Parent Resources

FAQs

We want our campers and their parents to be aware and informed. The more you know, the better you can prepare. If you have a general question about camp, check out our FAQs to see if we have an answer for it. If you can’t find your question, one similar to it, or need a more in-depth answer, contact us and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

General Camp Questions

The best way to learn about camp is to come VISIT us!!! We offer three Family Fun days. (March 21st April 29th, May 20th ) 2pm-5pm. If these dates don’t work for you to collect information you can look at our Summer Camp Brochure OR you can call 888-909-2267 to schedule a tour.

We are available to give tours at any time! If the Family Fun Days do not fit your schedule, give us a call at 888.909.2267 to set up a tour and discuss summer camp options.

Overnight Camp is for campers that have completed grades 2nd-8th. We have leadership development overnight camp for campers in high school. Day Camp programs are available for campers ages 4-10.

Overnight campers are usually brought to camp by their parents/guardians on Sunday at 2:00 pm and picked up Saturday morning. Overnight Camp allows for more independence at camp. Campers will have the opportunity to be part of a cabin group and will build friendships throughout the week.

Our day camps run Monday through Friday. There is bus transportation, if needed. Day Camp is a great starter program for a new camper. They will get a chance to sample some of the camp activities

Yes, all of our programs are co-ed.

No, each week has a different theme to make it interesting for campers attending multiple weeks. There will be core activities repeated each week (Team Building, arts and crafts, building friendships, nature, rock climbing, learning our Core Values, etc.) but the theme will vary to reflect the week.

YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin offers multiple healthy, nutritious options which include a full salad bar at lunch and dinner, as well as a full cereal and cold breakfast bar in the morning. For campers with special diet concerns, every meal includes a vegetarian, and gluten free option. The food we serve is also nut-free. For more specific information, contact the Camp Kitchen at 269-205-9014 or email camp@www.grymca.org

We offer food that is kid friendly, such as chicken nuggets, pizza, burgers, etc. We will always have a salad bar with food options for campers. Vegetarian options are available upon request.

Please be sure to carefully communicate any food allergies that your camper may have at least 2 weeks in advance of his/or start date. All food allergies should be listed on the health form as well. Our Food Service Director will be able to go over the menu and possible adjustments for your child. We also offer a Gluten Free Camp in June that is able to accommodate other food allergies.

A nurse is in residence during all of our overnight camp sessions. He/she is responsible for administering any necessary medication or first aid. In case of an emergency, Pennock Hospital is only 12 minutes away and accepts our campers as patients. Should any serious accident or illness occur at camp, we will contact parents/guardians immediately.

In case of an emergency contact YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin at 269-795-9163 or 888-909-2267 during business hours. After hours, the emergency phone number is 616-551-6296.

Let us know!!! We will celebrate with the whole camp and sing Happy Birthday to your camper.

Part of the magic of camp is making 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 camp arrival or departure. We ask that there be no visits to campers during the session as it can be difficult on other campers.

Part of the magic is making great friend and memories while away at camp. We ask that campers do not bring cell phones to camp. In the case of a family issues/ emergency we would allow phone conversations.

Every year we hire excellent staff from all over the world. We work with a company that does face to face interviews and screening to ensure that we have great candidates. We have had staff in the past from the U.K, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Senegal, Czech Republic, South Africa, Columbia and others.

Campers have the opportunity to swim every day. Overnight campers will have a swim assessment on their first day of camp. Our Waterfront coordinator and trained lifeguards are on duty any time there are campers in the water. All boating activities require a life jacket. If a camper chooses not to swim during the scheduled swim time, there are supervised land activities available.

Yes, parents have the option to deposit money into an account for their campers to use at the camp store. Parents are encouraged to do this prior to the start of camp by using their Camp In Touch page. The store has souvenirs, t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale in addition to slushees, drinks and snacks. Many parents deposit between $25 and $40 for the session.

Camp is prepared to make sure kids have a great time, rain or shine. If it is just drizzling, we will continue with activities. If there is thunder or lightening in the area, everyone is inside. We have multiple indoor spaces where staff will lead campers in rainy day activities.

Yes- we offer Family Camps during Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day Weekend.

Our year-round programs and activities are designed for campers – kids, moms and dads – as the perfect getaway to focus on a particular skill, interest, or to try something new during a weekend or holiday.

Questions about Overnight Camp

YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin is proud to offer this free one-of-a-kind week of summer camp to qualifying children ages 8-15 in a military family. Click here for Camp Corral Frequently Asked Questions.

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. 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.

Camper Expectations
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 that it may not be fun every minute – there may be problems to solve, feelings to overcome, tables to set and new skills to develop. 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. 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.

Values Emphasis
The mission of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. 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.

Behavioral Expectations
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 disruptive or out of line with camp values. No refunds are given if a child leaves early because of homesickness or for disruptive behavior as determined by the Camp Director.

 

WE make every effort to place campers with requested cabin mates. We ask that cabin mate requests be the same age and registered for the same program. WE have learned from experience that placing 3 or more requested campers together tends to negatively impact cabin dynamics. Therefore campers can mutually request one person on the bunk requests form on the Camp In Touch page.

7:15am – Polar Bear Swim
7:45am – Flag Raising
8:00am – Breakfast
9:00am – Choice Time
10:00-12:00- Cabin activities
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 _ All Camp Evening Activity
9:00pm – Campfire
10:00pm – Lights Out

Camptivities are offered only to our overnight campers. It is a special two hour activity period that campers choose during the registration process based on their interest. Check out the Camp In Touch page to enter your campers preferences. You will be notified via email if a Camptivity is full.

