By Jim Shields

What an exciting time to be involved in all that is happening at your camp and conference center, Highland Lakes! The camp season is over (we saw an increase of 11 percent in attendance over last year!), conferencing and retreat season is upon us, and at the time of this writing…it is snowing!

We just finished up with the privilege of hosting the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana pastor’s Conference and Annual Meeting once again, and it was a great two-day event. Great presentations and challenging messages from our pastors and national entities were highlights during the course of conducting business. What a great opportunity to see pastors and messengers from all across the state, to host the business aspect of the annual meeting and to help facilitate fellowship that is found only when Southern Baptists come together as a family. Your team here at Highland Lakes appreciated the occasion to be able to help create a pleasant, encouraging and comfortable atmosphere. Stealing a line from another business (closed on Sundays), “It was our pleasure to serve you.”

Immediately following the Annual Meeting (and I mean immediately), we were blessed to host the North American Mission Board’s Engage 24 Evangelism Conference. A well prepared and engaging conference with nationally known speakers such as Dr. Johnny Hunt gave your camp another opportunity to shine, and your team here at Highland Lakes did an excellent job. I must commend Director of Operations Rick Porter, Office Manager Sarah Wickersham, Maintenance Supervisor Craig Kratzer and Food Service manager Linda Collier to you as they went above and beyond to make things work smoothly and enjoyably.

You can bet there was a lot of buzz and excitement among the messengers as they saw the land across from the dining hall cleared of trees in preparation for a new Indoor Activity Center and more. Because of the continued support of our SBC churches and members, we can continue to cast the vision of taking Highland Lakes to the next level; ever challenging and never wanting to remain the status quo. Our goal is to see the Activity Center made a reality by the start of the camp season next year. By doing so, we will create flexibility in having a designated area for indoor recreation (basketball, pickleball, volleyball) and repurposing the old worship center into a nice conferencing area, connected to the E. Harmon Moore Banquet Hall. With the added capabilities of these facilities, we believe our churches will acknowledge the benefit, and we will see more of our churches sending their youth to Highland Lakes for camps. This, in turn, will move us ever closer to the goal of increasing attendance during camp weeks to an average of 250.

There is a lot that has been done at your camp; there is a lot more that can be done! The vision is before us, the excitement of seeing it come to fruition is ever-present! Won’t you join us in praying to the Father for His continued blessing and guidance, for more financial partners to become involved as we continue to move forward, serving as a resource for others to Discover, Develop, and Deploy a Transformed Life in Christ!

Because “It’s Just One Thing” (Phil 1:27)

Thank you and see you soon!

Jim Shields