Chatting with Chuck

Hey parents and guardians,


My name is Charles “Chuck” Fuerstenau, and I have been involved with Lakeside Camp for Youth since 2004. The theme for that year was “Get Into the Game” and the impact speaker was Casey Cease; our shirts were construction orange with lime green lettering.

I was entering my sophomore year of high school, and had given my life to Christ only a year earlier. I learned about Lakeside from my youth group on a youth mission trip in 2003, and their excitement made me want to check out what would get them so anxious to attend next year’s camp. My hope and goal is that my posts will better connect you as parents and guardians with Lakeside Camp for Youth in these 3 ways:

  1. Paint a picture of Lakeside Camp for Youth, and answer some of the Parents’/Guardians’ FAQ.
  2. What your role is as parent/guardian.
  3. How you can support your youth to ensure they have a fun, safe, and successful camping experience before, during, and after camp.

An example of a question I often hear from parents is “Is this like a Scouting camp, where we set up tents?” Not quite. This is an historic gated community on the shores of Lake Erie where some people live year-round, and others have vacation homes where the property values range from $100,000 to over $1,000,000. Many youth groups rent out some of these homes for camp housing. It’s also the place where the East Ohio and West Ohio Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church meet in early June.

Anyway, back to my story. I packed everything on the packing list my youth group leader gave me from the suggested list on the registration form. I didn’t know what to expect when we would arrive. Well, let me back up a bit: I did expect MAYFLIES! (Cue the Hitchcock thrill-inducing music). Thanks Lake Erie.

So, we pull up to WoHoMis to sign-in, and drop off our stuff at our bunk beds in what I liked to call “barracks style” sleeping quarters. The guys slept on the 3rd floor, the girls slept on the 2nd floor. It was there I was introduced to my first Lakeside lesson: chaperones peppered the floors to make sure there were no “purple” violations.

Wait, what? Are kids not allowed to wear anything purple? What’s the deal with purple? What did purple ever do to deserve the “violations” tag? Well, purple is part of the Lakeside lexicon (a lexicon that you’ll hear more about in later posts).

Purple means “Boys are blue, girls are pink; mixed together, pink and blue make purple.” Purple also means no PDA allowed with youth who are boyfriend/girlfriend. No purple is allowed at Lakeside Camp for Youth.

This camp is designed and planned to create an environment where everyone can focus on Jesus. Purple gets in the way of knowing Jesus better.

There is a strict T-shirt and conservative clothing policy to protect the youth from temptations to gaze at bulging biceps or low neck lines.

So, as you plan to help your youth pack as my parents helped me, please pay special attention to these dress policies, and enforce them. We don’t mind enforcing the policies, we just want to give you an opportunity to be parents/guardians to help do as the Proverb says, “Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it.”

Until then, stay connected, be blessed, and God grant you grace!