Our Primary Mission: “Loving Kid’s to Christ”

Located just 20 minutes south of Peoria, Camp Kearney is 155 acres of God’s beautiful creation. Founded over 50 years ago, Camp Kearney is the result of a vision given to long-time South Side Mission worker Margaret Kearney. Her vision to provide a Christ-centered camping experience for children of South Side Mission became a reality through the hard work and generosity of many people. Over the years Camp Kearney has expanded its ministry and now offers a free week-long summer camp experience to around 400 children from inner-city Peoria and Rural Central Illinois each summer. An additional 600 children visit Camp Kearney each summer through our day camp program.

Our Other Ministries

When our summer camp program is not in full swing, Camp Kearney is available to church groups, families, or other organizations for overnight retreats, picnics, day outings, volunteer work projects, or adventure activities. It is through these events that Camp Kearney is able share God’s blessing with those outside our primary mission field. If you are interested is seeing how we might be able to accommodate your group, click on one of these links to learn more about Rental Information or Volunteers.

Our Facilities
  • 155 acres of forests, prairie, streams, & 4 lakes.
  • Family Retreat Center, 9 cabins, & a real Caboose.
  • Main Lodge with kitchen,dining hall, game room, and shower house.
  • Main Indoor Chapel
  • Picnic Shelters
  • High Ropes Course, Zip-line, & Climbing Walls
  • In-ground swimming pool
  • Athletic field, basketball court, playground, & volleyball court.
  • Over 5 miles of hiking trails.

If you would like to have one of our staff come and speak to your group about our ministry, please feel free to contact us at 309-389-5375 or email us at campkearney@southsidemission.org


Melanie & Paul Mulholland  began their journey of service together over 30 years ago, having met while working at a summer camp that ministers to inner-city youth.  There they accepted a life-long calling to urban ministry and working with children and youth.  Paul has served since 2009 as Camp Director while Melanie joined him in 2011 as Program Director – “Loving Kids to Christ” through the Camp Kearney ministry.

Arin Haven joined the Camp Kearney team in 2016 after serving many summers at camp as a cabin counselor. He has a degree form Lincoln Christian University in Youth Ministry.  He is the Assistant Camp Director.