By Jim Shields

That is our unofficial mantra for the summer. Summer at Highland Lakes is quite different when you have no camps or guests around! However, be assured that Director of Operations Rick Porter, Office Manager Sarah Wickersham and myself are quite busy. Re-painting, re-staining, adding picnic tables, repairing the lake dock, streamlining software for quicker administrative duties, and updating policies are just a few of the things that we have been able to focus on. Just trying to keep up with the COVID restrictions and guidelines has been challenging enough! Even with that, we are excited about what next year will be like, as we look forward to having more green space available and having the Activity Center completed. If you follow us on Facebook, you can see how we have literally moved a hill from one side of the Log Cabin to the other side in preparation for the new building! It is exciting to see this begin to take shape, and we are anticipating the additional programming possibilities it will bring.

Also after July 5th, (as of this writing…COVID contingencies can change…) we are able to provide retreats for individual churches or groups. Contact Sarah Wickersham for more details or to book a few days.

In the meantime, some thoughts to the tune of Sound of Silence….

Hello, Campground, my old friend,

I’ve come to walk in you again.

Because a virus softly creeping

Quarantined the campers from meeting

And the vision of a summer so simply plain

Still remains

But now the sound… of silence.


Now restless days I walk alone

Beneath the trees, on rock and stone

Where staff and campers joyously would sing

With lifted voices their praises bring

When my eyes were stabbed by

The sting of forlorn tears

Not seen in years

‘Cause of the sound…of silence.


And in the empty rooms I saw

No way to circumvent the law

Of social distancing by six feet

That stops all groups from trying to compete

In the challenges, and the program that we share

So no one dared

Disturb the sound…of silence.


“Yet”, said I, “Do you not know?

This too, shall pass, and we will grow.

Hear my words that you might take heart;

Hold on to faith, and don’t let it part

And the Word of God, like the sound of a ringing bell

To all will tell

There is an end…of silence.


And once again we will be found

On what we know as Hallowed Ground

With hands raised high in a sign of praise

To God our Father as He fills our days

And sing the songs of the summer

Displayed on the Worship Center wall

We sing them all

We’ll have no more ……of silence.”


We are thankful for your continued prayers, your volunteering of time and your financial support. Obviously, without camps this year we have lost a vital income stream. Please remember to give as a church through the Cooperative Program; we benefit as your camp when you give generously. If you would like to contribute directly to the Highland Lakes building fund or scholarship fund, please take the time to go to and click on the “Donate” tab at the top.


Jim Shields
Team Leader, Highland Lakes