Fun activities. Memorable moments. Lifelong friends. These are some of the phrases campers often associate with summer and “off season” events. When done well, these events entice participation in future events and open up a greater opportunity to share the gospel.
At Truett Conference Center and Camp, located in Hayesville, N.C., staff accomplish a large part of ministry during the summer season but are far from idle the rest of the year. They partner with N.C. Baptists to host events and training seminars. They offer monthly programmed events including marriage retreats, men’s retreats, women’s conferences and parent and child retreats. Many N.C. Baptist churches also use the facilities for their own events.
Helping accomplish Truett’s mission is an often unseen force of donors. They help improve facilities, offer scholarships to families in need and support operating expenses, helping keep the camp experience affordable for communities in western North Carolina and beyond. These generous donations come through missions giving from individuals and churches in the state.
Generosity is also demonstrated through the giving of time, skills, wisdom and energy by Truett’s faithful volunteers.
In 2021, 84 volunteers logged more than 5,360 hours of service, a 416% increase in the number of volunteer hours, and more than double the number of volunteers from 2019. This saved about $107,205 in labor costs.
Last year a volunteer named John was between jobs and wanted to “give back” to the camp, which he said saved his life twice. As a young boy, John grew up near Truett. One winter, after a heavy snowfall, he was walking on the campgrounds and fell into the pond. A former staff member rescued him. Later, John would begin to follow Jesus as a camper.
He spent hundreds of hours serving Truett last year through landscaping, painting, pressure washing and more. He developed friendships with staff and gained a sense of accomplishment. He has since become a firefighter and EMT.
Volunteers like John bring ideas, experience and a heart to see the camp thrive. Their encouragement and assistance are invaluable.
To give to Truett through donations or by volunteering, visit truettcamp.org/volunteer or call 828-389-8828.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Kenny Adcock is the director of Truett Conference Center and Camp.)