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PLVC Announces the Acquisition of the Adventure Centre and Expansion of Garden & Outdoor Learning Center

New services will enhance PLVC’s commitment to provide learning and skill- building to people of all ages in a fun and amazing outdoor environment.

Pretty Lake Vacation Camp (PLVC) announced today that effective July 1st, 2011, it completed the acquisition of the Adventure Centre at Pretty Lake. PLVC’s addition of the Adventure Centre staff and programming will strengthen the organization’s commitment to utilizing its natural outdoor environment to provide programs that foster learning, growth, and personal development of children, youth, families, and adults.

PLVC, a non-profit organization, is celebrating its 95th year of serving the at-risk youth of the Kalamazoo area. Since 1916, more than 50,000 youth have been able to experience summer camp on over 250 beautiful acres at no cost to them or to their families. In addition, each camper is provided with everything needed for their time at camp – all clothing, toiletries, bedding, linens, food and transportation – free of charge. PLVC has already welcomed over 400 campers this summer, and anticipates doubling that number before the summer ends.

Since 1978, the Adventure Centre (AC) has been a recognized leader in facilitated outdoor adventure programming. The AC has challenged individuals, teams, and organizations to expand their self-confidence, trust, and leadership skills through a variety of outdoor learning adventures including low and high ropes courses, climbing walls, and camping.

“We are bringing together two organizations that have very complementary programming, and that actually started together back in the 1970’s before growing apart in the 1980’s,” stated Mitch Wilson, PLVC’s Executive Director. “The ultimate winners of our new venture will be the youth, families, and organizations of the Greater
Kalamazoo area. We know that outdoor experiences are vital to the success of our children, and the team-building and leadership training provided by the Adventure Centre can help to enhance any organization’s productivity.”

“The reuniting of these two organizations into one, going forward with a common mission, will greatly enhance the service each provides to the community,” according to Jim Shinar, PLVC Board President. “Pretty amazing things are happening at Pretty Lake as evidenced by this unification. People should come out and see what Pretty Lake has to offer and observe first-hand the wonderful things it provides to the community.”

Beyond the expanded programming, the combined organization will realize immediate savings by reducing overall administrative and insurance costs. PLVC will retain all current full-time and seasonal staff from the Adventure Centre.

“This was an instinctive decision by individual non-profit boards to create operational efficiencies and improved services to the community”, stated Don Nitz, board president of the former Adventure Centre.

Additionally, PLVC has expanded its Garden & Outdoor Learning Center that was initiated as a partnership with Edison Environmental Science Academy and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2008. The program has grown to include a community garden which will be visited by each of PLVC’s more than 700 campers this summer, and will host visits from each class of the Kalamazoo Community in Schools (KCIS) Elementary School Summer program. In total, close to 1,000 children will learn about growing and cultivating good food this summer at PLVC. They will also be able to interact with PLVC’s chickens, goats, donkeys, and even a pot-belly pig!

Wilson goes on to say, “The board and staff at PLVC appreciate all of the support the community has provided us over the past 95 years. We want to make this facility known as “the community’s camp” and increase utilization on a year-round basis. With the addition of the Adventure Centre and the expansion of the Garden & Outdoor Learning Center, we are setting the foundation for a pretty amazing future!”

For more information on PLVC’s programming, how you can help support the mission of PLVC, or how you can rent the camp facilities for your meeting or event, contact Pretty Lake Camp at (269) 375-1950.

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