A Place of Purpose
Lakewood Retreat is a retreat and conference facility designed primarily to enhance church ministries from all Christian denominations. We provide a setting in which guests are removed from the pace of our culture to focus on the Bible, prayer, worship, and fellowship for spiritual growth. “Sharing God’s love through service by providing a setting in which to experience Jesus Christ” is Lakewood’s written purpose statement.
Our service is in response to Jesus’ command to His disciples in Mark 6:31; “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Lakewood provides a quiet place in which to come away.
We also welcome and seek to bless families and groups who support Lakewood’s Christian purpose and who wish to attend and enjoy the beautiful grounds. Each year many families, scouting groups, hospice groups, school groups, and others come and enjoy our unique setting.
A Place of Peace
Lakewood's motto; “Relax, Refresh, Renew,” is fulfilled in many different ways depending on the needs of each guest or group who attends. Our 135 acre facility provides ample opportunity to find peace and quiet in nature, be it on a hiking trail, at the tree house, out on the lake, at the animal farm, or sitting on a shaded bench off in the quiet corners of the property. The setting feels more northern as the land is hilly, rising to an elevation of 180 feet and with plants not seen in many parts of Florida. There are dozens of birds and animals often sighted. Sounds of nature all around, a misty morning sunrise, a glowing sunset over the lake, lots of forested areas with beautiful mature trees, many different types of plants and flowers, and a night sky full of stars, all giving glory to God in the
wonder of His creation.
A Place to Play
For those who wish to “relax” in more energetic ways, there are over two dozen activities to suit almost every interest. From boating and hiking to ball fields and courts, an activities center full of games, a low ropes course, hayrides, a swimming pool, 150' dual zip line and the list goes on. Disc golf, shuffleboard, mini-golf, horseshoes, sand volleyball…, it’s hard to imagine what’s not to do at Lakewood. End the day with open kettle popcorn or s’mores while singing around the campfire. The sleep is sweet after a day of activities in the fresh air.
A Place to Eat
Lakewood’s dining hall seats 185 at a time in air conditioning with additional seating on the screened porch for those who prefer to enjoy the outdoors. The dining hall is often open as a café for those looking for a mid-day snack or who did not purchase a prepaid meal plan. The camp store and Snak Shak are also open for snacks, supplies, and souvenirs. There are two picnic pavilions in the campground area and open picnic locations in the activities area. The dining hall is also used for banquets.
A Place to Meet
In addition, there are seven meeting rooms available with seating capacities ranging from 20 to 200. We also have an outdoor open air chapel at the lakefront and other public gathering places, both covered and uncovered.
A Place for Youth Camps
When schools are out of session, things are hopping. Whether Christmas break, spring break, or summer break, Lakewood is the place to be for a great youth camp experience. We not only host many church summer camp programs each year but also hold our own summer camp program for Mennonite children from all over Florida and many other youth in all denominations from the surrounding communities. Lakewood’s summer camp program is expertly run, Bible centered, and is both fun and rewarding.
A Place of History and Promise
Lakewood’s history goes back to 1965. The facility is owned by a group of committed individuals called the Southern Mennonite Camp Association. The SMCA elects a board with members who meet regularly throughout the year to govern the operations of Lakewood. The SMCA holds an annual meeting in February to review each year’s progress and learn about the plans for the coming year. There are also periodic fund raisers, generally to raise money for a specific project or need. Anyone is invited to participate at these events. At Lakewood, an on-site administrator oversees the camp operation and a team of willing and friendly staff members are available 24/7 - 365 to serve guests with any needs.
A Place Seeking Your Partnership and Patronage
Lakewood’s marketing is primarily to the church. We do not seek to bring in bus loads of tourists each day. Most of our marketing is by word of mouth or internet search. Therefore, our budget and pricing are based on limited usage to those who appreciate this kind of ministry. We cannot be compared to state run facilities supported by tax revenues or to commercial businesses who market widely to the general public. It is our purpose to provide a uniquely Christian environment. We rely on many volunteers and donations each year to help with upkeep and expansion.
Our Adopt-A-Building program is one way by which groups can partner with us and receive added blessing as well. However, most of our operating budget comes from the patronage of our guests. It is our hope that as Lakewood continues to make progress on future plans to improve the facility that our registrations will be full thereby providing continued funds for growth and the ability to keep Lakewood a wonderful place of God’s glory and presence.
A Place Easy to Find
Lakewood is located about 30 minutes north of Tampa and 20 minutes south of Brooksville, FL, two miles off I75, exit 293. Please contact us for further information or to make a reservation – by phone, 352-796-4097 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - We look forward to serving you.