Camper, Staff, and Volunteer Awards 2018

Every summer we honor selected outstanding campers and staff. These awards are voted on by the summer staff and celebrated in the Log Book. Featured below are the award recipients from Summer 2018:

Rookie of The Year – Ariel Charles
A first-year staff member

Appreciation – Scott Lakin
A staff member or volunteer

Dedication – Liza Kalinina
The highest honor given to a staff member or volunteer

Independence Day Grommets – Mikayla Matteson &
One outstanding Camper & Counselor given the grommets from our flag retirement ceremony
 

July Torches – Maisey Anderson & Ilana Epshetsky
Two campers (one from units & one from cabins) that light the final campfire of Session 4

August Lights – Emma Perez, Mary Clare Olive, Natalie Nagel
Three campers (one from cabins, one from young units, and one from older units) that light the wishing boats for the ceremony

Dedicator – Athena Parkin
A Last-Year-Camper (LYC) who writes the staff award pages in the log book. The highest award you can earn as a camper


Volunteer Awards

Program – Mary Wilner
A volunteer who assists with Camp programs. Mary volunteers regularly at almost every Overnight Camp check-in, and is a member of our Advisory Board

Admin- Nurse Sue
Sue Oleneack returned for her second full summer as our Camp Nurse. Nurse Sue dispenses meds, patches up scrapes and bumps, and is also a healing heart in our camp community. 

Community- John Oom
John is a year-round volunteer, helping with events like Daddy/Daughter Dance. This summer he was a volunteer driver for our wilderness tripping program, helping campers arrive at North Manitou Island.


Congratulations to these fantastic recipients for their achievement. The beautiful tradition of these awards is one of the pieces that makes Camp Newaygo such a special place.

New Team Member – Chef Whitney

Whitney Saylor is our newest team member at Camp Newaygo, starting the summer with a bang as our Executive Chef of Ridge Specialties.

Whitney has roots in West Michigan; she was born in Holland and has family in the Grand Rapids area.   As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Michigan, Whitney started her career with the Gilmore Collection working at The Bob.  She continued to develop her culinary skills at places like Soaring Eagle and Disney World.  She also has experience from the other side of the kitchen – working the “front of the house” throughout her career – which helped her learn the importance of the experience when it comes to dining.

Whitney comes to us from Lucy’s Cafe in Grand Rapids, where she had not one, but three titles: Executive Chef, General Manager, and Event Coordinator.

She is very excited to send her daughter Brooklyn to camp when she is older.  Brooklyn, 5, is starting school this year and is already making friends with the staff and the camp pets.  She is always asking to pet Captain, Jalisa’s Dalmatian, or the miniature horses, which got special nicknames for the summer (our favorite was “Speedy Steve”).

Whitney has had a packed summer learning the ins and outs of camp life, and will now concentrate on continuing to grow Ridge Specialties.

She specializes in baking, and her favorite dish to make is biscuits and gravy.

Her favorite part of camp so far is the relaxed atmosphere, and the sense of community.

We are excited to have Whitney on our team, and we can’t wait for you to join us for dinner!

Oz and Toad Designs – Alumni Give Back

We all have special places in our lives… Places that have shaped us, molded us, enhanced us. Camp Newaygo is my place. And giving back as a volunteer teacher is one of my loves.

Camp Newaygo is a Girl’s Overnight Camp sitting on 101 acres along Pickerel Lake, which is snuggled in the Manistee National Forest region, near the town of Newaygo, Michigan. For over 90 years, campers from around the country and throughout the world have enjoyed fun filled experiences here. As a child and young woman, I was one of those lucky campers who spent 10 summers at this magical place. I grew from an awkward, inexperienced young girl, into a confident, independent outdoor enthusiast. Living at camp allowed me to reflect, project and grow.

As an alumni, I return every summer to spend a week volunteer teaching jewelry and metals. Nothing gives me more joy than helping a camper try something new, improve an old skill or follow a passion. I like to encourage my students with positive optimism through the learning process so that she can see her full potential in a creative challenge.


Guest Blog From Jenny Burns Turner

Jenny was a Camp Newaygo camper, CIT, and counselor in the 1960’s-70’s. She was recognized as an August Light, and lovingly called “Buns” by her camp friends.

Jenny reconnected with Camp Newaygo in 2016 to volunteer as an alumni instructor during Overnight Camp. She has returned since then, teaching Fly Fishing at our Girlfriends Get-a-way and inspiring a new generation of artists with her amazing jewelry designs.

