NORTHERN CRESCENT

Traveling retirees ready Bible camp for summer


Published: Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 at 10:23 p.m.
The Florida Bible Camp near O'Leno State Park in High Springs resounded with the sounds of hammers and saws in March as a group of volunteers called the Sojourners worked to get the facilities ready for summer campers.
The Sojourners travel the country going to Church of Christ Bible Camps and completing whatever work needs to be done to ready the buildings for the summer. Their visit to High Springs this year marked the ninth one to this particular Bible Camp.
"We do it because of the camp itself," said Charles Carter from Indiana, team leader. "We like to work at the camps for youth because they do so much good."
For three weeks, 14 recreation vehicles descended upon the camp, carrying retired couples and singles from different parts of the country. Most of them, like Carter, spend five months a year traveling from camp to camp to do good deeds.
At the Florida Bible Camp, they built nine porches with benches on the front of cabins and a barbecue shelter, tiled the women's bath facility and painted the pool house. Other years have been even more ambitious as they have built a house and cabins from the ground up.
"We're all retired," said Carter. "And we've learned to keep busy while enjoying travel and service."
His wife, Ruth, agreed. "The Sojourners have the best retirement plan," she said, "with Heaven as the goal."
According the Web site for the group, the Sojourners' main goal involves strengthening the brotherhood by helping small churches in need and practicing national evangelism. The work is coordinated and overseen by the Church of Christ in Burleson, Texas.
The group gathered in High Springs came from Maine, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois and Florida. Luell Everett is the local High Springs Sojourner and she tries to make three trips a year with the group.
"Jobs are assigned by whoever can adapt to a job the best," said Everett. "I became involved when they first came to High Springs in 1996."
Among the retirees are plumbers, carpenters, engineers and ministers and those who have never worked with their hands before. A group of men tiled the women's bathrooms, even though they had never tiled before.
"Charlie (Carter) appointed us to this," said Gene Catterton of Gainesville. "He asked who was experienced and none of us were. But I am slated to lay tile in Gainesville, Va., in June so he put me on the job.
"Now I'm experienced," Catterton said. The 200-acre Florida Bible Camp opened in 1947 and now boasts a screened swimming pool, dining hall, conference area, 14 cabins and several pavilions. During the summer, six one-week camp sessions are held with more than 800 youth attending.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top