Northern Michigan in Focus: Ebels General Store and Camp CoBeAc

Sometimes things just work out.

This year, when two different places had two very different problems they found they could help each other.Nmif Ebels Charity

Corey Adkins explains in this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus.

“It’s go time here in Northern Michigan with the hunters deer processing you know,” said Mark Ebels, Owner of Ebels General Store.

Ebels General Store processes thousands of deer a year, but this year there was almost a problem.

“My son Tom told me there’s been a real increase in custom harvest this year with beef and pork. So we’re going to have difficulty stopping our custom harvest that we normally do and do some deer. So he just said it’s not going to happen in our facility so then that got us to thinking that where could we get another facility,” said Mark.

The answer was the house mark grew up in and it just happens to be right behind the store!

“We got approved water, we got approved wastewater, and it’s all right here and I said that’s marvelous idea let’s go,” explained Mark.

But because Ebels is running at capacity right now, problem number 2.

“Where are we going to get 12 to 15 people period if our own people are busy harvesting beef and pork,” said Mark.

Enter Camp CoBeAc out of Prudenville, who because of COVID-19, is having its own problems.

“The global pandemic, as we know, affected a lot of industries and a lot of organizations throughout the country and summer camp ministry was certainly an industry that was greatly affected.  So we, like a lot of people, are starting to find unique and creative ways to survive and make it through till next summer,” said Aaron Wilson of Camp CoBeAc.

Ebels needed people. Camp CoBeAc had them.

“We knew that they had a great need in deer processing due to the meat industry being absolutely swamped. We had a great need to try to survive because our summer camp ministry got hit so hard and so we just believe the Lord put these two organizations together.  Ebels has graciously volunteered to help to sustain camp CoBeAc through this time and in turn we come here and volunteer and help meet their big need in the deer processing this year,” said Aaron.

Since the youth hunt and bow season, the folks at Camp CoBeAc have been training for the big rush on November 15. Because of COVID-19, Ebels will not be having their buck pole but they will be ready.

“We’ll be set up just like normal.   Normally, we do a couple thousand a year. We’ll be ready, right Aaron?” said Mark.

People helping people.

“We are jumping in and really doing the whole process from skinning breaking down the actual meat cuts and processing and packaging.  And we get a lot of really great life experience along the journey as well,” said Aaron.

Categories: Northern Michigan In Focus