by Nancy Spears
ROSCOMMON, MI – Have you ever worked intensely? So hard your body aches and you can hardly stand up? Not that the work itself is hard work, but the days are long and each moment of the task at hand is worthy of your whole attention to detail and your best effort… the task that does not seem to matter in the larger scheme of life and yet, it makes a difference in the moment for the place you are serving… the work that is almost thankless, and in the background unnoticed… that is the way of serving at Bambi Lake. So, you might wonder, why do we serve?
The Infinite Retreat was held the weekend of April 16-18, 2021. Since COVID 19 began, this is the first light and beginning of normalcy at Bambi Lake. More than 100 youth and leaders were in camp. Bambi Collective, led by Mick Schatz, was in its regular form of exuberant worship music joined by singers, Noah and Grace. John Coin, worship pastor, challenged the students to find the new normal that is found in Christ and not in the world. Seven students professed Christ as Savior, and new life began.
Behind this, many of whom were relatively unnoticed, were the volunteers. Staff volunteers repaired leaking pipes and fixed faucets in buildings that were opened from a long winter rest. Staff volunteers cleaned the rooms, washed the linens, and placed them on the beds, making sure each room had the essentials that were needed. Volunteer staff made a menu, ordered food and prepared it for each meal assisted by weekend volunteers. Volunteers registered all the people, making room assignments to keep people with their group. Volunteers greeted the youth and their leaders; temp checking each person, and directed each group to their rooms. Mountains of dishes were washed by on camp volunteers. It was weekend volunteers who washed and sanitized the tables between meals and vacuumed as needed. Weekend volunteers made milkshakes and smoothies in the Snack and Gift Shop under the supervision of a staff volunteer.
After the event, weekend volunteers took the used linens from the lodge to the laundry room and the trash to the dumpster. And on Monday, staff volunteers continued to “pull linens and trash out” of the other buildings. And so, it continues, with another event scheduled to begin the following weekend. And some of the same volunteers will return to do work the next weekend, adding in some other projects like drywalling and directing activities.
A busy weekend, yes! But this is the easy season at Bambi Lake! Still, there are many essential things to be done in the camp that cannot be done by our volunteer staff of five full-timers and three part-timers. Many short-term volunteers are scheduled to come to the camp in the coming weeks.
Disaster Relief ChainSaw volunteers will be cutting down and cleaning up trees that need to be removed.
Baptist Builders are building ramps into cabins 1 & 2, and a handicap accessible fishing dock over the water near the beach.
Campers on Mission volunteers are scheduled to repair and paint the play area in the campground, and other campground repairs.
First Baptist Church, Lee’s Summit, Missouri missions group and choir to work on a boardwalk project at the beach and general camp clean-up.
Harmony Baptist Church volunteers working on docks, campsites and other grounds maintenance.
Through the Roof Ministry is going to build small ramps to make easier wheelchair access for the lodge.
As we make the camp more handicap accessible, there are many more projects to be completed. There are hand-held showers heads to be installed, a concrete walkway to the beach area, walkways and doorways to be made more accessible, and handicap bathrooms to be completed in the lodge.
Summer is coming! Extra volunteers will make the difference at Bambi Lake. Whether for one day, a weekend, a week-long, a one-time commitment or repeating, any tasks that are completed by fresh volunteers make it possible for the staff volunteers to refresh, do their best and work more efficiently. For example: volunteers from Holland Baptist came for a two-night stay and built the cabinets in the barrier free bathrooms, as well as some much-needed reorganizing in the kitchen and kitchen storage office that made a big difference as we tackled the Infinite Retreat. It is amazing what can be accomplished in a short time with the right person with the right tools.
Now for the big ask! We need your help!! Our volunteer staff will continue to do what needs to be done. But we need your prayers for health and physical endurance. A very busy summer is on the schedule and we cannot do it alone. We need volunteers to come alongside us to help us do what needs to be done. People who are willing to do whatever needs to be done, and to do it with a cheerful spirit are indispensable to our camp. Your camp!
Some of the tasks that could be done by additional volunteers are:
Mowing and trimming the property- weekly through the summer growing season
General clean up of fallen branches-a regularly needed job
Painting- exterior and interior, repairing as needed
Grinding stumps, filling holes
Servicing lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws, generators before the summer
Repairing golf carts, servicing and repairing vehicles
Landscaping areas by Lodge, Worship Center and Prayer Chapel
Making signs for Mini-golf, Monster Hill, and other areas, directional signs
And much more
Many jobs require skilled laborers like running water lines and electricity to cabins or campsites. Some jobs just require willingness and flexibility like picking up dead tree branches that have fallen on the ground. But each job makes a difference for the camp. And it is our desire for the camp to continue to make a difference for the kingdom. Everything that volunteers do for the camp makes it possible for us to continue providing a place where we see people hear and respond to the call of God on their lives. That is why we serve, sacrificially at Bambi Lake Retreat and Conference Center.
Is there something God is calling you to do? Do you have a skill to share or a heart to serve? Interested in volunteering?
Please contact Nancy, Tim or Mick at Bambi Lake 989-275-5844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.” Colossians 3:23.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy is married to Daniel, a wonderful and understanding man who encourages her to serve where God calls. They have a large family who loves spending time at Bambi Lake where she is a full-time volunteer.