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Pretty Lake Welcomes New Camp Director

Jamie Jannusch is clearing off her desk in her new Camp Director’s office at Pretty Lake, only days after moving from central Wisconsin. She surveys the paperwork from past summer camps mixed with donated children’s books and camper supplies. Despite the snow outside her window, Jamie knows Pretty Lake’s 102nd consecutive year of free summer camp, not to mention 800 lucky campers, will be here before she knows it.

“When you work in camping, you realize you’re not working for the pay,” Jamie says. “You realize that you’re getting paid by the high fives, the handshakes, the hugs, the smiles. That is what truly keeps me going.”

With more than a decade in the camping industry, Jamie’s career has been powered by the high fives and smiles of countless campers. She spent 10 years as Assistant Director at the Wisconsin Lions Camp, working with children and adults with special needs. More than anything, she enjoys seeing how camp can change a person.

“You can see this growth in them,” Jamie says. “Whether it’s more independence, self-confidence, or having the ability to say, ‘I did that’ and ‘Look what I did.’”

Jamie has been a member of the American Camp Association since 2000 and oversees aspects of the ACA standards accreditation process. She will bring that valuable expertise to Pretty Lake.

“I think in the first year, it’s really important for me to see what camp is all about,” Jamie says. “Get in touch with what is tradition here. Also look at some of the systems that are currently in place and how to improve them.”

Jamie’s ultimate goal is to ensure that Pretty Lake continues to provide an amazing experience for campers and continue building an emotionally and physically safe place for them. “The thing that’s really exciting for me is just diving in and keeping that tradition but also tying that to innovation and bringing it to the next level of where it can be,” she says.

After 20 years in the Stevens Point, Wis. area, Jamie is also excited to explore the outdoors on the other side of Lake Michigan. She brought her snowshoes and looks forward to golfing and cycling during the warmer months.

“I’m an adventurer by nature,” she says, “and I just want to get out and see what the Kalamazoo area is all about.”


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