4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp – registration now open!

Event Date: 8/5/2018
End Date: 8/11/2018


4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp will be held Sunday, August 5 through Sunday, August 11, 2018, at Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle.

This camp is for teens aged 13-15, or going into 8th-10th grades in the fall. The cost is $375.00 for 4-H member and $395.00 for non-4-H members.

Please visit the below link for the online application process. If you have youth that will try to find funding from 4-H Council, please have the family pay in full, and the 4-H Council reimburse the family. This will keep payment processing with Events Management efficient.

The deadline for application is May 1.


If you have a youth that is interested in applying to become a counselor, please visit the same link and they will find the link for counselor applications. Youth must be at least 16 years of age, and have some experience in camp counseling.

We look forward to another great year at 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources camp!

See: Brochure (PDF)


Laura Potter-Niesen  |  Educational Program Events Coordinator
Michigan State University Extension  |  Children & Youth Institute
Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture
446 W. Circle Drive, Room 160
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517-432-2963 
Fax: 517-353-4846
Email: potterla@msu.edu

Great Lakes 4-H Camp

Event Date: 7/31/2016
End Date: 8/6/2016

The 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resource camp offers great outdoor hands-on learning experiences for students 13-15 years old. The annual camp runs for one week, held in late July or early August on the northern shores of Lake Huron in Presque Isle, Michigan.

Have Fun Outdoors

Campers can do things like explore dunes, hike through the forests, and wade through wetlands, or fish, snorkel and sail on Lake Huron — all while learning about their surroundings from natural resource professionals, teachers and science researchers.

About Camp

Camp Chickagami, is located between Alpena and Rogers City. Camp Chickagami has dormitory-style housing, small cabins, a dining hall, toilet and shower facilities. Meals will be prepared and served in the dining hall by a qualified cook. See sample Camp Schedule below.

The camp is leased for this program by Michigan 4-H Youth Development from the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan. It is operated as a camp licensed by the State of Michigan and directed by Michigan 4-H Youth Development. You do not need to be a 4-H member to attend.


Camp fees include meals, lodging, program and activity costs. Note that nearly half of the expenses of the program are covered by sponsors. Some scholarships are available. For up to date information, see camp costs.


  • 2008 National 4-H Program of Distinction
  • 2009 National 4-H and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Natural Resources Conservation Education Award (camp is a MSU Pre-College Program)


Exploring place-based education from the student perspective

15-206 Place Based Education Report-1Michigan Sea Grant and NE MI GLSI share a new report that explores place-based education from the perspective of the students involved.

In addition, the case studies exhibit place-based education across a range of learning landscapes, from in-school elementary, middle, and high school examples to a summer natural resources science camp. Important in reviewing these case studies is the attention paid to place-based education as a learning process from the students’ perspective, as well as the experiences and values of the educators and youth engaged in this learning process.

The NE MI GLSI strives to promote principles and applied place-based education practices among a network of schools and community partners invested in positive youth development across the region. Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension provide leadership for this initiative in northeast Michigan. In the context of a broader statewide Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative network, this work is accomplished through three strategic pillars of focus – fostering school-community partnerships, supporting schools and educators, and engaging youth in hands-on, place-focused learning.

This report serves as both an evaluation of NE MI GLSI place-based programs in Alpena, illustrated by Great Lakes-focused “Our Rivers, Our Future” projects, and as a guide for teachers, administrators, parents, and community partners interested in learning more about the opportunities that place-based education presents. Because the report focuses on students’ opinions and perceptions of PBE, it complements existing research, which often ignores the student perspective. The report’s ultimate goal is to highlight the validity of students’ opinions and analyses in evaluating all types of in-school programs, particularly place-based education. When teachers listen to students’ voices and use this information to inform their lesson plans, students will be more engaged and will feel like valued partners in their own educational journeys.

