SWIM LESSONS FINDER
Ok parents, it's time to answer a few quick questions and find the class that challenges your child and teaches them them to be safe in the water. Get started below.
Questions for Parents
- What should I send with my camper each day?
- How do I get information about camp programs?
- How old do my kids have to be to go to camp?
- Does Camp Manitou-Lin offer programs for families?
- Is there something my children can do at Camp Manitou-Lin during the year?
- Is financial aid available for summer camp?
- How much financial aid can I receive?
- If I had financial aid last year, do I need to reapply?
- Do I need to provide proof of income?
- What if I have not completed my taxes yet?
- Will my child be bored if I sign up for more than one week?
- My child is a picky eater –
- What if my child is homesick?
- What if my child is allergic to something?
- What if my child has a birthday while they are at camp?
- How do I contact camp if there is an emergency?
- Can I visit my camper?
- Can I talk to my camper on the phone?
- Is there a camp nurse / doctor?
- Will there be staff from other countries?
- Can my child attend for a partial week? (Mon, Wed, Fri.)?
- How do I know if my child is ready for overnight camp?
- How do I stay in touch with my camper?
- Can my camper bunk with a friend?
- Does my camper get to swim every day? / What if they are not a good swimmer?
Questions for Campers
- What’s the difference between overnight camp and day camp?
- Is there a camp store?
- What do campers do if it rains?
- Do I get to swim every day? / What if I’m not a good swimmer?
- Will day campers get to ride horses?
- What are "Camptivities"?
- Is camp open on the weekends?
- What does a typical day at overnight camp look like?
- What is the British Challenger Soccer Program?
Questions About Our Horse Program
- What horse related programming does SPIRIT Farms Riding Center offer?
- Where do I send questions about horse programs at SPIRIT Farms Riding Center?
- Are the programs co-ed?
- How old do you have to be to participate?
- Does my child have to know how to ride to come to horse camp?
- My child has a lot of experience with horses; is horse camp still appropriate?
- What is the ratio of staff to riders?
- How much time do the horse campers spend at the barn?
- Do the campers ride English or Western?
- Do horse campers participate in activities away from the barn?
Questions About Day Camp
- Where are the day camp bus locations?
- Can I drop my child off at camp?
- Do I have to pack a lunch?
- What do the kids do on the bus ride?
- What is the Family Night on Thursday?
- How will I know what my child is doing each day?
Questions About the Camp Candy Sale
- How does the candy sale work?
- What if I am not ready to register for camp?
- When does the candy sale start?
- Where can I get candy?
Questions About Camp Registration
- Do I need to send the full camp fee with my child’s registration?
- Is the $75.00 deposit in addition to the cost of the camp?
- If I sign up my child but decide not to send him/her, will I get my deposit back?
- Can I pay the entire cost of camp now?
- I am a Y member. Can I subtract that discount from the deposit?
- I would like to know more about financial aid.
- I am signing up my child for two sessions. Do I only pay one deposit?
- What if I need to change sessions or cancel a session?
- Will my child be with the person I have requested?
- Can I do one check for both registrations even if they are different camps?
- Can I put more than one child on a registration form?
- Can I register my child for the entire summer on one registration form?
- Can I pay half of the deposit now and half next week?
- My child's candy sales will cover the cost of camp. Do I have to pay the deposit?
- Will I receive any parent information in the mail?
- When is the balance of the camp fee due?
Answers for Parents
- Q: What should I send with my camper each day?
- A: Bathing suit, water bottle, sun screen, rain gear and a back pack to put everything in it. Label everything!
- Q: How do I get information about camp programs?
- A: The best way to learn more about camp is to come and visit us! We are available to give tours any time and we offer spring open houses each year. If you are not able to visit us in person, please feel free to give us a call or request a camp brochure. You can pick up a brochure at your Greater Grand Rapids YMCA branch, look on-line at http://www.grymca.org or ca,ll toll free to have a brochure sent to you - 888-909-2267.
- Q: How old do my kids have to be to go to camp?
