FORSYTH – For outdoor lovers who mourn the recent demise of Macon’s longstanding Mud Run, mourn no longer. There’s a new and improved event occurring in just four weeks that brings families together while benefiting missions.
Camp Kaleo Retreat Center is launching the first annual Race For Missions Congress that is sure to burn off extra energy of teens while fostering a friendly competitive spirit with families, churches, and other groups.
While it won’t be a mud run … unless it rains before the event, Camp Director Mike Flowers jokes … it will certainly be an event full of energy and potential to raise a considerable amount of money for missions.
Flowers says the idea to fill the void left by the end of the Macon event – which moved to a different part of the state – was strictly a gift from God. And it also plays into Flowers ongoing commitment to reinvent the camp which, for years, was known for its Royal Ambassadors connection. As churches backed away from utilizing the camp for the boys missions education programming, Flowers was faced with a challenge to find new groups to utilize the sprawling wooded area.
He now offers day camps, public schools reward good students with an outing just before the summer break, and other groups – like the 100 clowns who recently held their Clown Academy 2.0 event at the camp.
Next month’s Race for Missions Congress will be the biggest such fundraiser yet that the camp has ever hosted.
“A congress has traditionally been a gathering of men and boys, all age groups in Royal Ambassadors, who attend an inspirational event with preaching and a challenge to a great commitment to missions involvement. It was successful for decades at Kaleo and in other states but its time has come and gone,” Flowers explains.
“You don’t try to ride a dead horse, regardless of how much you loved it. Times just change and you need to change with the times.”
That’s when the camp director began to earnestly pray for a solution to optimize the camp’s potential through different venues.
“I asked God to give me something totally fresh, new, exciting. While the RA Congress was centered around men and boys, this one will be open to everyone – men and boys, girls and women, families, churches and associations. Anyone who wants to have fun in a camp setting while benefiting missions,” he adds.
Flowers says the focus will be on how everyone can work together in the face of such a divided society.
“We can put our differences aside and come together to reach the nations for Christ. That same night that I prayed, God gave me the vision.”
Focus of the high-energy overnight event will be a 90-minute Mission Possible Obstacle Course. Teams of four individuals will compete against the course, not each other, through the woody 300-acre campus.
There can be all male teams or all female teams … whatever the participants want. Groups like Sunday School classes can compete, or high school groups. Mother-daughter teams are another option
“But the key is you can’t do it by yourself … you have to work as a team. Each level increases in the intensity and the urging and moral support from other team members for each other is vitally important.
Other scheduled events include a Hike-a-Thon, Bike-a-Thon, and 5k run through the wooded trails – all to benefit missions. There will also be a Taste of Missions food fair with reasonable priced vendors and entertainment from clowns and magicians.
Cost will be $40 per person for lodging in a cabin, breakfast, lunch, and access to all events. Limited tent camping is available for $25 with no meals but including all events. A Saturday-only pass will cost $20.
Overnight lodging is an option, or participants can drive from home or choose a hotel room in nearby Forsyth.
“I’d love to see 1,500 for this first event but if we don’t reach that goal, it’s okay. You have to start somewhere and build on that initial success. This first year will be laying the groundwork for years of growth and missions support.
Click here for more information or to register.