As the colder temps started to arrive in November 2020, the ideas started flowing at Camp for how to make the most of the outdoors this winter. Plans were discussed with the team for ways to help our guests experience the beauty of God’s Creation, even in the coldest season, and to have more of “The Funnest Fun.” That was when the idea for a warming house was born!
Shane Hollenbeck, our Facilities Manager, and his team began the work to make a warming house happen. Shane found a trailer being sold on Facebook marketplace, a trailer that was the perfect size and fit to hold the warming house everyone had been dreaming about. Having the trailer on site allowed the team to make their plans for the house itself. In early December, with lots of help from Tony Cluka, a member of our food service team who also helps out with facilities, Shane gathered his materials for the project. There were several days of hard work by our talented facilities team (Tony, Craig, Duane, Vern, & Shane) to get the trailer and house ready, all to prepare for a big build day on December 10th. Some volunteers came up to Camp to help get the rest of the walls up, the roof on, and windows and doors in place! So thankful for all of the people who persevered to make this warming house possible!
“It has an intentional design,” says Shane, “with windows all the way around it … with an eye towards being able to see the setting that’s outside of it.” It is really important to Shane and his facilities team that the focus is on showing guests they are loved by God, in part by always having the beauty of God’s Creation in view. “My mission for the department has really been setting the stage for the Gospel. When the facilities team comes in and does their job really well, then the settings, the things that we have, become an afterthought to what’s really happening out here . They look nice, they blend in, they make sense in our environment, but you don’t notice the building… you notice the Creation on display around it.”
The impact of the warming house on Camp Lebanon’s ministry is super fun to imagine! Its cold weather use is only scratching the surface of some of the things that have been talked about. In addition to helping keep guests and campers warm up at the Hazzard Hill Tubing Hill this year, or in later years down on the ice during Broomball and ice skating, there are so many possibilities for this shed during the warmer months. Its versatility, portability, and durability are sure to make it a valuable asset to Camp’s ministry for years and years to come. Thanks again to our facilities team, to our generous volunteers, and to our Creator God for helping us to make this new building a reality!