For the third consecutive year, Maranatha Volunteers International held a project at Camp Kulaqua in northern Florida. This 800-acre summer camp and retreat center is the largest in North America, and comes with the corresponding amount of maintenance. A Maranatha project here means a number of tasks can be completed in a short amount of time, which might otherwise be pushed down the road.
Volunteers on this project constructed a 40 by 60 foot outdoor pavilion, which will provide a gathering place for picnics, meetings, and other events. They also cut down a dozen trees, cleaned and created horse trails, painted decks, and laid 1,500 feet of water line.
Michael Hopkins, building maintenance director at Camp Kulaqua, first reached out to Maranatha in 2018, after hearing about the organization’s North America Project Assistance program at a national camp conference. That very next February, Hopkins welcomed a team of volunteers to camp. The group ended up constructing 18 decks on several cabins, building 1,300 lineal feet of fencing, painting, making repairs, and landscaping–labor that was valued at more than $136,000.
“The first year that we did this, it was a learning process for me. I wasn’t sure who would come and what the experience would be. And I was just blown away by that first year–the work ethic that people come with,” says Hopkins.
“The biggest overall effect is that it gives a new fresh look to the camp. The volunteers that were here, they may not realize how much of a difference they’re making, but someone who has seen things at the camp in the past will come back and say ‘wow’ because the difference is so tangible.”
Maranatha’s project at Camp Kulaqua is one of the many at camps, schools, churches, and other entities in the United States and Canada. Currently, there are 10 volunteer projects scheduled in North America in 2021, with more to be added soon. Everyone is welcome to join. If your organization could use Maranatha’s help, visit our North America Project Assistance page.