May 2, 2016 (Dayton, Ohio) When two churches work together, good things happen. Two Dayton, Ohio churches—Centerville United Methodist Church and Christ United Methodist Church—combined their mission teams to help the West Ohio Conference Camp Otterbein build two wilderness tree houses for campers to use in the summer.
Each church has an Emergency Response Team (ERT) prepared for deployment to natural disaster sites where the West Ohio Conference has a presence. The teams are thoroughly trained and equipped to help natural disaster victims cope with crisis and rebuild, but for this project, their skills are used to help children experience God in a camp environment.
Chris UMC Lead Pastor Wayne Botkin explains, “Our two mission teams have worked together on several missions, most recently to help tornado victims in Metropolis, Illinois, but when we learned of Camp Otterbein’s dream to build two, 2-story tree houses for its wilderness camp, the teams got excited and decided to rally behind this effort.”
Camp Otterbein spreads out across 450 acres in the beautiful Hocking Hills of southeast Ohio. With a host of exciting, adventurous and challenging activities, Camp Otterbein’s wilderness camp is its newest adventure. A local architect created the treehouse compound which will sleep 32 campers off the ground in 2-story lodging. There is even a sky walk to connect the two tree houses.
Camp Director Scott Seese explained, “It’s a complex design and would normally have been out of our budget, but thanks to the donation of the churches skilled workers, the project will be completed for the cost of materials. Campers will be able to experience God’s creation thanks to the local church.”
This mission team is comprised of 27 men and women and is under the leadership of retired custom home builder Joe Wearly. Wearly shared, “The men and women serving on the ERT are a great group with a wide variety of skills. God uses all of our talents to help others and its truly a privilege to work on this project serving young people.”