About Us

Camp Geneva meets kids here.

Life is busy. You may notice there are more opportunities for your kids than ever before – ways to connect, stay active, get better, succeed, and achieve. These are important. And yet there’s a part of us, and our kids, that yearns for a little space. A break in the busy and doing – a place to be free.

Camp Geneva meets kids here.

We invite them out of their normal environment into a place free of distractions, demands, and expectations. We surround them with counselors who love them and live out the love of Jesus in a tangible way, and we intentionally encourage a community of kindness, compassion, enthusiasm, creativity, and presence. Our program is built on opportunities for campers to have fun while feeling God’s love, growing in faith, and glimpse the Christian faith in all its fullness. Since its beginning in 1948, we have created a haven where all those who come to GENEVA will feel the freedom, acceptance, and love of Jesus Christ, and be spurred on to share this indescribable love with others.

And adults? We’re here for you too.

Throughout the year, GENEVA uses its facilities and incredible setting on Lake Michigan to provide an environment in which groups and individuals can step out of the busyness of life to refresh and reassess their priorities in life and work. Our retreat ministry is here to support the groups on site by creating a space where groups can interact, reflect, rest, have fun, and seek clarity and direction.

Life is busy. We all need a place where we can be who God created us to be.

The mission of GENEVA is to create an environment where… the presence of God is experienced, the love of Christ is demonstrated, and a Spirit-filled life is inspired.

1930's

GENEVA began with a vision of Reformed Church pastors and leaders to provide a permanent place for youth conferences and activities. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Reformed Church held youth camps in various locations on or near Lake Michigan in rented facilities. At one time young people even “camped” at Hope College, where they stayed in the dorms, ate in the cafeteria, and rode a bus to Ottawa Beach each afternoon.

1948

Dining Hall

This was among the first buildings built on the GENEVA property.

1952

Chapel

This made it possible for large groups to gather and worship overlooking Lake Michigan.

1955

Fellowship Hall

The location for songs & skits, the “Canteen” (camp store), arts & crafts, and rainy-day activities, this allowed for expansion in camp programming.

1966

First Swimming Pool

A temperature-controlled pool and bathhouse attracted more youth to experience camp at GENEVA.

1985

Retreat Center

This was one of the most significant changes, allowing GENEVA to be used year-round.

1991

18 Acres Purchased Across Lakeshore Dr

Prior to the purchase, many wilderness camp options were held off-site. This allowed us space on-site to expand those programs.

1999

GENEVA Pines

The land purchased in 1991 was used to welcome an additional 1,440 middle school campers.

2000-2009

New Master Plan

The Lake Michigan camps expanded with the new ARC, new Shores dining hall, pool, and bathhouse. New cabins were also constructed with attached bathrooms and showers.

 

2012-2016

GENEVA 365 Campaign

Created to bring greater awareness that GENEVA is a year-round ministry through concentrated marketing efforts, remodeling the Chapel, and renovating and expanding the GENEVA Retreat Center.

2018

Sea Wall

With Lake Michigan water levels rising, a sea wall was constructed to preserve our beloved chapel, the location of numerous worship services throughout the years.

Our Board

2019 Board of Directors

David Beemer (President)

COOTerryberry

Annette Bourland

Senior Vice President and Group PublisherHarperCollins Christian Publishing

Glenn Bussies

Former Senior Director of Global ProcurementPerrigo

Jack DeBoer

Adjunct Professor of MusicGrand Valley State University

Nancy DeGood (Vice President)

Vice President of Human ResourcesUniversal Forest Products

Deb Deters

Former Exec. Assistant to PresidentGrand Angels

Steve Eldersveld

President & COORT London

Tim Hillegonds (Secretary)

AttorneyWarner Norcross & Judd LLP

Bill Paarlberg

Financial AdvisorHilliard Lyons

Rev. Chad Pierce

Sr. PastorFaith Christian Reformed Chuch, Holland

Kim Slager

Insurance and Risk Management ConsultantBerends Hendricks Stuit Insurance

Steve Spoelhof

Leadership, Organizational, and Generosity Consultant

Steve Thomas

Vice Chairman, Retired PresidentConsumers Concrete Corp

Randy Utting (Treasurer)

CFOFleetwood Group

Jessica Westra

Publicist and Event PlannerJessica Westra Events & Media