Spring cleaning: Mo. students invade Caraway
    March 24 2010 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    A 215-member contingent of Christian college students from Missouri descended on Caraway Conference Center and Camp the week of March 8 to clean, paint, mulch, rake, split wood, sort, organize and build trails, a Frisbee golf course and a cityscape in which to wage paint ball war.

    BR photo by Norman Jameson

    Manhandling a wheelbarrow was not easy for these volunteers from Truman State University Campus Christian Fellowship. See photo gallery and video.

    The students were from the Campus Christian Fellowship of Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and their service trip to North Carolina was in lieu of the kind of spring break many college students take that involves a self-absorbed week of drinking and sun bathing.

    “We came here because we love the Lord and it’s fun,” said Truman student Angie Whitlatch. “We pay money to work and have no sleep, but it’s the best week of the whole school year.”

    Arriving primarily in school buses after a 23-hour non-stop drive, the students set to work immediately, taking just one day off to visit the North Carolina Zoo. They also had devotions, and group worship each day.

    Student organizer Courtney Perrachione said Campus Christian Fellowship solicits a work opportunity each year, but few organizations can keep a group as large as theirs busy for a week. When associate camp director Jeremy Jackson saw the request for proposal from CCF, he responded the same day.

    Staff was well prepared for the invasion with equipment, materials and plans for the students to get busy and stay busy.

    BR photo by Norman Jameson

    Apparently using only prestidigitation, a volunteer rescues a stump from the lake and rolls it up the hill to be split. See photo gallery and video.

    Several of their projects will expand Caraway’s ability to attract weekend visitors, families and adult groups for fun activities. The students built tent campsites with packed sand inside a level frame; each site with a picnic table.

    They built a Frisbee golf course and a cityscape in the paint ball area, greatly expanding recreational possibilities. With logging trails and an emergency road cut through the property, future opportunities exist for mountain biking.

    Campers are going to be “jacked up” when they see the new offerings this year, said Caraway staffer Kenny Adcock, who is in charge of summer programs.

    Students cut and lined with tree limbs an estimated three miles of trails that “open up the very, very pretty parts of this property nobody ever sees,” Caraway Director Jimmy Huffman said.

    Huffman, on staff at Caraway for 10 years and director since July 2007, said he wants to refurbish the old Camp Caraway on the other side of the road in time for Caraway’s 50th anniversary in 2013. Each feature Caraway adds enhances its attractiveness and Huffman wants Baptist families and churches to utilize the marvelous asset that 950 acres of Caraway presents. It is also about to enter a $7.5 million campaign to upgrade facilities.

    Call Caraway to reserve a camp site or schedule a paintball tournament or group building event on the ropes course: (336) 629-2374. Visit www.caraway.org.

    About 21,000 overnight visitors utilize the property each year.

    3/24/2010 6:28:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments

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