It’s a Grand Time!

Grandmother and two boys look at book outside.

By Rev. David Berkey

As I write this, I am spending a few days with my youngest grandchildren – a nearly five-year-old and a one-year-old. It’s great to be a hero for a little while and have the opportunity to contribute to the nurture of a young child once again. And there is so much joy in the experience!

Did you know that there are over 70 million grandparents in the U.S. and 72% think being a grandparent is the single most important role in their lives? Studies show that as many as nine out of 10 adult grandchildren feel their grandparents influenced their beliefs and values. Plus, the support that relationship gives to parents is priceless.

Beyond the grandparent-grandchild role, uncles, aunts and other intergenerational family relationships are so important today. My brother is currently hosting my other grandkids at one of those Florida entertainment venues and the time spent together is forming a wonderful bond.

Grandfather, grandmother and grandson working on a shaving cream craft.

Crafts, games, activities and Bible stories are part of Grand Camp at Wesley Woods.

There are great opportunities to spend intergenerational time together outdoors through our camp and retreat ministries all year round. This summer, Grand Camp (at Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center in Dowling July 5-7) offers quality time for grandparents to introduce camping to their grandchildren. Uncles and aunts are welcome, too! 

A typical day at Grand Camp includes sleeping in comfy cabins, singing grace before meals at the dining hall or at outdoor picnic tables, Bible stories and fun activities like games, crafts, swimming, walks in the woods, archery and more! This special two-night camping experience often helps children feel comfortable and get acclimated to being away from home and opens the door to them going to mini camp (three nights) or a full six-night camp!

Four generations: grandparents, grandchild, great-grand child, adult child at Lake Michigan Camp

Four generation of Otsego Family Campers at Lake Michigan Campground.

Family gatherings are welcome at all of our sites. Memorial and Labor Day weekends are Family Camp time at Wesley Woods where you can reserve a cabin and enjoy camp life at your own pace. Lake Huron Retreat Center (north of Port Huron) offers an R&R Family Weekend those weekends as well. Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat (in Pentwater, between Muskegon and Ludington) is a family campground where cabins and platform tents form a gathering space for storytelling around the campfire. You can even bring your RV, travel trailer or tent. 

Adults on beachside swings while child roasts a marshmallow over a campfire.

Campfires and roasting marshmallows are part of the family fun at Lake Huron Retreat Center’s R&R Family Weekends.

Time spent in building relationships in families across generations is perhaps one of the most important things we can do. Why not take the time this summer and build a long-lasting memory? Let Michigan Area United Methodist Camping help you!


Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center

large group of young and older campers from 5 years to grandparents

Grand Camp is cross-generational fun!

1700 Clear Lake, Dowling, MI 49050

Check-in 3:00 pm; check-out 10:00 am
$120 per person age 13-adult; $50 per child age 4-12; Free for children age 3 and under
Ages 5-13 with Adult
July 5 – 7, 2023

Bring the whole family and enjoy your favorite camp activities like swimming, boating, archery, ping pong and DIY crafts. Spend time together in God’s great outdoor sanctuary. No formal program. Bring your own linens and food. Cabins sleep 12 people in 6 bunk beds and have electricity, a picnic table and fire ring. Bathhouse is nearby.

$250 / cabin for the weekend (Friday-Monday). No meals provided.

Lake Huron Retreat Center

Enjoy outdoor spaces at Lake Huron Retreat Center

8794 Lakeshore Road, Burtchville MI 48059-1115

Enjoy a holiday weekend at the lakeshore! Morning devotions, evening campfires, outdoor recreation and personal reflection time will be part of this weekend. Whether you come as an individual, a couple, or a family unit this weekend is for you!
Check in Saturday morning at 10:00 am and stay until 4:00 pm on Monday. Cost includes two nights lodging, six meals (Saturday lunch through Monday breakfast).

Per Person: $255 (Single), $205 (Double), $180 (Triple), $160 (Quad) — per person. Children ages 12 and under receive the special rate of $105 per child.

Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat

5807 Ridge Rd., Pentwater, MI 49449

kids on the beach at sunset

All ages enjoy the sunset at Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat.

A beautiful, wooded family-oriented campground on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Swim, walk the dunes, play mini golf, or visit nearby attractions like Pentwater or Silver Lake. Don’t miss the best sunsets on Lake Michigan. Rates   Amenities