Besides being a full time residential Realtor, Jenny likes to play outside (rain or shine), sleep under the stars and work out. She loves to fly fish, and photograph graffiti. She loves art, family, friends and a good belly laugh!

See Jenny’s designs, including her Camp Newaygo collection, where a portion of the profits are donated to camp on the link below

Oz and Toad’s Camp Newaygo Collection

Enhancements Continue at Camp Newaygo

The further enhancement of the Camp Newaygo facility with our new Health and Leadership Lodge will be celebrated with a Grand Opening on August 23rd at 4pm, save the date and join us.

The new year-round building will include a nurses treatment room, 4 recovery rooms, 7 private sleeping rooms with bathrooms, a meeting room with views of the wetland, new laundry facilities, space for our wilderness tripping program, and more.

The building will be LEED certified, using geothermal heating and advanced environmentally friendly technology.

Camp Newaygo is committed to using local contractors for this project. Many of the same fantastic crew members who designed and renovated Lang Lodge are completing this project.

With any facility enhancement, you expect delays and challenges before completion. We had hoped for this building to be complete in time for the summer season 2018. However, even in perfect winter conditions 9 months is a very short time frame for building and with extreme cold this past winter the Grand Opening had to be delayed.

For Camp Newaygo Overnight Camp friends , that may leave you wondering what the plan is for a Health Center for summer 2018.

Camp Newaygo is incredibly fortunate to have beautiful facilities – including Lang Lodge. The lower level of the lodge includes our restrooms, classrooms, and year-round dormitories . This summer, a suite of two connected dormitories along with our Fireplace Conference Room will be reserved, to serve as the Health Center.


Our fantastic Camp Nurse – Sue, returning for her second summer, will have a private residence in one dormitory. This will connect to a second dormitory, which will serve as the camper recovery room.

Our Fireplace Conference Room, which includes a refrigerator, sink, and locked storage, will make a perfect temporary treatment center. With air-conditioning, comfortable beds, and great restrooms across the hall, this pod will be a perfect solution for this summer.

Camp Newaygo always keeps camper safety as the highest priority. We also understand that families choose our Overnight Camp program because of our commitment to an all girls’ community. By summer, the new building will have minimal exterior work so we don’t anticipate disruption to program. The crew finishing the building interior this summer have separate restrooms, and we will be sure they keep safety as their priority as well.

Some of our crew members are parents of Camp Newaygo campers – whose children attend our Day Camp Program. We are also proud to have female crew members – like Cora Crowley as one of our masonry crew.

We hope you are able to join us for the Grand Opening on August 23rd. We are thrilled to complete this final leg of our Capital Campaign.

Volunteers Honored at Community of Efforts

Last night at our Community of Efforts Celebration hosted by TrueNorth Community Services, we honored outstanding volunteers and donors.

In the lobby of TrueNorth, a quote from Margaret Mead reads: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

That rings true for each person who makes the outstanding work we do at Camp Newaygo possible.


Gene Cotton Award: Barb Veenstra

The Gene Cotton Award recognizes those who support program development and service delivery and who embrace actions that benefit our communities and those in need.  Barb Veenstra’s commitment to Camp Newaygo has truly impacted our future in very positive ways.

As a member of the Building a Brighter Future Capital Campaign Cabinet Barb was one of the first to sign on in support of the new Health and Leadership Lodge. This facility replaces the 1926 nurse’s station with a modern health center and community use facility. Barb has been keeping close tabs on the project with frequent drives from her home in Cedar Springs to check on the progress.

As a child, Barb’s parents, Kay and Don Veenstra, grew up during The Great Depression. However, they made sure that Barb had the opportunity to come to Camp Newaygo. One of her greatest loves was learning about anything in or on the water. As a tribute to honor the 20th anniversary of the passing of her mother, Barb wanted to do something special.  Camp Newaygo had just been presented with the challenge of preserving property around its primitive camping area. Barb stepped forward with a 15-year financial pledge to purchase the property and save a vital part of the Camp Newaygo experience for generations to come.

In honor of her parents and Barb’s English and Scotch heritage, the new property was dedicated as Veenstra Highlands.

Barb was honored for her vision and willingness to take action to ensure a brighter future. Her financial commitment will preserve this natural setting for generations of campers and community members to enjoy.


Camp Newaygo Program Award: Nancy Norden

Nancy became a volunteer as a Camp Newaygo Advisory Board member in 1995 when Camp Newaygo was acquired by TrueNorth. Over the past 23 years, Nancy has helped guide camp leadership through a period of growth working towards sustainability for generations to come.

