Camp Wanake and Retreat Center
By Julie Lautt and Krystal Kester
Wanake is a year round retreat center and an outdoor youth summer camp located in the beautiful, rolling hills of Beach City, Ohio at the gateway to Ohio’s Amish Country. Since 1946, Wanake has been committed to serving guests with excellence and partnering with a variety of organizations. Uniquely situated in the out-of-doors, Wanake is positioned to offer a place which encourages healthy living. Wanake’s 250 acres feature trails for walking/running/hiking/trail riding, a lake for canoeing and fishing, a swimming pool, a ranch, a rock climbing wall and tower, an athletic field, and a challenge course. These spaces, combined with a health-conscious food service and comfortable meeting and sleeping spaces, make an unparalleled setting for healthy, active pursuits.
The mission of Wanake is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, for the transformation of the world. The vision is to offer places, programs, and role models away from daily routines and distractions for all who seek God to experience life change, a new friend, time with God, and a lot of fun. Wanake pursues this mission and vision in a variety of ways: summer camp, outdoor education with schools, hosting retreat groups & conferences, and events.
In 1944 Wanake, originally an apple orchard, was purchased, outfitted, and then in, 1946 welcomed its first summer campers. The site continues to welcome new generations of campers each year. In 2017 Wanake welcomed 877 summer campers who learned many skills including building and cooking over campfires, swimming, horseback riding, rock climbing, canoeing and growing in relationships with others and God, just to name a few. Registration is currently open for Summer Camp 2018 with the Early Bird Discount available until May 1, 2018 at www.campwanake.org.
Over the last forty-five years, Wanake has been the home of outdoor education programs for several school districts whose programs range from a one day experience to a full five days of excitement and learning. Schools report that time spent living and learning together at camp result in relationship building and cognitive advancement no other experience can provide. Wanake offers a variety of program options for Outdoor Education groups including canoeing, fishing, hiking, exploring nature, horse experiences at the Wanake Ranch, ice-cream making, rock climbing, challenge course, team and group building initiatives, and much more.
Serving retreat groups of various types and sizes throughout the year began nearly thirty years ago and is now an integral part of Wanake’s ministry. Wanake is a home to and partners with non-profit groups, churches, family reunions, and schools. At both the high school and collegiate levels, Wanake hosts leadership development programs, marching bands, and various sports camps. Groups enjoy time around the fireplace, hiking, horseback riding and other timeless outdoor pursuits, which allow a fulfilling and meaningful experience. Wanake offers a variety of lodging options and comfort levels from air-conditioned/heated retreat centers to rustic cabins and space for groups who choose to tent or RV camp.
Wanake’s hospitality also includes year round foodservice. Guests enjoy hot, healthy meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner that are served family-style. Breakfast features a yogurt bar highlighted by Wanake’s own home-made granola and fresh fruit. Lunch and dinner are accompanied by a full salad bar with a variety of fresh vegetables, alternative protein sources such as cheeses and eggs, home-made croutons and other offerings. A wide range of special diets and food allergies are welcomed and accommodated at Wanake. The food service ministry has a growing commitment to cooking fresh with cleaner ingredients.
The Wanake Ranch began operation six years ago, quickly becoming the fastest growing branch of Wanake’s ministry. The 2017 Horse Summer Camp Program saw a 106% fill rate of its program – the highest to date – and plans to open additional space for campers in the summer of 2018. During the Fall, Winter, and Spring the Wanake Ranch offers public trail rides, riding lessons, Pony Pals (a program for children ages 3-7 to learn about horses), pony rides, and pony parties. The Wanake Ranch hosts Wanake’s Annual Fall Festival on the last Saturday in September (September 29, 2018) and the first Saturday in October (October 6, 2018). This is a free event with fun activities for the whole family!
Wanake Camp and Retreat Center and The Wanake Ranch partner with non-profit organizations, local schools, Walk to Emmaus, churches, and Hospice to help them achieve their goals. Seeking to be an integral part of the community, Wanake continues to grow by pursuing excellence within the camping and guest experience.
Contact Wanake Camp and Retreat Center today to schedule a tour of camp, register for summer camp, receive information about booking your event, explore outdoor education opportunities, reserve dates for a weekday or weekend retreat, host a family reunion, and learn how Wanake can partner with you to meet your goals. Visit www.campwanake.org, call 330-756-2333, or e-mail email@example.com for additional information. Wanake looks forward to future partnerships with you.
Camp Wanake and Retreat Center