Open House

Open House

S'mores at Open House

NEW TO PINE LAKE?  OPEN HOUSE IS FOR YOU!

Get a taste of why campers and parents love Pine Lake. At Open House, families explore camp, meet the staff, and enjoy classic camp fun!  This is a great way to preview the culture of Pine Lake and learn more about what makes camp the best week of the summer.  The Pine Lake community is always growing; we can’t wait to meet you!

 

Explore!

Meet the Staff!

Have Fun!

See the summer camp cabins. Get to know summer counselors. Boat with a friend, a staff, or on your own.
Peek in the Pavilion, the cafeteria. Talk one-on-one with the directors. Play field games led by staff.
Scope out the Shelter, or chapel. Visit with veteran volunteers. Roast a hotdog over the campfire.
Walk the trails. Hear firsthand stories from former campers. Learn to play gaga ball.
Enjoy the beautiful lakefront. Connect with camper parents. Hangout at the playground.

ALREADY PART OF THE PINE LAKE COMMUNITY?

Join in the fun!  Community is what makes camp so special, and we are glad you are part of our family. Truly, we love when campers say, “We couldn’t wait til the summer! We had to come to Open House!” Open House is meant to be a fun, free day for everyone, including new families, old friends, volunteers, and staff!  Also, every camper registered at Open House receives a free t-shirt! Don’t miss out on this!

 

REGISTER AT OPEN HOUSE FOR A FREE T-SHIRT

That’s right, every camper registered at Open House can choose a t-shirt from our current stock OR get the 2021 t-shirt at their week of camp! **Deposit and completed registration form are required to qualify.

 

OPEN HOUSE FAQ’s

Friends in a canoe at Open House (2019)

Friends in a canoe at Open House (2019)

Cost?

FREE!

Where do I RSVP for Open House?

This event is spacious and well-staffed, so no need to RSVP! Just come! (If you want though, you can RSVP, and share the event on Facebook!)

How much time will this take?

As little as 15 minutes to as long as 3 hours, depending on what you want to do! A full tour is about 30 minutes, not including boating or roasting a snack over the fire.

Directions?

Use the address below, and once you hit Pine Lake Road, follow the signs!

Can I register for summer camp while I’m there?

Yes, but only if you want a free t-shirt!

I’m booked this Saturday.  Can I tour another time?

Definitely! Call or email the office to schedule a tour with us! Our staff are knowledgeable about what to expect this summer, and we love sharing camp with others! (It’s why we work here.)

 

 

Summer Camp Page

 

Questions? Call the Camp Office: (601) 483-2267 or email us at info@pinelakecamp.com

 

Photo Gallery – Work Day & Association Meeting

March 6, 2021

This year we got new lighting in the bathhouses, painted the girls bathhouse, cleaned cabins, raked pine straw, cleared storm debris, fell two dead trees, and tidied up at Tall Pines Fellowship Center and Lake View Lodge. (Comment with jobs we missed!) More importantly, this community was able to gather and work towards a common goal while enjoying beautiful sunshine and delicious food!

WORK DAY & ASSOCIATION MEETING

WORK DAY

Here’s a chance to be part of getting Pine Lake ready for the Spring season of retreat and events!  Join dozens of others to volunteer with various projects around camp.  Light construction to raking pine straw, your help is welcome and appreciated!

Service Projects

Work projects begin in the morning and take place all over camp. From cleaning cabins to cutting trails, there are many things on Pine Lake’s to do list.  There are low and high skill jobs. What we enjoy most is serving alongside other folks toward a common goal. Projects for all ages and skills.


Association Meeting

The annual Association meeting is a great opportunity to hear news & events, learn about what God is doing at Pine Lake, conduct organization business, affirm board members, & welcome new members. Learn more about PLFC’s Association.

Tentative Schedule

  • 8:30 – Service Projects Begin
  • 10:30 – Coffee & Doughnut Break
  • 1:00 – Lunch
  • 2:00 – Association Meeting

RSVP to info@pinelakecamp.com to reserve a complimentary room!

One Last Gift to Open

Campfire 2019 on the Island
December 2020
Dear Friend of Pine Lake,
This was certainly not the year we hoped for, nor expected. As the last pages of the calendar fall away, it’s tempting to box up the woes of 2020 and label it “The Worst Year,” while looking toward a brighter new year in 2021. Before we close the box completely, I invite you to pause and join me in recognition of the ways God has worked at Pine Lake throughout this year.  We look forward to what God has planned in 2021!- Suzanne
 

The act of thanks-giving is holy protest against cynicism, covetousness, fatalism, entitlement, self-pity, joylessness, discontentment, self-sufficiency, greed, arrogance, and apathy. – Duke Kwon 

 

God’s Work at Camp in 2020!

