If you love the mountains, there are few places as beautiful as Hume Lake, a picturesque lake located in the midst of Sequoia National Park. Once known as Long Meadow, it was transformed into Hume Lake in 1908 when the Hume-Bennet Lumber Company built a dam to support their logging operations. During this era of early development, an adjacent 320 acres of remote homestead property instantly became pristine lakefront property with a saloon/restaurant (to serve the lumberjacks), and later a resort lodge. When logging ceased, business slowed down at the resort, and this original homestead property was eventually sold. The new owners were a group of ranchers and businessmen intent upon developing a Christian outdoor camp dedicated to serving the youth of the San Joaquin Valley. This camp, known as Hume Lake Christian Camps, has become the hallmark of Christian camps, reaching youth far beyond the San Joaquin Valley and also offers specialty Adult Conferences. In 1977 Firefighters For Christ approached Hume Lake Christian Camps to see if they would host a weekend retreat for firefighters. They agreed, and thirty-seven years later this Firefighters Conference remains Firefighters For Christ’s most popular event.
The LAFD is well represented at this event, along with numerous other California agencies. Several neighboring states have groups in attendance, and Minnesota always has a strong presence. In 2014 we also had firefighters from Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Sweden, and Germany. Our international travelers extended their stay in the U.S. and participated in ride-alongs on the LAFD. A special (belated) thanks to Fire Stations 2, 10, 27, 29, 33, and 98 for hosting our brothers on their ride-alongs. A special thanks also to Boat 2 personnel for making the time to give our guests the royal treatment.
The Firefighters Conference at Hume Lake is open to singles and couples. The ‘weekend’ starts on Thursday with some FFC-specific activities, such as an update on recent and/or upcoming FFC events, some group activities and friendly competitions. On Friday the actual conference begins and includes a guest speaker, music, and plenty of free-time. Last year’s speaker was Eric Simpson, a past Hume Lake staffer, a current pastor in the San Joaquin Valley, and an FFC favorite for many years. Music for the weekend was performed by Faith First, an extremely talented musical group who have had members of their band perform at past LAFD memorial services. Free-time activities include boating, fishing, hiking, biking, off-roading, a high-adventure ropes course, paint-ball, etc. There are also some friendly team competitions, such as a Fire Muster and Ultimate Frisbee. The LAFD holds bragging rights for the muster. The camp provides various levels of accommodations and great food throughout the weekend.
Come join us in 2015 (April 9-12). Maximize your weekend by registering for Thursday’s FFC day. Following the conference, you can even extend your stay in Hume accommodations, at a daily rate. More details can be found at: www.firefightersforchrist.org or www.humelake.org
By Dan Rodriguez, Captain FS 69