COZAD—The Comeca Camp and Retreat Center was founded in 1950 and has held an annual summer gathering ever since. Previously known as the “Buffalo BBQ,” the 72nd annual cookout will take place on Saturday, August 13 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with free-will donations appreciated.
While buffalo meat is no longer served, the tradition of good food and fellowship continues, according to Amy Hoehner. Smoked ribs and chicken, side dishes, and ice cream are provided to celebrate the end of the camp season.
“We just really want to serve people and celebrate what God is doing,” Amy Hoehner told KCNI/KBBN. “We’ll be ready to celebrate with families about what the Lord has done.”
Amy Hoehner said she loves working in the camp ministry with her husband Justin who serves as the executive director of the Comeca Camp and Retreat Center. The couple has been working at the camp for the last five years. Both originally from Nebraska (Amy from Falls City and Justin from Kearney), she says they are happy to be raising their kids in Nebraska after time spent at other camps in Texas and California.
“We have been able to raise our kids here in Nebraska close to their grandparents, close to family, and really serve in this ministry that we’re called to and it’s just a beautiful thing!”
An estimated crowd of 300 to 400 people are anticipated and all are welcome to the August 13 cookout. The event is held outdoors and provides a fun atmosphere for families. The Crossing Band from Gothenburg will perform, there will be a DJ, hiking, inflatables, and other activities such as the milk-crate climb.
“This one is definitely the most well-known because it’s been going on the longest. Lots and lots of generations of people in this area can remember coming out with their families to the Buffalo BBQ and because this is our version of that age-old fundraiser it’s just a fun one to let the next generation experience and we’re excited that we keep it going,” Amy Hoehner told KCNI/KBBN.
Amy encourages the public to hop off the interstate and check out the camp facilities amid the beautiful hills and valleys near Midway Lake. There is no cost for admittance but free-will donations for Comeca’s Ministry are appreciated. The public is also encouraged to bring lawn chairs to ensure a place to sit while listening to the band.
“We don’t require you to bring anything! Just yourselves, bring a smile, we would love to just connect with you,” Hoehner said.
The cookout is one of the camp’s major annual fundraisers in addition to a golf tournament (held on August 6), a virtual Christmas fundraiser and springtime 5K bash.
Though the busy summer camp season may be coming to an end, the independent Christian camp (run by a local board) serves guests year round.