Thursday, May 17, 2018

Need A Ride?

Do you want to join us at Big Kids Camp but you...

don't have a car?
don't have extra money for gas?
don't like driving alone?

Many people carpool to camp! In fact, we have people traveling from all over...

If you need a ride, post on the Facebook event page or email Greg ( or Emily ( See you there!

(8 more Big Sleeps until camp!)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

What to Pack for Camp

Here is a suggested packing list for Big Kids Camp:
  • Bedding - a pillow and sleeping bag OR a pillow, blankets and twin sheets
  • Rug, for next to your bunk (optional)
  • Towel
  • Clothes for warm AND cool AND wet AND dry weather
  • Underwear :D
  • Swim suit
  • Rain jacket and/or heavier coat
  • Close-toed shoes and/or water shoes
  • Shower shoes, if desired
  • Toiletries
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight
  • Water bottle
  • Coffee/tea mug (optional)
  • Bible
  • Board games
  • Sudoku, books, word puzzles, coloring books, a journal and/or any other relaxing activities - just for you or to share!
  • Some cash (for extra activities or camp store purchases, if desired)

Email Greg ( or Emily ( if you really need one or more of these items but don't have time or money to get one.

Now you're all set! See you there!

(13 more Big Sleeps until camp!)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Steps to Registration

Registration for Big Kids Camp will look a little different this year. All registrations for Michigan UMC camps are run through one website now.

GOOD NEWS: No fees for us from PayPal!
BAD NEWS: You have to set up an account and it does take about 15 minutes.
GOOD NEWS: You won't need to set up another account for BKC (or any other UMC camp you attend) again!

Below is a complete step-by-step tutorial for the new registration process.
Go to and click "Register for BKC"
Click "Register for this Session"
Click "Create an Account"
Enter the required information, including a username and password and click "Create Account"
(you can fill all of the blank fields but you don't have to)
Click your name, under "New Reservations"
You will be prompted to select a session;
scroll down, check Big Kids Camp, and then
continue scrolling to the end of the page and click "Register"
Enter the name, phone number, and email of a contact person
Enter some basic health information; you are only required to enter
the items that have an (*) but it might be important to enter allergies
or other health concerns for the benefit of the camp staff;
"sign" this form with an electronic signature
Enter your name in the "Camper/Staff Member under 18" field
(even if you aren't and not like I did);
"sign" this form with an electronic signature
Click "Proceed to Checkout"
Click "Proceed to Payment"
Choose how much you want to pay:
"Pay all items in full" ($125) if you are ready to pay the whole amount;
"Pay the minimum amount due" ($25) if you will be getting a scholarship or paying in full upon arrival to camp;
"Other payment options" ($75) if you want to pay some now, some in April, and some in May
Choose how you want to pay
(even if you know you are getting a scholarship, DO NOT choose "Sponsorship Option")
WHEW! You made it though!

Thank you for your patience and flexibility in adjusting to this new registration format.
Hopefully, it will make everything easier from now on!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Big Kids Camp 2018: Faith FULL

Another year, another chance to come to Big Kids Camp!
  • Maybe you've heard about BKC from friends or counselors because you asked how you could keep going to camp after high school...
  • Maybe you've never been to BKC but someone you know has been telling you how awesome it is and you're intrigued...
  • Maybe you've never been to camp at all and you think BKC will be a good way to "dip your toes" in Christian camping...
  • Maybe you have been to BKC 10 times before...

No matter the reason, if you join us, you're in for a fantastic time and a refreshing spiritual journey as we embark on part two of what it means to be "FaithFULL". Last year, we learned about sharing our thirst for Christ and the longing we have for the God's love with others, so that the wells will overflow and the world will be blessed. This year, we are hungry...hungry for God's love, hungry for God's purpose for us, hungry to serve the world. How can we stay hungry for God and full of God's Word at the same time? How can we offer physical AND spiritual fulfillment to others? We'll examine how our relationship with God and our spirituality can be shaped by food rituals. We'll look at service and humility to the hungry and impoverished, through a biblical lens. 
We'll explore the meaning of faithFULLness through worship, discussion, fellowship and service with new and old friends. Being faithFULL means living extraordinary lives in ordinary ways - so come hungry!

A lot of the weekend will be yours to shape into whatever you need it to be. Options range from canoeing and board games to napping, 9-Square-In-The-Air and a film festival! You can take time for yourself, spend some extra time with God, AND meet new people.

7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 25, 2018 to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 28, 2018.
  • BUT you are NOT tied down to camp! If you don't want to miss a friend's open house, or you are part of a wedding, or you really need to be at your grandmother's 90th birthday party - you are welcome to come late, leave early, or even leave and come back! You'll just need to let our camp dean, Greg Lawton, know where you're headed when you leave the Crystal Springs premises.


$125 for returning campers
  • This covers food, lodging and activities for the whole weekend
  • BUT there is NO problem if you do not have the money to cover the cost. We have a well-stocked scholarship fund that is just waiting for a request! Contact our camp dean, Greg Lawton, for more information.


Crystal Springs Campground, 33774 Crystal Springs St, Dowagiac, MI 49047


Greg Lawton:
Emily Blunt:
Dan Stuglik:

We can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sarah's Big Kids Camp

Sarah is a camper-turned-BKC-organizer. She graduated from the University of Michigan a few years ago, after being very involved in the Wesley Foundation on campus, and now works in Illinois. She loves Big Kids Camp so much, she even introduced it to her now-fiance, Jimmy, last year! Below, she shares what she loves about BKC and why you should join us this year :)

"When I graduated from high school without ever having set foot on a church campground, I thought I had narrowly avoided what I assumed must be an annual week spent alternating between awkwardly trying to turn strangers into friends and feeling guilty for not having a dramatic call story to share around the campfire. Luckily for me, I was wrong on both accounts. It turned out I had not “escaped” the Methodist camping experience; the summer after my second year of college, my Wesley Foundation friends invited me to something called Big Kids Camp for post-high-school-age young adults. It also turned out that Big Kids Camp was nothing to be afraid fact, it’s probably one of the closest things to (young adult) heaven that I’ve ever experienced: the meals are provided, the naps are unlimited, and the people don’t judge you if you eat ice cream three times in one day.

Each time I’m at Big Kids Camp, I like to read the following, which is written on the wall of the dining hall: “At Crystal Springs Camp and Retreat Center our mission is to provide a welcoming Christian sanctuary while removing distractions between our guests and God.” For me, my big distractions are technology and the need to feel “productive.” Coming to Big Kids Camp forces me to put away Facebook for a few days and helps to remind me that sometimes catching up with a friend, meeting a new one, or simply staring up at the stars are the most productive things you can do.

The heart of Big Kids Camp happens every night at sundown, when we gather around the campfire to sing praises and share whatever is on our minds. Nobody is required to speak, but anyone is welcome to. There’s a shared understanding that whoever is speaking will not be interrupted or judged. I’ve often wondered how our lives and world would be different if we could end every day around a fire with our neighbors.

Another highlight is our sunset trip to Lake Michigan, which happens on Saturday night or Sunday night depending on the weather. It is such a striking reminder of the immense, beautiful creation that is always nearby waiting for us. After five years of attending Big Kids Camp, it has gotten to the point where I don’t feel like summer has officially begun until I’ve waded along the lakeshore, played a game of Nine Square in the Air, and canoed down the Dowagiac River. Luckily for me, Big Kids Camp happens this and every Memorial Day weekend at Crystal Springs."

(52 more Big Sleeps until camp!)