Nestled in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Camp Paradise provides a place for dads and their kids to explore each summer—not only the remote land, but their connections to God, each other, and their communities.
The location of the camp is a key element in the mission of Dads Camp. It’s an unplugged experience: no electricity, no running water, no cell signal or wi-fi. After driving down a picturesque dirt road, campers park their cars and take boats to Camp Paradise. For dads, going to Camp is simplifying life for a few days; the intentional, uninterrupted time with your son or daughter and stepping away from screens and the pressures of work is transformative. No distractions, time to just be with each other.
“Through connecting with God, their child, and other men in the woods, dads find a unique opportunity to realize their identity as sons of God, and focus on their vital role as fathers,” shared Tim Vanden Bos, a co-founder and director of the Camp Paradise ministry. “Dads are reminded of the importance of grabbing onto the hand of their heavenly Father, giving them their best chance for healthy fatherhood. We’ve witnessed entire families become stronger as a result.”
While Camp Paradise has been around since 1976, Dads Camp didn’t get started until the early 1990s. For over two decades, the grounds have been a place for dads and kids to build trust, better communication, and connect with God in the solitudes of the woods.
At Camp, dads and their kids can be brave together through the challenges of the high ropes course and the 50-foot climbing tower. Each day, you could wake up early to canoe along the Tahquamenon River, discover the wooded hiking trails, and enjoy the quiet moments together around the campfire.
“Initially, it was hard to get away and get here. Five whole days sounded daunting. But, attending Dads Camp is truly one of the best things I've done in my life as a father,” reflected Del, a camp dad. "There's this concept of having your tank filled—you know, of what brings you joy. Our experience at Camp Paradise really fills my boys’ tanks. And I'm not talking a few days after or a few weeks. Months later, they're still filled and fired up by their experience at camp.”
Dads Camp registration is open March 1-8. Registration is not first-come, first-serve. You can submit a request for a spot at any time during the registration week.
For the 2018 session dates, click here.