- A: Overnight camp is for ages 7 to 16 and day camp is from ages 4 to 14. To participate in Horse Overnight or Horse Day Camp, campers must be 8 at the time of camp. Teen Programs include: Leaders in Training (15 yrs.), Counselors in Training (16 yrs.) + Junior Counselors (17 yrs.). For more information about those programs you can call the camp office 1-888-909-2267.
- Q: Does Camp Manitou-Lin offer programs for families?
- A: Yes. There are Family Camps on Memorial Day and 4th of July Weekends. Information about those programs are on our website http://www.grymca.org or you can call camp to be placed on the mailing list.
- Q: Is there something my children can do at Camp Manitou-Lin during the year?
- A: Yes, join us for Winter Reunion camp, New Years Eve Party, Sleep-over weekends and School Break camps at different times during the year. Information about all of our programs can be found on our website http://www.grymca.org or you can call the camp office and they will send information to you. The phone number is 888-909-2267.
- Q: Is financial aid available for summer camp?
- A: Yes
- Q: How much financial aid can I receive?
- A: Please give us a call as we can walk you through the financial aid process. You are also encouraged to have your child become involved in the candy sale to help pay for camp fees.
- Q: If I had financial aid last year, do I need to reapply?
- A: Yes, camp financial aid is valid through the calendar year.
- Q: Do I need to provide proof of income?
- A: Yes. You will need to provide some basic tax information and a copy of your most recent pay check.
- Q: What if I have not completed my taxes yet?
- A: You may turn in documentation as soon as you have completed your taxes. Please be sure to indicate your child’s name and the camp your child is registered for.
- Q: Will my child be bored if I sign up for more than one week?
- A: No, Each week has a different theme to make it interesting for campers attending multiple weeks. There will be core activities that will be repeated (i.e. arts and crafts, nature, rock climbing, etc.) but there will be different things to do at those activities that reflect the theme for the week. Your camper may also enjoy a specialty camp like Watersports, Golf, Soccer or our new Teen Trip.
- Q: My child is a picky eater –
- A: We offer food that is kid friendly, chicken nuggets, pizza, burgers, etc. We will always have a salad bar with food options for campers. Vegetarian options are available upon request.
- Q: What if my child is homesick?
- A: It is natural for campers to be homesick. Our staff is trained in thoughtful techniques to help these campers focus on the fun experiences and new friends in they will have at camp. Overcoming homesickness will help the camper in developing independence and increased self-respect. Packing with your camper and not for your camper is one way that you can help your child prepare for overnight camp. Also, if your camper has never slept away on their own at a friend’s or relative’s house, they can practice that skill before summer camp. Should it be in the best interest of the camper, the Camp Director will contact the parent/guardian.
- Q: What if my child is allergic to something?
- A: Please be sure to carefully communicate any food and other allergies that your camper may have. Our staff team is committed to providing the best possible experience for all who visit Manitou-Lin. We also host a Celiac camp in August.
- Q: What if my child has a birthday while they are at camp?
- A: We love to celebrate! Please let us know if your camper has a birthday while at camp and we will take a photograph of your camper being sung to in our ‘Birthday Chair’ so you can share in their special day.
- Q: How do I contact camp if there is an emergency?
- A: In case of medical or family emergency, contact YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin at 1-888-909-2267 or 1-269-795-9163. After office hours, our voice mail system will give you an emergency mailbox, cell phone or pager option. Please follow these instructions. In the event of an emergency, visits by a parent/guardian are allowed after contact with the Camp Director.
- Q: Can I visit my camper?
- A: Part of the magic of camp is making great friends while being away from home. Please take the opportunity to meet staff, tour camp and talk with the Camp Director at one of our Spring Open Houses, and during arrival or departure. We ask that there be no visits to campers during sessions as it can be very difficult on other campers.
- Q: Can I talk to my camper on the phone?
- A: Parents may contact the Camp Director at any time to discuss their child’s experience at 888-909-2267. Our experience is that telephone conversations with people from home tend to exacerbate homesickness. Therefore, campers do not have access to a telephone. In the event that a child requests to call home, permission to do so is granted by the Camp Director after staff make advance contact with the parent/guardian to discuss the situation.
- Q: Is there a camp nurse / doctor?
