“Sharing God’s love through service by providing a setting in which to experience Jesus Christ”
Lakewood Retreat is a retreat and conference facility designed primarily to enhance church ministries from all Christian denominations. We provide a peaceful setting retreat from the busy lives of our culture to focus on the Bible, prayer, worship, and fellowship for spiritual growth. “Sharing God’s love through service by providing a setting in which to experience Jesus Christ” is Lakewood’s written purpose statement.
Our service is in response to Jesus’ command to His disciples in Mark 6:31; “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Lakewood provides a quiet place in which to come away.
We also welcome and seek to bless families and groups who support Lakewood’s Christian purpose and who wish to attend and enjoy the beautiful grounds. Each year many families, scouting groups, hospice groups, school groups, and others come and enjoy our unique setting.
Relax | Refresh | Renew
Our 135-acre facility provides ample opportunity to find peace and quiet in nature., Enjoy hiking, a quiet morning by the lake, or sitting on a shaded bench off in the quiet corners of the property. The setting feels more northern as the land is hilly, rising to an elevation of 180 feet and with plants not seen in many parts of Florida. There are dozens of birds and animals often sighted. Sounds of nature all around, a misty morning sunrise, a glowing sunset over the lake, lots of forested areas with beautiful mature trees, many different types of plants and flowers, and a night sky full of stars, all giving glory to God in the wonder of His creation.
We have dozens of activities to suit almost every interest. Boating, hiking, ball fields and courts, activities center full of games, low ropes course, hayrides, swimming pool, 150' dual zip line, and the list goes on. Disc golf, shuffleboard, mini-golf, horseshoes, sand volleyball…, it’s hard to imagine what’s not to do at Lakewood. End the day with open kettle popcorn or s’mores while singing around the campfire. Sleep well after fun-filled days in the fresh air.
The dining hall seats 185 at a time in air conditioning with additional seating on the screened porch for those who prefer to enjoy the outdoors. The dining hall is often open as a café if you are looking for a mid-day snack or who did not purchase a prepaid meal plan. The camp store and Snak Shak are also open for snacks, supplies, and souvenirs. There are two picnic pavilions in the campground area and open picnic locations in the activities area. The dining hall is also used for banquets.
There are seven meeting rooms available with seating capacities ranging from 20 to 200. We have an outdoor open-air chapel at the lakefront and other public gathering places, both covered and uncovered.
Life gets busy when school is out. We are open all year! Christmas break, spring break, or summer break, Lakewood is the place to be for a great youth camp experience. We host many church summer camp programs each year but also hold our own summer camp program for kids from all over Florida in all denominations from the surrounding communities. Lakewood’s summer camp program is expertly run, Bible-centered, and is both fun and rewarding.
Lakewood’s history goes back to 1965. The facility is owned by a group of committed individuals called the Southern Mennonite Camp Association. The SMCA elects a board with members who meet regularly throughout the year to govern the operations of Lakewood. The SMCA holds an annual meeting in February to review each year’s progress and learn about the plans for the coming year. There are also periodic fundraisers, generally to raise money for a specific project or need. Anyone is invited to participate in these events. At Lakewood, an on-site administrator oversees the camp operation and a team of willing and friendly staff members is available 24/7 - 365 to serve guests with any needs.
Lakewood’s serves primarily to the church and community groups and schools. We are not opened to tourests. Therefore, our budget and pricing are based on limited usage to those who appreciate this kind of ministry. We cannot be compared to state-run facilities supported by tax revenues or to commercial businesses that market widely to the general public. It is our purpose to provide a uniquely Christian environment. We rely on many volunteers and donations each year to help with upkeep and expansion.
This program is one way by which groups can partner with us and receive an added blessing as well. However, most of our operating budget comes from the patronage of our guests. It is our hope that as Lakewood continues to make progress on future plans to improve the facility that our registrations will be full thereby providing continued funds for growth and the ability to keep Lakewood a wonderful place of God’s glory and presence.
Lakewood is located about 30 minutes north of Tampa and 20 minutes south of Brooksville, FL, two miles off I75, exit 293. Please contact us for further information or to make a reservation – by phone, 352-796-4097 or by e-mail: - We look forward to serving you.