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Our History

Lakeview Center
Lakeview Center and the Patio

For fifty years, people have been discovering an incredible place tucked away in beautiful, north central Wisconsin. Thousands of young people, families, and singles of all ages have come to Camp Forest Springs to soak up the wonders of creation and be instructed in God's Word.

Camp Forest Springs' mission is to provide programs and facilities in a camping environment with a trained service-oriented staff who use the Word of God to help initiate faith and cultivate maturity in Jesus Christ.

We invite you to discover a place where you can come away with a renewed sense of God's presence, where you can develop friendships that could last a lifetime, where spiritual values are nurtured, and where lifelong memories begin.

Founded and Growing by Faith Since 1958

There are many great men of faith, men who desire to know and serve God, who will never be well known. Most go unnoticed, though their work has tremendous eternal impact.
Rev. Richard Neale - Founder of Camp Forest Springs
Rev. Richard Neale

Richard W. Neale, founder of Camp Forest Springs and Youth Gospel Crusade, was such a man. He traveled extensively using object lessons, adventure films, and black light paintings to teach others about the Savior he knew and loved. He wanted to begin a camping ministry as well. He began to pray.

When Reverend Neale saw the James Lake property, recommended to him by a group of men from Ogema, Wisconsin, he asked himself, "Could this property be the answer to my prayers?" An unexpected gift of $1,119 was given to help purchase 80 acres along the lake. It was God's confirmation that this was the right location for the camp.

Original Camp Sign

In early 1957, a group of volunteers began transforming the wilderness area into a camp. The hill where Neale Lodge now stands was leveled and used to convert a swampy area into the present waterfront. By fall, the main lodge (Neale Lodge) was built. It housed the dining hall, chapel, shower rooms, game room, and maintenance shop. Camp Forest Springs® was born. Since then it has grown to its current 570 acres, providing ample room for a varied program.

Camp Forest Springs and Youth Gospel Crusade became two separate ministries in 1976. Reverend Neale continued as president of Youth Gospel Crusade. Dick Angelo became camp's director.

In 1979 a long-range plan was developed to expand and improve the facilities at Camp Forest Springs. The goal was to serve more people more completely. The ambitious plan looked impossible, but God has miraculously provided the resources for us to continue.

Camp Fire Atop Sunset Hill

Camp Forest Springs was born out of the faith and vision God gave to this man. The work he began is still growing. Children and families continue to hear God's Word. Camp staff continue to seek God, carrying on the heritage of faith begun many years ago.