9 Best Overnight Camps In Michigan

Best overnight camps in Michigan

If you’re looking for a great place for the kids to go to summer camp, look no further than Michigan! The state provides endless outdoor recreation for grown-ups and also has terrific overnight programs for children.

Summer camps provide opportunities to achieve milestones and create lifelong memories. Sing-alongs around the campfire, canoeing around Lake Michigan, and making new friends are all part of the experience.

Michigan has some of the most appealing landscapes to enjoy summer fun in the sun. With spectacular scenic views, an abundance of natural resources, and pristine waterfronts, these are the best overnight camps in Michigan.

Summer CampLocationAgesGenderSession Lengths
Skyline Camp & Retreat CenterAlmont7-15Coed1 week
Cedar LodgeLawrence7-16Coed6 weeks
Camp Newaygo For GirlsNewaygo7-16Girls1 week
Camp RogerHoward City6-15Coed4, 6 days
YMCA Camp OhiyesaHolly4-16Coed1 week
Camp LookoutFrankfort7-17Coed1, 2 weeks
Pine RidgeCedar Springs6-17Coed1 week
YMCA Camp NissokoneOscoda5-18Coed1 week
YMCA Camp PendalouanMontague7-17Coed1 week

1. Skyline Camp & Retreat Center

Skyline Camp promises to return children to a tried-and-true summer camp style with a focus on giving campers the freedom to choose. Established in 1964 on 156 acres of woods, fields, and water in Lapeer County, Michigan, Skyline Camp provides a beautiful backdrop for children to experience the outdoors.

Sleepaway camps are available for children ages 7 to 15 between the third week of June and the fourth week of July. The camps last five days and nights, and mini-sessions for younger campers are offered as well. Parents can also sign up for a family camp that lasts two days and begins in late May. 

The focus at Skyline Camp is autonomy, resilience, and being a part of the supportive community of new friends. Every day features a mix of group activities in the mornings, followed by several hours of free choices in the afternoon.

This can involve campfires, horseback riding, swimming, sing-alongs, tree climbing, and canoeing. Children can choose their own adventure to enjoy their time at camp in a way that suits them best.

2. Cedar Lodge 

Cedar Lodge is a small, family-style co-ed camp encompassing 150 acres of recreational land in Lawrence, Michigan. Limited to sixty campers ages 7-16 per session, the small atmosphere personalizes your child’s camp experience.  

Available in week-long increments from late June through early August, parents can select the dates most convenient to them. Your child gets the full wilderness experience, as cabins are rustic without power or water. A breathtaking 12-acre lake on the horizon allows campers a full-fledged waterfront experience with various boating vessels, including a sailboat. 

Additionally, Cedar Lodge prides itself as one of the best horseback riding camps in the U.S. If you have a young horseback riding enthusiast in the fold, it’s a perfect opportunity. Other camp activities include archery, biking, fishing, theater, music, dance, gymnastics, and a variety of sports.

They also offer day camps and mini-me camps for younger campers. 

3. Camp Newaygo For Girls

Camp Newaygo has been operating since 1926 instilling the values of resilience, independence, and growth in its campers. It’s located within the Huron-Manistee National Forest and offers hundreds of acres of natural beauty for girls in Western Michigan. A chain of lakes, a private island, and two miles of accessible boardwalk are just a few highlights of the property.

Kids will love the action-packed activities list and can choose to do the things they enjoy. There are over 30 options to choose from, and there is truly something for every child. A few options include archery, volleyball, wilderness survival, yoga, swimming, backpacking, canoeing, horseback riding, and learning the ukulele. 

Their summer camps last one week and occur five times throughout the summer. There is a mini-camp for younger campers that last 4 days. They also offer a co-ed day camp, family camps, and even a Spanish immersion camp for those who want to learn a second language. 

4. Camp Roger

Camp Roger & Camp Scottie offer a shared vision of a Christian-based environment for children to experience worship, friendship, and natural beauty.  Both camps are located in west Michigan, just north of Grand Rapids, in the towns of Rockford and Howard City.

Four and six-night sessions are available between the first week of June and the third week of August. The four-night sessions are made for younger campers grades 1-5, while the longer options are for students all the way up to 9th grade.

The camps come with the classic camping experiences children love with a faith-based celebration of nature and friendship. Campers can look forward to swimming, boating, rope swings, meeting animal friends at the nature center, set up tents, and sitting around the campfire telling stories. Camp games like Capture The Flag and Penny Carnival are also part of the fun. 

Apart from these overnight camps, they also host day camps and wilderness trips for teens.

