UPDATE: Trinity International University Secures Buyer for Camp Timber-lee; Camp to Remain Open

March 10, 2023

Camp Timber-lee to continue operations, camps without interruption 

last updated: March 10, 2023

DEERFIELD, Ill., March 10, 2023 -- Trinity International University (TIU) has secured a purchase agreement that will allow Camp Timber-lee to remain open, without any changes to scheduled camps for the 2023 season and prior planned events. Both parties closed the deal on March 10. This path forward allows the camp to continue its ministry, while also maintaining the opportunity for TIU to sharpen its focus on its mission and implement an expanded global vision for the University’s future. “We have prayed for the best solution—and I believe we have found it,” said Dr. Nicholas Perrin, President of Trinity International University. “Trinity has always loved Timber-lee’s ministry. We are grateful this option is available for them to continue, while also giving Trinity the ability to move forward with our own mission and vision.” In February, Trinity International University announced the permanent closing of Camp Timber-lee on March 5 after the final week of its winterXtreme because the financial risks and liabilities associated with maintaining the Camp’s operations had far exceeded the University’s ability to subsidize it. But, after the announcement, businessman Gregg Kunes of Delavan, Wisconsin, was led to make an offer on the camp. “When I saw that Camp Timber-lee would be closing, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me, ‘That can’t happen,’” said Kunes. “I've been a supporter of Camp Timber-lee since I came to Walworth County in 1996. Kids come to Christ through Christian camping—I've seen it in my own family and through story after story from friends and colleagues. I want to make sure that our community can offer this opportunity for kids to come to Christ for generations.” Background Information: In October 2016, Trinity International University (TIU) was bequeathed the Camp Timber-lee property and operations. The Memorandum of Understanding between TIU and Timber-lee stated that the University was required to maintain the “current programming and operations for up to two years after an agreement has been signed.” The University’s Board of Regents announced a closure of the camp when they saw no other path forward in the wake of business and revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which only compounded the challenges it already faced in recent years. To view previous releases visit: https://www.tiu.edu/news/news-topic/press-release/. About Camp Timber-lee: Camp Timber-lee is located in East Troy, Wisconsin. Its mission is to create engaging communities where each young person encounters Christ through a dynamic camp experience. Timber-lee exists to be a refuge where all who come find their joy in Jesus through activities, education, reflection and worship. For more information visit: https://www.timber-lee.com/. About Gregg Kunes: Gregg Kunes is founder and owner of Kunes Auto Group, which encompasses 29 auto dealerships and 13 RV facilities in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. He established the Kunes Family Foundation to facilitate charitable giving in the United States and abroad. The company donates 10 percent of gross profits—more than $5 million per year—to charities, specifically those that help the underprivileged. Kunes is also a supporter and board member for the Geneva National Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals living with developmental disabilities in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Kunes has also donated trucks and vans to local ministries and pantries; helped fund a building acquisition for the Open Arms Free Clinic in Elkhorn, Wisconsin; sent his IT team to retrofit a school in an underfunded neighborhood with working Wi-Fi and provided computers for every classroom; and stocks food pantries.