Bluebird has a long history of providing hope for adults with cancer. What started as a single Camp Bluebird retreat in Alabama in 1985, has evolved into many retreat programs across the country. While attending a Bluebird retreat in North Carolina, Bill Timm, a Spring Lake resident battling cancer, decided to bring Camp Bluebird to West Michigan.
Bluebird provided Bill with hope, and that hope led to a dream – a dream of sharing the inspiration and support he felt at the Camp Bluebird experience with West Michigan residents diagnosed with cancer.
Although Bill Timm died in 1994, his dream lived on through his wife, Robin, and their friend and pastor, Rev. Peter Theune. Together they united four organizations – A local Church, North Ottawa Community Hospital, Hospice of North Ottawa Community, and the American Cancer Society of Ottawa County – and the first Camp Bluebird of West Michigan was held on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1996.
Today, Bluebird hosts five-weekend retreats including offerings for newcomers, couples (a survivor and a caregiver), and a reunion gathering. We also hold monthly support groups in Spring Lake/Grand Haven and Holland including a Spanish-speaking group. Our name has changed to Bluebird Cancer Retreats of West Michigan but we remain committed to Bill Timm’s dream – a dynamic, healing journey toward emotional and spiritual well-being for persons who experience cancer.