Camp Roger has entered the second round of voting in Erhardt Construction’s Building our Community Contest, coming one step closer to achieving a rope swing and fishing dock. The voting opened July 23 and will end August 19. Camp Roger is among the top five from the 60 organizations who entered the contest. The rope swing will be a unique and exciting addition to the waterfront after the retirement of Camp’s current attraction, “The Blob,” which campers have worn out. With a fishing dock, campers will fish further into the lake, closer to the fish and away from swimmers and snorkelers. The contest promises to build a construction project worth $45,000 for the winning nonprofit organization. Any Michigan resident over 18 may vote once during the voting period, contrary to the first round of voting which allowed a vote per day. Camp Roger would love to have some local support from its Rockford neighbors and friends. You can vote online at www.erhardtcc.com/community. Camp Roger, located on Belding Road in Rockford, is an independent Christian camp. Since 1941, Camp Roger has offered summer camp experiences for young people, and today its Discovery Nature Center and Adventure Course provoke year-round growth adventures for West Michigan school groups and church youth groups. Each year, Camp Roger serves over 12,000 people through its summer and year-round programs. Camp Roger’s summer camp has been popular since 1941 because of its efforts to recruit exceptional staff members and its emphasis on simple fun in the outdoors. This summer’s campers can look forward to swimming, fishing, climbing the rock wall, playing Capture the Flag, archery, drama, and many other adventures in the 400 acres surrounding Camp Roger’s own Little Bostwick Lake. Recently completed cabins house campers comfortably by age group, along with their counselors. For more information about Camp Roger, visit www.camproger.org.
Since the beginning of Camp Roger’s outdoor education program in 2000, the number of school groups and students attending has progressively increased. This October, the camp reached its 2,000th event and had the 75,000th student come through the discovery nature center. So far this school year, 88 events have been held at Camp Roger’s Rockford facility. There have been over 3,800 school-age students coming to the discovery nature center to learn about animals, earth-keeping, survival and wetlands. Many of those events were also part of the adventure course on camp’s property. Groups can choose from a zip-line, high ropes course, and a climbing wall. Camp Roger is most commonly known as a summer residential camp in June, July and August. However, on average, 10,000 children attend the camp the other nine months of the year. This is enough people to fill the VanAndel Arena. While scheduling difficulties, bussing issues, and economic hardships have caused some schools not to reschedule trips to camp, many are seeing the value of outdoor education and are finding ways to fund the beneficial outings. For more information about Camp Roger, visit their website at www.camproger.org.
Crestwood’s Cub Scout Pack 3285 finished their Pack year with an overnight campout at Camp Roger in May. The event, attended by 26 Scouts plus their adult partners, combined skill-building, community service, teamwork and adventure into a fun-filled weekend. For many of the kids, this was their first time camping. Younger Scouts stayed in cabins and the older Webelo Scouts set up their own tent sites. Sessions in orienteering, archery and building were available to the group. In addition, Scouts and their partners took advantage of the beautiful weather by hiking the many trails, and boating and fishing on Little Bostwick Lake. Following a traditional campfire cookout and sing-a-long, the Scouts retired 33 American flags that were donated by community members. “I had never seen a flag retirement ceremony before,” reported Den Leader Tom Triesenburg. “It was quite a learning experience.” During the solemn ceremony, each of the four dens retired a large, tattered flag. Each Scout and their partner also retired a small flag-that at one time marked the grave of a veteran on Memorial Day-by burning the flags, one at a time, over a hot campfire. The following morning the ashes were buried and the grommets retrieved as a token for the Pack of their service. Eight brave members of the Pack became the inaugural members of the Pack’s Polar Cub Club by taking a dip in the lake early Sunday morning. Led by parents Matt Fetterman and Bill Helm, the boys jumped, slid, frolicked and dipped in the cold morning waters to earn their membership. The Pack thanks their sponsors who, through their generous donations of goods and services, made this possible for the group: Jeff DeJager, D&W, Family Fare, Lowe’s, Meijer, and Old Orchard brands.