Summer Camp 2014


Summer camp at Lakewood Retreat is always a highlight and this year was no different. We saw God at work in the lives of dozens of campers (not including the counselors and staff). It was exciting to see the counselors praying for each other and for the campers. No doubt, many lives have been changed for eternity because of the summer camp program. Many of you took part by praying for us. Thank you!

Pastor Lief opened up the Word of God from the book of Jonah. Each day, every session highlighted the theme that Salvation belongs to the Lord. God was at work bringing salvation to this great city of Ninevah. Not only did we have daily sessions, but Pastor Lief also prepared devotional booklets for each of the campers. Each camper had a chance to work through the devotional booklets every day.

Pray with us as we continue working on summer camp 2015. We are excited with the work that God is doing and will continue to do.


Annual Pass $99.95

canoeThe annual family pass is one of the best kept secrets at Lakewood Retreat. A family can purchase a day pass to Lakewood Retreat for $99.95 and enjoy canoeing, human foosball, the swimming pool, nature trails and tons of other activities.

The pass is perfect for our friends in Brooksville or North Tampa. We have a number of home school families that like to come in the morning and spend several hours here. You will want to check ahead of time to see if the cafeteria is opened, but most days you will be able to purchase a meal.

Help us spread the word about our annual family day passes.



Canoeing ranks as one of the all-time favorite activities among our campers.  The lake is so big that you could canoe for several hours and still have tons to explore. Because lake Hancock is shallow, the middle of the lake has an unusual amount of plant-life. In fact, you can find a number of different plants and birds in the green patches in the middle of the lake. It almost appears as though the lake encircles a small island. Upon further investigation though, the grassy patches appear to be the remnant of the drought from a few years ago.

Now that the lake is back to normal capacity, our campers can take full advantage of the canoeing and scenery surrounding our beautiful lake Hancock.

Partner with us

Some have said that Lakewood Retreat is the best kept secret in Brooksville, FL. In fact, I am regularly meeting people that have never heard of Lakewood Retreat. It doesn’t take much effort to get these churches and groups excited about what Lakewood has to offer. The challenge is getting our name out to these churches and groups. To help speed the process up, Lakewood Retreat would like to utilize Christian radio advertising in the Tampa Bay area. For those who would like to participate, we have worked out a sponsorship plan.


1. Platinum Sponsorship $600 or $100 per month for 6 months (up to 4 sponsors)

~Name of business included in 25% of our radio ads

~Name and website link to business in a Facebook post (over 1,500 likes)

~Name and website link to business in our monthly newsletter (over 1,200 email contacts)

~Name and website link to business on for 6 months in a new page titled Sponsorship (over 500 visitors weekly to the website)


2. Gold Sponsorship $300 or $50 per month for 6 months

~Name and website link to business in a Facebook post (over 1,500 likes)

~Name and website link to business in our monthly newsletter (over 1,200 email contacts)

~Name and website link to business on for 6 months in a new page titled Sponsorship (over 500 visitors weekly to the website)


3. Silver Sponsorship $150 or $25 per month for 6 months

~Name and website link to business on for 6 months in a new page titled Sponsorship (over 500 visitors weekly to the website)

~Name and website link to business in our monthly newsletter (over 1,200 email contacts)

Summer Camp Letters


At Lakewood Retreat, our goal is to use the facilities to promote the transformational message of the Gospel. Even though we are just a small part in this transformation work, nothing thrills us more than receiving a note from a camper expressing the change that took place in their heart. No doubt, every life is changed to some degree during there stay here, but occasionally, a camper finds the need to pen some extra special words of encouragement.

In reality, many of you take part in the ministry of Lakewood Retreat. Some of you have given financially to make Lakewood Retreat a reality. Others have donated supplies or time so that the facilities could be well-kept. Still others have taken part as prayer warriors–keeping the camp and the staff in your prayers. For those who have taken part of the ministry of Lakewood Retreat, these thank you notes are as much addressed to you as they are to us. We have all partnered together to advance the Gospel in the lives of our campers.

Every year we have opportunities to serve summer campers who are not financially able to pay for camp. This year is no different. We have already been made aware of some who are just not able to financially afford to come. These campers rely on the generous donations of sponsors. If you would like to help take part in providing a way for a summer camper to come to Lakewood, let us know. You can email the office at or call 352-796-4097.

Living for the Advance of the Gospel: Not Optional

Living for the advance of the Gospel is not just an ideal for Paul, it is a reality. The book of Philippians unpacks this theme with both precision and depth.

In the introduction, Paul addresses the immediate temptation for almost every believer–“Is it even possible to live for the advance of the Gospel?”.

Not only is it possible, but it is actually impossible for a believer to not live for the advance of the Gospel. Paul states it this way:

Philippians 1:5-6  5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paul’s confidence in their continued growth is based on the faithfulness of God. God began a work and He will be faithful to see it to fruition. Therefore, every believer can be confident that when God starts a work, He will complete that work.

Not only does Paul address this issue from a future perspective, but also from the past.

Philippians 1:9-11  9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

As believers, Paul points out that they now have Christ’s righteousness placed on their account. Abounding love is the obvious and necessary response.

For believers, living for the advance of the Gospel is not even an option. God is faithful to complete the work in your life. Christ has already placed righteousness on your account. Therefore, it is impossible to not live for the advance of the Gospel.

The Lake

2013-01-27 Lake

Just two years ago Lake Hancock was basically gone. In fact, the maintenance staff was literally mowing “the lake”. During a typical year the deepest part of Lake Hancock is only about 16 feet deep, with an average depth of only 4 feet. Because the lake is shallow compared to an average lake, the overall dimensions of the lake change based on the amount of rain.

Thankfully, the drought has ended and the rain has brought the lake back. We now enjoy a full lake once again. This means our campers will be able to fully enjoy the canoeing and and nature scenes. You definitely don’t want to miss the sunset over the lake. Some of my favorite pictures of Lakewood include our beautiful sunsets over Lake Hancock. Feel free to share any pictures on our Facebook page.