- A: Safety is something we take very seriously at Manitou-Lin. A Registered Nurse is in residence at our Infirmary, and our camp physician is on call 24 hours a day. In case of emergency, Pennock Hospital is only 12 minutes away and accepts our campers as patients. Emergency transportation is readily available. As indicated on the Summer Registration Form, the YMCA is authorized to secure emergency medical treatment. Should any serious accident or illness occur at camp, prudent attempts will be made to contact parents/guardians immediately. We reserve the right to send a child home if our Health Officer or physician so advises.
- Q: Will there be staff from other countries?
- A: Every year we hire excellent staff from around the globe and look forward to the unique talents and world perspective they share with our campers and staff.
- Q: Can my child attend for a partial week? (Mon, Wed, Fri.)?
- A: We register campers for a week at a time and encourage them to attend every day. Campers will be placed in trail groups for the week. The counselor will work with that group to develop friendships and trust throughout the week. It makes it harder on the group dynamics if campers are coming in and out throughout the week.
- Q: How do I know if my child is ready for overnight camp?
- A: There is no formula for when a child is ready for the Overnight Camp or Teen Overnight Camp experience, but the following can act as a guide to communicating with your child about different aspects of camp. However, the number one characteristic of a Happy Camper at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin is that the camper wants to be at camp.
Visit Camp Early
Many children fare better at camp if they are able to see where they plan to spend a week during their summer. Consider taking a trip to camp during one of our Spring Open Houses. Better yet, come to one of our Sleepover Weekends or Family Camps.
Developing realistic expectations about camp is very important. Parents/guardians can sometimes over-glamorize the camp experience. Obviously, going away to camp will be wholly worthwhile, but it is important to make sure your child understands it may not be fun every minute – there may be problems to solve, feelings to overcome, tables to set and new skills developed. This is all part of the camp experience – and those rainy days can be the most memorable of all.
Friends, Fun, Learning and Adventure
Sharing and group work are an integral part of the Overnight Camp and Teen Overnight Camp programs. For example, in the mornings during cabin activities, canoeing, and BIG games campers are given opportunities for leadership among their peers and for challenging themselves. Camp is physically active, with long days; participating fully is important and expected at camp.
The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapid’s mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Here at camp, daily chapel, thoughts for the day, graces, and nightly vespers emphasize Christian principles and practices through the YMCA core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Inclusion. Our entire camp family is expected to promote themselves in such a way as to role model these values. We welcome and celebrate all religious affiliations and denominations.
Campers are expected to behave in the safe, Caring, Honest, Respectful, and Responsible manner modeled by our staff. Parents will be contacted if camper behavior is No refunds are given if a child leaves early because of homesickness or for disruptive behavior as determined by the Camp Director.
- Q: How do I stay in touch with my camper?
- A: There are multiple ways that you can contact your camper while they are at Manitou-Lin. You can send mail by US Mail or drop off mail for the whole week on Check-In day. You can also send faxes to the office or e-mails through Bunk1.com. You can go online to the camp page and send your child a message online. Care packages are welcomed, but absolutely no food is allowed in them because it invites wildlife into your camper’s cabin. Care packages to share with the whole cabin, including theme-related decorations, glow sticks, books or games are a great way to create a memory for your camper. Your camper will not be able to call home but you may contact the Camp Director. We will handle emergency situations on a case by case basis. Cell phones are easily misplaced or damaged and should be left at home.
Please include camper’s name, session and cabin on all items sent to camp to ensure prompt delivery. All e-mail, faxes, and USPS mail must arrive at camp by 10:45am for delivery on that day.
Address mail to your camper as follows:
Camper Name, session number, cabin name
YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin
1095 North Briggs Rd
Middleville, MI 49333
1-269-795-1629; a fax cover sheet is available during check-in and on our website
We will be using Bunk1.com for our camper email this year. The service is free to parents and grandparents that want to send a text email to their camper. An instruction sheet will be handed out at check-in with instructions.
Parents will have the opportunity to view photos of their campers having a great time during the week. On Check-in day, parents will be given instructions and passwords to log on to Bunk1.com. On this site, parents can view photos for free and check out some of the great action happening at camp. Pictures will be uploaded daily but every camper may not be represented every day. Please be understanding.
