Go and Do
July 15th, 2016 by Erica Thomas
"If you want to make a difference in someone's life, you don't need to be gorgeous, rich, famous, brilliant, or perfect. You just have to care."
This summer, Camp Henry invites you to explore what it means to Go and Do. As you come to camp, our hope is for you to be encouraged to extend God's love and grace through your passions and individual gifts.
Much of our inspiration for this theme comes from the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). We are motivated by the acts of this ordinary Samaritan who went out of his way to care for a stranger in need. What really catches our attention are the two high rulers of the church who passed by this man on the side of the road before the Samaritan arrived.
Jesus later asks "which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man...?"
The expert in law replied "The man who was kind to him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise"
Who, in your life, inspires and motivates you to be the best version of yourself? Your parents? Your teacher? Coach? Counselor? Dog? Whoever it is, continue to discover why that is and go and do likewise so that you can be an inspiration to others in need.
Through simple actions of being generous, choosing joy, and accepting others, you will easily get a glimpse of what it means to live in the image of Christ.
We are so excited for this summer and cannot wait to have you here!
Affordable Options for Summer Fun
June 21st, 2016 by By: Nicole Winter
I never went to sleepaway camp. To ensure I still enjoyed an active summer, my parents encouraged me to be physically and mentally active during those three months outside the classroom. My parents, both teachers, truly understood the importance of seeing this “vacation” not as a break from activity but as a redirection of my energy. As a child, my summers were filled with taking trips to the beach, playing games of wiffle ball with my brother and reading stacks of books taller than me.
Many families are aware of the perks of summer camps, which offer children mental stimulation and physical activity while fostering independence and confidence. However, for many families, summer camps are too expensive to be a reality.
A recent New York Times article, entitled “The Families That Can’t Afford Summer,” attributed the lack of a summer camp experience to the socio-economic achievement gap. “Most kids lose math skills over the summer, but low income children also lose, on average, more than two months of reading skills,” the article said.
Here in Grand Rapids, several organizations have committed to helping all kids – whatever their economic background – enjoy stimulating, exciting and affordable activities. We have compiled free or low-cost options for summer fun, meant to be in addition to the classic suggestions of parks, beaches and renting library books.
The Grand Rapids Public Library has partnered with area attractions to provide visitors the opportunity to use their library card (you can get one for free!) to check out a free membership to museums, zoos and botanical gardens. Participating organizations in the “Check it Out” program include Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and more. These memberships entitle up to six people to visit the organization once within a six day period.
Your free library card can also admit you to hundreds of destinations throughout Michigan. The Michigan Activity Pass grants free or discounted admission passes to Michigan state parks, campgrounds, arts and cultural destinations and more.
Consider attending Grand Rapids’ museums on their discounted days. For instance, the Grand Rapids Art Museum holds Meijer Free Tuesdays and Free Thursday nights. These special offers occur every week. Also, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum offers a discounted entry price of $1.75 on Thursdays after 5pm.
For outdoor fun, visit Millennium Park, a 1,400 acre park on the Grand River. Most of the park is available for free use, but a small entry fee grants access to the beach and splashpad. There are also boats and kayaks available for a very reasonable rental price. Consider attending one of six Maranda Park Parties throughout the summer. These free parties are filled with games, music, food and other surprises, such as a zip-line or inflatable obstacle course. Finally, Grand Rapids has several public pools and water playground locations that cost no more than $1 for children to use.
Undoubtedly, summer can be a challenging time for working parents. It takes thought and creativity to compile a list of engaging and budget-friendly activities for children. Hopefully these suggestions provide a sense of relief that you can offer your children, grandchildren or younger siblings interesting and affordable outlets for their persistent energy.
For more information on the suggestions listed above:
- Check it Out
- Michigan Activity Pass
- Grand Rapids Art Museum
- Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
- Millennium Park
- Maranda Park Parties
- Grand Rapids Public Pools and Playgrounds
What I Ike Ikus Means To Me
June 8th, 2016 by Megan Lougheed
It has been such a great pleasure and joy working here at Indian Trails Camp! March marked my two year anniversary from when I first started. The decision to switch jobs was a tough one as I really did enjoy my previous job but I couldn’t be happier with the decision that I made.
It has been such an amazing couple of years! Each day I am happy to come to work, I don’t think many people get to say that and truly mean it. I have met so many amazing people, get to work with incredible staff and build friendship with coworkers and campers alike.
