CAMP PARADISE HISTORY
Harold Hybels purchases 720 acres of land in Michigan's northern peninsula for $3 an acre.
October 12, 1975
Willow Creek Community Church holds its first service in a theater in Palatine, Illinois.
Harold gives the Michigan property to the new church started by his son Bill. This is the first property ever owned by Willow Creek.
Armed only with directions written on a napkin, Tim Vanden Bos and a group of others head north to find the land.
Volunteers from Willow Creek and Harold’s church in Kalamazoo, Michigan join together to build the first cabin and original lodge.
4 cabins, 2 shower houses, and an outhouse are built just in time for the first campers to arrive in June.
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.
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
37 dads and 37 sons arrive for the first Father/Son Camp.
First Father/Daughter camp is held.
Camp facilities expand from 8 cabins to 12 to meet the increased demand of Dads’ Camps.
The entire summer is now filled with Dads’ Camps as the youth ministries completely transition out.
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.