As a Christian Camp, Lakewood Retreat’s statement of purpose is “Sharing God’s love through service by providing a setting in which to experience Jesus Christ.”
Their service they explain 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.’ “
Rest and spiritual camaraderie is what you will find at Lakewood Retreat, owned by the Southern Mennonite Camp Association, situated in a peaceful, rural area of the county off of Spring Lake Highway in Brooksville. The opportunity to reflect in nature abounds, whether it is on the lake or along a beautiful hiking trail in the woods.
After you do get some rest, there is a large variety of activities to enjoy like a petting zoo, canoeing, swimming, volleyball, gaga ball, tennis, basketball, archery, team building, soccer, football, a game room, a playground, zip lining, and much more.
Some folks might not know exactly what gaga ball is. I didn’t know about it until I went to Lakewood Retreat last year. Gaga ball, which originated in Israel, is sort of like dodgeball. It’s played in a ring by a group of individual players, two teams or just two people. If you get hit on or below the knees with the ball you’re out. Our school group had so much fun playing gaga ball, now we have our very own gaga ball pit on our school campus.
Lakewood Retreat was founded as a Mennonite camp in 1966. At that time, racial tensions were problematic for the integrated Mennonites and many Christian camps were not willing to host the Mennonite programs. The founders purchased 83 acres at Lakewood’s current location and much work was needed to turn the property into a suitable summer camp. In 1969, the inaugural summer camp program took place with two cabins and 25 campers per week for five weeks of camp.
Today Lakewood Retreat is 135 acres and provides an outreach for all Christian denominations. It is open year round for school groups, family reunions, bereavement groups as well as youth camps. There are over 220 beds, 55 campsites, a dining hall that seats up to 200, seven meeting rooms and an activity center.
IF YOU GO
Call Lakewood Retreat Office: (352) 796-4097
25458 Dan Brown Hill Rd Brooksville, FL 34602
Monday – Saturday 9 – 5, Friday evening hours until 9 pm, and office is closed on Sunday.