- Q: Can my camper bunk with a friend?
- A: We make every effort to place campers with requested cabin-mates. We have learned from experience that placing three or more requested campers together tends to negatively impact cabin dynamics. Therefore, campers may mutually request one (1) person of the same age on their Summer Registration Form.
- Q: Does my camper get to swim every day? / What if they are not a good swimmer?
- A: Campers can swim everyday. On the first day of camp, all campers take a swim test that consists of swimming from one end of our swim area and back, which is about the width of the pool at the Y and treading water. Our Waterfront Director is highly qualified and certified lifeguards carefully watch campers that choose to swim. In addition to the lifeguards, camp staff who have taken a Basic Water Safety Class are in the swim area if any camper needs help. Campers are not allowed near the water without a lifeguard. Campers that choose NOT to swim can play games with the staff by the waterfront.
Answers for Campers
- Q: What’s the difference between overnight camp and day camp?
- A: Overnight campers are usually brought to camp on Sunday at 2pm and picked up by on Friday evening. Overnight Camp allows for a little more independence at camp. You will have the opportunity to be part of a cabin group and team and will make great friends! New this summer Overnight campers can ride the bus from DDH YMCA Weeks 3 & 9.The day camp runs from Monday through Friday. Day campers may take a bus to and from camp every day from various bus pick-up locations in and around Grand Rapids. Day Camp is a great starter program for a new camper. They will get a chance to sample many of the camp activities.
- Q: Is there a camp store?
- A: Parents have the option of depositing money into the Camp Store during check-in. Campers should not have any cash in their possession. Most parents deposit between $25 and $40, which can be used for Manitou-Lin T-shirts, shorts, hats, juice, snacks, and other items. Camp photos may also be ordered on the first day of camp and will be ready for pick-up on the last day of camp. New this year, 1 cabin photo for each camper is included in your camp fee
- Q: What do campers do if it rains?
- A: Camp is prepared to make sure that kids have a great time, rain or shine. If it is just drizzling, we will continue with activities. If it is thundering or lightening, everyone is inside. We have multiple indoor spaces where staff will lead campers in all camp activities.
- Q: Do I get to swim every day? / What if I’m not a good swimmer?
- A: Campers can swim every day. On the first day of camp, all campers take a swim test that consists of swimming from one end of our swim area and back, which is about the width of the pool at the Y and treading water. Our Waterfront Director is highly qualified and certified lifeguards carefully watch campers that choose to swim. In addition to the lifeguards, camp staff who have taken a Basic Water Safety Class are in the swim area if any camper needs help. Campers are not allowed near the water without a lifeguard. Campers that choose NOT to swim can play games with the staff by the waterfront.
- Q: Will day campers get to ride horses?
- A: Yes, they will get to have one horse experience during their week of day camp. Younger campers will get to try a corral ride and older campers will get to try a trail ride.
- Q: What are "Camptivities"?
- A: Camp is a great place to increase self-respect and make new friends. On Sunday after dinner the counselors will present their Camptivity commercial. You will get to choose your top 3 choices. Previous offerings: Archery, Newspaper, Adventure, Outdoor Living Skills, Drama, Sports, Swim Lessons, Sign Language, Arts & Crafts, etc. These Camptivities will meet for an extra three hours each week so you have time for instruction and to practice your new skills. Offerings will change week to week to reflect the theme and what you want to do. If you would like to participate in Horse Camptivity ($50) you must sign up when you register..
- Q: Is camp open on the weekends?
- A: Yes! Camp will host 3 Stay Over Weekends during the summer if your camper is staying for sessions 2 & 3, 4 & 5 or 5 & 6. Weekend activities could include a trip to the beach, hiking, mountain biking, siesta, cooking over the fire and catching up on laundry.
- Q: What does a typical day at overnight camp look like?
- A: 7:15am - Polar Bear Swim
7:45am - Flag Raising
8:00am - Breakfast
9:00am - Cabin Activities (archery, canoeing, crafts, nature…)
12:00pm - Lunch
1:00pm - Siesta
2:00pm - Swimming
3:15pm - Camptivities (Our 3 day progressive skill building classes)
5:45pm - Flag Lowering
6:00pm - Dinner
6:45pm - Camp Store and Open Areas
7:30pm - Back to cabins to change for the evening
8:15pm - Evening Activity
9:00pm - Campfire
10:00pm - Lights Out
- Q: What is the British Challenger Soccer Program?
