“Exciting, crazy, fun” are words Christy Heflin, director at Lake Poinsett Camp and Retreat Center used to describe the 3rd annual Easter Extravaganza. “The weather was gorgeous. We had 250 people come out and enjoy the crafts, outdoor games and Easter egg hunt,” said Heflin.
Heflin stated that the attendance has grown over the three years. The first year there were 60 people that came, year two there were 140 people and this year there were 250 people. “It took over 30 volunteers to make it happen this year,” said Heflin. “We were grateful for Milbank Central United Methodist Church who brought their confirmation class and leaders which helped us out a lot.” Photo above: A record crowd from the region enjoyed the annual Easter Extravaganza at Lake Poinsett Camp & Retreat Center.
Rev. Melissa Gall, youth pastor at Milbank Central UMC, contacted Heflin and asked if they could bring the confirmation class. Heflin hesitated about how that would work out. “I got a call from Melissa and I thought, 'I'm not sure how we can accommodate a confirmation class'. I hung up the phone and thought for a couple of minutes. I called her right back and said it would be awesome to have them come and help. The did and it worked out great!” Photo: face and egg painting engaged all generations.
Participants enjoyed eight craft stations that were set up inside the Living Waters Retreat Center. The craft included activities like dying eggs and decorating cookies. Outdoors there were inflatables, face painting and “Theo” —a real live rabbit. A free, casual lunch of hotdogs, chips and cookies was served to all. The day concluded with an Easter egg hunt with more than 3,000 eggs to find.
People came from twelve different communities: Arlington, Brookings, Castlewood, Dell Rapids, DeSmet, Elkton, Estelline, Haiti, Hendricks, Minnesota, Redfield, Watertown and Volga. Participants enjoyed the day and shared several positive comments. Photo: the inflatables were a popular draw.
“This is a very impressive event. It is well organized. The staff is so friendly. All I can say is wow!” —Christa Levesque, Brookings, South Dakota.
“This is the first time we have attended. It was very well organized. We thought it was fantastic!” —The VanOverbeke family, Arlington, South Dakota. Photo: two future campers having a great time in the expanse of the camp grounds.
The Easter Extravaganza is just one example of events and retreats that are held by Dakotas Conference Camp and Retreat Ministry throughout the year. In addition to offering great summer programming, all three sites—Lake Poinsett, Storm Mountain and Wesley Acres—operate year-round as retreat and conference centers. Each year, more groups are finding the facilities, food, service, programming and warm hospitality to be the perfect complement to their time together. Call the camps for more information or check out www.dakcamps.org . Photo: The walkway from the chapel to the lower level was full of families having fun and getting to know the camp.