Reflected in case studies presented here are the efforts of students monitoring water quality, adopting public Lake Huron beaches, promoting Great Lakes fisheries, and interviewing local fisherman to help promote coastal tourism and interpret an historic Great Lakes commercial fishing boat. These students are promoting biodiversity conservation, monitoring aquatic invasive species, and removing invasive buckthorn plants as part of a habitat restoration effort in their schoolyard nature area. A goal of place-based education is to enhance the student learning experience, and there is little argument that these students provide important environmental stewardship and community development services as they learn and engage in PBE.

From a student perspective, this evaluation identifies four consistent principles that youth value as part of a place-based education experience. Place-based learning should be fun and engaging, applicable and relevant (hands-on, real-world), and rich with opportunities to contribute to the community and explore future career possibilities. Place-based education provides a framework and strategy by which these ideas can be meaningfully considered and incorporated as part of the learning experience. Students recognize that these principles give the most value, purpose, and meaning to their learning experiences.

The promise of place-based education efforts in northeast Michigan has been engaging youth in Great Lakes and natural resource stewardship opportunities to enhance learning and make a difference in their communities. To that end, the focus of this evaluation was asking students about what they value in their respective place-based education experiences.

Read full report online (PDF)

Take a Great Lakes Class at the U-M Biological Station

Event Date: 8/20/2014
End Date: 8/24/2014

The University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) offers adults the chance to be students again! Participants may sign up for one of three mini-courses: Art in Nature, Fungi or Great Lakes Oceanography. Each class runs from Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 20-24.

  • Great Lakes Oceanography is a rare opportunity to learn about water quality, invasive species and Great Lakes ecology from three entertaining and enthusiastic experts. Gary Fahnenstiel, Tom Nalepa and Dave Schwab will teach the class on board NOAA Research Vessel Laurentian. All three men are Scientists Emeriti from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who are currently staff at the University of Michigan Water Center. Their respective areas of study are aquatic biology, invasive species, and hydrodynamics. Class participants will visit several locations in Lake Huron and the Mackinaw Straits. Along the way, they will use equipment and presentations from Fahnenstiel, Nalepa and Schwab to study the health of our region’s most vital natural resource.
  • Art in Nature is for visual artists at any skill level. Instructor Ann Singsaas will provide demonstrations and inspiration in plein-air sketching, simple watercolor painting techniques, and the elements of design. Students will learn to keep a field sketchbook, take visual notes and capture both the detail and the broader essence of the natural world on paper. Working on location and in the studio, students will learn to sketch or paint with minimal equipment, providing a new way to document travels. Singsaas has degrees in both biology and art and advanced study in painting. She shows her artwork in the Midwest is represented by several galleries in Wisconsin.
  • Fungi provides an in-depth look at nature’s recyclers. Local teacher and guide Marilynn Smith will use lectures and field trips to teach the structure, reproduction and ecology of fungi. Participants will also learn about the many uses humans have for fungi, beyond food. Smith has used her graduate training in mycology in the education and medical fields.

Course participants may commute or live at the Station, located on Douglas Lake, and eat in the  dining hall.

“Our mini-courses provide people from across age groups wonderful opportunities to experience ‘North Woods’ environments and biota from new and interesting perspectives,” says UMBS Director Knute Nadelhoffer.

More details and registration available on the UMBS website.

Trout Camp for Youths

Event Date: 7/6/2014
End Date: 7/10/2014

The Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited will host the Michigan Youth Trout Camp July 6-July 10, 2014 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center on Higgins Lake, in the heart of Northern Michigan trout country.

The four-day camp is designed to educate 12-16 year old boys and girls, who will become the next generation of conservation leaders, about the importance of protecting coldwater resources. Campers will learn that how we choose to use our land can affect the health of our streams, our trout and ourselves.

Deadline to register is May 31. For more details, see: Trout Unlimited Youth Camp

Questions? Contact: Greg Potter at (269) 963-0709 or email gregapotter@att.net