Here are some of the most common questions about the Florida Shindig.
1. What is the cost?
The Shindig family registration fee is $129. There are singles fees and also day passes (one day and two day) are available.
In addition, there are fees at the Shindig camp for overnight accommodations (optional) and for food (optional). If you stay off-site, there is a mandatory $4.00 per person per day insurance fee.
2. Where is the Shindig?
The Shindig is in North Florida at Lake Swan Camp in Melrose. It’s about an hour south of the Florida/Georgia border. It’s about an hour to historic St. Augustine and Crescent Beach of the east coast of Florida on the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Who will attend the Shindig?
Christian families and singles from across the country! The Shindig is a great opportunity to fellowship, build connections and friendships, and be encouraged and edified in the Lord by and through other like-minded families!
4. How many people will be there?
We’re predicting 50 to 100 families and 300 to 470 people. in 2019, there were 460 from 79 families in 23 states. In 2018, there were 433 total attendees from 71 families in 22 states. In 2017, the first year, there were 59 families from 20 states and 309 total attendees.
5. Will singles be there?
Yes! We’re expecting 50-100 single men and women to attend. There are lots of young adults! Many singles stay with their families, but there is special housing for single men and women.
6. Is it safe?
Yes! Melrose is a quiet country town 20 minutes east of Gainesville. Lake Swan Camp is private and no one comes in or out of the camp without permission!
7. Can we bring our own food?
Yes. You don’t have to pay for food at the camp. But breakfast, lunch, and dinner is only $7 per person if you want to get some meals. In 2019, dinners will be capped at $47.50 per family (over 6)!
Bringing your own food might help keep your costs down, but with an all-you-can-eat camp dinner capped at $47.50 per family (up to 15) each evening, it’s recommended that you eat with everyone in the camp cafeteria. The camp provides a salad bar, entree, and two sides for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We’ll have pot-luck meals every day. There is a small kitchen you can share with others. Bring your own coolers. There is ice available nearby from a convenience store, Dollar General, and a supermarket.
8. Why is the registration fee so high?
It’s really not high at all. It’s only $129 per family! This covers the cost of renting the entire camp, insurance, equipment, travel/accommodations for the speakers, and more. The non-profit North Florida Christian Homeschool Association is sponsor of the Florida Shindig and is assuming all of the costs and risks in producing an event of this scale.
9. Do we have to stay in the bunk-bed rooms?
No! You can stay in a tent, pop-up, or RV camper. There are nine spaces with electric, sewer, and water hook-ups. There are other spots with electric and water but no sewer. There also are two bath houses with private restrooms and showers.
There are a limited number of smaller motel rooms (sleep up to 4) at Lake Swan Camp as well.
You can stay in a hotel in Gainesville or at a nearby campground (but there is a $4.00 per person per day fee is you stay off-site). But we highly recommend that you stay each night as long as possible, as the evenings will be great times of fellowship for teens, children, singles, and adults!
10. Are there hotels nearby?
Yes. Gainesville is about 20 minutes away and there are many hotel choices, restaurants, and stores. But we encourage you to stay at the Shindig camp! Staying there will allow you to fellowship easier!
11. Are there camping facilities nearby?
There are nine full-service camping spots at the Shindig camp. There are several others with water and electric, but no sewer. You also can bring tents, pop-ups, and even RVs. There are two bath houses that you can use if you’re tent or RV camping.
Lake Swan plans to add more RV spots with full-hook ups to accommodate our needs in 2020.
12. How many families will be attending in 2020?
We’re predicting 70 to 100 families from across the country.
13. Is the Florida Shindig affiliated with the No Greater Joy Shindigs?
No, but Michael and Debi Pearl are very supportive of the Florida Shindig. The Pearl’s Shindigs nationwide were an inspiration for the Florida Shindig. The leaders of the Florida Shindig attended the Pearl’s Shindig in Missouri six years ago. The Pearls spoke at the 2019 and 2017 Florida Shindig.
