CAMP PARADISE HISTORY

 

  • 1966

    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

    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

    1976

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

  • 1977

    1977

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

  • 1977–1991

    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

    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

    2000

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

  • 2002

    2002

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

  •  1991–present

    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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