As a retired special education teacher, Nancy has a real understanding of the need for a special place for children to learn and grow. Nancy is an alumnus of camp and works to ensure girls today have the same opportunity to learn, grow, and gain leaderships skills just as she did.

Nancy has been involved with raising funds for Camp operations and scholarships; she was a member of the Camp Newaygo Golf Classic Committee; and volunteers for The Enchanted Forest as well as being a overnight camp volunteer helping to greet parents on arrival day.

Nancy’s family has been attending Camp for three generations, with her grandchildren attending Mom and Me and family community events.

We are honored to have Nancy’s dedication to the mission of Camp Newaygo to provide programs and opportunities to children and families.


Community Partner Award: Brant Electric

The Community Partner Award is given to honor a business whom has undertaken a specific project to assist TrueNorth and it’s programs.

Brant Electric is a rather new company in Newaygo County. Owner Ryan Brant and his wife have shown from the beginning that improving the community they grew up in was a priority.  Whether it was coming out to do service on the weekend or meeting to plan a major project, Ryan is always there. Ryan has a creative problem-solving mind and doesn’t hesitate to do the work to lay a strong infrastructure foundation for Camp Newaygo’s future. He is always looking for cost savings and energy efficiencies, allowing camp to serve more children and families.

Ryan supports the work of TrueNorth by being a sponsor and engaging a team for TrueMentors’ Bowlapalooza 2018 event, as a sponsor for Camp Newaygo’s Golf Classic and is also a Leadership level donor to the Peggie Stone Center project.

We appreciate Brant Electric’s volunteerism and support of TrueNorth’s programs and facilities, and honor them as our Community Partner of the year.

New Friendships in Argentina

Walking around campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, my friends always say they know it is me across the Diag simply because they can spot my Kori-Approved-Orange backpack with all of the “brightly colored strings” attached.

Well, what people don’t always understand about those “strings” is that they are, in fact, retired friendship bracelets given to me throughout the past two summers at Camp Newaygo. What they don’t know is that I can tell you exactly which camper or counselor gave me each one. And what they can’t know is that with each bracelet comes a plethora of memories of smiles, songs, campfires, adventurous campouts, hugs, and colorful scarves.

Emma as a Camper at Camp Newaygo

I’ve been an avid fan of Camp Newaygo since the first day I stepped foot on the beach of Lake Pickerel with my Mom in 2005. I quickly turned into an annual camper for the next seven years, and after a short break, returned to Camp as a counselor for the summer of 2016. That’s a total of ten years of sunny days on the lake, shady walks through the woods, competitive games of Capture the Flag and Camper-Counselor Hunt, and exploring Northern Michigan through countless hiking and canoe trips. That’s ten years of making best friends/sisters during the summer and counting down the days until the next reunion.

But the thing about Camp is that I can’t always take those friendships back to Grand Rapids or Ann Arbor. Therefore, I’ve always treasured those brightly colored strings woven into (sometimes questionably executed) designs. Each friendship bracelet is unique to the person who gifts it – there’s always at least one mistake, a difference in pattern, or a deliberate color scheme that distinguishes it from the one it sits next to on my wrist.

Emma with Campers, Summer 2016

When I was a kid, I would keep the bracelets on my right wrist until they fell off. I would then pick them up and put them in a box in my room with the other retirees.

Since being in college, however, I’ve had to remove them as soon as school starts back up because of the dance team I compete for. But removing them just feels so… sacrilegious. So instead, I came up with the idea of carrying them with me in a different way – hence the collection on my backpack.

Emma on Pictured Rocks with 2017 LITS

Naturally, while packing for my semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina this winter, I decided to keep them attached so as to bring a piece of Home with me across the Equator. Since then, they’ve made the trek through 24 hours worth of flights, countless bus rides to La Universidad Católica de Buenos Aires, and of course on a couple of adventures to National Parks across the country.

Emma & Liza – Unit Directors 2017

The wanderlust Camp instilled in me as an eight year-old searching for Blueberry Hill has persisted as a key piece of my personality to this day and I’ve been lucky enough to find friends in Argentina who share my same desire to be surrounded by nature and to explore.