Strong Financial Standing at Year’s Start

  • Pine Lake started the year 2020 off with a budget surplus from 2019.  In January, Pine Lake anticipated a year of sizable growth with expanded summer plans and an increase in guest group reservations. Today, we recognize the 2019 budget surplus as God’s provision to sustain Pine Lake through a year of uncertainty.

New Partnership Boosts Camp’s OutreachWorld Renew Volunteers at a house dedication

  • After pouring every bit of energy into rebuilding parts of the local community affected by tornado damage, volunteers with World Renew (a disaster relief group) refueled and rested in the natural setting of camp through January and February. Their leaders still gush over their comfortable lodging at Pine Lake.

New Volunteers Came to Camp

  • Throughout the winter months, five retired couples volunteered at camp and helped with everything from new lighting around the Pavilion to finishing the Tall Pines gym. Their reward for their hard work: the knowledge they served where and when they could, with the bonus of a warm winter and even warmer community.

Pine Lake Community Gathered in March Work Day was a great time to catch up!

  • Cleaning, wood splitting, raking, fellowship over smoked chicken, and more. Caring for camp at Work Day was especially poignant as the last major camp event before the cascade of COVID-19 closures and cancellations began.

Wildlife at Pine Lake

  • Mr. and Mrs. goose hatched 6 fuzzy goslings at Pine Lake in the spring, and nurtured their family at camp for most of the spring! Wild turkeys and deer showed their faces more, too.

Neighbors Fishing

  • Neighbors and community members were able to enjoy the serenity and retreat experience of camp when they came to fish during the long gaps in between guest groups.  Several voiced that fishing at Pine Lake was a needed restful escape and a delight.

Summer Staff Stay Committed to CampersPine Lake From Home camper zoom

  • When the tides shifted on summer camp and we had to cancel, every single summer staff agreed to volunteer. They all wanted to help in whatever way they could to make camp happen for campers at home. The staff found ways to encourage and nurture both campers and each other. At the end of the summer, a zoom camper declared her favorite part of camp, “Meeting everyone, so now I’ll know people when I come to camp next summer!

Thirty People, One Gorgeous QuiltQuilting Retreat

  • Veteran and rookie quilters gathered at the Camp Quilt Retreat & Workshop to complete the Camp Quilt, a symbol of the community of Pine Lake. A former Pine Lake camper who now lives far away came to quilt, spend time with old friends, and introduce her daughter to Pine Lake.

Family Fun in a New Way

  • Several parents said, “We needed this,” and the wide smiles on their kids’ faces confirmed it. For the 10 families who gathered for Family Escapes in July & September, camp continues to be a place where kids (and adults) can unplug, be wholly themselves, and feel God’s closeness.

Homeschoolers Came Home to Camp

  • For some, Fall Homeschool Camp Days were a return to a familiar place. For others, a new love for camp blossomed as they flew down the zip line, roasted cinnamon apple slices over a fire they built on their own, and more!

Deep Family Bonding

  • Dads and kids built more than birdhouses as they stepped out of their normal routines and made new memories at Dads & Kids Weekend in October. Between boating (and splashing) on the lake and getting lost in worship music at campfire, fathers and children experienced adventure and retreat together.

A Nation-wide Auction

  • The support of so many Pine Lakers from all over the country was both humbling and thrilling. People who’ve never been to Pine Lake before bid up items made by people who hold Pine Lake dear in their heart.

Go Local, Get Delicious

  • Chess squares, coconut cream pies, jambalaya, barbecue, and more! United in spirit, though divided by distance, churches and individuals worked together to raise money in their own communities through mouth-watering means! Des Allemands Mennonite, a former Camp Sale host church, put on a craft and bake sale in their town and raised over $1,100 dollars! In Jackson, Rhoda, Jody, and company pulled off a full fledged barbecue plate sale with sides, pound cake, banana pudding, and optional delivery. Local people shared their warm memories of Pine Lake as they bought plates!

 

Camp Sale By the Numbers
 

The Engine of Camp

While the board of directors stewards Pine Lake and the year round staff oversee operations, volunteers are undoubtedly the engine who keep Pine Lake going.  Our volunteer layout looked very different, but was rich in deep support. From winter service workers last winter to Jeff Landis jumping on the mower and John Opel doing dirt work, many of camp’s essential needs were met.  Dozens of hours were spent around the camp quilt and filling the wood box this year.   The volunteer virtual summer staff spent time leading worship and connecting with Pine Lake From Home campers.   

There’s no doubt, volunteers are the engine that keeps Pine Lake moving! 

