually.”
Located just north of Rome, New York, on the picturesque shores of Lake Delta, the center, which hosts 39 acres for attendees to explore, and a wide range of activities to enjoy, works hard to provide a restful and faith-filled destination for campers to come and worship God. To help keep staff and campers focused on this goal, the 94-year old camp has introduced a new “vision” statement this year: Proclaim, Provide, Prepare and Participate.
“’Proclaim’ is to proclaim the Gospel (evangelism),” explained Clark. ‘Provide’ means we will provide an environment for the Holy Spirit to work (hospitality); ‘Prepare’ means we are preparing the next generation of Christian leaders (discipleship); and ‘Participate’ speaks to when you are here, how you can best use your time, talent and treasure to impact the Kingdom (mobilization).
Although the camp has a long history and connection to the Christian and Missionary Alliance of New York, with its roots dating back to 1890, it began operating as the Delta Lake Bible Conference Center in the 1990s. Even in today’s “tech-savvy” world, Clark points out that offering a place to connect individuals with faith and fellowship is still important.
“I believe Christian camping is as important as ever,” stated Clark. “When we think about how much our kids are surrounded by technology, media, and other noises that distract them, time at camp gives them the opportunity to build meaningful relationships and enjoy God’s creation.”
Everyone is welcome
A great appeal of the Delta Lake Bible Conference Center is the ability for the facility to accommodate groups of all sizes for a wide variety of events. There’s a dining hall that offers buffet meals, but individuals and groups can also bring their own food. The center also hosts a café that serves snacks, and has experienced staff to tend to all the needs of their guests.
“We hire a staff of 80 for the summer to serve in positions like counselor, activity leader, maintenance, housekeeping, food service and life guard,” explained Clark.
Guests attending the camp will find a playground, a swimming area, a boating area for kayaks and canoes, fields for baseball and soccer, and a climbing wall. There’s meeting rooms for large groups, a chapel, an auditorium, a gym/fieldhouse for volleyball and basketball, picnic areas, as well as and plenty of accommodations. The camp offers a main lodge that has 22 rooms which can house up to 88 people; a mini lodge that hosts 12 rooms accommodating up to 34 people; dormitory housing; cabins that are available from late spring to early fall that accommodate eight people; and sites suitable for tent camping or an RV; and cottages utilized to house guests and speakers for the ministry.
One of the unique aspects of Delta Lake is Haven Summer Camp and Haven Camp weekends which is designed for children with developmental disabilities.
“Our Haven Camp programs are an incredible way to show God’s love to a group of people who are often neglected by society. This program began in 1971, and has 47 years of being the hands and feet of Jesus,” stated Clark.
Haven Camps will run this summer from June 11-August 16, and those interested should check with the camp to determine dates and enrollment for their children.
Haven Camps are geared toward campers that don’t require a wheelchair for mobility, since the majority of the camp’s landscape is not wheelchair-friendly, and Clark and his team want all campers to enjoy a safe and fun experience. In fact, safety is a key concern that the Delta Lake staff takes very seriously.
“The security of our guests and campers is absolutely crucial,” explained Clark. “When moms and dads drop off their kids to us, they are entrusting us with their most prized possession.” Clark explained the camp not only has round-the-clock staff members walking through the grounds to ensure the safety of campers, but the camp performs background checks on all personnel.
The new camp season will begin on June 3, 2018, and will kick off with the camp’s “Senior Saints’ program, for those over the age of 50. Family Camp runs from June 28-July 7. For Youth Camp, senior high students can attend July 8-July 14; junior high students can attend from July 15-July 21; and elementary students can attend July 22-July 28.
“I’m excited for guests and campers to come for our 2018 summer season,” stated Clark. “We are a year round conference center, so we never close…but there’s a different feel when the grounds are full and all of our buildings are open. I think the special thing is the sounds and feel when we are full every day. Our full summer season runs from the beginning of June until Labor Day, so that’s three straight months!”
To register for family camp, families should contact the office but youth camp registration can be done online at, www.deltalake.campbrainregistration.com and Haven Camp registration forms can be downloaded at http://deltalake.org/2018havenregforms.pdf.
Keeping camp affordable is important to Clark and his board of directors. Family registration camp costs may vary, but Youth Camp costs $395, and Haven Camps cost $495. The camp does offer an Early Bird registration discount if campers are registered by May 1, 2018, and there is a referral discount, as well as a sibling discount. For Haven Campers, there is an early bird registration of $45 off if registered by April 30, and there is a multi-week discount offered for campers enrolled in more than one camp session.
As the Delta Lake staff readies for another busy camp season, Clark reflects on how God reaches out to the people in attendance, making it one of his and the camp’s biggest benefits.
“Seeing lives changed and people drawn into a more mature relationship with Jesus Christ is one of our greatest joys,” stated Clark “I believe Christian camping is becoming more and more important. And in five years, I see us expanding the scope of our Haven Camp program, adding new youth camp activities and developing our buildings and property to better serve our guests and campers…”
Amen to that.