ROSCOMMON, MI – This is a year of change and fresh vision for Bambi Lake Retreat and Conference Center. With 240 acres of land, much of which is wooded and rustic, located in the beautiful setting of northern Michigan on the I-75 corridor, there is amazing potential for expansion and growth of our existing facilities. Thanks to the Francis Brown State Mission Offering being designated solely for Bambi Lake, the camp’s potential and expansion can now begin to be truly realized. Our vision is great, but our God is greater!
The renovation and expansion of Bambi Lake will focus on three areas: people, programs and property. All three of these areas integrate and flow together so when we improve one area we are improving all three. Over the last nine months much progress has already be achieved in each of these areas. Bambi Lake strives to intentionally encourage, disciple and empower Christians and non-Christians of all ages in their relationship with Jesus. Whether it’s their first time to experience Jesus, the living Gospel, or if they have been a believer for years, Bambi Lake can play a special role in one’s journey with Christ.
As Bambi Lake continues to expand we are excited to engage more and more people with the gospel. With every retreat or summer camp we are privileged to witness the Holy Spirit work in the lives of young and old, boys and girls, men and women. We are excited to see campers answer the call to serve in ministry. God loves people and so does Bambi! Helping people have a “difference making” moment with Jesus Christ is the motivation behind everything we do at Bambi Lake. This is why the Frances Brown State Mission Offering means so much - it gives us the much-needed resources to build upon the heritage Bambi Lake already has as a place where you can experience God.
As we endeavor to encourage, disciple, and empower our attendees over this next year, we are exploring new programming options for our retreats and summer camps. We are also adding in some exciting one and two-day events to the calendar. Striving to provide high quality, relevant speakers and ministry equipping events, we are inviting The Smalley Institute, Ken Freeman, and Dr. Paige Patterson to be with us in 2018. Bambi will be hosting two gospel music weekends featuring “The Martins” and “Karen Peck and New River” along with other regional gospel groups. The funding provided by the State Offering will allow us to construct a stage and amphitheater so Bambi can host concerts and big outdoor events. To enhance our summer camps, we are adding activities such as paintball, archery and archery tag. A forty-foot water slide and water trampoline will be welcomed sites to the lakefront by campers, creating unforgettable summer camp memories. The tremendous variety of retreats and camps we offer at Bambi Lake truly provides something for everyone of all ages.
Improving and upgrading the landscaping and facilities at Bambi Lake are essential to our vision and mission. We are committed to Bambi Lake being well-maintained, clean and refreshing. Minor repairs and paint have already improved the exterior look of the lodge. While there are still some upgrades needed on the exterior one major area we hope to address inside the lodge is the flooring. The first floor still has some of the original carpet. We are excited about the possibility of installing new flooring in the lodge to give it a fresh, new look. One of our guest rooms has been upgraded already and serves as a template for how we want to enhance and renovate the rest of the guest rooms. All of the chalets and cabins need a fresh coat of paint on the exterior, as well as complete renovating on the interior. In the Wilson Building, the dining room and worship center need new flooring and a fresh coat of paint. The gym needs a heating solution to make it usable in all seasons for indoor basketball, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, etc. This will expand the number of activities available for retreats and camps when the weather is not conducive to outdoor play. Funding from the Francis Brown State Offering will help us in remodeling, repairing and expanding the usability of our facilities.
Landscaping upgrades are already in process. People who have come on the camp in recent months have noted many improvements and we are just getting started. Overgrown shrubs have been removed. Low maintenance shrubs, flowering shrubs and trees, perennial plants that are suited to the conditions at Bambi will be added in 2018. More clearly defined roads and driveways are also part of our landscape vision. State Mission Offering funds will be used to purchase new, maintenance free signs that show ½ mile from the entrance on Old 76 coming from the east or west. If you are approaching the back entrance, we hope to add a sign there to tell you to stay on the paved road and follow it to Old 76 and then turn right to the camp.
As if that weren’t enough, another improvement we are looking forward to adding is in our campground facility. It is essential that all of our sites are sufficient to accommodate large motorhomes or small pop-up campers. We also have plans to accommodate families and groups who love to camp, but don’t have a camper and don’t like tents. We are planning to build cottages that provide electricity and sleep four to six comfortably. A remodeled bathhouse will be essential to provide bathroom and bathing facilities.
Our vision is large. More buildings with more beds for more people to come. More rooms equipped for couples for married/family events. More activities to do when people are here. Maybe even a boardwalk by the beach with water features. Through the generous giving of Michigan Southern Baptists to the Francis Brown State Mission Offering many of these plans and renovations will become reality. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the generous giving of Michigan Southern Baptists will impact present and future generations to come. Amen!
For more information about Bambi Lake Baptist Retreat and Conference Center or to register for Bambi Lake events, visit bscm.org/bambi.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mick Schatz arrived in 2017 to serve on the staff of the BSCM as the State Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats. He spends the majority of his time at Bambi Lake where he resides, along with his wife Jackie and their three children.