COVID-19 Update

June 6, 2020 Update

Dear Friends and Lease Holders,

We have worked diligently to make sure Winding Creek Camp remains a safe place for our guests and employees in the weeks and months to come in light of the news about COVID-19. We will continue monitoring health regulations and CDC guidelines to make sure Winding Creek Camp is at the forefront of sanitization and safety. The following information will continue to be updated as new information, regulations, and guidelines become available. We are hopeful that the following information will be helpful to our seasonals and guests in communicating and encouraging registrations for summer events.

We ask every family and individual to review the following items prior to coming to Winding Creek Camp:
• Proper handwashing (see
• When coughing or sneezing, covering the mouth or using a sleeve
• Avoiding face and mouth touching
• Limit contact with others. Elbow bumps or something similar in place of hand shaking, high-fives, and fist-bumps.

Additionally, Winding Creek Camp has the following policy in effect regarding health screening:
• Health screening must be conducted prior to coming to Winding Creek Camp.
• Family members and guests need be aware of screening requirements in advance.
• The four screening questions are as follows. In the past 14 days have you:
     1. Had a fever (100 °For greater), shortness of breath, or cough?
     2. Been in close contact with a person with a known diagnosis of COVID-19, influenza, or any other communicable disease?
     3. Traveled to an area with widespread COVID-19?
     4. Traveled out of the country or been in close contact with someone who has?

• Seasonals and guests who have had COVID-19 symptoms must be fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, have improvement in respiratory symptoms, and had at least 7 days since the symptoms first appeared. Guests who answered ‘yes’ to questions 2, 3 or 4 may not attend the event.

If a seasonal or guest develops COVID-19 type symptoms while at Winding Creek Camp, they must be isolated and taken home as soon as possible. Our Camp Officer Manager and/or Grounds Manager must be contacted immediately to ensure that our team can work to provide an extra sanitization cleaning of the cottage or room and public restrooms.
Winding Creek Camp would like you to be aware of some of our internal procedures, which may be helpful to know when fielding questions from your family and guests:
• All groups in attendance at Winding Creek Camp, including Winding Creek Camp’s own staff, will participate in the health screening criteria detailed on the previous page.
• Winding Creek Camp uses Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide disinfecting wipes and KAIO Multipurpose Cleaner to sanitize and disinfect all its lodging and public spaces.
• Winding Creek Camp staff will follow the same health screening criteria detailed on the previous page.
• In cottages and rooms, mattresses, bed frames, shelves, broom handles, doorknobs, switches, sills, sinks, counters, and lavatories are sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down. Floors are mopped with disinfectant.
• In public restrooms and showers, all surfaces are cleaned with disinfectant.
• In hallways, lobbies, and common areas, all surfaces are disinfected and mopped. Doorknobs, switches, furniture, sills, and counters are sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down. Floors are mopped with disinfectant.
• Disinfectant spray is in each room to allow guests to frequently sanitize sink and counter surfaces during their stay.
• Dining room buffets, beverage stations, tables, chairs, carts, and food surfaces/equipment are sanitized between each meal.
• Plates, Cups, Utensils, and Serving pieces are cleaned and sanitized between each meal.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns, prayer requests, or ways we can continue to be a blessing to you and your ministries. Contact us at, or by calling (269) 945-5193, ext. 3.


Mitch Overway
Grounds Manager
Winding Creek Camp

May 17, 2020 Update

Elijah was quite the character in the Old Testament. He was a great man of God who did incredible things in God’s power.  Remember when he first started his ministry? He declared that God would not allow any rain to fall until Elijah said so.  So there was a drought. Elijah worked miracles and had that dramatic showdown with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings 18.

After God had won the day and the people turned back to Him, Elijah and his servant went to the top of Mt. Carmel. Let’s pick up the story there in 1 Kings 18:42-44:

Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees.

Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.”
The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.”

Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.”

Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”

We all, including Winding Creek Camp, are in unprecedented and extraordinary times.  (And, frankly, after 2020, I want to ban those terms from my personal vocabulary!)  Like me, I know you have been praying for many things, and I’m thankful whenever Winding Creek’s ministries come to your heart.  I also realize you want to know what is going on and how we are proceeding.  

We are all praying, and looking for that “cloud the size of a man’s hand”.  We keep praying and watching!

I’m not sure how else to proceed other than to run down the list.  If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to me!

  1. Memorial Weekend: All activities and recreational camping are canceled.  
  2. Camping: With the “Stay Home. Stay Safe” quarantine in place, we are not able to be open for recreational camping until at least May 29.  The latest executive order dealing with this is 2020-77, and “recreational camping” is explicitly mentioned. This executive order expires on May 28.  
  3. WHEN???: We have to wait on the governor to lift the Executive Orders, and then for the Barry/Eaton County Health Department to give the local okay.  Our grounds manager, Mitch, and the custodial team are prepped and ready to go whenever we get the green light. 
  4. Seasonals: If you are a lease holder, feel free to visit your cottage or camper.  Please understand that there are NO CAMPGROUND FACILITIES OPEN. Portajohns aren’t allowed. Mitch is negotiating with the Health Department to open one restroom for lease holders to use. If/when that happens, we will blast it on the Lease Holders Facebook page. (A lease holder but not a member of that group? Submit your request to join in Facebook) 
  5. 100 Club Dinner: We are still moving forward with this event.  The board has been working hard all winter as we look ahead to where God is leading! It’s exciting!! 
  6. Family Camp: I’m sure by now you have seen Bart Hall’s message on the camp Facebook page. He also sent an email out to all those who registered last year for Family Camp.  He shares the plan to have Family Camp, but in a scaled back version.  Please read the email or see the Facebook post.  Here is a link to the short survey: 
  7. Merrill Prayer Chapel: The exterior of the chapel will be in around Memorial Day. We continue to need 100 Club funds to finish the interior.

It’s not all gloom!  We are still working on the grounds to keep things up!  Mitch and his crew have accomplished a lot over the off season and this spring:

  • Hot water line repaired in Bath 2 and 4
  • Washers replaced in all outdoor spigots
  • Potable water supply replaced
  • Roads graded
  • Potholes filled
  • New site built (#138)
  • Brush from 25 felled trees removed
  • 10 stumps ground up (this opened RV sites for use)
  • New lights installed in Day Memorial
  • Garage doors repaired
  • Installed new LED lights in maintenance garage
  • Heated shop and maintenance garage re-organized
  • Enlarged and reconfigured Section A, Sites 101-117 
  • Removed leaves from main areas of camp
  • Tabernacle:
         – Side walls completed (from corner room to corner room)
         – New LED lights installed
         – Walls on stage have been started

Again, thanks for your love and commitment to Winding Creek Camp! Please keep the camp, our state, and people’s health in your prayers. God has used this ministry for all these years and we believe that God is still using Winding Creek Camp to encourage and strengthen each of us in Christ!

Jim Schenck
Board of Directors
Winding Creek Camp

April 21, 2020 Update

Camp remains closed. No one is allowed to stay overnight. The health department has not given approval. We will update you as soon as this changes. 

April 2, 2020 Update

Happy April!


I just wanted to touch base with you about Winding Creek, COVID and opening up.


At this time, the water is not on.  The water has to be tested twice by the county, and that will take a week or two at the shortest.  Even after the water is on, we have to develop a plan to open up a bath house and keep it clean.  By “keep it clean”, this means all bath houses/ restrooms are closed until we can be assured of no viral transfer due to use.


Therefore, if you have a cottage or a camper without plumbing, please do not plan on staying at the camp until you receive the all clear. This will mean that the water has passed testing and that we have implemented appropriate cleaning and maintaining of a bathhouse.


If you have a camper or cottage with plumbing, please do not plan on staying at the camp until the water has passed the tests.