Each day brings new and exciting challenges, I am able to grow and learn, teach and train each day somehow being better than the last.
As we are in the hiring process for our 2016 summer camp staff I get excited sharing why I love Indian Trails Camp when the question is asked, which it often is, but I get even more excited as we hire people, knowing that they are going to have a fantastic, memorable and life-changing summer/experience. It is inevitable.
Here’s to 2016 at ITC being the best year yet! I Ike Ikus, nobody like us, we are the camp of ITC!
Blessings & Love,
Camp Director & Respite Coordinator
Thank you to Megan at Indian Trails Camp & IKUS Life Enrichment Services for sharing this blog post. Click here to learn more about Indian Trails Camp.
"Our Mission here at Indian Trails Camp & IKUS Life Enrichment Services is to provide individuals with disabilities an enriched life experience through recreation, advocacy and meaningful relationships."
Summer Camp Season Begins
June 6th, 2016 by Nicole Winter
When the doors to your child’s school close for the summer, will you have enough plans in mind to keep him or her busy, active, and engaged? Why not consider a West Michigan summer camp?
Summer camps offer mental stimulation and physical activity while fostering independence, creativity, and confidence. As a parent, there are many questions to consider before choosing the right camp for your child. This website offers a guide to the camps held in West Michigan, detailing their programs, costs, financial assistance opportunities, and more.
View our Camp Directory to find the camp that is right for your family. Discover answers to all of your questions with our FAQ page. Contact camp leaders for more information about camps of interest to you.
It's Summer Camp Season!
June 3rd, 2015 by
Each summer, youth from across West Michigan leave home for the experience of a lifetime—summer camp. As a parent, there is much to consider when it comes to choosing the right camp program for your child. This website is intended to help you learn about the camps and programs offered in West Michigan, along with providing the information and resources necessary to make the dream of summer camp a reality for your child.
Get started by viewing our camp guide. We're sure you will find something that meets your child's needs, and more!
Camp fires, group sing-alongs, swimming and more can only mean one thing - Summer Camp Season has arrived!
June 5th, 2012 by By GRCF
Getting ready to send your child off to summer camp can be nerve-racking, difficult and exciting for all.
The experience may be completely new for your family, or it may be an old summer routine, either way, you and your loved ones are in for a day, a week or a whole summer of fantastic moments.
So, what do you do now?
“It is important to prepare your child for a camp experience, whether it is for a one-week sleep away camp near your town or a four-week camp out-of-state,” said Myra Pravda, RN, MSN at offtocamp.com.
Some tips and tricks of the trade:
- Go over the daily schedule with your child so there are no surprises.
- Learn as much as you can about camp life – for your own mindset and for your child.
- Send letters before camp begins so mail is waiting when he/she arrives.
- Don't buy expensive clothing for camp because clothes tend to get dirty, torn, scratched, grass stains, etc.
- Put the camper's name on everything from clothes to toothpaste.
- Send along pictures of your family and pets so your child can show them to his/her bunk mates.
- Pack some of your child's favorite pre-packaged goodies.
- Prepare yourself for your child going off to camp.
For more on Choosing a Camp, Preparing for Camp, Packing Tips and Camp Health – checkout these helpful Blogs and Websites:
Gearing up for the summer at Camp Blodgett
May 23rd, 2012 by GRCF
Camper registrations are already arriving at Camp Blodgett for summer camp 2012 and the hiring of summer staff is underway. With six camp sessions planned for the summer there will be space for more kids than in past years.
“Even with signs of an improving West Michigan economy there are still over 30,000 kids from Kent County families feeling a financial pinch," said Susan Doughty, Camp Blodgett’s Program Director. "So, we feel the pressure to expand our summer capacity. The challenge now is to get the word out to the families that there are summer programs that are affordable for everyone.”
The fee for a 5-day residential camp session at Camp Blodgett starts at $35 for kids who are eligible for free or reduced cost lunch at school. Plus, there are discounts for early registration and for students who had good grades and attendance during the school year.
“If you have C’s and above for the current school year to date, you get $10 off your fee," said Doughty. "Straight A’s earns a $25 discount."
Registration forms are available on the camp website at www.campblodgett.org and at the camp’s Grand Rapids office at 1545 Buchanan Avenue SW.
Call 616-940-9874 for more information.