‘God’s grace is shining’ at Camp Lakeside in Kansas

David Burke


With a recent change in management, Camp Lakeside is “alive and doing well,” Sara Shaw said. 

“We’ve had lots of God moments out here,” said Shaw, camping ministries coordinator for the Great Plains Conference. “I call it ‘God goosebumps’ that whenever you need a gentle reminder that God’s grace is shining, it’s out here.” 

Sara Shaw, camping ministry coordinator, second from left, leads a cookout at Camp Lakeside. Photos courtesy Camp Lakeside Facebook page

The camp, founded in 1948, is located north of Scott City, Kansas, along Scott County State Lake. 

A transitional leadership team, including site council members and community volunteers, is led by interim director James Rickner, who is also director of Camp Chippewa, another Great Plains camp. Other leadership is provided by Ethan Porter from Camp Fontanelle, a Great Plains center in Nebraska. 

Shaw said recent camps by non-Great Plains groups, including for youth with special needs and youth with hearing challenges, as well as making it available to the Dodge City Catholic Diocese, 4-Hers, family reunions, groups and weddings have been well-received. 

She said those with an interest in the camp also appreciated the support of residents of southwest Kansas. 

“We have volunteers from the community who love Lakeside and are out here helping us during the transition time,” Shaw said. “Transition change can be hard, but we’re all coming together as a team to support each other and support Lakeside.” 

About 90% of the campers are from western Kansas, Rickner said. Campers also come from Colorado and Oklahoma. 

Shaw says campers are experiencing many "God moments" during their stay at Lakeside.

Jan Barnum, chair of the site council, said the group is grateful for the support in that part of the state. 

“We’ve strengthened some bonds with churches,” she said. 

Barnum said this year was without what she called the “camp chaos” of previous years. 

“There’s a calming presence at camp this year,” she said. “Things are running smooth.” 

“We’ve had some amazing moments and know that God is right in the middle of this,” Shaw added. “There’s a lot of good happening out here.” 

Learn more about Camp Lakeside and register for an upcoming camp. 


Contact David Burke, communications content specialist, at dburke@greatplainsumc.org

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