At Walden, you choose how to fill your days. With so many activities to pick from, you’re bound to find things you love to do as well as things you’ve never tried--or even heard of! There’s also plenty of opportunity to participate in other activities during daily camp “optionals.” Click on an area to read a short description and view few pictures.
When we say the Arts & Crafts building vibrates with creativity, we mean it terally vibrates. Claywheels spin (right), lapidary machines grind (below) and jewelry hammers clank. We LOVE art! And it shows, especially on Gallery Night at the end of First and Second Sessions, when campers display their metawork pendants, glazed pots and tie-dye T’s, just to name a few… Classes: Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Nature Art, Sculpture, Jewlery, Knitting and Weaving, Tie Dye and Batik, Lapidary, Model Making, Print Making and more…
Sports-oriented campers can find games to play, organized and spontaneous, all day at Walden. From Ultimate Frisbee on the B-field, to batting practice off of our baseball pitching machine to competitive leagues: WBA (Walden Basketball Association); WSL (Walden Soccer League), Walden Wimbeldon, and fencing finals. Several times each summer, campers have the opportunity to compete against other camps and clubs, such as Camp Algonquin and the Belvedere Club in Charlevoix. Activities include Archery, Soccer, Basketball, Fencing, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Baseball, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Running, Fit Walk, Yoga and Bikes (a Twilight favorite!).
Sign up for riding and you’ll become part of a special family-within-a-family at Walden. No, not the “Smelly Shoes Family”! Though some people might call it that… Karen and her riding staff cater to beginning and intermediate riders, teaching English-saddle riding, leading trail rides and offering an Adopt-a-Horse program, where riders learn what it takes to care for a horse. (Let’s just say there’s a lot of shoveling involved.) Each session ends with a Derby Day competition and Pasture Party cookout.
Media covers a bunch of different activities, including radio, video, photography and newspaper. (We even throw rocketry in this category, since there’s really nowhere else to put it!) Within this one category you can: 1. Host a radio show on WLDN 90.9 FM (“The Voice of Long Lake”) 2. Make a documentary about Walden's famous cinnamon toast 3. Shoot artsy black and white pictures of trees, and4. Write an article about Birthday Bingo for the daily Walden Pond newspaper. And that’s all before lunch!
Do you enjoy walks in the woods? The smell of campfire on your clothes? The intestinal challenge of rolling down very large sand dunes? Walden’s Outdoor Life program offers that and SO MUCH MORE! Outdoor Life includes ANIMAL CARE, GARDENING, OUTDOOR COOKING (mmm, homemade raspberry cobbler, below) and the HIKES and TRIPS class that takes half-day trips to farms, fisheries and state parks (like Mill Creek, far right). Our OVERNIGHT TRIPPING program whisks you to campgrounds around Northern Michigan and the Upper Penninsula. Among the places you might go for one, two or more nights: Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, Picture Rocks National Lakeshore, Taquamenon and Ocqueoc falls and the Jordan River Valley.
How many times have you heard your parents say, “Don’t make a production out of it!” On the contrary, at Walden, we make productions out of lots of things: musical theater, skits, music and dance classes, even mealtime. The centerpiece of the drama program is the First Session camp musical (“Aladdin Jr.,” left, in 2015). Everyone gets his or her shot at local stardom in Walden Under the Stars, the camp talent show. And we channel our inner Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber for the highly anticipated “lip sync” competition, Walden Idol. Our talented staff also teaches guitar, ukelele and dance.
Jack Sparrow has the Caribbean. Sponge Bob has Bikini Bottom. Walden has… Long Lake. Our own watery paradise is where you’ll find loads of campers anticipating the thrill of a tube ride or the relaxation of a canoe class. The lake is at the center of so many things we do—from water carnivals to the Mackinac Swim challenge. Boz and her staff will get you up on a wakeboard, take you to the next level in the advanced ski class, and teach you to sail a sunfish or on our new Precision 185 sailboat--there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy beautiful, spring-fed Long Lake. Other waterfront activities: kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, swim instruction, paddle boating.
In the evenings, cabin groups partake in programs that range from athletic to arty. On any given night campers might be prepping for Insanity Night, a digital photo Scavenger Hunt, Dodge ball, GaGaGa, Brainstorm Bonanza, cake decorating and team-building games. Tuesdays and Saturdays at camp are reserved for our biggest and most popular programs, like color competitions, Capture the Camp, Soap Box Derby, Lip Sync competition, the trip to Mackinac Island… and more. Special Days often bring the entire camp together for relays, carnivals, games and campfires. We also sleep in one half hour. Yea!