Grand Rapids, MI (August 12, 2016) – August 13 at 12:00pm, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids’ will host a groundbreaking ceremony at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin for the Willem’s Discovery Place and Trail. Willem’s Discovery Place will be a 1,500 sq. foot new nature center, with a trail that circles one of the wetlands on property. The nature center and trail will be an educational addition to YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to teaching kids about the great outdoors.

Willem’s Discovery Place is named after Willem Radosevich, an avid YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin camper, who passed away at age 10 from a rare autoimmune disorder. Like his great-grandfather, grandfather, and dad before him, Willem truly loved YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin. At only four years old he took his first bus ride ever to attend day camp and even after his diagnosis he still wanted to attend camp and made plans for a two week stay in August of 2011. Sadly, Willem didn’t make it to camp that year. On March 19, 2012, Willem lost his eight month courageous battle. So, in honor of his spirit and zest for life this nature center and trail is named after Willem.

Location: YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin – 1095 N. Briggs Rd. Middleville, MI 49333
Time: 12:00 – 12:20 pm, with an Alumni Picnic open to the community to follow

The nature center and trail will provide YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin campers and guests with an outdoor discovery center focused on the amazing outdoors and providing a platform for young people to investigate the wonder of nature while developing friendships that could last a lifetime. The camp’s outdoor education offerings reach more than 50 schools, on average, each year that utilize the camp’s many amenities.

“This is an exciting time for YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin,” said Bill Hinton, Executive Director of YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin. “Willem’s Discovery Place and Trail is possible because of the generosity of our donors, including the Baxter family, who helped to make this dream a reality. Willem’s love of nature and camp will live on as children enjoy the opportunity to experience the outdoors, through this new nature center and trail.”

About YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin
For over 100 years, the lives of thousands of children and teens have been impacted by their experience at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin on the beautiful shores of Barlow Lake in Middleville, Michigan. The Y’ commitment to providing a camp experience rich in tradition includes offerings like: summer overnight and day camps, equestrian programs, year-round camps and activities, retreats, and engaging environmental education. Generations of families have enjoyed the safe, positive environment where friendships grow and kids gain confidence and independence. YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin is accredited by the American Camping Association, Certified Horsemanship Association, and the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, Inc.