Monday, June 5, 2017


Thank you to EVERYONE for making Big Kids Camp 2017 such a wonderful experience! We ignited new friendships, created community, made beautiful music, enjoyed lovely Michigan weather and learned about thirst in the context of our spiritual journeys.

Although we won't be together as a group again for awhile, please continue to share your thirst for truth, love and justice through the BKC Facebook page. We can and will be a support system for each other, with prayer, thoughts and actions, even virtually!

Save the date now for a BKC Thanksgiving get-together (usually the Friday after) and Big Kids Camp 2018 - it's this and every Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Gathering in Service

This year, as in the past few years, we will be engaging in service as part of our weekend.
One of our opportunities will be to create squares for the Knit-A-Square organization. Knit-A-Square is a global volunteer-run organization, with members and donors in dozens of different countries. Their mandate is to warm and comfort children of all races, who are vulnerable, deprived and/or parentless, particularly those that are 3 - 9 years old and have been orphaned due to AIDS.

KAS is incorporated in Australia, with assembly and distribution of squares managed in South Africa. Blankets, hats and garments are currently distributed in South Africa, particularly around the Soweto and Johannesburg areas. As squares arrive, they are collected, sorted and bundled into blanket packs by volunteers. Sewing and distribution days are then organized to assemble and deliver the blankets.
You can learn more about Knit-A-Square here:

At Big Kids Camp, we will focus on creating the 8 in x 8 in squares that are made into blankets for these children. No matter how many we make, we can send them to the KAS distribution center and they will create blankets from our donation! Cool, right?

This project is for experienced knitters/crocheters and newbies alike! I have only tried knitting once but I'm really looking forward to working on this :) If you have any questions, you can email Emily at

If you have knitting needles, crochet hooks or yarn that you would be willing to let us use for this project, please bring them along!

(2 more big sleeps!)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

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!

(5 more Big Sleeps until camp!)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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)
  • Towel
  • Clothes for warm AND cool AND wet AND dry weather (this year, it will be more cool and wet)
  • 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
  • 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!

(9 more Big Sleeps until camp!)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Midweek Blues?

Did you get look out the window of your work or school today, at the blue skies and sunshine and think to yourself...

"I wish I had a weekend coming up where I could
eat s'mores
play board games
read a book for fun
network around a campfire
allow myself to be silly and carefree
spend some quality time with God"

Well, stop day-dreaming and spend a few minutes (before you go to bed, on your lunch break tomorrow, NOW, etc.) signing up for BIG KIDS CAMP this Memorial Day Weekend!
(17 more Big Sleeps until camp!)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Time to Register!

If you've registered with us before, you may notice that this page looks different. The biggest change is that you can now indicate exactly how much you want to pay at this time.
  • You can pay the new camper full amount ($75).
  • You can pay the returning camper full amount ($125).
  • Or you can pay any fraction of that amount! Even $5 lets us know that you are joining for the weekend and then you can pay the remaining balance when you arrive at camp.

Remember, there is ample scholarship money available...all you have to do is let Greg know ( that you need some!

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!)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Big Kids Camp 2017: Faith FULL

Another year, another opportunity 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! This year, we will be exploring what it means to be "FaithFULL". Being faithful means living extraordinary lives in ordinary ways. Once you decide to put your faith in Christ, how will your life show your thirst for Christ? If we take this thirst and longing for the love of God and share it with others, then the wells will overflow and the world will be blessed. We'll explore the meaning of faithFULLness through worship, discussion, fellowship and service with new and old friends.

A lot of the weekend will be yours to shape into whatever you need it to be. Options range from swimming, canoeing, and board games to napping, 9-Square-In-The-Air and a film festival! And you will have lots of opportunities to reconnect with old friends and meet new people.

7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 26, 2017 to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 29, 2017.
  • BUT you are NOT tied down to camp! If there is a friend's open house that you don't want to miss, 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 just need to let our camp dean, Greg Lawton, know where you are headed when you are planning to 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 Palmer:
Dan Stuglik:

We can't wait to see you!