Welcome to Cran-Hill Ranch
Cran-Hill Ranch is devoted to being a ministry through which God is transforming lives into the image of Christ through Youth Camps, Family Camping, Retreats and Adventure Experiences.
Our Roots run deep
Cran-Hill Ranch, founded in 1968 as a ministry of the Michigan Synod of the Reformed Church in America, began as a ministry of the Reformed Church to and for the Reformed Church children, youth and families. It was created to meet a significantly growing need for Youth Camp programming as well as Family Ministry through a campground experience.
Today, more than 42 years later, the ministry of Cran-Hill Ranch continues that original vision yet reaches far beyond any one church or denomination and operates 4 distinct non-denominational ministries. Summer and Year-Round Youth Camps and Events, the Family Campground and Family Camping Ministry, Retreat Ministries and Christian Adventures are all ways in which the ministry of Cran-Hill Ranch reaches thousands of people each year with the message of Jesus Christ.
Below are some of the key markers in the history of Cran-Hill Ranch that support the ministry of the Lord, Jesus Christ in this beautiful place he has given.
- October 10, 1967-The land for Cran-Hill Ranch was purchased from Dr. Ed Moffitt, a chiropractor from Chicago for $54,400 by the Particular Synod of Michigan of the Reformed Church in America. The property, known as Siker's property, included 182 acres with Hillview Lake on the south and Cranberry Lake on the north. The combination of the names of the lakes became official title of the property, Cran-Hill Ranch. Included in the purchase were a log cabin and a stone house with appraised evaluations of $6,000 and $10,000 respectively.
- October 1967- Rev. Leonard Weesies, Founding Director and visionary as part of the Particular Synod of Michigan Youth Committee of the Reformed Church in America.
- June 10, 1968- Swamp Hollow and Wilderness Site constructed. The wilderness camp area for 20 to 25 campers and a permanent camp area for 50 campers where platform tents, basic food service and restroom facilities were constructed on the site to be known as Swamp Hollow.
- Summer 1968- First summer camping season at Cran-Hill Ranch.
- 1968 – 1970 -1st Barnstore, Family Campgrounds, Barns, and many other areas constructed to serve the growing needs of the camp.
- May 1, 1971- Ron (and Joan) Glass, hired as the first full-time Camp Director of Cran-Hill Ranch.
- 1972- Pine Slope Camping Area constructed and dedicated. Also built was the Dutch Toppen Wilderness Site and Two Springs Wilderness Site.
- May 28, 1975- First independent Board of Directors elected.
- 1975- 20 acres and Hillview Cottage purchased and included in camp property.
- 1996- Oakview Family Campground constructed.
- 1998- Hay Barn constructed in one day under the leadership of Jon VanLente. There have been many buildings constructed throughout the history of Cran–HIll Ranch that support the ministry's fast growing needs. The constrution of the Hay Barn is a great example of the dedication of volunteers and resources that God has provided.
- 2000 – Cran-Hill Ranch becomes independently incorporated.
- 2006 – Cran-Hill Ranch acquires the 30 year old adventure ministry know as Christian Adventures.
- 2009 – Cran-Hill Ranch “North Property” of 160 acres donated.
Camp Directors of Cran-Hill Ranch
|October 1967||-Founding Director Rev. Leonard Weesies|
|May 1, 1971||-Ron (and Joan) Glass|
|1993||-J. Scot Bale|
|2005||-Scott Barger, Sr|
These are just some of the markers in the history of Cran-Hill Ranch. The ministry is not about the buildings or even the programs. Everything built or developed is all to give glory to God and transform lives into the image of christ through Youth Camps, Family Camping, Retreats and Adventure Experiences.
The vision of Cran-Hill Ranch is to faithfully minister with excellence, growing in scope and impact as the Lord leads. Dynamic programs and activities that are fun, attractive, natural, and restful will foster eternal transformation in the lives of those we serve.
- unapologetically proclaiming the truth of the bible as God’s word and Jesus Christ as the one and only Lord and savior.
- nurturing faith in Jesus Christ through evangelism and discipleship providing opportunities to sense God’s glory, wonder and creation
- fostering a safe environment (physically, emotionally and spiritually)
- cultivating relationships and the development of christian community
- christian service and volunteerism
- hospitality and servanthood
- ministry to youth and families
- locally community minded
- biblical financial stewardship
- partnerships with R.C.A. congregations and the wider Christian community
- Setting apart a natural and restful environment for the re-creation of heart, mind, body, and soul
Cran-Hill Ranch is a member of Woodall’s, Christian Camp & Conference Association, The Christian Hospitality Network, Christian Horsemanship Association.