Here in Buenos Aires, we recently had a week long break from classes. After being in the city for two months now, my friends and I decided to travel to the North-West of the country and explore the Andes. One of the days, I was climbing some mountains outside of a little village called Purmamarca – HIGHLY recommend — and half way through the day took a break in a plaza to sit down. I had my backpack sitting on my lap and after a minute, a group of little girls (who quickly informed me that they were “this old” while holding up four fingers) came up and tapped me on the shoulder. They asked in their high pitched Spanish, “how much are you selling those for?” I looked at them, confused. Nothing had been lost in translation… but I was not selling anything. The leader of this small girl-group looked at me, repeated the question, and pointed at my backpack.

LYNSF – Love Your Newaygo Sister Forever

After a minute, I realized she was asking about my sacred friendship bracelets. 

I quickly told her I wasn’t selling them (obviously, they’re priceless!!!), but that I would let her look through them if she wanted. As she browsed, I told her and her friends that my very best friends made these for me and that each one had a very special place in my heart. She paused for a second and responded, “You have some pretty good friends. Mine don’t make me bracelets”, shooting her pack of followers a pointed glance. I thought, she’s not wrong – I do have some pretty high-quality friends around the world.

Pioneers performing at Skills n’ Thrills Summer 2017

Well, eventually, she found a pastel bracelet that a camper made for me this past summer and exclaimed “this one makes me really happy inside!” I smiled, internally acknowledging the fact that it made me happy inside too. But oddly enough, I found myself untying it and, using a friendship knot, retying it on her tiny wrist. Sure enough, when her friends saw her receive one, I ended up giving out a few more – smiling and remembering each camper or counselor as I untied them one by one. The girls admired their wrists, exchanged versions of “mine is better than yours!!”, then said thank you, gave me hugs, and ran to continue playing.

Emma, Lucy, & JuJu – Summer 2017

So, despite my collection of “brightly colored strings” shrinking ever so slightly, the glory in my heart has grown just that much more. Knowing that in some way, shape, or form the Newaygo Spirit made it all the way to the North of Argentina made me realize how lucky I was to have grown up with Newaygo only an hour North of me. It made me remember that the Newaygo Spirit and the love felt under those wide oak trees isn’t something that ends when you leave the bubble of Lake Pickerel. It becomes a defining part of you and manages to influence and radiate through every little thing you do — even after your time at Camp has come to a close.

-Guest blog written by Emma, long time camper and counselor.

Professional Development at Buckeye Leadership Workshop

Last week our staff returned from an annual professional development trip to Ohio. Every year, our year-round staff attends Buckeye Leadership Workshop, a 5 day conference for youth development.

This year, three of our leadership staff also attended (Bridget, Clara, & Kayla). The event is held at a summer camp in Ashley, Ohio. Participants sleep in communal dorms, and eat all meals in a dinning hall – just like camp!

At the workshop, our staff attend week-long sessions taught by industry leaders. This year’s session included: marketing, creating community, wildlife activities, and square dancing. This year, Kori, one of our program directors learned how to play the Ukulele!

During a session on ‘Mazing Camp Marketing, our staff talked about our WHY statement. Why we do what we do. Camp Newaygo’s why is: because every child should have a safe place to become their best self. As a staff we also talked about WHY couples should get married at Camp Newaygo. WHY businesses choose to to hold retreats at camp. And WHY volunteers give their time and talents to camp. Our values of women’s empowerment, nature exploration, and building resiliency was a theme across all areas.

Scott and Kori attended a session on Creating Difference Makers. They took personality tests and learned how to use their strengths to help create community in all our programs.

Jalisa led a session on Camp Counselor training. Jalisa’s session included resources for back=pocket games, behavior management, and tools for processing and reflection. Jalisa has presented trainings and workshop throughout the United States for camp professionals.

During this workshop, our staff also get to sample Evening Programs. This year’s schedule included a life-size logic puzzle, and a build-your-own catapult team event.

As camp professionals we often get asked the question: “what do you do the rest of the year?” Aside from our monthly community events, rentals, conferences, and camp recruitment, we spend a lot of that time on professional development.  We want to make camp an essential part of a child’s development. And it order to do so, we have to make sure our skills as a staff are expanding. You could even say that we hope to become our best selves at Camp Newaygo.

Warm Weather, Cold Feet

As camp approaches, it is normal for kids to feel anxious about the experience.

 

When registering, kids are excited about summer – but as weather starts to get warmer, the worries start.

Will I make friends? Will I miss my family? What if I forget something at home and everything about camp stinks?!?!?!

These fears and anxieties are perfectly normal. It’s our job as camp leaders to make your whole family feel at ease about the camp experience.

So, here are some actions you can take to help those feet stay toasty warm.

