By Haley Klein

United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas Contributor

Kim Carter recently found herself in dire need of a new truck. Carter, Executive Director of Camp Tanako, was forced to haul away the camp’s 1992 Chevy S-10 work truck. “The truck, nicknamed ‘Lil’ Blue, would be able to tell some stories if it could talk,” said Carter. “The camp staff used it for everything, including hauling trash and helping with the major upkeep our grounds required. We have generations of Tanako campers with memories of Lil’ Blue.”

Camp Tanako, located on Lake Catherine near Hot Springs, provides children, youth, and adults with outdoor experiences to grow in their faith through nature. The extensive Tanako facilities include camping and cabin areas, a conference center, and chapel, all which create opportunities to encounter the Holy Spirit in a beautiful setting.

After the old truck finally gave out, Camp Tanako staff contacted supporters in hopes of locating a reliable vehicle. “We were busy preparing for summer camp [when the truck died] and resorted to using personal vehicles,” Carter said. “We were moving trash around in a Honda CR-V. It was not a fun experience.”

The Rev. Mackey Yokem, Director of Leadership Ministries and Grant Administration for The United Methodist Foundation, heard about the camp’s need and encouraged them to apply for a grant offered by the Foundation. “Camp Tanako serves a unique role in the development of young disciples in our Annual Conference,” said Yokem. “The Foundation supports the work done by the Tanako Board, staff, and volunteers in creating an Outdoor Ministry that leads our young people to an appreciation of God at work in the world.” The Foundation’s Grant Committee awarded Camp Tanako funding to cover the full price of a new truck.

“We are just overwhelmed by this gift and the Foundation’s continued support,” said Carter. “Without this truck, we would not be able to operate our ministry.”

Camp Tanako’s grant was made possible through financial gifts invested with the Foundation. For more information about The United Methodist Foundation and how you can support grant ministries, visit umfa.org or call 501-664-8632.