By Amanda Boston

Nestled on 170 acres of woodlands and along the Alafia River resides the Cedarkirk Camp & Conference Center. For 46 years, the Lithia-based camp has served the entire Gulf Coast as a refuge from the busyness of everyday life. The organization operates year round as “a place apart to build up the body of Christ in love” and attracts churches, community organizations, schools and families, alike.

Cedarkirk’s main attraction is its summer camp program, which offers different sessions with themes like music, art, cooking, science and adventure, just to name a few. Camp programs are for participants that have completed first grade through twelfth grade.

Even though the local community features a wide variety of summer camp programs, Cedarkirk is one of the few organizations with overnight accommodations. Reverend John Reiter is the Executive Director of Cedarkirk and said, “We like to think our kids have such carefree lives, but in reality, a lot of kids have very busy schedules. There’s a lot of noise going on in their lives. I think going away to camp is wonderful as it gives them a chance to unplug, connect with fellow campers, make new friends, and hopefully learn more about themselves and God.”

Overnight camps are available from Sunday to Friday with accommodations in either a climate-controlled dormitory style lodge or a rustic cabin without air-conditioning. Every camper receives an authentic camping experience in a safe environment with a well-trained and caring staff. Besides the traditional camp activities, such as canoeing and campfire cookouts, campers have the opportunity to connect with God through Bible study and worship.

In addition to its summer program, Cedarkirk is a ministry of hospitality opening its doors to about 15,000 people throughout the year with retreats and events. The facilities can be rented for multiple purposes such as conferences, leadership training, team building, family reunions and camping. From an adventurous high-ropes course to a peaceful canoe ride, Cedarkirk offers activities suitable for everyone in its serene and scenic location.

For information, visit Cedarkirk is located at 1920 Streetman Dr. in Lithia. For questions, call 685-4224 or email

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Amanda Boston
Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.