Camp plans for 50 more years

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

As To­tara Springs looks back on 50 years of Easter Camp, it’s up to camp di­rec­tors Richard and Kate Davis to look to the fu­ture.

The camp held its 50th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions over Easter week­end. Over 700 peo­ple, in­clud­ing for­mer campers, staff and its founders cel­e­brated with them.

A plaque adorns a dec­o­ra­tive rock at the very epi­cen­tre of the camp, where there was once a small man-made lake. Davis says the plaque is a way of hon­our­ing the founders and the peo­ple in­volved over the last half cen­tury.

He says it’s also a re­minder to keep mov­ing for­ward.

‘‘It’s hum­bling to be here with the founders. We need to ac­knowl­edge and re­mem­ber. But if it stops there, it’s not worth it.

‘‘Ev­ery foun­da­tion that I’ve seen has some­thing pretty nice on it. We’ve got 50 years of foun­da­tion to build on.

‘‘Our chal­lenge is to be rel­e­vant. What rel­e­vance are we go­ing to be in our com­mu­nity and New Zealand?

‘‘We have 20,000 peo­ple come through ev­ery year, 18,000 are school kids. We can be rel­e­vant, be­cause of what we have got to­day.’’

Davis says that over 50 years, about one mil­lion peo­ple have come through the gates.

Each per­son has chal­lenged in some way.

He wants the next gen­er­a­tion of camp di­rec­tors and staff, to con­tinue the work that was started 50 years ago.

As Davis and the staff think about mov­ing for­ward, one par­tic­u­lar guest was us­ing the cel­e­bra­tion as a time to look back.

Peter Robin­son was the build­ing su­per­vi­sor for the first 25 been years. His first project was the dor­mi­to­ries, which are still used as such to­day.

They were the first build­ings con­structed on the site in 1966. He and his wife Lois have served in the camp in many ca­pac­i­ties over the last half cen­tury.

Their chil­dren were campers, and their son Howard and his fam­ily are in­volved in the camp now. He has closely watched the camp grow and is proud to see it for what it is to­day.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing to see what God has done, I be­lieve it’s the fore­most Christian camp in New Zealand. It’s very spe­cial to be able to look back and ac­knowl­edge the path­way the Lord has guided the past 50 years.

‘‘The amaz­ing thing about To­tara Springs, is it’s al­ways grow­ing.’’


To­tara Springs di­rec­tor Richard Davis (cen­tre) with found­ing staff Peter Robin­son and Nathan Killen.

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