Here’s a list of what was done this year, powered by volunteers:

Facilities:

  • Painted boys & girls bathhouse
  • Pavilion cleaned
  • Cabins cleaned
  • All Tall Pines and Lodge windows washed
  • Tall Pines gym panels finished
  • New exterior lights on the Pavilion
  • Wood shed stocked
  • Cleaning and organizing the old office
  • New Tall Pines dishes unboxed, washed, and stored
  • Outdoor furniture at Tall Pines sealed

Fundraising:

  • Camp Quilt quilted, bound, and finished
  • Barbecue fundraiser
  • Bake Sale
  • Craft and Bake Sale
  • Gumbo & Jambalaya Sale

Grounds:

  • Shelter campsites raked and trimmed
  • Creek/lake dirtwork
  • swamp trail Pressure washed
  • Picnic tables and benches pressure washed
  • Semi-annual raking around Shelter campsites, basketball court, Bender, Lodge, and perimeter of Tall Pines fields
  • Flowerbeds done and mulched
  • Pines around Tall Pines trimmed

Administrative:

  • Files organized and accessible
  • Photo archives organized
  • Summer Brochures sent out

Programming:

  • Family Escape Weekend activities
  • Summer Camp Zooms
  • Camp in a Box assembly

Volunteer Corner

Keith "Pap" Graybill and grandson Ian spreading gravel

Spread gravel, sanitize silverware, and trim the peninsula: in their two weeks at Pine Lake, Keith and Janet Graybill checked these and many other humble items off the perpetual to-do list. Driven by their appreciation for the reconciliatory ministry of Pine Lake, as well as the joy they experience from volunteerism, the Graybill’s happily pitched in at camp during their most recent visit with their son (Executive Director, Matt Graybill) and his family.

Primarily, they prepared Pine Lake to host upcoming guest groups: a homeschool group, a wedding, and a quilters guild.  Tasks like washing the out of reach windows in the Lodge and raking and trimming brush in the Shelter Campsites spruced up the space quite a bit. For Janet, helping with hospitality is a way of joining in the mission of camp, which resonates deeply with them. “We enjoy making it look like a welcoming place for people.”

As Keith pressure washed nearly every picnic table & bench at Main Camp, he had time to reflect on God’s work in his own life.  “In life one does not always see tangible progress or the making of a difference in our efforts  … it is very rewarding to receive visible confirmation the beauty of reconditioned wood on a bench or picnic table revealed when a pressure washer beats off the accumulation of scaling from weather exposure. The beauty of camp is apparent, but more is waiting to be explored. Might volunteering also open us up for God’s exploration and reveal?”

Over the last year, more than a few guests have been able to experience peace and renewal in the natural beauty of Pine Lake because of supporters’ generosity of time!  If you want to join in the fun, call the office and talk to Matt.  We still have more pressure washing (among other things) to do!

 

Hands and Feet of the Church

Mr Willie presented with a wall hanging for his kitchen
Mr Willie presented with a wall hanging for his kitchen

Mr. Willie presented with a wall hanging for his kitchen by members of World Renew.

 “In His service, World Renew volunteers,” were the final words at a home dedication Meridian resident Mr. Willie on March 20.   Mr. Willie had a tree fall on and destroy part of his home during an EF-2 tornado in April 2018.  As a result, he was left with no kitchen or bathroom for two years and had to use homes of other nearby family members.  “Now, l live in a mansion,” said Mr. Willie thanked World Renew facilitators Gary & Bev Van Noort and Jack & Pat Buist after the dedication.  

For nearly two months, dozens of volunteers helped rebuild the back side of his house in just 5 weeks.  World Renew: Disaster Reponse Services “set up camp” at Pine Lake from February 6-March 20 to provide relief to homeowners affected by the tornado.  In that time, PLFC was the host site for 95 volunteers who served at Mr. Willie’s and several other storm damaged homes.  After working in the rain and mud each day, volunteers kicked back each evening to renew their strength and energy with conversation around the table or a walk around the lake.    One group of volunteer students from Grand Valley State University even spent a few days at PLFC cleaning cabins and painting bathhouses.   Then students prayed over the cabins for campers to take their next step with Christ this summer.  Praise God!

Ms. Mavis Scott’s home was built from the ground up in only 5 weeks by another group of volunteers from Orland Park Christian Reformed Church (Illinois).  At her home dedication on March 12, dozens of volunteers, community leaders, and partner agencies gathered to give her the keys to a new home.  She is thankful for a home “that isn’t falling down” (Watch Ms. Mavis in her own words).  This church even secured a $20,000 grant to help Ms. Mavis.  As hands and feet of the Church, each volunteer gave their time, skills, and finances to demonstrate Christ's hope to not only people in need, but an entire community.  Pine Lake is humbled to have played a supporting role in this example of love.  The Meridian community as well as our Pine Lake staff are inspired by World Renew’s mission and call to service. Thank you to each volunteer and partner agency for your role in this mission.

WTOK Ms Mavis

A heartwarming news report of the impact World Renew volunteers made in the Meridian community.


This post was written by Matt Graybill, Executive Director and was part of PLFC's April 2020 newsletter update  Check it out!

April 2020 Newsletter