- A: Camp Manitou-Lin has teamed up with the coaches from British Challenger Soccer to provide another summer camp option. Campers can sign up for either the Day camp program or the Overnight Camp Program and 3 hours each day will be spent with a professional coach from British Challenger Soccer. Campers will also get the opportunity to participate in traditional camp programs. This choice for Overnight Campers will replace their Camptivitiy Choice.
Answers About Our Horse Program
- Q: What horse related programming does SPIRIT Farms Riding Center offer?
- A: Summer Horse Day and Overnight Camps, Summer Horse Day Camp for Individuals with Special Needs, Western Riding Lessons, Group and Private English Riding Lessons, Private Therapeutic Riding Lessons, Group and Private Trail Rides, Girl Scout Merit Badge Programs, Horse Rider Badge and Horse Fan Badge, Birthday Parties
- Q: Where do I send questions about horse programs at SPIRIT Farms Riding Center?
- Q: Are the programs co-ed?
- A: Yes, most of our programs are co-ed. There are several weeks during the summer that are gender specific.
- Q: How old do you have to be to participate?
- A: Our traditional horse day and overnight camps are for ages 8-14. Due to insurance carrier requirements, we are unable to accommodate anyone under 8 years old.
- Q: Does my child have to know how to ride to come to horse camp?
- A: No, each camper is placed in a riding group based on their experience and taught appropriately.
- Q: My child has a lot of experience with horses; is horse camp still appropriate?
- A: Yes, campers are placed in riding groups based on experience to ensure that those with experience are still appropriately challenged and learning.
- Q: What is the ratio of staff to riders?
- A: At Horse Camp the ratio of instructors to riders is 2 staff to 7 riders.
- Q: How much time do the horse campers spend at the barn?
- A: Horse Campers spend 4 hours per day at the barn, 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Approximately one hour in the morning and afternoon is spent riding. Riding can be a formal riding lesson, trail ride, or games on horseback. The other hour in the morning is a "Barn Lesson" where they learn more about horses. These lessons vary based on experience from grooming and horse parts to diseases that affect horses and how each type of bit works. The second hour in the afternoon is our "Barn Responsibility" time. This is a time for campers to learn and understand that there is more to horses than just showing up and riding. Examples of things that may be covered during this time vary from how to bathe a horse and how to clean a saddle to cleaning a water trough.
- Q: Do the campers ride English or Western?
- A: Horse Campers ride primarily Western although there may be a couple opportunities throughout the week to ride English.
- Q: Do horse campers participate in activities away from the barn?
- A: Yes, Horse Campers do participate in one traditional camp activity per day (examples: archery, canoeing, climbing wall) and also swim daily, weather permitting.
Answers About Day Camp
- Q: Where are the day camp bus locations?
- A: The pickup spots are listed in the summer camp brochure and on the website.
- Q: Can I drop my child off at camp?
- A: Yes. The program day begins at 8:30am and ends at 4:30pm. We do offer before care starting at 7:00am and after care until 6:00pm.
- Q: Do I have to pack a lunch?
- A: No. Camp provides a hot lunch every day. Day Camp eats lunch at 11:00am. You can pack a snack if you think your child will get hungry, especially if they are riding the bus.
- Q: What do the kids do on the bus ride?
- A: There is always a bus counselor on the bus in addition to the driver. They will make sure that children are having a good time by playing games and singing songs. They will also help everyone get to know one another on the first day.
- Q: What is the Family Night on Thursday?
- A: Families are invited to come out and see what camp is all about. This is an opportunity to meet your child’s counselor and group mates. There will be a cookout dinner and family activities to enjoy. Campers ages 6 and older will have the opportunity to spend the night on Thursday night. Camp busses do not run on Thursday afternoon but will resume as normal on Friday morning.
- Q: How will I know what my child is doing each day?
- A: On Monday, there will be a Parent Flyer sent home with your camper. This will have important reminder information on our Thursday Family Night and optional overnight, photo order, penny wars, and more. It will also have a schedule for the week so you can discuss with your camper their daily activities.
