Timber-lee's history as a summer youth camp began in 1947 when Camp Willabay opened in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. This small camp began with a large volunteer force when several people made an offer to the Railroad Company to purchase 20 acres of weedy marshland for $5000. The camp operated there for 25 years affiliated with the Forest Lakes and Great Lakes Districts of the Evangelical Free Church of America. In 1972, when camp Willabay faced out growing its small location, board members searched for new options.
On a bitterly cold winter morning, several board members took a drive to East Troy, about 25 miles north of Williams Bay, to see a 550 acre piece of property that was for sale. There were several beautiful stone buildings on the grounds, many mature trees, and gently rolling hills. Previously run by the Hull House Association of Chicago, between 1964 and 1968, this 550 acre area had run into financial difficulties and closed down.
Other groups made offers on this same property but God had his own plans for it. The bid made by the board was accepted and Timber-lee Christian Center was born. The move was made from Willabay to Timber-lee in the spring of 1972 – just in time to open camp for the summer.
The Timber-lee many know and love has been going ever since, growing and changing when necessary. The 80's brought the the Outdoor Education Program and high ropes course, the 90's brought a new Science Education Center, and climbing tower. Most recently Timber-lee added the Zipline to the Timber Challenge program. Countless other renovations, additions, programs and camps have formed Timber-lee as it is today.
Yet as years pass and children have grown up, they return and remark "Timber-lee is just how I remember it". Despite new activities, camps and classes the experience remains virtually the same. Timber-lee is a place of adventure, discovery and community. Campers become staff, who become parents with children of their own send them to camp to discover what touched them in their childhood.
We hope you can join us at Timber-lee to make memories of your own. Whether that is coming to summer camp, a family retreat, with your school or youth group, Timber-lee exists as a place to grow closer to one another and with our amazing Creator.