100 Years of Changing Childhoods

100 Years of Changing Childhoods

Since 1916, Pretty Lake Camp has provided a totally free summer camp for more than 50,000 youth in the Kalamazoo County area who could benefit the most from the experience. No family pays to attend this nonprofit camp and everything is provided for them – from toothbrushes to clothing to transportation.

Pretty Lake relies on financial and in-kind donations from friends, donors and foundations to help support our core mission; to provide life-changing experiences through free summer camp and experiential learning. Our vision is that experiences at Pretty Lake will build stronger communities and a more just, inclusive and compassionate world.  Our future goals are to enhance our educational component and reduce generational poverty.

Pretty Lake also provides the community with year round services such as facilities rentals and programming through the Adventure Centre, as one of Southwest Michigan’s leaders in providing outdoor team building and leadership training. 

Two campers sitting in a green canoe paddling away from the shore of Pretty Lake Camp on a sunny summer day.
Three campers in red Pretty Lake Camp shirts sitting atop a playground element.

Summer at Pretty Lake 

Summer camp can be a powerful experience in a child’s life. It can be a time to explore, laugh, learn and develop independence. Pretty Lake Camp provides a unique residential camp experience that resonates with children throughout their lifetime.

Children are selected to attend our camp based on need – whether financial, social or emotional. During their time here, campers are given the chance to be outdoors, play, try new activities, learn to swim, have fun, and meet new people. All of this helps to build a child’s self-esteem, independence, skills, and ability to care for others.


Making Memories

At Pretty Lake Camp, camp life is all about making friends, trying new activities and having fun; that is what summer dreams are made of!  Kayaking under the blue sky; singing by the campfire; jumping into the refreshing lake; learning how to make a lanyard; hiking through the woods; aiming an arrow at a target… each day is full of new adventures.  As you can see, whether on land or water, there’s an incredible variety of experiences to choose from, every one of them exciting and enriching.

At Pretty Lake Camp we go canoeing

News from Pretty Lake Camp

Kalamazoo County HCS Hold Retreat at Pretty Lake

Kalamazoo County HCS Hold Retreat at Pretty Lake

Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services rented facilities for their Nurse Family Partnership staff retreat at Pretty Lake Camp. According to their website: Nurse-Family Partnership empowers first-time moms to transform their lives and create better futures for...

St. Thomas More Parish Returns to Retreat

St. Thomas More Parish Returns to Retreat

St. Thomas More Student Parish is a Catholic Parish serving the Kalamazoo community, including students at Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. St. Thomas More has long held retreats at Pretty Lake Camp twice a year,...

Children in our programs

Campers this Summer

"My counselors were extremely nice. One used to play her guitar during horizontal hour. There were a lot of mixtures of attitudes, like a stew. I learned how to react with different people who I usually don't react with. I made lots and lots of new friends."

"If any kids read this letter, you should go to Pretty Lake because if you have a lot on your mind, counselors are there to help sort out your problems."

“The Adventure Centre was one of the most fun and challenging camps I have ever been to; simply phenomenal.”

"I just wanted to say thank you for working with us to arrange our meeting. My supervisor was very impressed with the facility. The room set up was perfect and our attendees loved being able to take advantage of the good weather and do some small group work outside. Your information is now in our “options” folder for future meetings and I will be recommending your camp to others seeking meeting space!"


- Laurie

"Thank you for compiling such an amazing series of challenges for us to overcome! It was great and it made us all grow together as a group."

“This experience brings to light talents you may have never realized or fears you would have never imagined conquering, while forming memorable experiences and friendship at the same time.”

"Thank you to everyone who helps keep this camp running! I had such a great time; I hope I can come back next year! "

"Eric Wimbley gave us a wonderful tour, full of camp stories and historical highlights. Listening to him made me realize how very lucky we are to have this community camp in our midst. I also found out that Pretty Lake Camp is 103 years old, just one year older than me! It's taken me over 100 years, but I'm glad I finally got a chance to go to camp!"

- Gwen

Become a Donor Today

Become a Donor Today

Map & Directions to Pretty Lake Camp

Where is Pretty Lake Camp located?

Pretty Lake Camp is located just ten minutes from Kalamazoo (southwest of the I-94/US-131 interchange) on Q Avenue in Texas Township.