More About Realife
For over a decade, Realife has impacted souls for Christ throughout the Southeast United States, touching not only Florida but Georgia and Alabama as well. Since 2010, God has moved in numerous hearts as many made life-changing decisions. Our camp history is not only built on great programming, and cutting-edge fun, but on the thousands of lives impacted and changed through knowing Jesus Christ as Lord.
Our camps and retreats are united under one vision – to see people come to know Christ through salvation, to build up the church, and to reach the unreached of our community.
We do this through:
- Preaching the Gospel
- Partnering with churches
- Providing free sponsorships to the Child Welfare Community
We are one camp, in two locations, led by Jesus.
Realife started its journey in 2009 under the name of Camp Silverlake, located in Mansfield Georgia. Our first meeting was on the side of a lake in tents. We were roughing it to say the very least, but all was in pursuit of the gospel. Our first camp only had 12-15 students, but even during that first year, we knew that God was working in camp ministry.
In the following year, our Camp Director William Bloodworth along with his wife Cindy Bloodworth, moved the camp location from Mansfield Georgia to Horseshoe Beach Florida, also known as Florida’s Last Frontier. Being in a new location, they felt it fitting to rename the ministry Camp Horseshoe Beach. It was here that their passion to reach the unreached was heightened. God sparked a new fire of urgency in them and led them on how the camp was to proceed.
During our first summer living in Dixie County, First Baptist Church of Horseshoe Beach allowed us ( at the time Camp Horseshoe Beach) to use their facilities for meals and worship. The pastor was the chaplain for road construction company, Anderson Columbia, which was owned and operated by Joe Anderson. The pastor told Joe Anderson about the revival happening at Camp Horseshoe Beach, so Mr. Anderson invited our camp director William Bloodworth to view the property that he owned. It was a beautiful KOA camp located on the banks of the Suwannee River in Old Town Florida. This property was formerly known as the Anderson River Park and was at the time, used for family reunions and birthday parties.
In 2011 Mr. Anderson invited William to have a meeting about the future of Camp Horseshoe Beach (now Realife) and to see if it was a ministry Mr. Joe wanted to invest in. During their meeting, they both quickly realized that this was going to be a great way to reach people for Christ, and they struck up not only a partnership in ministry but a friendship. Shortly after, Joe Anderson offered his property to the Camp Horseshoe Beach team if William and Cindy Bloodworth would come and relocate their camp ministry to Old Town in Dixie County.
In 2012, in honor of Joe Anderson, Camp Horseshoe Beach renamed their gospel-driven ministry, to Camp Anderson. Over the next 10 years, the gospel of Jesus Christ was preached to over 100,000 students and adults. Thousands of people gave their lives to Christ and were baptized in the Suwannee River on the banks of the Camp Anderson property.
Some of the most powerful gospel-centered preachers were in the Camp Anderson pulpit. Some of these preachers include RV Brown, Alex Brown, Jay Sanders, Kevin Hornsby, Joel Romulus, Robert Martin, Adam Fields, Ethnan Atud, and Eddie Hill. These pastors have preached at many Christian summer camps, retreats, and special events on the Camp Anderson property. We have had many guest musicians, some you may have heard about such as Jo Dee Messina, Chris Tomlin, Brian Scoggins from Casting Crowns, Cindy Stanford, and many others.
As Camp Anderson grew, we expanded our ministry reach and started to branch out from only doing camps for teens. Throughout the year we put on a variety of events for men and women alike such as Man Up Men’s Retreat, Windfire Ladies Retreat, school retreats, FCA camps, sports camps, and Foster Care events.
The Windfire Ladies Retreat offers a spiritual renewal for women throughout Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Every year speakers such as Pam Jenkins, and Deb Chambers from Jabokk Ministries, lead these ladies through biblical studies and teaching that softens the heart and restores the soul.
We provide fun activities and comfortable amenities so that we have a platform to speak into the students’ lives. All of our efforts are to build the platform for the gospel of Christ to go out.
