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Camp Board acts on 2019 site use

Worship time at Judson Collins Center near Onsted


The Board of Directors of Michigan Area United Methodist Camping announces they voted to suspend operations at four sites for the summer of 2019.

February 22, 2019 | ST. JOHNS, Mich. –With a deep commitment to the ongoing mission of Christian Camping and retreat ministries, the Michigan Area United Methodist Camping Board of Directors voted Feb. 18, 2019, to suspend operations at three summer camp sites and one RV campground for the 2019 season. The facilities and staff affected are: Albright Park Camp & Retreat Center (Reed City), Camp Kinawind (Boyne Falls), Crystal Springs Camp & Retreat Center (Dowagiac), and Myers Lake (RV) Campground (Byron).

We, the Board, are grateful for the years of ministry at these sites. We know many, many people experienced God in Jesus Christ and grew in their spiritual journey because of time spent in these sacred spaces. We acknowledge that this is a difficult message to read and want you to know it was a painful decision to reach.

A review of factors such as attendance patterns, financial history, site conditions, population concentrations, and a strategic view toward the future led to the Board’s decision. Long-term decisions about these camps have yet to be made.

With over 50 remaining programs for kindergarten through adults at four other facilities, plus RV/tent camping at two campgrounds, Michigan Area United Methodist Camping is still able to offer a vibrant and welcoming camping experience at our five active camps. These site are Judson Collins Camp & Retreat Center (Onsted), Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat (Pentwater), Lake Huron Retreat Center (Burtchville), Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center (Dowling), plus Lakeview Family Campground (Lakeview).

For those currently enrolled in camps or with reservations at sites that will not operate in 2019, our customer service team will be contacting you to offer alternative programs or, if necessary, refunds. If you have questions, please contact registrar@umcamping.org or call 989-272-1116.

To our staff, volunteers, and supporters who are displaced by this decision, we are deeply grateful for your sharing of gifts and loyalties. Thank you for your faithful service. We hope you will continue to offer your talents and time at our other sites.

The Board of Directors, with the support of the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church Council on Finance and Administration and the Conference Leadership Team, thanks you for your commitment to the camping ministry. We are grateful for your partnership as we seek to fulfill our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ and to enrich relationships through outdoor ministries. 

The Board asks you to surround all these changes in prayer. Please continue to encourage your congregation, friends and family to participate in our camp programs. We look forward to seeing you at summer camp. 

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