With new protocols, Lake Yale Conference Center ready for guests

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LEESBURG-For more than 50 years, Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center (LYBCC) in the heart of Central Florida has served as the chosen location for more than a million conference attendees.

With accommodations ranging from hotel-style rooms to open-air campsites, the destination offers a desirable environment for any type of gathering. LYBCC prides itself on the ability to comfortably host gatherings ranging from 50 people, to as many as 1,000, and boasts an abundant variety of meeting spaces on site.

Like most organizations that host large groups, LYBCC has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 virus outbreak. After a period of cautionary closure during March and April, the center has now reopened and looking forward to serving many groups yet this year. In fact, protocols now in place at LYBCC encourages visiting groups to enjoy the elements of nature offered by the property perhaps more than ever.

Describing how their precautions have impacted the approach to conferencing, LYBCC Executive Director Jeff Yant explained, “Groups are getting outside, under big oak trees in the shade, and utilizing the outdoor resources. We allot more pool time and use more amenities outside. There are fewer ‘indoor, everyone together in one area’ meetings, rather some meeting inside, some outside.”

LYBCC has taken significant steps to ensure guests’ safety. These include extra cleaning, implementing sanitization systems for all departments in addition to normal everyday cleaning, and using a commercial grade disinfectant cleaning system and low mist fogging in meeting spaces, the dining hall and hotel guestrooms. Also, the staff is keenly aware of the new changes, wearing masks and gloves in contact areas. Additional, cleaning is done before and after every guest interaction with surfaces cleaned twice.

Lake Yale Baptist Conference CenterGuests are also taking their own steps to ensure safety, modifying protocols to address their individual and group concerns. They have been particularly creative in the way they fit those protocols into a routine to cause as little disruption as possible, Yant reported.

A group who visited in June, for example, used logbooks to track temperature checks before allowing attendees to fellowship freely.  The small, daily concession allowed everyone to feel a bit safer, while still enjoying the camp.

Longtime Lake Yale conference attendee Linda Buckles considers it “my joy to attend conferences at this beautiful retreat center for many years and I have led groups of both seniors and women who have attended conferences there.”

Lake Yale Baptist Conference CenterShe continued, “Jeff has always demonstrated such a genuine understanding of how God uses time away from the regular day-to-day routine of life at an amazing place like Lake Yale.

“The setting at Lake Yale made a tremendous difference in my spiritual life as a teen, as well as the lives of my sisters. The opportunity to get away from the world and draw near to God is invaluable.”

Mary Lou Hendry, Sanctity of Human Life Director for the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, has scheduled the “Sound the Call Sanctity of Human Life” conference at Lake Yale for the past 20 years. “’Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God,’ describes the impact of so many of our attendees,” during the event at the conference center, she said.

“Every year has been a sweet experience and many have encountered Christ in life changing ways. Some have described the conference as their ‘Soul Care’ experience.”

Churches and individuals wishing to plan an event or desiring to help support Lake Yale should contact their office at www.lybcc.com/.

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