PHOTOS COURTESY OF JACOB LEWKOW, GARY L HOWE, AND REMUS ROMAN
For more than 50 years, Camp Michigania has nestled on the shores of Walloon Lake in Northern Michigan. Surrounded by woods and water, camp welcomes all alumni and their families not to a place, but to a state of mind. On these pages, you’ll get just a flavor of life at camp, from the activities that structure each day to the feeling of life slowing to a more relaxed pace.
Once visitors spy the sign at the entrance to camp, cares fall away and the sun shines a little brighter. For a week, campers choose how to fill their day from an array of activities while also connecting to fellow Wolverines. Head off in one direction, and it’s sailing, swimming, or kayaking on Walloon Lake. Take another path and you’ll end up at the stables, saddling up for a lesson or a trail ride. For those whose idea of heaven is sitting in the sun and letting the world pass them by, camp has space for that, too.
No matter which activities they choose, everyone comes together at mealtimes to get their fill, meeting up with family, friends, or the community they meet at camp. The day starts with Block M waffles in the morning and ends with dinnertime dessert from the ever-popular soft serve machine.
In the evenings, Michigania allows campers to connect with their inner student during the Faculty Forum. During these sessions, U-M professors lecture on a wide range of topics, such as “Fiction to Facts: Comparing Science Fiction Tech with the Tech Reality,” “Gender Equity in Engineering,” “Children, Teens & Guns: Facts, Myths & a Public Health Path Forward,” and “Behind the Burgundy Curtain: How the Supreme Court Really Works.”
Camp Michigania has been a destination for Wolverines of all ages since the early 1960s. Spread out over 377 acres near Boyne City, Michigan, camp averaged 50 families in 1963 and has grown to accommodate twice that number. Over those years, things have evolved. Some buildings have changed. Beds have replaced cots, and fiberglass boats have replaced wooden models.
But some things will never change. Campers who were children in those early years still have cherished memories of their week at Walloon Lake all these decades later.
To be sure, children experience a special magic at Camp Michigania, spending time at activities with their families or with newfound friends. After all, where else will they witness an actual unicorn? They thrill to see it ride past the arts and crafts building while the wizard astride the unicorn shares bags of goodies.
Other, less fanciful, activities include the rock-climbing wall, which is part of the ropes course, arts and crafts, volleyball, archery, water sports and boating, nature programs, field sports, and tennis. Kids are ensured a good night’s rest in the peace and quiet of camp after a full day of activities.
The Alumni Association looks forward to welcoming families again this summer and continuing the magic that is Michigania.
To learn more about Camp Michigania, visit alumni.umich.edu/summer-camp. Availability for summer 2022 season is limited, but it’s never too early to begin planning for 2023.