If you would have a camper that needs to get out of winter storage and set up at the camp – bring it on! Please do not stay there, though, overnight until the water passes the tests.


While it is true that there is a portalet onsite, it is not there to handle groups of people. It is also the most likely place to transmit the virus. This “facility” is not for use by campers.


Also, the water will be turned on for maybe 2 weeks before the test results get back. Please refrain from using the water. That could expose you and the camp to health code violations and fines.  And, frankly, in this COVID19 era, the Health Department is being very vigilant.


I’m sorry to have to communicate this to you! I’m so tired of the terms “social distancing” and “ventilators” and “supply chain” and “toilet paper shortage.”  But as we move forward, we need to keep praying for protection, for healing, for comfort for those suffering loss, and for those health care folks who are working so hard during this time.


And pray for each other and Winding Creek!


If you have any questions, feel free to email me or Facebook message me!

Jim Schenck
President, Board of Directors

March 21, 2020 Update

Dear Winding Creek family,

Let’s take a ride in the “Way-back” machine – like 3 weeks ago. “Wuhan” was unknown. “Shelter in place” was meant for buildings under attack. Spring training was starting. And “Corona” was A) part of the sun; B) the name of the kingdom in Disney’s Rapunzel; and C) the model of my 1972 Toyota that I drove at Marion College.

All that has changed, hasn’t it? Now if we self-quarantine, attend church services virtually, and don’t buy all the toilet paper at Costco, we are the responsible, good citizens.  Forced layoffs, kids home from closed schools and fear at every dry cough have hit us suddenly.

But God.

So many times in the Bible, and in many of our lives, we can chart the course of chaos or downhill spiral until God’s grace intervenes.

But God.

I know I’m talking to people of faith. I’m “preaching to the choir”. I just want to keep it front and center in our spirits that none of this catches God by surprise. He’s not asleep at the switch.  The same God who knows the Ma and Pa cardinals building their nest outside my window is the same God that knows who you are, where you are, and what’s happening to you.

As we turn toward spring time, though you wouldn’t know it today, we may be thinking about Winding Creek Camp.  It plays such an important part in so many of our lives. I wanted to reach out to you with a little information.

At this point, we plan on opening up the camp as normal.  Grounds Manager Mitch has assembled a team of willing volunteers from out-of-school teens to help clear leaves and brush and get things set up.  He is still planning on turning on the water system the first weekend of April. Please note that the water has to go through a couple of tests before it is deemed safe to drink.

If you have, or will have, a camper on site, or have a cottage with plumbing, you should be fine to come and stay as you like, as normal.  Obviously, all the “social distancing “ protocols should still be observed.

We may not have a restroom or bathhouse open right away. We are working with our custodial team on proper protocols for opening up at least one bathhouse.  Our custodial team also leads the custodial crew at Hastings Public Schools, so our information and practices will be up to date.  With COVID-19 seeming to have a long “life” on surfaces, we want to be extra careful.

You probably already saw on Facebook that the retreats for May have been cancelled.  We have a lot of activities planned for Memorial Weekend and will make a decision in the first of May on keeping or cancelling those.

As for everything else, including Family Camp 2020, we are taking a “wait and see” approach. The Family Camp Team and the Camp Board and many others are praying like crazy that this crisis will be over in time.

Every time I heard my dad pray, he would paraphrase Hebrews 13:8 as a reassurance to himself and to everyone in the room – God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

My second favorite hymn affirms “There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not; As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.”

In all your praying, keep the ministries of Winding Creek Camp in there as well.  I will pray for your family’s health, financial stability, and spiritual growth. Check on your loved ones, check on the wellness of your neighbors – especially those most at risk.  Our buildings may be closed on Sundays, but the Church is still God’s hands and God’s feet to a world that needs Jesus more now than ever!

May His grace be yours! And I’ll see you at the Creek!

Jim Schenck
President, Board of Directors

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(269) 945-5193


2349 Campground Road Hastings, MI 49058