About Us

Few environments are as special as camp! Whether you attend our summer camp, outdoor education, seasonal camps and activities, or corporate and group retreats, there are plenty of fun and exciting opportunities for all at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin.

YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin has over 100 years of camping experience and is located on beautiful Barlow Lake in Middleville, Michigan. Our beautiful, natural setting provides an excellent opportunity for all who visit.  We are committed to providing a camp experience rich in tradition centered on our core values, with a Christian emphasis, and allowing all who participate to gain 21st century skills, independence and life long memories.

YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin History

From the humble beginnings of YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin’s 40 acres donated by then YMCA Board President Mr. Herman Liesveld in 1913, to today’s 160 acres, Camp truly reflects its Ojibwa Indian moniker “where the Great Spirit lives.” YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin was founded after a 16 year YMCA camping program for Grand Rapids boys was first held at Green Lake in 1897. From then until 1912, camp was held in temporary locations from Green Lake, Whitefish Lake, to Spring Lake, and on the Muskegon River near Croton.

Late 1800s
The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids first began Camp Manitou-Lin programs through temporary locations on Green Lake.
CML is established on Lake Barlow, with its name meaning “where the Great Spirit lives” in Ojibway. The first camping season commences.
The original eight cabins are built, allowing CML to provide amenities to youth for overnight camp.
Camp welcomes their first international staff from South America through the International Camp Counselor Program. It is the start of bringing staff from all over the world to CML. During this decade, family camp began at CML as a time for families to enjoy a weekend of making memories.
The first winterized building is built allowing Camp to provide enrichment year-round. Outdoor education program for school groups is pioneered at CML. The commitment to growing future leaders began at this time as teen leadership programming is launched.
The 120-acre Misak Farm is purchased, allowing for Camp to expand programming to include horseback riding programs as well as a future day camp pavilion and learning garden.
Corporate retreats began. The day camp pavilion is complete, with summer day camp programming launching on-site. CML brings new offerings to the camp experience including high and low ropes courses, climbing wall, zipline, tubing and water skiing.
The Gates Chapel is dedicated so that camp may have a dedicated space for prayer, thought and/or reflection that is personal to all. Therapeutic riding began during this era.
CML helps youth reconnect to play, outdoor adventures, and hands-on learning environments. Camp staff and alumni work closely together to continue the legacy of CML for generations ahead. Board members, camp alumni, and staffers work closely to engage supporters while implementing concepts that will serve us in decades ahead.

YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin Staff

Larissa Piggot 2023 WEB

Larissa Piggott

Assistant Program Director

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Steven Sallese 2023 WEB

Steve Sallese

Food Service Director

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Lisa VanPutten 2023 WEB

Lisa VanPutten

Assistant Food Service Manager

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Josh Wilson 2023 WEB

Josh Wilson

Program Director

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Camp Board of Directors

Mary Kerkorian 2023 WEB

Mary Kerkorian, Chair

Attorney, Cosmich Simmons & Brown PLLC

  • Syd Baxter
    • Retired
  • Kathy Benoit
    • Applications Designer, Self-Employed
  • Paul Hacker
    • Technician, Weed & Feed Lawn Care
  • Jason Jakubowski
    • Criminal Justice Teacher, Montcalm Area ISD
  • Roland Johnson
  • Corinne Keuning
    • Public School Support, Forrest Hills Public Schools
  • Dave McWatters
  • George Przygodski
    • Executive Director, Michigan Education Association
  • Marjorie Schuchardt
  • Ariel Simaz
  • Ross Smelker
    • Executive VP/COO, Viastore Systems Inc.
  • Curt Weaver
    • Physician, Grand River Gastroenterology