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Two Michigan camp sites for sale

Boy playing in sand at Myers Lake camp site

Two camp sites, Crystal Springs and Myers Lake, are being offered for sale by the Michigan Area United Methodist Camping Board. Capital from the sale will further long-range plans for camping. 

ST. JOHNS, Mich. | July 29, 2019   As announced in February, the Michigan Area United Methodist Camping Board of Directors made the difficult decision to shutter four camps for the 2019 camping season. This decision was made after much prayer, reflection, a thorough examination of aging facilities, the downward trend in usage, and the estimated large amount of capital investment needed for infrastructure improvements at all its sites.

The current camping season is off to a promising start, however, usage and participation remains a challenge. Significant facility improvements still need to be addressed. Upon review of the facility needs at the open sites and the resources available to fund these improvements, the Board has acted to offer two of the shuttered properties for sale. The two sites being offered for sale are Crystal Springs Camp & Retreat Center (Dowagiac) and Myers Lake Campground (Byron).

Campers at the Crystal Springs firebowl
It was dedicated August 10, 1860 as the Big Springs Camp Ground. Since 1874 the outdoor ministry near Dowagiac has been known as “Crystal Springs Camp.” According to local historian Barbara Cook, it’s the oldest religious camp in Michigan. The United Methodist camp was shuttered in February 2019 and is now for sale. ~ Facebook/Crystal Springs Camp

“These camps have a long, storied history and have served the camping ministry well over time, but unfortunately, can no longer fit in the Board’s long-range plans and needs,” said Stuart Smith, Board President. The Board anticipates buyers at or above the appraised value of the sites. “As good stewards of our camping ministry, the Board wants to offer outstanding programs at beautiful, well-maintained camps,” Smith added. “The injection of capital from the sale of these two sites will be a big step forward in that plan.”

Summer camp programs for kindergarten through adults are offered at four facilities: Judson Collins Camp & Retreat Center (Onsted), Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat (Pentwater), Lake Huron Retreat Center (Burtchville), and Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center (Dowling). Two campgrounds provide opportunities for RV/tent and cabin camping: Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat and Lakeview Family Campground (Lakeview).

Canoeing at Wesley Woods Camp Site
Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center (Dowling) is one of five United Methodist camps in operation this summer. Others are Lakeview Campground, Judson Collins Center, Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat Center, and Lake Huron Retreat Center. ~ Facebook/Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center

Churches, nonprofits, families and groups are encouraged to use these facilities throughout the year and participate in summer programming. Increased utilization will help the Board maintain and grow the camping ministry at these sites. Explore our website at umcamping.org to learn more about all the sites, their year-round retreat facilities, and how camp changes lives.

Last Updated on December 8, 2023

The Michigan Conference