Please make sure to check out the Parent Guide for Overnight Camp. This guide also contains great information on preparing your camper for a week away.

All Overnight Campers have the opportunity to ride horses during a cabin activity.

Yes! Camp will host two Hold-Over Weekends during the summer if your camper is staying for sessions 4&5 or 6&7. Weekend activities could include a trip to the beach, hiking, mountain biking, siesta, cooking over the fire and catching up on laundry.

Occasionally a camper becomes homesick. Our staff are prepared and trained to respond to homesickness. This can be overcome and will help the camper in developing independence and increased self-respect. Should it be in the best interest of the camper, the Camp Director will contact the parent/guardian. Please find more additional resources in our Overnight Camp Parent guide.

Yes- you can either send snail mail, packages or emails to your camper while they are at camp. To find out more details, check out the Overnight Camp Parent guide.

 

Address mail to your camper as follows:
Camper Name, session number, cabin name
YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin
1095 North Briggs Rd
Middleville, MI 49333
Fax: 269.795.1629; a fax cover sheet is available during check-in and on our website.

 

 

Questions About Candy Sale

Campers can choose to sell World’s Finest Chocolate bars. Camper Parents can purchase up to two boxes at a time to sell. All transactions are done with the YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin office.  Each box of candy costs $60 and contains 60 candy bars. Once a camper has opened a case, the case cannot be returned. For each box purchased, a $30 credit will be applied to the camper’s balance due.

Yes. We will refund the registration fee if enough candy is sold to pay for the entire camp.

You may still participate in the fundraising.

Early February and will run until late May.

All Camp balances are due May 27th. You will receive a camp confirmation that will indicate any balance due. You may send the balance to camp at any time.

Call Karin at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin for all the details- 269-205-9008.

All parent guides and camper forms are available on our website’s forms section. If you would prefer to have them mailed to you, please call the office to request them.

Questions about Day Camp

Day campers typically have a backpack with them for the day. It is important to send a waterbottle each day as camp staff will help to make sure they are staying hydrated. Also consider packing a swimsuit and towel. For more info- check out the Day Camp Parent Guide on the Parent Resources page.

We register campers for a week long session. Campers are placed in a trail group for the week with the same campers and counselor. During the week they will work to build friendships and trust. It is very hard for the group dynamics if campers are coming in and out each day

The pickup spots are listed in the summer camp brochure and are also found here.

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.

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. This before and after care is only available at YMCA Manitou-Lin.

Yes- day campers will gather for lunch each day and we ask parents to send a packed lunch. There will be cold water available during lunch and camp will provide an afternoon snack.

Day Campers ages 8 and older will have an opportunity to ride a horse.

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.

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 campout, 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.

Questions About Our Horse Program

Yes. Horse Overnight Campers will have the chance to show off their skills to the parents on Saturday morning. Check out the Overnight Parent Guide for more details.

Closed toed, solid soled shoes will be ok for riders. If they have boots and a helmet, they may bring them to camp, but it is not a necessity. Make sure that campers have enough long pairs of pants as they will need those to ride.

At Horse Camp the ratio of instructors to riders is 2 staff to 8 riders.

We will do a riding assessment with all of our horse overnight campers on the first night of camp. The campers will be placed in appropriate riding groups.

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.

Our traditional horse day and overnight camps are for ages 8-15.

Yes, Horse Campers do participate in one traditional camp activity per day (examples: archery, canoeing, climbing wall) and also swim daily, weather permitting.

Horse Campers ride primarily Western. The Equestrian program is very progressive providing different levels of challenge for each camper. If the campers wish to ride English, there are opportunities in our Advanced Horse Camp Programs.

Yes, campers are placed in riding groups based on experience to ensure that those with experience are still appropriately challenged and learning. The program is progressive in design so that each year, campers can challenge themselves to new riding levels. When appropriate, we also offer Advanced Horse Camp Programs.

SPIRIT Farms Riding Center offers the following:

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

Questions About Camp Registration

No. The child cannot be registered for a camp session until the deposit has been paid.

No. Please fill out one form for each child. This helps us to better track the registrations.

Yes, but please be sure to indicate specialty and/or bus choices clearly for each session.

No. The entire $75.00 deposit must be paid at the time of registration. Y member discounts will be subtracted from your final balance. If you are paying in full, the discounts can be subtracted from the total amount.

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.

Detailed information is available here . Financial Aid is based on a sliding scale of number of people in the household and annual income. Please send completed Financial Aid form directly to YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin. Please feel free to contact the Executive Director at Camp if your family needs more assistance. Our mission is to not turn campers away due to their inability to pay.

No. The $75.00 is a non-refundable deposit that will be subtracted from the total cost of the camp.

  • Please review our refund and cancelation policy on our website. If there is space, a session can be moved.

Yes. We will refund the registration fee if enough candy is sold to pay for the entire camp.

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.

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.

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.

No. The child cannot be registered for a camp session until the deposit has been paid.

Yes, but please be sure to indicate specialty and/or bus choices clearly for each session.

No. Please fill out one form for each child. This helps us to better track the registrations.

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.

No. The deposit is refundable only in the case of illness with a doctor’s note or a death in the family.

No. The $75.00 will be subtracted from the total cost of the camp.

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.

Detailed information is available here. See the financial aid FAQ for more information.

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.

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.

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.