Gania Gossip

Camp Michigania at night

Summer Camp Application Now Open

The 2020 Summer Camp application is now open! Visit our application guidelines page for reminders on the membership requirements for applying to Camp, what information you will need to log in and complete the application form, and more. Apply by Jan. 15 to be eligible for the lottery.

Cancellation Policy

Application cancellations received prior to Feb. 28 — full refund less a $50 service charge.

A “confirmed reservation” has been placed in a week and notified by email they have been confirmed. The cancellation of confirmed reservations will be refunded as follows:

  • Cancellations received 30 days prior to arrival will receive a refund of camp fees less the deposit. Cancellations received less than 30 days from arrival will forfeit 50% of camp fees.
  • There will be a $100 fee for each camper canceled from an application after May 15 (that is not replaced with another camper).
  • In the case that you are not able to attend, your cancellation must be submitted in writing, either by email, fax, or U.S. mail.

These changes will be enforced to ensure consistency. The opportunity for another family to fill the opening created by a cancellation will not impact the refund policy.

Trip Insurance will be available if you receive a confirmation.

Camp Michigania Summer 2020 Book Selection

The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of one of the most important nonfiction books of this decade, Between the World and Me, which means that his fiction debut arrives with a great amount of anticipation. Would the urgency of his nonfiction writing come through in a novel? Would he be as nimble in a made-up world? Would it be good? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes.

Coates’ novel is the story of Hiram Walker, who was born into slavery on a Virginia plantation that is owned by his white father and experiencing a slow decline. Although Hiram is gifted with a photographic memory, his mother — who was sold away when he was young — is the one thing he cannot remember. Indeed, many of the women in his life are taken away from him too early — a fact that will guide his actions later in the novel.

The story blends the brutality of history with more imaginative elements: for example, white people are called the Quality, black people are called the Tasked; and Hiram possesses powers that fall into the spectrum of magical realism. As the novel moves north to Philadelphia, where Hiram grows into his own and begins working for the Underground, and eventually turns back to his southern birthplace, the fantastical elements only give greater power to the story. The Water Dancer is a stirring debut, and Coates is the novelist we were hoping he would be. — Chris Schluep

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • From the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom.

Summer Staff

Now’s the time to apply to work at Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake as a summer staffer. Know any great candidates? Pass along the application and information on what makes working at Michigania so memorable.

Notes from Summer 2019

Mentor Matching a Huge Success

The number of mentors continues to rise, with 181 mentors in the summer of 2019, compared with 114 in 2017 and 141 in 2018. We appreciate all the campers who helped connect our staff with the amazing U-M network. Once again, every staff member and camper looking for an opportunity to either share their expertise or build their network got “paired up” this summer, and your Alumni Association appreciates your willingness to engage our student staff and help them build their networks while enjoying the greatest summer of their life.

The Unicorn Has Found a New Home

The unicorn loved its new home in 2019, enjoying the kids singing so loudly to welcome “Uni” and the “Wiz” every Friday morning. We also added a couple of tents to alleviate the high overhead sun and gave parents the chance to see the faces of their kids as the magic happened. The Unicorn also magically appeared in the forest on Wednesday night hayrides, too, and mentioned, “I wanted to get out more, hearing those kids singing once a week just isn’t enough for me and my buddy the Wizard!”

Greg’s Grill Debuts

Lunch got a little more exciting this past summer with the opening of “Greg’s Grill,” dedicated 3rd week in honor of longtime Camp Director Greg Fleming. The grill opened to rave reviews at the beginning of the summer, with lots of BBQ options available no matter the weather. Greg Fleming joined us during 3rd week for the official dedication, thanking a group of former staff that made the new grill possible.

The Summer 2020 Shift is Happening

U-M will officially start on Aug. 31, 2020, the Monday before Labor Day. With more than half of our staff U-M students, we’ll be “shifting” our calendar for 2020 so most weeks fall around their traditional dates. We’ll be starting the summer with “Victors Week,” June 13–20, and we’re excited to announce that’s when our Mott families will be joining us. Week 1 will begin June 20, and week 10 will end on Aug. 29. Look for announcements about some unique offerings from Aug. 30–Sept. 7.

Michigania East

1. As dawn breaks and the loons call out through the morning mist, young and old trek to the boathouse deck to enjoy reeling in big and bigger smallmouth bass and other freshwater fish from beautiful Brant Lake. Thank goodness early morning coffee is available.

2. A new tradition is born. Campers have great ideas. Week 1 campers planned a themed dance party, the Mich Ball, that included clever costumes, a perfect playlist, and smooth dance moves. Melissa Borja, Week 1 faculty speaker, dazzled everyone when she dropped in and then out of the splits. Only her lectures topped that.

3. Insider Tip: Sign up for Week 2 whether you are a beginner or expert tennis player. Although the extraordinary tennis program operates Week 1, with a smaller camper population Week 2, your access increases. You will be guaranteed to receive, at no extra cost, tennis instruction, coaching, and play with seasoned skilled tennis professionals. The tennis staff are individuals who in many cases have been returning to work at the camp for over two decades!

4. Teen activities included opportunities for off-camp fun, a night at the camp farm building, and baking their own pizzas in the outdoor woodfire oven.

5. Exercise is central to daily camp life. In addition to long bike rides and lake lap swims, campers organized the first-ever mini-marathon around Brant Lake. Participants returned excited to repeat next summer.

And the Prize Goes To

Ninth-week campers Karen Parker and Laurence Marks and their kids, Luca, Asher, and Theo, are the winners of our Camp Michigania raffle. We’re now up to three years in a row we’ve drawn a family with three kids — we’re still looking for that “single parent, no children” winner, hoping we’ll make that happen for 2021! Week 5 sold the most tickets, narrowly edging out Week 7, with Week 4 not too far back in third place. The Summer 2018 raffle allowed us to put a new floor in the 0-2s and helped us purchase a new Boston Whaler rescue boat. We hope to see you in 2020 so we can share what your Summer 2019 raffle dollars supported!

Thanks to all weeks for supporting our Camp programs through your raffle ticket purchases and generous giving throughout the year. You are helping make this special place even more special.