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Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Orlando to watch our oldest daughter play softball for Bethel University. The trip was made possible in large part because of the generosity of Camp Gilead in Polk City, Florida.

Camp Gilead has been serving the church since the 1930’s and offers free housing to pastors when space allows. I arrived after 10 pm on a Sunday night and one of the staff members met me at the lodge and showed me to my room. A Youth For Christ group from Canada was also there, in addition to several smaller groups. Just behind the lodge is a large deck that overlooks a lake. Early mornings and late evenings were very peaceful and pretty.

The room itself is well-suited for a private retreat (no television or WiFi). It’s comfortable, clean, and really quiet (the YFC kids were staying at the opposite end of the campgrounds!).

Camp Gilead is located in Polk City, just off Interstate 4. It was about a 40 minute drive from the Orlando Airport and only 30 minutes or so to Kissimmee and Clermont, where Bethel was playing their games. Polk City itself doesn’t have much in terms of restaurant options but about 5-10 minutes away you’ll find all your normal options (Chili’s, fast-food, etc).

If you’re a pastor looking for a nice, simple place to stay in Central Florida I would highly recommend you check into Camp Gilead. Depending on the time of year (like summer), I imagine it might be harder to find an open room. But the staff I communicated with via email were extremely helpfulĀ — they really do believe in serving pastors and the church.

Here’s the direct link to information regarding their Pastor’s Get-Away. Enjoy!