1. Come to the Camp Open House 
On April 22, 2018 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. You get to tour camp, meet counselors and staff, talk to the chef, see where you will be sleeping, and get a free song book. Best of all, tours are led by fellow campers in our Youth Advisory Council – so your camper can meet a new friend right away.

2. Watch this Pre-Camp Video, The Secret Ingredients of Summer Camp Success, How to have the most fun with the least Homesickness by Dr. Chris Thurber. Dr. Chris is a child phycologist, camp expert, and good friend of Camp Newaygo. This video has been able to reduce homesickness by 50% when families have used it prior to camp.

3. Email Us to set up a Camp Pen Pal before summer. We connect your camper with another camper who is going to be in the same bunk (or same Day Camp Session). The campers write emails, or snail mail, back and forth before camp – giving your child a ready-made friend prior to summer.

4. Read our blog Homesick and Happy which covers how we handle missing home at camp. We offer prevention strategies for your family, and explain what the process is if these feelings arise at camp.

5. Save the Date – Monday April 16th, 2018 for a facebook live with the Camp Newaygo Directors – Jalisa and Kori. Submit questions before, or during as we give tips and tricks for camp.

We are SO excited for summer. Please connect with us anytime with questions, concerns, or just to chat:
(231) 652-1184
Jalisa@campnewaygo.org

Day Camp Offers New Discount

REGISTER HERE

Camp Newaygo’s co-ed summer day camp runs June 18th – August 17th. For children entering 1st – 7th grade – that’s NINE WEEKS of summer adventure. Many families take advantage of this program as summer childcare.

In fact, our summer Day Camp can be a tax deduction with the the Child and Dependent Care Credit. As a licensed child care facility, you could qualify for you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses of $3,000 for one child or dependent, or up to $6,000 for two or more children or dependents.

Day camp runs from 7:45-5:15 Monday – Friday, offering families a full day of program. And this is not day care. It’s Day Camp. Each week is filled with swimming in the lake, fishing, ziplining, arts and crafts, archery, boating, and weekly themed fun.

We work to keep this high quality program affordable.
$175 per week for Newaygo County Residents
$195 per week for non-Newaygo County Residents
Through funds from the Fremont Area Community Foundation, the Gerber Foundation, and private donors, we offer scholarships to Day Camp.

APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP HERE

NEW DISCOUNT THIS YEAR: Come all nine weeks, and get the last week free!

What Parents are saying: “Brody comes the whole summer to day camp. I drop him off at 8am with his backpack and lunch and pick him up at 5pm with a smile on his face and stories to tell, and maybe a few bug bites. Some of my friends have commented about how expensive this must be, but honestly, it is the same cost as daycare in Newaygo County. Who wouldn’t pick camp over daycare?” – Shannon, Proud Day Camp Mom


WEEK 1: STEAM 1 JUNE 18TH-22ND
BOOM & ZOOM! Join us for a heart pounding week of awesome explosions, rockin’ rockets, and electrifying gizmos and gadgets! Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math are the ingredients for this thrilling week. Build your very own spaceship and catapult. Buckle up and get ready to blast off. A Special Stargazing party at the Wessling Observatory is included with the overnight on Thursday

WEEK 2: STEAM 2!, JUNE 25TH-29TH
Dream it, Build it, Crash it! Get ready for a sensational week of discovery and wacky adventure with everyone’s favorite scientist Dr. Bob! Make liquid nitrogen ice cream, build and battle robotic bugs, set sail in DIY cardboard boats, and launch shoebox airplanes. Let your inner inventor run wild during our second Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math week.

WEEK 3: STAR WARS!, JULY 2ND-JULY 6TH, NO PROGRAM JULY 4TH
The force is powerful in this week…Join us for an unforgettable galactic Star Wars adventure! Complete your Jedi Trials and learn to use the force on your way to becoming a Jedi Knight . Experience epic lightsaber duels, Death Star archery, marshmallow blaster battles, and awesome Jedi crafts. Exercise your powers during Jedi yoga. This is the Day Camp you are looking for…(No program July 4th)

WEEK 4: WILD ABOUT ANIMALS, JULY 9TH-JULY 13TH
Fly, hop, and swim your way into a Safari Adventure! Experience the best that the wacky, wonderful world of animals has to offer. Meet animals from the farm, lake, woods, and wild. All campers will get a day trip to John Ball Zoo, with an optional overnight, where the campers have to zoo all to themselves! (This week is an additional $12 for the zoo trip)

WEEK 5: I LOVE LEGO, JULY 16TH- JULY 20TH
Gear up for a week of exciting building challenges with everyone’s favorite colored bricks! Build and program your very own Lego robot, make the castle of your dreams, create an epic maze, and race awesome Lego dune buggies. Perfect your creative problem-solving skills while stretching your imagination to the limit!

