by Phil Younts

Camp Kulaqua in High Springs, Fla., broke ground April 14 for three hotel-style lodges with completion anticipated by January 2014. The lodges are designed to accommodate an ever-growing Florida Conference membership and its retreat and conference needs.

Camp Kulaqua started in 1953 as a small youth camp for approximately 6,000 Florida Conference members. Through the years, Florida Conference has grown to more than 61,000 members, and so have the needs for camp and retreat facilities.

These housing units, which will be named Woodland Lodges, are specifically designed to meet the needs of those who prefer accommodations that are more comfortable than the existing chalets, mini-lodges, and cabins. Each hotel-style room will include a private bathroom, queen beds, a sitting area, and a writing desk. They will accommodate up to six people—perfect for families or men’s and women’s retreats. They will also have a refrigerator and microwave for those wishing to have a meal or snack in their room.

Each lodge will have 20 rooms, accommodating up to 120 people per lodge. For those who wish to hold meetings without leaving the facility, the lodges also feature a conference room for more than 100 people, a kitchen for catering or local food service, and the latest audio/visual and wireless internet capabilities. The lodges are the first step in a new master plan that will expand Camp Kulaqua to accommodate up to 1,000 guests.

The design and location of the lodges will give the guests an opportunity to enjoy the woodlands of north Florida with all its wildlife and outdoor ambiance. Each room includes a balcony or patio and access to natural walkways, gazebos, and an outdoor amphitheater that will accommodate the guests in all three Woodland Lodges.

As church groups, youth groups, Conference event planners, or individual families desire to escape the confines of a hectic life, Camp Kulaqua provides a natural habitat where visitors can listen to God’s voice as they marvel at His creation and focus on accomplishing the mission of discipling others for Christ.