Campers from last year learn a new skill. FACEBOOK/Camp Kaleo
FORSYTH – As many organizations regroup and alter services due to COVID-19, Camp Kaleo in Forsyth is essentially back to business as usual.
Camp Kaleo and their staff are persevering through more than one storm, literally and metaphorically. While COVID has definitely thrown off their year, they also recently recovered from the aftermath of Hurricane Sally, which put their center bridge and worship center completely underwater.
However, that’s nothing new, Mike Flowers, Royal Ambassadors and Challengers consultant for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, shared. The team was prepared to clean up and get things rolling again quickly.
For COVID-19 safety precautions, they’re limiting the size of the groups coming, now maxing out at around 120 guests on campus, whereas in the full-swing of a normal summer, they’ve had over 305 filling the campus at one time. This allows for adherence to CDC COVID-19 guidelines, including wearing masks while going through the food line and social distancing.
But, the campus is open to church groups now. The kitchen is running, and the worship space is ready to be filled.
All the fun activities that bring people to Kaleo are up and a go too (or will be in time for summer camp) like tree climbing, low ropes, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking trails, and their raft water slide.
Despite COVID-19, Flowers is keeping busy preparing for the events that aren’t cancelled the rest of this season or next season, including:
- State RACamporee,
- Reaching the Nations – Race for Missions Congress (2021is still on),
- Summer day camp for local kids, and
- Overnight Adventure Camps.
Flowers says they’re even hopeful that the State RA Racer Derby scheduled for Feb. 20, 2021, will be able to continue as scheduled, but that’s dependent on how churches are conducting their kids ministries right now.
“I don’t know what next year’s going to look like, but we’re going to be doing camp,” Flowers said.
On a typical day, Flowers and his staff can be seen cleaning up the campus preparing for the next group. Kaleo is gearing up for a busy 2021 camp season, focusing on being constantly in a “state of readiness,” Flowers said.
“At Kaleo, we want to walk with purpose. We want to work with purpose. We want to speak with purpose,” Flowers continued. “Everything we do is with purpose, and that is to glorify Jesus Christ. ‘Kaleo’ means called, and you’re called for a purpose – to make a difference in the lives of those around you.”
Their ministry still continues, because what they do is essential, especially in a time like this.
“Camp changes lives. Kids need a break from the craziness, busyness, cell phones, and electronics. They need to get away to a quiet place. This is a quiet place,” he shared.
“Camp is a place of beginning again. It’s a place to reconnect, put all the distractions aside, be in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and reconnect with God and with others.”