What We Do
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 a few pictures.
When we say the Arts & Crafts building vibrates with creativity, we mean it literally vibrates. Clay wheels spin, lapidary machines grind 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 metalwork pendants, glazed pots and tie-dye T’s, just to name a few…
Classes: Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Nature Art, Sculpture, Jewelry, and Weaving, Tie Dye and Batik, Lapidary, Model Making, Print Making and more…
Sports fans can find games to play, organized and spontaneous, all day at Walden. From Ultimate Frisbee to batting practice to competitive basketball, soccer and tennis leagues. Several times each summer, campers have the opportunity to compete against other camps and clubs, such as Camp Algonquin and the Belvedere Club. 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 special barn celebrations and a Pasture Party cookout.
Media covers a bunch of different activities, including radio, video, photography and newspaper (we even throw rocketry in this category). Within this one category you can: 1. Host a radio show on WLDN 90.9 FM 2. Make a documentary about The Bell 3. Shoot artsy black-and-white pictures of trees (and then develop them in our darkroom) and 4. Write an article about Birthday Bingo for the daily Walden Pond newspaper!
Do you enjoy walks in the woods? The smell of campfire on your clothes? Walden’s Outdoor Life program offers that and much more: Animal Care, Farm, Gardening, Wilderness Skills, etc. Our tripping program takes campers on one- or two-night overnights to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, Picture Rocks National Lakeshore, Taquamenon Falls and many other Northern Michigan sites.
Sing, dance, play an instrument or play a role–there’s no end to the opportunities to perform at camp. Our First Session campers produce a full-length musical, while Second Session dramatists perform during our all-camp talent show, Walden Under the Stars. Learn the guitar or ukelele–or join the camp band.
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. The H2O staff will get you up on a wakeboard, get you balancing on a paddle board, and teach you to sail a sunfish–there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy Long Lake. Other waterfront activities: canoeing, kayaking, fishing, waterskiing, and swim instruction.
In the evenings, cabin groups partake in programs that range from athletic to artsy. On any given night campers might be prepping for Insanity Night, a digital photo scavenger hunt, dodge ball, GaGaGa, “Brainstorm Bonanza,” cake decorating or team-building games. Tuesdays and Saturdays at camp are reserved for our biggest and most popular programs, like Color Clash, Capture the Camp, Soap Box Derby, 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!
A Typical Day at Camp Walden
8 AM WAKE-UP BELL
8:30 AM BREAKFAST
Come in your PJs if you want! Breakfast medications passed out in Mess Hall.
Back to the cabin! Counselors will assist and supervise the clean-up of your cabin and surrounding grounds. Dress for 1st and 2nd periods.
10 AM FIRST PERIOD
11:15 AM SECOND PERIOD
12:30 PM WASH-UP FOR LUNCH
12:45 PM LUNCH
1:30 to 2:30 PM REST PERIOD
One counselor per cabin accompanies campers back to the cabin area for quiet activities.
2:30 PM THIRD PERIOD
3:45 PM PUNCH AND COOKIES
Snack and Mail Call in the Meadow. You’ve still got time to go back to your cabin and change for 4th period, if you need to. Or stick around the meadow and join a spontaneous volleyball or Frisbee game.
4:15 PM FOURTH PERIOD
5:30 PM WASH-UP
6 PM DINNER
7 to 8 PM TWILIGHT
Campers may choose from a list of activities that are open: athletic fields, bikes, nature/farm, playground/game room, waterski/wakeboard/tube, swimming, arts & crafts, and more!
8:15 PM EVENING PROGRAM
With Unit Group, e.g. kickball, scavenger hunt, cake decorating, campfire, counselor quiz, and more!
9 to 9:30 PM EVENING SNACK
9:30 to 10:30 PM BEDTIME/LIGHTS-OUT
Determined by age group.