TALLADEGA — The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused many places to close or dramatically cut back normal services. Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega was no different.
According to an old legend, the Native Americans called the land “Shocco” which means “The Gathering Place.”
Shocco Springs is located on almost 900 acres in Talladega. The camp and conference center provides lodging, food service, meeting space, and recreational opportunities for approximately 40,000 guests each year.
According to Shocco Springs Executive Director Russell Klinner, summer of 2020 was definitely not “business as usual” for Shocco Springs.
"Campus was beautiful as always, but it was quiet," he said. "We missed the familiar sounds of constant multitudes of kids splashing in our Aqua Park on the lake and the cheers of students as they prepped for team activities. It was strange not to see groups of kids sprawled all over the grass in front of the chapel or on the rock walls near the stream, working on their daily Bible studies. In 2020, guest numbers dwindled to less than 25 percent of our normal numbers.”
Shocco Springs has hundreds of kids on campus these week enjoying the recreational facilities.
This year however has brought back summer campers in big numbers.
“This summer we have experienced a complete 180-degree change," he said. "Campus has been overflowing with high energy and excited students, eager to return to the full camp experience of new friends, incredible recreational activities, and awesome worship time. Guest attendance for 2021 is almost back to pre-Covid levels. We give God the glory as we rejoice over the consistent reports of how students and adults continue to be impacted in wonderful ways through the ministry of Shocco Springs.”
Shocco Springs is an entity of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, which provides the facility with funding through the Cooperative Program. Shocco welcomes nonprofit organizations and Christian groups of many denominations.