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Founding Vision

Forest Springs began as a vision and prayer concern in the heart of its founder, Richard W. Neale, about seventeen years before the property was purchased or the name chosen. In 1956, the first 80 acres were purchased on James Lake, near Westboro, Wisconsin, 60 miles northwest of Wausau, Wisconsin, for the purpose of starting a Christian camp.

The ministry has influenced thousands of people for God's glory as a result of that vision, which was to use the natural environment to reach boys and girls for Jesus Christ and to train them in godly leadership.

The result of this vision was truly a camping ministry which exemplifies the motto, God First.

In 1976, Dick Angelo became the director of Forest Springs, and with that change came a new vision - to introduce a long range plan for the future. That vision strengthened the existing ministry by developing a long range plan for the facilities, as well as developing a "missionary" heart - to see Christian camping grow beyond the borders of Forest Springs.

That "missionary heart" resulted in two very specific realities - (1) the LTD program (created in 1976), a training program designed to train Christian camping leaders and (2) the desire to create and help develop other camping sites beyond the Westboro site. Forest Springs was developed around these two realities.

An additional part of the heritage of Forest Springs is the teaching and desire to model servant leadership.


A person can learn much about an organization through the values it embraces. Based on a definition of values as core, biblical beliefs which drive a ministry, Forest Springs is committed to operating in a way that reflects the following values:

Ultimate Value

  • Glorify God (as seen in cornerstone "God First")

Core Values

  • The absolute truth of God's Word
  • The vital necessity of prayer
  • Lead people to personal faith in Christ
  • Facilitate spiritual maturity
  • Encounter creation
  • Training in godly, servant leadership
  • Biblical rest and reflection
  • The Christian family

Our Mission Statement

Forest Springs' mission is to provide programs and facilities in a camping environment with a trained service-oriented staff who use the Word of God to help initiate faith and cultivate maturity in Jesus Christ.