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Recap of Escape To The Lake 2013

posted: July 19th, 2013 by Dave Trout

This last July 4-7, Under The Radar (UTR) and Lake Geneva Camps & Conferences (LGCC) convened the first ever Escape To The Lake, a gathering to celebrate music, faith, community and creation.  Over 100 attendees experienced the scenic landscape at Conference Point Center in Williams Bay, WI along with memorable outdoor, lakefront performances by Andy Gullahorn, Eric Peters, The Vespers, Christa Wells, Tim Coons, Randy Stonehill, The Farewell Drifters, Nicole Witt, Nick Flora, Jon Troast, Jill Phillips, and Matthew Clark.

Besides the concerts, registrants got to take part in breakout sessions that included a sneak peek of the new Rich Mullins bio-pic "Ragamuffin," artist Q&A panels, unplugged "back porch" concerts, creative art classes, songwriter in-the-rounds, and a music-themed game show.  The conference grounds was also able to offer a wide variety of recreational activities like sailing, banana boating, hiking, fishing, campfires, and a private beach.

Here some thoughts from the Under The Radar staff:

Dave Trout - Sr. Producer/ Host

Behind the scenes, the staff at UTR and the staff at LGCC shared a big, ambitious vision of what this event could be.  Even with that, it exceeded my expectations.  God moments were not just a part of the retreat, but it was a sacred experience as we all found God present in the beauty of creation, the skillfully presented music, and in the hearts of all the people.  Zach from The Farewell Drifters said that the age, beauty, and history of Conference Point Center made it feel "like we were walking on hallowed ground" -- and I couldn't agree more.  I really wanted to help create a great event, but in the end it felt less like an event and more like a spiritual experience, where music, conversations, sessions, devotions, and classes were just a means to a much greater end.  Even though I was busy "working" the entire time, the weekend was a spiritually moving experience for me personally.  Nearly every person I talked to said that they are already planning to come back next year.  I believe it's fair to call this gathering a huge ministry success!

Kelly Van Engen - Assistant Producer

In January, when Escape to the Lake first started percolating for the team at Under the Radar, I was nervous about forming a new partnership with a ministry that had a different purpose in God’s Kingdom. Conference Point Center has an interesting history and I love the story that’s being written about the camp being redeemed, I just couldn’t clearly see how to combine a folk festival and a family camp. Would it really be possible to create such an environment? Then through various planning sessions, it seemed even more obvious that it was a large undertaking - even coming up with a name that properly conveyed this family-camp/music-fest/conference was a challenge. We truly were breaking new ground. As we marched closer to the event, I still wondered if we’d actually pull it off or if it would feel like a disjointed "nothing" fest. As it turned out the Lord more than answered our prayers. Registrants that were looking for a family camp expressed how blessed they were by the opportunity to have devotions with the artists, attend concerts and sit in on break-out sessions (daycare included). And registrants that were looking for more of a folk fest found exactly that, plus opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities like sailing, campfires and 4th of July fireworks. With one event under our feet, seeing what the Lord can do with servant hearts and open-minded registrants, I can’t wait to start planning for next year’s ETTL!

Brittany Homan - UTR Intern

Even at the budding age of 21, I have no doubt Escape to the Lake will forever be one of the most unique concert experiences I’ll have. A few highlights include the delicious, way-better-than-your-average-college-cafeteria food from CPC’s dining hall, jumping into a chilly Geneva Lake late at night, and filming a music video for Nick Flora. In between all the running around I did to get The Farewell Drifters some bug spray or set up the next chalkboard schedule of the day, the Lord was forming a small but wonderful new community. The countless interactions I had with fellow staff members, artists and the guests made the weekend unforgettable. I’ll be back at ETTL in a heartbeat!

Additional Comments

** "The community feeling throughout, combined with an intentional focus on God, raised this to event to great heights. Thank you!"  [Luke H., attendee]

** "You guys are awesome!  I had a blast at this event and think it has a VERY bright future if you decide to do it annually (which I totally think you should)."  [Nick Flora, ETTL artist]

** "It is as if we had a VIP Backstage Ticket to paradise! What could be entertainment is actually met with a collision of community and participation. I loved having REAL conversations with the humble, giving artists."  [Sarah G., volunteer]

** "We had a BLAST at ETTL - thanks so much for making it all happen and for having us! It was like summer camp, but for thoughtful, faithful, music-loving adults. Kind of awesome."  [Zach from The Farewell Drifters, ETTL artist]

Tune in to UTR Episode #241 to hear our on-air recap of the inaugural Escape To The Lake.  You may also browse our ETTL Photo Gallery.  Also, enjoy this 3-minute video montage (produced by ReFrame Media intern Will De Lange) that will give you a taste of this memorable weekend.


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