We are preparing an offer to the Presbytery of Chicago for the Camps in Saugatuck this summer, and we need your help.
Magnificent beachfront dunes at the Presbyterian Camps in Saugatuck have been virtually untouched for the past century. Now the Presbytery of Chicago wants to sell the 130-acre property to a housing developer to pay off debt related to a 1990s church sex scandal. There is only one reason to sell the camp and its dunes: Money. There are many more reasons to preserve the dunes and the camps.
Presbyterian Camps sits on 125 acres of protected dunes in western Michigan. The property has a half mile of Lake Michigan lakefront. The camp has been a ministry of the Presbytery of Chicago for almost 80 years but, due to financial difficulties the Presbytery has had to sell the camp. Three separate campgrounds, each with dining facilities and cabins or platform tents, are available for children’s camps, youth camps, and family or adult group camps and retreats. Visitors find their spirits are renewed, whether enjoying a swim in the waves, a hike in the peace of the wooded trails or the serenity of a brilliant sunset viewed from the outdoor Chapel.
Lakeshore Christian Camping (Lakeshore), a 501(c)(3) tax exempt religious organization was formed in 2009 by a group of eight Chicago Presbyterians, for the purpose of acquiring and operating Presbyterian Camps in Saugatuck Michigan.
Lakeshore’s Mission and Vision
Lakeshore upholds that The Presbyterian Camps is a holy place set apart to: Celebrate creation, Renew the spirit, Nurture faith, Build community. Where all are welcome to come and grow in faith.
The Lakeshore’s Vision is to preserve the Presbyterian Camps in Saugatuck, MI and their Ministry for future generations. Individual board members have extensive experience with the camp and have a vision of what the camp can be for the Presbytery of Chicago and in the local community. Lakeshore will secure, maintain and expand the mission and programs of the Camps, with a strong concentration on nurturing Christian faith, witness and discipleship, and preserve the environmental sanctuary of the Camps that has been maintained in an environmentally responsible manner since 1899. Lakeshore will also provide significant scholarship opportunities. This process will transition the Presbyterian Camps from an aging historic youth and retreat camp to a contemporary, ADA compliant, and environmentally focused retreat/conference and youth camping operation. These improvements will allow the Presbyterian Camps to meet the evolving needs in today’s camping standards.
As stewards of the Camps, Lakeshore feels called to preserve and redevelop this vital mission for all who visit this beautiful place.
Lakeshore asks for prayers for this important ministry, our efforts to save the camp and all those whose lives are touched by Christian camping.