Transforming Lives through Experiential Learning!

Department of Educational Programming & Development

Transforming Life through Experiential Learning!

Department of Educational Programming & Development

Educational Programming & Development

Our educational department can bring your lessons to life through experiential learning programs that cultivate students’ sense of confidence so they can thrive. We invite students to expand their comfort levels by providing opportunities to identify physical, social, and emotional challenges that may block personal achievement. We invite them to reflect on their experiences, take healthy risks, and build knowledge in collaboration with their peers. We encourage self-discovery and social awareness in order to build the foundation for success as part of a healthy community in a diverse society.

The Michigan Career Development Model strongly recommends outdoor educational experiences during the school year.

Our Framework

We follow the Experiential Learning Approach, which refers to the process in which students engage in hands-on activities and reflect on their experiences.  Learning is considered experiential when the following four elements are present:

  • Experience: A designed learning experience that includes the possibility to learn from natural consequences, mistakes, and successes.
  • Reflection: The critical analysis and synthesis of the experience.
  • Thinking: The opportunities to engage intellectually, creatively, emotionally, socially, or physically.
  • Action: The opportunities to take initiative, make decisions, and be accountable for the results.

This process allows students to connect knowledge with actions and results, and further make adjustments for continuous growth.

Our programs are specially designed to support students’ social and emotional learning.

Experiential Learning Wheel

Participants

  • Elementary, middle, and high school students
  • Sport teams
  • Teachers and school staff

Programming Options:

  • Come to us or we come to you!
  • We offer half-day (4 hours), full-day (8 hours), and overnight programs
  • All seasons programming
  • Meal services
  • Overnight accommodations (Retreat center, cabins, and yurts and tent campsites for overnight programming)
  • Indoor and outdoor rope courses and climbing towers.
  • Variety of outdoor activities (kayaking, fishing, hiking, archery, low and high rope courses, group games).

Explore our programs below!

MyLife Camp: Knowing Myself, Finding My Purpose

MyLife Camp experience consists of a three-day camp that invites students to explore their interests and talents as it relates to self-development and career choices. Through this program, students will learn and utilize strategies to identify personality traits and values that represent their unique individuality. Furthermore, students will engage in group activities focused on bringing their different talents and perspectives together for greater achievement. 

Purpose:
Students explore and discover their interests and talents and how they can translate into different career paths.

Participants:
5th-6th grade students

Programming Options:
Ideal as a retreat experience, this program has been designed as a 3-day overnight program. We also offer a full-day (8 hours) version. We can also customize this program to your group’s needs.

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Life Map Retreat: Where Have I Been and Where Am I Going?

My Life Map Retreat is centered on the life mapping exercise. This program invites students to identify high, low, and in-between points in their lives and reflect on how these events have shaped the way they experience the world. Furthermore, the program incorporates team bonding and leadership activities designed to help students connect at a deeper level beyond roles, race, beliefs, preferences, social-economic status, and so forth.

Purpose:
To reframe students’ understanding of growth, success, and learning from an academic-only lens to a whole-person perspective with specific emphasis on social impact, seeing each other in authentic ways, and moving through major life transitions.

Participants:
High school students
Teachers and school staff for professional development

Programming Options:
Ideal as a retreat experience, this program has been designed as a 3-day overnight program. We also offer a one full day (8 hours) shorter version. We can also customize this program to your group’s needs.

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STEM: Skills for Life

Take your STEM lessons outdoors and get students to enjoy the natural world while developing critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration skills.

Are your students learning about nature, the environment, plants, and insects? Pretty Lake is the place to be! In our 250 acres of woodland, through nature walks and fun scavenger hunts, we engage students in discovering and exploring the wildlife around them.

Are you looking for outdoor science or engineering experience? Using simple materials, we invite students to test their creativity and problem-solving skills through hands-on activities such as building a shelter, making a water filter, a catapult, an airplane launcher, or a boat… you name it!

Let us bring your lessons to life!

Purpose:
To enhance students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through real-life hands-on outdoor activities while strengthening team building and collaboration skills.

Participants:
Elementary and high school students

Programming Options:
Half-day (4 hours) and full-day (8 hours) program

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Team Olympics

Team Olympics consists of a variety of fun group games that promote communication, strategic planning, and leadership. Beyond the completion of the activities, teams are recognized for their “good spirit.” This refers to the ability to value each other’s skills and effort, maintain a positive and supportive environment for their team, and celebrate others’ victories. This is a great event for students to get to know each other better and learn how to work together, rely on each other, and pitch in towards a common goal.

Purpose:
To promote open dialogue, collaboration, trust, and leadership among students.

Participants:
Elementary and high school students

Teachers and school staff

Programming Options:
Half-day (4 hours) and full-day (8 hours) program

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Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us and we’ll build a program tailored to your group. 

Dr. Lourdes Pimentel (she/her) is the Director of Educational Programming and Development at Pretty Lake Camp. She is dedicated to creating experiential learning programs that nurture a student’s social and emotional competencies. 

“The most valuable lesson I have learned over the years is that academics alone do not guarantee a person’s success. Other skills, such as understanding oneself and others, managing emotions, and making appropriate decisions for the situation at hand, are essential for a fulfilling and rewarding life.” 

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