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Meeting God in Wesley Woods

Years ago Welcome Corners UMC gave Nicole Holton a camp scholarship. She went to Wesley Woods and fell in love with the place. Today she is the new Site Director. 

Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center has a new Site Director and she’s homegrown! Her name is Nicole Holton, and she has loved the camp since she was in third grade!

Michigan Area United Methodist Camping welcomes Nicole to her new role. 

Wesley Woods firebowl
Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center is on the shores of Clear Lake near Dowling, Michigan. ~ Facebook/Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center

Nicole received three degrees from Lake Superior State University: a Bachelor of Science in Parks and Recreation, an Associates degree in Natural Resource Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

She brings professional experience in outdoor youth education and planning, as well as natural resource management. 

And now she is bringing all her knowledge and skills to getting ready for the 2020 camp and retreat season. 

Nicole shares some of her story … 

“I am extremely excited to be Wesley Woods Camp Director. This is where I believe God is calling me. I grew up as a camper at Wesley Woods. I grew up attending a Mennonite church until 3rd grade when we started attending Welcome Corners UMC; a small country church in Hastings, Michigan.

“Welcome Corners gave me my first camp experience by offering a scholarship for me to attend camp for free. And from that time, I fell in love with Wesley Woods. It is a special place. I have received nothing but encouragement and love from camp. I kept coming back because I felt a stronger relationship with God while I was here and when I went home I was on fire.

“Camp has definitely helped me in my walk with Christ. I know having a community that cares for you and accepts you is beneficial to thriving in all that you do. After being a camper, I returned to Wesley Woods to be a camp counselor. I then fell in love with being a light for Christ. I still am friends with my co-campers from ‘back in the day’ and with the counselors I have met along the way.

“When I was an 8th grader during my final year at camp an event occurred at my home while I was at camp. And the outpouring of love and strength I received from the counselors and campers rallied around me helped get me through this tragic event. I still am friends with a few of the campers and counselors that lent me their prayers and shoulders. I want to help foster an environment where anyone can feel safe and loved while going through difficult times and also joyous times. I have had some of my best memories at Wesley Woods and I want others to have that experience.

“I know the potential Wesley Woods has. I want to grow the camping season and retreat season; because the more people that know of this hidden treasure of a camp, the more we can grow towards Christ. Wesley Woods boasts such a serene atmosphere that it is hard not to see God everywhere you look. I want to be able to have more people enter these woods and see God than ever before. I will work hard for Him and focus on what is good. Camping is my passion and I know that God has led me back to where it all began. I want to be the leader that He has prepared me to be for our campers and for our staff. I am looking forward to this walk and I know that with God by my side, it will be done.

“I am from Freeport but now reside in Hastings, Michigan with my husband Aaron, daughter Willow and cat Tony. I love being outdoors, but I also love watching movies, reading, teaching outdoor education, and enjoying the beauty of what God has created. I am the person I am … a leader, a follower, and a lover of Christ … because I was able to attend camp.”

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