Camp Hickory exists to create an environment that is conducive to creating life change. Whether it’s a church group wanting to grow deeper in relationships or a non-profit organization wanting to build unity amongst it’s employees, Camp Hickory can help you plan an event that will impact everyone who attends.
Located on over 40 wooded acres, Camp Hickory is only 45 minutes north of Chicago and has accommodations for groups from 25 to more than 300.
Fireplaces, small gathering rooms and intimate accommodations make even the smallest group feel at home at Camp Hickory. While a dining hall that seats over 200 and a chapel with seating for over 300, allows for even the largest of groups to feel unrestricted. We are also available to host events like weddings, birthday parties and other gatherings.
Whether you’re organizing a small team retreat, or a larger group event, let Camp Hickory help you create an experience that everyone will remember!
The Great Lakes District of The Foursquare Church rented facilities for camps for over 40 years. However, a growing realization that churches needed a home for ministry activities led to a serious search to purchase camp facilities. Several properties were located, among them Camp Hickory near Fox Lake, IL. It was found to be the most desirable for several reasons
After a lengthy negotiation process, an agreement was reached with the Chicago Conference of the American (Swedish) Baptist Church and on the Eve of Thanksgiving in 1995, and the Great Lakes District took possession of Camp Hickory.
The facilities at Camp Hickory were in dire need of repair and refurbishing. Some professionals were hired but most of the work was done with volunteer workers as pastors and members of churches came to help. The electric, gas, and water systems were redone and extended, new heating and air conditioning systems were installed, athletic fields and courts were built, every building was remodeled and new structures were built.
The district pastors and leaders had considered changing the name of the camp but out of awareness of the many years of outstanding ministry and excellence at Camp Hickory there was a sense of the legacy that had been established and a desire on our part to continue and expand the vision that had begun. So it was decided to keep the name “Camp Hickory.”
Since its re-establishment in 1995, Camp Hickory has strived to create an atmosphere that is conducive to building leaders, growing communities and changing lives through the many experiences that are only available in the great outdoors. Camp Hickory has opened its doors to a variety of groups ranging from churches and Boy Scouts to job fairs and cultural identity groups. Nestled within 47 acres of protected woodlands, the serenity of Camp Hickory allows each visitor the opportunity to experience nature without having to sacrifice the modern amenities of home.
Today Camp Hickory serves not only as a youth camp, but as a conference and retreat center for any group looking to create a unique experience on an incredible campus!
KEN & MANDEE SMITH
If you were to ask anyone who knows them, most would agree that Ken and Mandee Smith greatly love to work as a team, and have a huge love for camp ministry. When asked to manage the camp as well as to operate the food service, Ken and Mandee were overjoyed to re-join the staff of Camp Hickory. Many fellow leaders were thrilled to see the return of Bustelo (Ken’s specialty coffee) brewed only early mornings on the camp stove!
Ken and Mandee are both ordained ministers who also serve on staff at the Terre Haute Foursquare Church. They have four children who are all miraculous gifts from God. Jesse, Faith, Jacobe, and Meryn also share a love for camp, and Mandee is so glad that they will have heritage over the years as they participate in camping programs.
“We know what a vital role that our faith based camps can play, in the lives of our children and rising leaders. Camps also become a place of connection for multi-generational ministry.”
John Gylleck came to be the Camp Hickory Caretaker in January of 2002 . Bringing his degree in Ornamental Horticulture into play, Camp Hickory has blossomed and grown with the addition of many trees and perennials, as well as getting the grass to grow in hitherto ungrowable places. John enjoys his job, including serving our Guests, mowing our grass, keeping the buildings either hot or cool, and getting the pool full of water for one more year of fun. John believes that camp is an opportunity for you to leave the everyday routine behind and enter into an experience of Christian community