Brief History of Camp Au Sable


The year was 1947. The place was a hotel in Saginaw, Michigan. The date was December 3. It took only a stroke of a pen and a check for $30,000 and 840 acres of woods with a 100 acre private lake belonged to the Michigan Conference of SDA. It was there that the story of what we call Camp Au Sable began.

Here is a brief history of some interesting events through the years:
  • 1948 - The dining hall and two cabins were constructed
  • 1949 - First camps at Au Sable:
    • July 31- August 7 - First boy's camp
    • August 7 - 14 Second boy's camp
    • August 14- 21 - First girl's camp (almost everyone stayed in tents)
  • 1951 - Medical building and three more double cabins
  • 1953 - Staff building and Chapel in The Woods
  • 1954 - Craft building erected
  • 1955 - First permanent caretaker moved onto camp property
  • 1957 - First wilderness camp and winter camp
  • 1965 - Forest fire which destroyed only about 2 acres
  • 1966 - Cedar village built and first year both boys and girls had camp at the same time.
  • 1970 - New shop built
  • 1971 - A busy year when the barn was built and the horse area was established
    • Fort Shellenbarger completed - Mission Village cabin built across the lake. First wedding performed at Chapel in the Woods - Athletic shed built Saw mill constructed - Camp Director's cabin erected
  • 1973 - Nature Center opened
  • 1975 - Cedar Lodge built
  • 1977 - New entrance sign over road
  • 1978 - New home built for camp manager
  • 1979 - Parking lot and part of road paved
  • 1980 - New road built from entrance on M-72
  • 1981 - Entrance sign moved to M-72 entrance - road paved from highway to dining hall
  • 1982 - 1986 Mini-Mac bridge built - barn enlarged and horse shed constructed
  • 1987 - Nature Center enlarged and new modern rest rooms built
  • 1991 - Updated tack shed with classroom for teaching horsemanship
  • 1993 - Forest Lodge built
  • 1994 - Auditorium completed
  • 1997 - Car Insurance at Diggy Go Cart track finished
  • 2001 - Astronomy Observatory
  • 2002 - Fort rebuilt with treated poles
  • 2003 - RV Park built
  • 2008 - Store remodeled and expanded
  • 2009 - New docks for swimming area
  • 2009 - New kitchen