So what’s the big deal with the pool?
A strong summer church camp program is important. Our youth consistently testify that church camp is vital to their faith and spiritual formation, and many of our adults share that witness, that camp was a key element in their Christian growth.
To have a strong camp program we need an effective facility. It doesn’t have to be fancy but it must meet the needs of a wide range of campers and adults.
We are fortunate to have found Tawakoni over a decade ago, and to have been graced with the resources to develop it. Your Camp and Conference Committee is always looking ahead to both development and maintenance needs. At the current time, three needs have our attention: replacing the caretaker’s house; building an adult-friendly lodge; and renovating the pool, including a new shower house.
It is easy to understand the first two items, but the pool? The current pool looks pretty good, at least when it’s full of water. It can’t be too bad, right?
Let me give you the scoop.
The pool, which we think was built in the early ‘60’s, has seen better days. If you remember the “cement pond” on the Beverly Hillbillies show, we have one. The gutter system doesn’t work, there is only one functional skimmer, the filters are only pulling water from the central drain (aside from that one skimmer), the plumbing for return water is now PVC pipe clamped to the pool walls, and the decking is so broken and uneven that it is a hazard. The shower house is similar. It’s not useable or repairable; it needs to be replaced.
The Camp and Conference Committee has a plan: building a new pool inside the old pool, using what we can from the old pool, including the pump and filters, to have a pool more fit for our purposes. The final plan is nearing completion.
If you have been to a summer camp, you already know. When it is 90 to 105 degrees outside and everyone is getting cranky, pool time refreshes the whole group. It rejuvenates camp on those inevitable hot summer days.
Let me tell you about a spiritual experience I witnessed at CYF Omega Conference. CYF Conference has profound moments, in part because a number of campers are high school seniors, in their last week as a camper. Many have been coming to camp for years, and this is the last one. On Friday, the last night of camp, we had the traditional night swim: music, snacks, and fun in the pool. The night was winding down and Director Nick Sisson, DJ for the evening, announced the last two songs: 500 Miles, and Istanbul (not Constantinople). Those “energizers” are dance songs to get their energy level up. On this night however, the energizers created a magical moment with everyone, in the pool and on deck, singing and dancing and truly making a joyful noise to the Lord.
For me at least, it was spectacularly special, watching seniors lead the campers one last time; watching what is best about our young people; feeling the sheer joy of the moment. And it all happened in our pool. I’m not saying that a swimming pool is critically necessary for a spiritual experience, but I am saying there is something about water and the Holy Spirit that go hand in glove. That might even be scriptural.
It would be a shame to let our pool deteriorate to the point that we can’t use it in our camping program. We are not at that point, but it is close. I encourage your financial support of the pool and other projects for the continued good of this sacred place.
Chair of the Camp and Conference Ministry
Christian Church in Kansas (DoC)
— — — — — —
We need 100 Pool Partners who will give $1000 each in 2017 to help fund the new pool. Will you be a partner? Gifts of any size are welcome! Three ways to give: online below; online at GoFundMe, ; or mail your check to the Topeka Regional Office.