In 2004, as we considered expanding Camp Michigania, I toured a piece of property near Pinckney, MI as a potential 2nd location. That opportunity did not pan out, but in 2011, I was approached to provide some feedback about a camp on that very same property. That camp was North Star Reach, a camp that offers life-changing camp experiences for children with complex medical issues and their families.
I stayed up to date on the development of North Star Reach, which eventually launched in 2016. In the spring of 2021, I was asked to provide some insight about camps to North Star Reach, and they agreed that I would be a good fit for their board of directors. I interviewed with the board in October 2021. The camp staff, and 1 camper, happened to be there that day, and she shared her story, whose life was changed by her camp experience at North Star Reach. She went from spending the majority of her time at doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, and being stuck at home, to taking ballet with a goal of studying ballet in college. This encounter gave me faith in the impact of North Star Reach, inspired me to tears, and changed my outlook from a desire to be on their board to wanting to be a full-time member of the team, contributing to helping kids with life-threatening illnesses experience a life-changing week at North Star Reach, free of charge. This desire became a reality when I was offered the position as Executive Director of North Star Reach, beginning in April 2022.
I’m so grateful for the last 18 years at Michigania, having not only had the chance to see my family grow up there, but to experience so many life events with my extended Michigania family. I thank you all for welcoming our family into your family, and appreciate all your support over these 18 years. I look forward to coming back to Michigania as a camper, knowing the alumni association and the camp team will continue creating the magic.