A story of kindness

A generous bequest from a kind-hearted widow, Annette B. McComber, who loved children resulted in the purchase in 1964 of a 156-acre tract near Almont, Michigan, that today is Skyline Camp and Retreat center. The property was originally purchased for camp use by the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Michigan.

The former Powers estate and its buildings provided the basic elements for the start of summer camp in 1967. At first there were tents and other accommodations in the estate's principal residence. Because of the Detroit riots, Skyline added to its 1967 camp season a week of free camp for 78 children from the heart of Detroit's inner city. In 1970 church volunteers built a cluster of rustic cabins in a shady grove of pines and hardwoods. Skyline has operated a summer camp since 1967.

In the 1970s, all of Skyline's camp sessions were full, some having a waiting list. Two one-week sessions for seniors were introduced early in the camp's history. To provide more assembly and indoor recreation space, youth group members raised funds and built under adult supervision a large multipurpose activity building on the site once occupied by the estate's swimming pool. It included a large rec hall and dormitories. By then a new pool had been built. The building, dubbed Focus Hall, sadly, burned to the ground on a cold winter night in 1992. However, the following year Skyline erected a new Focus Hall that includes 14 sleeping rooms and a large meeting hall.

Skyline became an independent non-profit organization in 2005, continuing to grow as both a summer camp and retreat center. In the ensuing years Skyline has improved upon and continued to add to the facilities, now able to accommodate about 200 guests in the summer and 100 year-round.

In Skyline's decades-long operation of summer camp, it is estimated that 15,000 or more children and youth have encamped on this beautiful and much-loved facility, enjoying the outdoors and benefiting from Skyline's caring staff.