Camp Akita and Camp Au Sable listed among the 500 camps selected as top summer camps in 2023.

April 20, 2023

Camps Akita and Au Sable on List of America’s Best Summer Camps

Two camps in the Lake Union were named to Newsweek magazine’s best U.S. summer camps. Camp Akita, operated by Illinois Conference, and Camp Au Sable, run by Michigan Conference, were among the 500 camps selected as top summer camps in 2023 based on social media reviews and a comprehensive survey of 15,000 parents.

Newsweek partnered with Plant-A Insights Group to help parents navigate the daunting task of vetting and selecting amongst the 12,000 summer camps across the U.S. 

Illinois President John Grys says he is excited for the Camp Akita team, which includes former Youth director Michael Campos, his assistant Stacey DePluzer, along with camp director Roger Henderson.  

“I am most proud of their balanced, heart-felt, mission-minded, child friendly pursuit of the mission to bring Jesus into every facet of the camp. And they do so with such sustained passion and creativity. They are truly Jesus with shorts and sweat and love with those children and the families. I see their energy and relentless nature and they never stop. I can trust them because I trust the God they serve and I trust their heart.” 

Camp Au Sable’s director and manager, Ken Micheff responded that he praises God for any good thing. Last summer 264 campers indicated a desire to give their hearts to Jesus. “This is what we’re about—providing an opportunity for retreats and people giving their hearts to God. We want people to know that God loves you and what a journey that can be if you’re on that journey with Him.” 

Three other Adventist camps made the list: MiVoden Camp and Retreat Center in Idaho, Lone Star Camp in Texas, and Sunset Lake Camp in Washington state. 

Debbie Michel is the Lake Union Herald editor and Lake Union Conference communication director.