• 1966


    Harold Hybels purchases 720 acres of land in Michigan's northern peninsula for $3 an acre.

  • October 12, 1975

    October 12, 1975

    Willow Creek Community Church holds its first service in a theater in Palatine, Illinois.

  • 1975


    Harold gives the Michigan property to the new church started by his son Bill. This is the first property ever owned by Willow Creek.

  • December 1975

    December 1975

    Armed only with directions written on a napkin, Tim Vanden Bos and a group of others head north to find the land.

  • 1976


    Volunteers from Willow Creek and Harold’s church in Kalamazoo, Michigan join together to build the first cabin and original lodge.

  • 1977


    4 cabins, 2 shower houses, and an outhouse are built just in time for the first campers to arrive in June.

  • 1977–1991


    Camp Paradise welcomes thousands of junior high, senior high, and college-age students from Willow Creek along with church staff retreats. Hundreds begin a relationship with Christ and are baptized in the Tahquamenon River.

  • 1991


    Willow’s youth ministries grow to the point where they can no longer be accommodated at Camp Paradise and begin to transition to other locations over the next few years.

  • July 31, 1991

    July 31, 1991

    37 dads and 37 sons arrive for the first Father/Son Camp.

  • August 1993

    August 1993

    First Father/Daughter camp is held.

  • 2000


    Camp facilities expand from 8 cabins to 12 to meet the increased demand of Dads’ Camps.

  • 2002


    The entire summer is now filled with Dads’ Camps as the youth ministries completely transition out.

  •  1991–present


    Thousands of dads, sons, and daughters have come across the river to Camp Paradise to experience a closer walk with God and each other at Dads’ Camps.

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