Camp Yavapines, in Prescott, Arizona, recently hosted 65 volunteers from Maranatha Volunteers International. This team helped out with a variety of maintenance and small building projects on the campgrounds. Volunteers’ work helped relieve the burden on camp staff, who stay busy serving roughly 5,000 guests throughout the year.

This volunteer group took full advantage of the project’s ten-day duration. They built covered decks, installed rock retaining walls, replaced bathroom sinks, and helped landscape the camp grounds. The list of tasks they completed could go on and on. All this was accomplished by a group of diverse professionals. Individuals with little construction or maintenance experience made up for it with a willingness to learn and dedication to service.

“The camp is beautiful because of Maranatha,” said Yavapines’ manager, Scott Blake. He is one of the camp’s three full-time employees, and explained that they simply can’t afford the manpower to maintain the camp grounds. “[Maranatha volunteers] do about $80,000 worth of labor in ten days,” he said. “That’s a very conservative number we came up with.”

Project coordinator Carolyn Houghton admitted her fear early on that the group wouldn’t be able to complete their long to-do list. But she was pleasantly surprised by a tenacious team. “We get the list thinking, ‘We’ll never get all this done.’ And then we always finish it,” she remarked. “It’s just so cool to watch this happen and what these people accomplish in so little time.”

Many of the volunteers on this team have worked on several of Maranatha’s 13 projects at Camp Yavapines. “You get hooked on it,” explained Houghton. “Why do you think so many people come back every year?” They return after months apart and pick up right where they left off with fellow volunteers and camp staff. Yavapines’ has a welcoming atmosphere that draws them in. “We have become like family with them,” said Houghton of camp employees.

Each year, Maranatha works with organizations in the United States and Canada to provide volunteer labor for various construction or renovation projects at summer camps and retreat centers, schools, and churches. Work ranges from renovations of existing buildings to new construction, and saves thousands of dollars in labor costs.