EAST WATERFORD For decades, the Christian Retreat Center in East Waterford has been about ministering to children and teens.
That is soon going to change.
A new lodge is opening at the CRC to minister to adults and offer them the opportunity to share in the picturesque surroundings of the campus.
?A graphic image of the new lodge is shown.
Photo submitted by Bud Wagner
A team of supporters break ground on the new lodge for the Christian Retreat Center. Pictured, from front, left, Bud Wagner, Melinda Wagner, Ruth John, Paula Heckman, Joe McBeth, Corby Burkholder, Rod Eshleman; back, Jeff Gardner, Stanley Burkholder, Ken Lehman, Myron Wenger and Tom Martin.
Sentinel photo by Tabitha Goodling
A ground-breaking event was held June 22 at the site of the new 22,000 square-foot adult lodge that will include 24 rooms.
Bud Wagner, chief financial officer for CRC, said the goal of the camp is to focus on families as a whole.
"The families of today are in serious trouble," he said.
The goal is to open the facility for men's, women's and couple's retreats. Wagner said the building will be used throughout the year.
"This is a major change from what we had as mainly children and youth ministry to now an adult ministry," Wagner said. "The staff will be increased; the amount of people coming in to the camp will be increased. This is among the most significant changes we have ever done here."
Construction begins in July and the completed project will be open late spring or early summer of 2014.
CRC is becoming its own general contractor for the project and is partnering with Lobar Associates to get the shell of the building in place. Wagner said the board is seeking a volunteer from the community to oversee volunteers working at the site.
The building is estimated to cost $1.8 to $2 million and will be paid with help from the Capital Campaign with John H. Miller and soliciting supporters.
A building like this was envisioned 40 years ago, Wagner said. Minutes from a 1973 CRC meeting declared a desire to make the camping area family-focused with not only children's ministries, but adult lodging too.
The timing was not right and the board went forward with what is CRC today. The newest addition to the campus was the Hillside Lodge in 2006 a cafeteria for the campers and staff. The adult lodge, which is yet to be named, will be very similar in appearance to the newest building.
Wagner said everyone at CRC is excited about the new direction for the camp.
"There are so many unknowns for us," he said.
Board members, employees and several others involved with the project gathered for a time of devotion and prayer prior to the groundbreaking. It was mentioned more than once that this adventure was planned many years ago and is now coming to fruition.
During the ceremony, scripture from 2 Corinthians 8:11 was referenced.
"Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means."
More information on the Christian Retreat Center, visit www.bicweb.org/ministries/crctims2/index.html.