You're stressed. Overworked. Life is moving faster than a speeding bullet. Where can you go to slow down and unwind--far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life?
I know just the place. Oak Cove Resort is a 1910 resort nestled on the banks of beautiful Lake Cora, located two hours away from Chicago. The quaint resort is truly a visit back in time, because the original buildings are still standing, including an ice house with ten-inch thick walls. Back in the 1920's, there were a total of 70 resorts in Michigan and of those, only three remain today.
I became acquainted with the owners, Susan and Bob Wojcik when Susan took a sign class of mine many years ago. Susan and Bob purchased the resort in 1974 and over the years, the resort has become a ministry for them as they work to ensure that every guest has a stress-free place to unwind and reconnect with their families and friends. "When one drives down the long, woodsy, winding drive canopied with trees, you get the feeling that this is a place where there is fun, love, rest and repose," said Susan. Along the road is a sign reminding drivers to slow down: What's your hurry now, you're here, it says.
There are no TVs, no cable, and no internet in the majority of the
resorts cottages. "We believe God provided Oak Cove resort to us to
provide a quiet, relaxing, fun place for people to engage with family
and friends," said Susan. "Families often arrive stressed-out--they've
been fighting during the drive or dealing with daily issues. Take sales
people, for example, it takes them a couple of days to unwind and get
outside of the business mode. They realize how tranquil and beautiful
it is here. After a few days, they're kinder--they focus on their kids
and their spouses. They're morphing at a slower pace--they eat together,
they stay at the table with their spouses for coffee while the kids go
out and play."
Life moving at a slower pace is just what Susan and Bob intend for their
guests. The décor matches another era, and the antiques serve as a
reminder of a time when life moved at a slower, more connected pace. A
maximum of 80 guests would fill the place to capacity, but they aim to
keep it around 65 guests so that they can provide their complete
attention to everyone. Time is meaningless at Oak Cove, with the
exception of the mealtime bell --which beckons families to gather at the
main lodge for a buffet. Susan's cooking is legendary, and she has
published a cookbook based on the meals served there.
In the 38 years that that the Wojciks have owned the resort, they've
never had to advertise to fill their staff positions. In fact, they
have a waiting list of teens who are hoping to work at the resort. Some
of the staff have worked there for over twenty years. Families
continue to come back year after year, because Oak Cove is a magical
place for them to gather and renew their bonds. "Some families have
been coming here for 35 years -- four generations of families!" said
There's plenty to do at Oak Cove Resort and they provide unlimited use
of rowboats, kayaks, canoes and paddleboats. There's swimming (in the
lake and the resort pool), fishing, volleyball and horseshoes. If
you're into golf, the resort tosses in a round of golf at the Lake Cora
Hills Golf Club. You can find more information about activities on the
Oak Cove website.
"We serve our guests from the heart-- willingly and happily," said
Susan. "When people come here, they are changed. We see marriages
restored and families bonding--we believe this is God's work. He gives
us the attitude and the energy to do this."