Summer Camp at Pretty Lake

Summer Camp 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 overnight camp experience that resonates with children throughout their lifetime.

Children are selected on a need basis, we also have general and specific guidelines campers must meet in order to be considered for the program. 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.

At Pretty Lake Camp Campers make new friends

For over a century, we have welcomed tens of thousands of children! In all our programs, 720 campers will attend Pretty Lake Camp this summer. We are excited about this summer and hope your child will be one of our campers!

Registration now open for Summer 2022

Apply on-line at prettylakecamp.campbrainregistration.com

or call for a paper application at 269-375-1950.

Camping Programs

We offer 5-day/4-night sessions to Kalamazoo area children, each program based on their age and experience level.

Eligibility Requirements for Summer Camp

The general requirements for our campers are: must be managed socially and behaviorally in a group with one staff and eight campers, and independent in their self-care skills. Selection will not be based on individual’s race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, height, weight, ability or any other legally protected status.  Only residents of Kalamazoo County or attending school in Kalamazoo County or Mattawan School District are eligible.  The specific requirements for each program are listed below:

Explorer Camp – Children at camp time ages 8-9. LEARN MORE

Pathfinder Camp – Children at camp time ages 10-11. LEARN MORE

Trailblazer Camp – Children at camp time ages 12-13. LEARN MORE

Application Process

Eligible applicants are accepted on a first come basis and we may not be able to accommodate every camper that applies.

Camp Activities

Listed below are some of the many activities we offer at Pretty Lake Camp. All activities are supervised by trained staff including certified lifeguards and instructors.

  • Archery – learn proper use of equipment and go for a shot at the bull’s-eye.
  • Biking – riding mountain bikes around the camp property.
  • Boating – canoes, kayaks, pontoon boat, and corcls for lessons and leisure.
  • Campfire – skits and songs to delight campers of all ages.
  • Crafts – projects and lessons in arts using nature and other materials.
  • Field Sports – learning and playing field games such as disc golf and baseball.
  • Fishing – learn how to cast a fishing pole and catch a fish off a dock.
  • Performing Arts – playing instruments, singing and even dancing at Camp.
  • Environmental Education skills – learning about the natural environment and outdoor skills using our beautiful facility.
  • STEM – learn about science, technology, engineering, and math in a camp setting.
  • Swimming – leisure in Pretty Lake.
  • Low ropes course – this is a course which is 2-5 feet off the ground under the supervision of Adventure Centre staff.

For those who meet safety and age requirements.

Challenge Courses – Try the high confidence course with elements 25-30 feet above ground wearing a safety harness and helmet or tackle our 35-foot rock wall wearing a safety harness and helmet.

Explorer Camp (Ages 8-9)

Our Explorer program welcomes campers who at camp time are ages 8-9. During each of the three camp sessions, up to 90 campers will enjoy a variety of fun and safe activities in an inclusive camp setting. During their time at Pretty Lake Camp, campers are given the opportunity to explore the outdoors, try different activities, and develop their independence. By living and interacting with our fun-loving summer camp staff and each other, children learn valuable, positive social skills that they can use for years to come. For many of our campers, our Explorers program is their first experience with summer camping – an experience that will last a lifetime!

Pathfinder Camp (Ages 10-11)

Our Pathfinder program welcomes campers who at camp time are ages 10-11. During each of the two camp sessions, up to 90 campers will enjoy a variety of fun and safe activities in an inclusive camp setting.  During their time at Pretty Lake Camp, campers are given the opportunity to further explore the outdoors, try different activities, and develop their independence with more advanced activities. By living and interacting with our fun-loving summer camp staff and each other, children learn valuable, positive social skills that they can use for years to come. For many of our campers, our Pathfinders program is their second experience with summer camping – an experience that will last a lifetime!

Trailblazer Camp (Ages 12-13)

Our Trailblazer program welcomes campers who at camp time are ages 12-13. During each of the two camp sessions, up to 90 campers will enjoy a variety of fun and safe activities in an inclusive camp setting.  During their time at Pretty Lake Camp, campers are given the opportunity build on previous camp experiences to explore the outdoors, try advanced activities, and develop their independence by providing more opportunities to choose activities. By living and interacting with our fun-loving summer camp staff and each other, children learn valuable, positive social skills that they can use for years to come – an experience that will last a lifetime!

What Pretty Lake Camp Provides

Pretty Lake Camp provides everything a camper needs to make their week at camp a success – free of charge. We do this in order to remove any barriers that might keep them from being able to attend camp. We provide the following:

  • Adaptable healthcare in an inclusive and active camp environment
  • Bedding, towels, clothing, swimwear, and personal hygiene items (toothpaste/brush, deodorant, sun screen, shampoo, etc.)
  • Transportation to and from camp from designated site in Kalamazoo
  • All food and basic health care
  • Supervised programs and activities
  • All arts and crafts materials and supplies

Your child does not need to bring anything with them to camp. If you prefer, your child can bring underwear, socks and a bathing suit. However it is not needed as we have supplies for campers.

Please leave these items at home:

  • Alcohol, illegal drugs, fireworks, money or weapons
  • Cell phones, tablets or other handheld electronics
  • Expensive or brand name clothing/shoes/jewelry
  • Digital cameras, video cameras and any music or MP3 players
  • Personal sports equipment
  • Animals

Goals for our campers:

  • Foster positive self-concept development of campers.
  • The opportunity for development of a more positive attitude and the realization of individual capability.
  • Promote greater independence.
  • Develop a personal awareness and relationship with the natural environment and to be “unplugged” from electronics such as cell phones and television.
  • Opportunity for social interaction and the development of social skills.
  • Development of outdoor recreational skills.
  • Provide opportunities for campers to have fun in a safe environment.

The goals of Pretty Lake Camp are achieved when campers demonstrates any of the following:

  • Indicates to others in some way that they are having fun and a good time.
  • Is able to socially interact harmoniously with cabin mates, fellow campers, and staff and develops positive relationships during the week.
  • Acknowledges in some way an appreciation, awareness, and understanding of the significance of the natural environment in their life.
  • Able to perform at least one or two new physical skill which they could not perform before coming to Camp, or which they now performs at a higher level.
  • Has contributed as a member of the cabin group in decision making, choosing activities, creating a schedule, and participating in Camp life.
  • Has participated in a new challenge or adventure.
  • Expresses that their expectations, hopes, and interests they wanted met at Camp were fulfilled in some way.

No Cost to Kids (or their Families)

We are able to provide everything at no cost because of the support of others. Camp is made possible through financial donations of all amounts from others, in-kind donations from our wish list, and income from renting our facilities for meetings, gatherings or events. We rely on others passing the word about our programs!

Pretty Lake Camp Staff

We strive to hire the very best summer camp staff who have a heart for children, and who enjoy and respect children.  To ensure the safety of our campers we screen all of our paid and volunteer seasonal employees annually using the following: voluntary disclosure statement, criminal background check, central registry clearance check, check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry, personal interviews, and reference checks.  We also screen our year-round staff on a regularly scheduled basis.

Our staff go through intensive 10 day training before the camp sessions begin, along with on-going training throughout the summer.

Our staff’s main priority is the safety and well-being of our campers, while creating a community that encourages campers to develop confidence, self-esteem, respect for themselves and others while having a fun and memorable time at camp.

Get more information

For more information on attending our free summer camp program please fill out the form below. 

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