Reach Out Camp Continues Tradition of Mission and Community at Lakeside Chautauqua

Posted on February 04, 2014

Since the 1970s, Lakeside Chautauqua has been home to the week-long summer youth camp, Reach Out. A ministry of the East Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Reach Out continues its tradition of mission and community at Lakeside each summer.

The youth camp originally began in the 1950s as the Girls School of Mission. When the program became co-ed in the 1970s, the name Reach Out was adopted.

Although the original program consisted of three week-long camps at different locations, the camp was eventually consolidated into a one-week camp. Leadership chose to continue the Reach Out tradition at Lakeside Chautauqua, the perfect setting for the annual youth gathering.

Previous Dean of Reach Out, and a camp volunteer for more than 20 years, Carolyn Beears, said, “For a camp location, Lakeside fits nicely. There are also lots of Lakeside resources helpful to Reach Out. ”

Doug Rigdon, camp counselor since 1998, added, “Lakeside is such a loving, close-knit, secure environment for our campers. There are so many opportunities and activities taking place, and they’re open to everyone.”

From the beginning, the Reach Out idea was that youth did not have to go to another country to be a missionary. They can be a missionary in their own neighborhood.

Today, the week-long Reach Out camp is dedicated to those same ideals. Students gather from all over Ohio for a week of fun, fellowship, worship, Bible study and mission work at various sites across Ohio.

Lakeside Chautauqua remains a special part of the Reach Out experience. 

Rigdon shared, “Lakeside is Reach Out and Reach Out is Lakeside, per tradition. You just can’t understand it until you experience it.”

Lakeside Chautauqua hosts hundreds of groups year-round, including weddings, family reunions, youth groups, birthday parties, anniversaries, church groups and business retreats. For more information about booking your next group event at Lakeside Chautauqua, visit or email the Group Sales Manager.