Future Changes at Michigan Area United Methodist Camps
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 based after much prayer, reflection and a thorough examination of its aging facilities, the downward trend in usage, and the estimated large amount of capital investment needed for infrastructure improvements at all its sites.
Although the current camping season is off to a promising start, usage and participation remains a challenge, as well as the need for significant facility improvements. Upon review of the facility needs at the open sites and the sources available to fund these improvements, the board recently 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).
“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. 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 (Pentwater) and Lakeview Family Campground (Lakeview).
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 to learn more about all the sites, their year-round retreat facilities and how camp changes lives.