Answers About the Camp Candy Sale
- Q: How does the candy sale work?
- A: After the camper is registered for camp with a $75 deposit, he/she can take out two cases of candy (up to four cases per family). When those cases are sold, two more may be taken out and so on. There are 50 candy bars of various flavors in each case. The camper will earn $25.00 for each case he/she sells. You will be asked to leave a $25 deposit per case or credit card information. Your card will not be charged unless you fail to pay your candy balance in full. You may also purchase cases upfront by paying the full $50 per case. Once a camper has opened a case, the case cannot be returned. Records of cases taken out and money returned will be kept at the branches.
- Q: What if I am not ready to register for camp?
- A: You may still sell candy.
- Q: When does the candy sale start?
- A: It begins mid January and runs through mid April.
- Q: Where can I get candy?
- A: Candy is available at the Hunting, Wolverine, Southeast, Visser YMCA branches, as well as at camp. You should call your branch to verify availability. The money must be returned to the branch from which the candy was taken.
Answers About Camp Registration
- Q: Do I need to send the full camp fee with my child’s registration?
- A: Two weeks prior to June 10, you may send in the registration with a $75.00 deposit. If registering after June 10, you will need to send the full camp fee with the registration.
- Q: Is the $75.00 deposit in addition to the cost of the camp?
- A: No. The $75.00 will be subtracted from the total cost of the camp.
- Q: If I sign up my child but decide not to send him/her, will I get my deposit back?
- A: No. The deposit is refundable only in the case of illness with a doctor’s note or a death in the family.
- Q: Can I pay the entire cost of camp now?
- A: Yes.
- Q: I am a Y member. Can I subtract that discount from the deposit?
- A: No. The entire $75.00 deposit must be paid at the time of registration. Discounts will be subtracted from your final balance. If you are paying in full, the discounts can be subtracted from the total amount.
- Q: I would like to know more about financial aid.
- A: Detailed information is available here. See the financial aid FAQ for more information.
- Q: I am signing up my child for two sessions. Do I only pay one deposit?
- A: The $75.00 deposit is for one session. If a child is being signed up for more than one session, then a $75.00 deposit is paid for each session.
- Q: What if I need to change sessions or cancel a session?
- A: The $75 deposit per child per session is not refundable. If space is available, you may change your camp session without penalty. Camp fees are not refundable without a doctor’s authorized medical reason. Campers are expected to behave in a safe, caring, honest, respectful, and responsible manner at all times. Failure to abide by Camp Manitou-Lin’s rules and guidelines can result in dismissal from camp. No refunds are given if a child leaves early because of homesickness or for disruptive behavior as determined by the Camp Director.
- Q: Will my child be with the person I have requested?
- A: We make every effort to place campers with the people they request, but do not guarantee placements. Campers must request buddies who are a similar age and in the same program. Campers are asked to mutually request one (1) person of the same age on their Summer Registration Form.
- Q: Can I do one check for both registrations even if they are different camps?
- A: Yes.
- Q: Can I put more than one child on a registration form?
- A: No. Please fill out one form for each child. This helps us to better track the registrations.
- Q: Can I register my child for the entire summer on one registration form?
- A: Yes, but please be sure to indicate specialty and/or bus choices clearly for each session.
- Q: Can I pay half of the deposit now and half next week?
- A: No. The child cannot be registered for a camp session until the deposit has been paid.
- Q: My child's candy sales will cover the cost of camp. Do I have to pay the deposit?
- A: Yes. We will refund the registration fee if enough candy is sold to pay for the entire camp.
- Q: Will I receive any parent information in the mail?
- A: All parent guides and camper forms are available on the our website's forms section. If you would prefer to have them mailed to you, please call the office to request them.
- Q: When is the balance of the camp fee due?
- A: The balance is due two weeks prior to you camper’s attendance at camp. You will receive a camp confirmation that will indicate any balance due. Of course, you may send the balance to camp at any time. Just be sure to put your child’s name on the check. All "balance" payments and parent forms need to be mailed directly to the Camp Office. You may also pay balances through the on-line system.