Appalachia Mission Trip Update
As we look forward to 2017, one of the challenges CEM was facing in the new year was the future of the Appalachia outreach ministry. As you’ll remember, Lincoln Memorial University ended our longterm hosting relationship at the end of our time on campus in 2016.
I’m happy to report that after numerous trips and phone calls, a possible alternative site, Camp Jubilee, in Tazwell, Tennessee was found. The camp is available and can accommodate all 400 participants for housing and food. There is also an adequate worship facility for our evening programming. That’s all good news! Dates for this year’s Appalachia trip is July 1 – 7, 2017. Registration information will be sent out soon.
The important reality that we recognize and have communicated to a number of our regularly participating leaders is the camp is extremely rustic. The typical lodging is in a number of buildings with large rooms filled with multiple bunkbeds (some rooms sleep upwards of 44 people). At LMU campers stayed in dorm rooms, while at Camp Jubilee, the housing is likely better described as a barracks style. There is no doubt that it will be a departure from the creature comforts of a university campus, but the leaders we’ve polled are all willing to be there and join in this experiment in change. The camp is also open to allowing some groups to bring tents for camping if they bring adequate adult leadership to properly supervise the camping alternative.
You might ask why are we considering a rustic camp setting. The answer is that all of the research and searching has found that Camp Jubilee is the only alternative that exists in the area. So, it is Camp Jubilee or nothing when it comes to our choices. We are hoping to explore this option for a year and see if it meets our needs.
Many thanks to Brent Turner and Bob Elliot for the many hours of work that they put into finding an alternative site for Appalachia outreach.
You can visit the Camp Jubilee website at http://www.campjubileeinc.com. Please feel free to check with Dr. E. Brent Turner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bob Elliot (email@example.com) if you should have any questions.
Have a Happy New Year !
Rev. Bob Whittet
CEM Board Chairman