14. Who is the sponsor of the Florida Shindig?
The North Florida Christian Homeschool Association, a non-profit organization founded by Butch and Kathy Oxendine. The Oxendines are homeschooling Christian parents based in Reddick, Florida. They have five children: Leah (23), Will (19), Adam (15), Andrew (15), and Luke (12).
15. Are hospitals nearby?
There is a walk-in clinic in Keystone Heights, about five miles away. The closest hospital is in Gainesville, which is about 20 minutes away. There is a small hospital in Stark, about 23 minutes away. The camp has an emergency medical kit available.
16. Is the Florida Shindig affiliated with any particular denomination?
No. But this is a fellowshipping event intended for “conservative” homeschooling Bible-believing and practicing Christian families.
17. Is there a dress code?
Yes. No short-shorts. No bikinis. No low-cut tops. No high-cut dresses. Please wear shoes and shirts to all functions. Please be modest!
18. When should we arrive for meals?
If you’ve bought the camp meals, please arrive no later than 15 minutes after the top of the hour. Breakfast is at 8:00 a.m., lunch is at 12:00 p.m., and dinner is 6:00 p.m. The camp allows for “seconds” after 15 minutes, so arriving late may mean they run out of food!
19. Can we use the lake, canoes, and slide?
Yes. But there must be a camp lifeguard present. The Florida Shindig has set up water-activity times nearly every day. See the schedule for more details. Those are the only days and times that water activities are permitted (for insurance reasons).
20. What’s the weather like in Florida in late January?
Totally unpredictable. It could be cold for a couple of days or in the 80s. It would be wise to bring both cold-weather and warm-weather clothes!
21. Are there private bathrooms in the sleeping rooms?
Yes. There is a sink, shower, and toilet in every sleeping room. Some larger bunk-bed dorms may have two showers and two sinks.
22. Are there microwaves and refrigerators in the sleeping rooms?
No. There is a microwave and one house-size refrigerators in the Lake View Lodge conference room kitchen. You may bring your own microwave. You may bring your own mini refrigerator. You may bring coolers.
23. Are laundry facilities available?
If necessary, there is a washer and dryer in the bathhouse facility by the Everglades bunkhouse. Please use the laundry only after 5 p.m. and offer a donation for electric. Bring your own detergent.
24. How long can we stay?
In 2020, the Florida Shindig has partnered with Lake Swan Camp to extend the time rooms and camping/RV spots are available! Instead of just Sunday through Friday, you can now stay a whole week or even extend until Wednesday, February 5 (after Sunday, please contact the camp directly to make your plans)! It is up to you how long you stay. The official Florida Shindig programming will only extend Sunday to Sunday, please note. Camp meals are only available until Sunday at lunch.
25. If we sign up, and find out we can’t come, can we get a refund?
Please note that this is not like a hotel or a business. A family like yours produces the Florida Shindig. Our family signs a contract with the camp and is required to meet specific goals regarding reserving rooms and meals. If people cancel at the last minute, our family is still required to pay the camp.
You can get a refund for all or part of your fees (depending on circumstances) four weeks before the event, less any credit card processing fees. But after that date, it is very difficult to reserve the rooms to other guests, so no refunds are permitted.
26. What are the sleeping rooms like?
This is a camp! There are bunk beds, a sink, and a private toilet and shower. The floors are not carpeted. Most of the rooms have a desk and chair. There is no kitchen, microwave, or refrigerator. For most of the rooms, you need to bring your own linens and towels. NEW: All rooms now have one queen/full bed in addition to bunks. The larger bed now has linens in each room.
The camp is in the woods in Florida, please note. There is a chance of mold and mildew in some of the rooms because of the Florida humidity. If you have severe medical issues regarding mold and mildew, it would be advisable to bring a dehumidifier and/or ozonator or consider staying in an RV or off-site.
27. Can we bring our dogs?
Yes, but please keep them on a leash and also clean up after them.
Have other questions? Contact the Florida Shindig at email@example.com or call 352-591-4573 (the Oxendine’s home).