FCA’s long-awaited National Resource Center is a reality!
For eight conference weeks this summer the wooded 350-acre site in western Indiana teemed with the sights and sounds of young people competing, meditating, canoeing, swimming, fishing, singing, fellowshipping…
Largely responsible is veteran FCA staffer Charles Miller. Thanks to his tireless efforts as NRC Director, attractive housing and dining facilities for 100 conferees and 16 staff were completed on time despite problems with such unglamorous but necessary details as road, water and sewage installations. And in full swing by mid-summer was a basketball pavilion featuring four college-size courts.
In addition to a Coaches Clinic and two National Conferences, the NRC hosted a pair of conferences for junior high boys and high school girls. Another first was a week for inner-city athletes from Chicago and Indianapolis.
Speakers for the inaugural batch of junior highers included former major league pitching ace Carl Erskine, Indiana University cage star Kent Benson and artist Bill Leach. Besides Dogpatch Olympics the boys enjoyed badminton, Ping-Pong and horseshoe competition. Several of them indicated they had made commitments of their lives to Christ and would “definitely be back next year.”
The program for the inner-citiers was equally meaningful. The 10-mile canoe trip down Sugar Creek capped the week for many and over a dozen attended a voluntary buzz session on How to Become a Christian.
“The week started slow but ended with the boys sorry they had to leave,” reported conference director Wayne Atcheson. “A lot of them thanked us personally and expressed interest in starting Huddles in their schools. I felt reassured that you can relate to the disadvantaged youngster by being yourself, being honest, getting involved and showing Christian love.”
The conferees agreed: “Having been here makes it easier to go home”; “This is a great place for guys like myself to find great fellowship”; “I learned to put God before myself… the conference changed my whole outlook on life.”
Attendance gained momentum as the summer progressed (17 states were represented at the capacity-filled second girls conference) and next season promises to be a sellout. Meantime fall retreats for area FCA groups are already confirmed.
With the goal of providing a multifaceted ministry to sports, church and community groups, the NRC’s future plans encompass a chapel, gymnasium, assembly hall, extensive athletic fields and other structures. As God wills and blesses, FCA’s Hoosier home will someday serve as one of America’s finest sources for recreation and renewal.
“This place is truly a dream come true,” enthuses Director Miller. “We of the FCA staff just thank the Lord for this land and opportunity He’s given us.
Charlie Miller was a great man! I was privileged to have been Charlie’s assistant director. That camp was so magical for so many fine young men. So many fine Christian role models came there to witness to the young athletes. It is a shame that the FCA couldn’t keep it.