5. YMCA Camp Ohiyesa

Located in Holly, Michigan, on Fish Lake, Camp Ohiyesa is a YMCA-endorsed summer camp for kids. Camp Ohiyesa is situated in southeast Michigan, not far from the hustle and bustle of Detroit. It’s a classic experience for children to experience the natural world with activities like campfires, sports, archery, boating, arts and crafts, and more. There are over 300 acres of forest and lakes to enjoy.

What makes Camp Ohiyesa stand out is the clinic-based structure of activities. Every child can choose things to do based on their preferences, and the clinics allow a deep dive into their selected areas of interest. This provides a familiar classroom learning experience and a well-organized daily structure.

With programs in the summer months, Camp Ohiyesa features seven week-long summer sessions. Each session has a unique theme, with choices like Disney, Pokémon, and Jurassic Park. YMCA Camp Ohiyesa also offers specialty camps in horseback riding and leaders in training.

6. Camp Lookout

Camp Lookout is the perfect overnight camp for your children looking to get immersed in nature. Located in Frankfort, Michigan, its waterfront campus encompasses a beautiful lake and a number of facilities to accommodate its many programs. 

There is a vast selection of things to do, with choices like horseback riding, yoga, paddle boarding, sailing, sports, and much more. Creative campers can try candle making, rock painting, cake designing, drama, and sock puppets. Special camp events occur during the evening, with carnivals, puppet shows, skits, and talent shows taking place. 

If your child isn’t ready for sleepaway camp or wants to get a feel of what camp is like, you can enroll them in their one or two-day camps. From there, you can choose from three-day or one, two, and three-week camps. 

7. Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge Bible Camp is a Christian summer camp located on a 100-acre campus for kids to explore the outdoors. There’s something for everyone in grades 1st through 12th. There are even specialty summer camps for people with disabilities. The camp sessions are one week long through June and July.

Pine Ridge campers embrace the study of God’s word and how to apply it to their daily lives. Campers enjoy traditional Christian experiences and fellowship through Chapel, memory verses, and camp worship. Additionally, kids engage in typical camp games and activities like laser tag, hiking, boating, swimming, sports, wall climbing, and archery. There’s even a zip line for true adventurists. 

For additional fees, campers can indulge in horsemanship camp, which provides horseback riding and equine care. For middle school students, aviation camp, watersports, band, or an adventure trip can be included in your child’s camp package. There are also aviation and photography programs for high school students. 

If you have a special needs child, Freddy’s Friend Camp can give them the thrill of a traditional summer camp. Pine Ridge Bible Camp offers a fun and safe way for kids of all abilities to interact with others and experience the joy and camaraderie of camp. 

8. YMCA Camp Nissokone

Located in Oscoda, Michigan, Camp Nissokone fosters an environment focused on values like respect, caring, and honesty. Serving kids from grades 3 through 9, campers bunk in up-to-date cabins and follow daily schedules with their groups. 

Camp Nissokone features unique skill-building clinics that allow campers to try new things. Campers choose from swimming, archery, kayaking, canoeing, and a variety of sports and games. Furthermore, Camp Nissokone provides one-of-a-kind activities like yoga, outdoor cooking, waterslides, tent campouts, fencing, and wakeboarding. 

For an individualized experience, campers can tack on Ranch Camp, Wakeboarding, or Paintball as focuses. Students in grades 7 and up can choose to embark on a multi-day wilderness Immersion adventure.

It’s up there as one of the best summer camps in Michigan to experience hiking, backpacking, and true wilderness, as well as develop teamwork and leadership skills.  

9. YMCA Camp Pendalouan

YMCA Camp Pendalouan offers families in Montague, Michigan, overnight and day camp programs. Focused on character development and building leaders, Camp Pendalouan embraces the Christian teachings of serving others.  

Keeping group sizes small with a typical 1:3 staff-to-camper ratio, counselors emphasize teamwork and respect. Camp Pendalouan depicts the importance of building strong families and communities. Fun camp activities include horseback riding, hiking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, archery, and more. Your camper can also expect fun outdoor adventures with friends, including singing songs, exploring the nearby environment, and cooking over the fire. 

Horse lovers can sign up for Ropers & Wranglers, while those who want to try waterfront activities can opt in for the Aquatics Camp. Additionally, 15-17 year-olds can join Leaders In Training and build essential life skills. The residential camp last around a week, with multiple options and start dates available.

Read these other summer camp guides in the Midwest:

Best Sleepaway Summer Camps In Illinois

Best Sleepaway Summer Camps In Ohio

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