Even through trying times such as the 2020 pandemic, marvelous spiritual growth was happening here at Camp Anderson. While other camps and retreat centers closed their doors, Camp Anderson kept theirs open. When football camps and equestrian camps didn’t allow summer activities, God opened a door for students to hear the gospel at Camp Anderson for the first time! The Florida State Department of Children and Family Services contracted with Camp Anderson to provide refuge for displaced Foster Care children at the camp. When there was nowhere for them to go, they came to us to get loved on and hear about the redeeming hope that Jesus provides.
We as Camp Anderson, and now also as Realife, partner with the State of Florida to offer free sponsorships to foster children to attend our camp programs. With the help of churches and donors, our ministry is able to meet the needs of thousands of foster children in the South East United States.
In the summer of 2020, our waiting list for summer camp was a mile long. We saw amazing growth over the last 10 years but also a fast-imposing problem: we were running out of room. As quickly as this problem presented itself, God provided. In July 202 Camp Anderson ministries was able to purchase its own facility in Marianna Florida. Located in beautiful Jackson County on the banks of the Blue Springs Reservoir (Merrits Mill Pond), Camp Anderson purchased the Blue Springs Baptist Conference and Convention Center from the Baptist College of Florida. The property was originally a resort center, and built for the Southern Baptist Convention and was a sister property to the Lake Yale Conference Center in Leesburg, Florida.
As Camp Anderson Ministries relocated to the Blue Springs area, a new ministry came to life in its place named Camp Anderson Anchored. Camp Anderson Anchored is operated by the local community and still resides in Old Town Florida, at the Anderson River Park KOA. Camp Anderson Anchored now continues to help serve the local community and churches in that area.
In 2021, we at Camp Anderson hosted our grand opening at our first fully-owned campus in Marianna Florida! Chris Tomlin cut the ribbon at the ceremony and has been a huge contributor to our child welfare ministry. It was a monumental moment for not only our small staff of 20 but for our camp director William Bloodworth. Our ministry had been renters for so long it was nice to finally have a home, and to our surprise, we were about to have two!
Three months after our huge move to Blue Springs, the board members of Life For Youth Camp in Vero Beach, reached out to our director William Bloodworth about a proposal they had. Because of the pandemic, Life For Youth Camp was headed for permanent closure. To see the gospel go forward, they reached out to our team to take ownership of the property and two expand our ministry into two locations. Life for Youth Camp is located in Indian River County, twenty minutes from the shores of South Beach Park. LFYC has been a cornerstone of the Vero Beach community and we felt so honored to be trusted with such a local treasure.
In May of 2022, because of our substantial growth, and the addition of a secondary campus location, we officially rebranded our ministry to Realife.
Today, Realife camps and retreats has two wonderful locations for you to choose from.
One of our camps is located in the Florida Panhandle on the incredibly beautiful Blue Springs Reservoir. The Blue Springs campus offers unique activities because of its location such as the Florida Caverns and a riverboat trip to Blue Springs.
On the same property as Blue Springs, we have Stillwaters. Stillwaters is a secondary campus that holds 200 beds and is rented year-round for smaller retreat events. It is our intention to convert this property into a landing camp that will house foster care children. With the partnership of Chris Tomlin and for others, we are working on the renovations as we speak to create a place for abandoned and abused children to hear of the love and hope of Jesus Christ. This is the main goal of Realife Ministries.
Realife’s other location is in Vero Beach Florida. Realife at Vero Beach offers a beach trip and an intercostal kayaking trip which is exclusive to this campus because of its location. Both of our camps run identical camp programming with the same speakers, except for the two activities mentioned above.
If you are looking for a Christian summer camp or a retreat rental that emphasizes Jesus, you’ve come to the right place. This is our history. Pray for us as we grow, expand, and reach new unreached people. We look forward to seeing you here soon!
2650 Lakeshore Drive
Marianna, FL 32446
Realife at Vero Beach
1416 82nd Ave.
Vero Beach Florida 32966
Please support the child welfare kids that come to Camp Anderson by purchasing an In God We Trust license plate.
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