Young Life’s TimberWolf Lake Camp dedicates new “Sawmill” club building.

By June 7, 2006

USA (MNN) — Young Life’s Timber Wolf Lake Camp is nestled in the wilderness of Lake City, in beautiful northern Michigan. Each summer, hundreds of kids from across the United States Midwest converge into the beauty, stillness and retreat found there. It’s a place where they have fun, meet friends, and encounter the Living God.

For the past five summers, Timber Wolf Lake Camp has been using the Dining Hall as a multi-purpose room. But this year, through generous donations and support of YL friends, they dedicated a recently completed 2.4 million-dollar building which will be used for club meetings. They’re calling it “The Sawmill,” in the pattern of the camp’s north woods lodge theme.

Mission Network News’ Faith Maguire attended the dedication on Monday of this week.
She spoke with Timber Wolf Lake’s property manager Greg Carlton, who says that the Sawmill will help them do so much more, “It’s just a setting that’s much like a sanctuary. This place is for proclaiming the Gospel. The whole camp is like that as a whole, but this particular building is what we’ll use that for.”

Carlton says that it fits into Timber Wolf’s mission as they seek to “provide a place where kids can come and get out of their natural environment, kinda let their hair down, not feel the pressure to act like they do back home and they can just really be themselves and they can hear the Gospel, hopefully for the first time or in a new way.”

Timber Wolf Lake is a different kind of camp, says Carlton, “Most people have this rustic setting in mind when they hear the word ‘camp’ but when the kids come to Timber Wolf, they are ‘wowed’ because it’s more like a resort.”

The buildings are important, but Carlton says, ultimately, it’s the kids they invest in that matter the most. “That’s what we’re trying to do, make them feel special, that somebody cares enough about them to go to this much trouble and detail for them. And that totally relates with what Jesus has done for each of us individually. And that’s what we try to get across to the kids.”

It’s about building relationships and investing in kids’ lives, not just during summer camp, but throughout the year. Carlton explains that when the kids come to camp, their leaders are the same people who are their leaders during the school year. They’ve already built the trust and relationships. When the kids come to camp, they hear the Gospel, and the leaders are able to do better follow-up during the coming year.

Most of the kids who attend summer camp come from unchurched backgrounds, and God is doing great things through Young Life and Timber Wolf’s ministry. “We average, Young Life mission-wide, around 40 percent of the kids that are here stand up and make some kind of dedication. It works. That’s one reason I’m involved with Young Life, is just because it’s so effective. I’ve seen it work, and it’s exciting to get on board where God’s working.”

Carlton adds, “We know what’s going to happen with the kids, so how can we not be excited?”

If you want more information on Timber Wolf Lake Camp, go to their website http://timberwolf.younglife.org.

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