WEEK 6: XTREME ADVENTURES 1 JULY 23RD- JULY 27TH
Are you ready for a heart pounding adrenaline filled week of Xtreme Adventure? Fly high with a free ride in a REAL airplane at the Fremont Airport! (Available for Ages 7+) Exclusive access to our zipline, rockwall and high ropes elements are included. (Zipline this week is free!). Master your aim on our awesome slingshot range. Enjoy capture the flag battles, wilderness hikes, and much more!

WEEK 7: SPLASH!, JULY 30TH- AUGUST 3RD
Beat the heat with a wild aquatic adventure on beautiful Pickerel Lake! Fly down our massive slip and slide, get your splash on during epic sponge wars, and zoom down our rip-roaring water slide. Other activities include water balloon mayhem, swimming lessons, canoeing, massive sand castles, and boat rides. Wetter is better!

WEEK 8: XTREME ADVENTURES 2, AUGUST 6TH – AUGUST 10TH
Your adventure starts here! Get your heart pumping on a wild river rafting trip. Dodge, climb, and crawl your way through our amazing 50 foot long floating obstacle course. Boost your aim with paintball archery, and paddle hard during our war canoes races. Exclusive access to our zipline, rockwall and high ropes elements are included. (Zipline this week is free!)

WEEK 9: CHILD VS. WILD, AUGUST 13TH- AUGUST 17TH
Can you hear it? The wild is calling! Channel your inner wilderness warrior and join us for a dose of exciting survivor adventures. Activities include tracking, outdoor cooking, fire safety, wilderness first aid, plant and animal identification, fishing, orienteering, and much more! Campers will develop confidence, resilience, and the skills to thrive in the great out of doors. A Ludington dune buggy trip is included this week!

 

Camp Newaygo Wins National Honor

We know that experiences at camp can lead to lifelong friendships and new skills. But we also believe that camp can impact 21st century skills, which youth struggle to build in this technology-heavy world.

That has led to a five-year research partnership involving the Newaygo camp, Assistant Director Jalisa Danhof and Anja Whittington, a Radford University recreation, parks and tourism professor. Their surveys show resiliency increases 40 percent after a week at camp, with other noticeable growth in independence, confidence, relationships, college readiness and life skills.

The research done involving Camp Newaygo is being honored with the American Camp Association’s Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Research Practice. The recognition gets  bestowed Feb. 21 at the ACA  National Conference, which is Feb. 20-23 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Eleanor P. Eells Awards for Excellence in Research in Practice are designed to honor camp programs that:

  1. Develop and implement or apply an exemplary research or evaluation project, and
  2. Use research or evaluation findings to improve program practice, and
  3. Develop model research or evaluation project that can be adapted or replicated, and
  4. Share research or evaluation findings with others.

Dr. Whittington has been working with Camp Newaygo since 2014, when we met through an ACA email list. Camp Newaygo and Dr. Whittington have partnered on three separate research projects. In 2014, Camp Newaygo was one of eight camps in the study: “Measuring Outcomes Of Girls’ Experiences At Camp”, which helped to develop the Adolescent Girls’ Resilience Scale. In 2016, we partnered again on “Developing College Readiness Skills At Camp”, a study that used a retrospective analysis approach with Camp Newaygo alumnae. We held a research symposium at Camp Newaygo in January of 2017 to provide results of these studies to donors, parents, and supporters. Our current research project began in summer 2016. We worked with Dr. Whittington to create a tailor – made project for Camp Newaygo: “Developing College Readiness Skills At Camp 2016-2018”.

“Developing College Readiness Skills At Camp 2016-2018” is an ongoing fully collaborative project designed by Dr. Whittington and Camp Newaygo. The purpose of this study is to examine if Camp Newaygo promotes college readiness skills in campers. Campers entering 11th grade were studied in 2016 and 2017, with a pre-and post test during their camp experience. A follow-up study will be completed when the girls are freshman in college, after their first semester. The Camp Newaygo girls will be studied against a group of freshman at Radford University, who did not attend camp. This will be a small sample size, of about 25 campers per year.

Our five-year research partnership has been an amazing journey, and we are honored to be recognized with this award.