Pretty Lake Camp
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Pretty Lake. Beautiful Mission.

Since 1916, Pretty Lake Camp, a non-profit community organization, has provided a cost-free summer camp experience to over 50,000 at-risk youth from Kalamazoo County. Throughout the years, we have enriched the lives of thousands of youth by offering a safe, structured and encouraging environment in a natural setting. We accommodate over 800 children each summer.

Many of the children who attend Pretty Lake Camp face significant challenges at home, in school, and in their community. We strive to remove all barriers that prevent a child from being able to come to camp.

Through the financial support of generous individuals and organizations, we provide everything that campers need during their session at camp – clothes, toiletries, bedding, towels, food, transportation to and from camp, and activities – at no cost to the camper or their family or caregiver. Our focus is to assist in the development of campers by teaching life skills and helping campers cope with life’s challenges.

Our Mission

Pretty Lake’s mission is to provide adventure education and outdoor experiences that change lives and improve the community. We do this by:

  • Providing a free summer camp for the youth most likely to benefit from the opportunity
  • Offering a wide range of customized adventure experiences for youth and adults
  • Promoting opportunities to experience, appreciate and steward our environment
  • Making our unique natural environment and facilities available for the community to experience and enjoy

Our Vision

Pretty Lake Camp will be a premier youth-serving organization through camping services. We will grow happy, resilient, strong children through compassionate and healthy relationships with caring mentors.

Our Future

We are committed to strengthening ourselves as the “community’s camp” – a year-round resource for our campers, families,  schools, retreat guests and the community at large. True to our founder, Edward B. Desenberg, the core of the organization will be the on-going operation and continuous improvement of all of our programs.