News from the Camp Director

Camp O'Malley Summer 2015 Schedule

February 11th, 2015

Leadership Training: May 26-29  
All Staff Training: June 1-5, June 8-12

Session 1: June 15-18 | Adventure Week (Ages 8-12) 
EXCLUSIVE WEEK FOR MLK ELEMENTARY STUDENTS. Campers get ready for an adventure packed week at camp. Enjoy adventure competitions, biking, rock climbing, swimming, sports, zip lining and more!  

Session 2: June 22-26 | Holiday Week! (Ages 8-13)
Celebrate Valentine's Day, Halloween, and Christmas. Campers get to trick or treat, exchange presents with other cabins and make valentines for one another. 

Session 3: June 29-July 1 | Safari Week (Ages 6-8) 
Frogs and turtles and birds oh my! Grab your binoculars and join us as we go on a safari all around Camp O’Malley! Campers will make their own safari vest and binoculars to wear on our rainforest adventure! 

Session 4: July 6-10 | Zombie Week (Ages 12-14)
Get ready for zombie hunts throughout the camp! Have fun dressing up like zombies or be a part of the team that fights them off! 

Session 5: July 13-17 | Girl Power! (All Girls Ages 8-12) 
Girl power is all about balancing out all that fun camp action with some awesome girl time. You can expect manicures, pedicures and face masks when you aren’t conquering our high ropes course or showing the world how awesome you are at fruit loop wars!

Session 6: July 20-24 | Survivor Week (Ages 10-13)
Campers will get to compete against other “tribes” for fun daily competitions. Who will be the last cabin to survive? Sign up and find out! 

Session 7: July 27-31 | Hollywood Week (All Girls Ages 7-11)
Get ready as we roll out the red carpet for our special DIVA banquet. Girls will enjoy spa night, laugh at our Miss America Pageant, and enjoy a night of karaoke… singing songs from their favorite Hollywood artists. 

Session 8: August 3-7 | Super Hero Week (Ages 8-12)
Bring a costume of your favorite superhero or make one at camp! Campers will use their strength, agility and super powers to play super hero games like capture the villain and save the counselor!


#1 Mellisa Cook said:

When can we register our campers?

#2 nancy Ojenus said:

I would like to know how to register

#3 melissa said:

how do i register for session 5 and also my daughter went to camp last summer for 5$ how do i go about bought that again this up coming summer

#4 kerri said:

When can we register?

#5 Tracy Powell said:

I was wondering when I can register my son, he is 13yo adopted and would like him to experience camp omally as I did 40 years ago! I am a disabled veteran on a fixed income! I get 1200$/month with 4children! And is there any help to cover the cost of the camp!
Thank you
Tracy Powell


Is there not a teen week this year?

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

What a Summer! Camp O'Malley Wrap Up!

August 20th, 2014

Another wonderful summer at Camp O’Malley has come to a close. Whether it was riding down the zipline, roasting a s’more over the campfire, catching a fish on the Thornapple River, or learning how to swim, Campers had a blast trying new things this summer at Camp O’Malley. We had more Campers than ever, welcoming 624 kids from Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas.  

This summer we added a new garden thanks to the support of Farmers Insurance and The Amir Project. The garden became a highlight for Campers as they helped tend to it each day. Some Campers even got to pick a variety of the vegetables as they became ready. Our chefs then prepared the vegetables, and Campers were able to eat the zucchini and squash that they picked during the week. Campers were able to learn that food needs to be grown and taken care of not and that it is not just something you get at the store.

Campers were also able to visit with horses each week thanks to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Kent County Deputies brought horses from the Kent County Mounted Unit for Campers to learn all about and interact with. Our Campers really enjoyed it! In addition to horses, Campers also got to learn about birds, reptiles and amphibians thanks to our partnership with the Outdoor Discovery Center of Holland.

We are so thankful for all the individuals, corporations, and foundations that helped make Camp possible for our Campers this summer! More than 90% of our Campers came to Camp on scholarship, meaning that without the support of others they would have otherwise not been able to attend. This summer, Camp O’Malley has allowed so many children to make memories and gain new skills that will stay with them forever!


No one has commented yet, you could be the first!

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

Camp O'Malley Gets NEW Farmers Insurance Garden

June 10th, 2014

Camp O'Malley is very excited to add an organic garden to the plethora of activities a child can enjoy in a camp setting. The idea for the garden was brought to Camp Director Amanda Alters by David Fox who is the founder of project Amir, a growing organization that partners with summer camps to teach children about social issues through garden activities. The vision of Amir is to enlighten, inspire, and empower youth to make sustainable life choices.

Thanks to a grant Amir received, Camp O’Malley was able to partner with the organization to implement to garden. As a part of the grant, Amir has sent Camp O’Malley a full time gardener to tend to the garden throughout the summer, while incorporating an educational garden program with the Campers. “Farmer Ashlee” is from Idaho and is a Horticulture major who is passionate about helping high risk youth and teaching them about healthy life choices. She uses the garden as a medium to connect kids with social issues like water conservation, eating healthy, and even bullying.

The garden itself is 40' x 40' and in the shape of the Camp O'Malley logo, resembling a large sunshine with the center consisting of a giant herb spiral. The multitude of herbs include various basil species, peppermint, spearmint, lavender, sage, thyme, and oregano. The petal shaped raised beds house bell peppers, watermelon, cauliflower, cucumbers, and squash. The perimeter of the garden contains wooden beds planted with 40 tomato plants, strawberries, and additional squash like zucchini.

Thanks to a grant from Farmers Insurance, we were able to purchase all of the gardening materials including raised cedar garden beds and a six foot fence around the perimeter. A huge thanks to Kris Fisher and James Verduin from Farmers Insurance for their efforts in applying for the grant and helping implement our vision so perfectly. During the week of June 1st, we had more than 50 volunteers come to Camp O’Malley to get the garden ready for Campers to arrive on June 16th. All of the plants were donated to the garden from both Bos Nursery and Koetsiers Greenhouse.



No one has commented yet, you could be the first!

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

2014 Summer Camp Sessions!

December 17th, 2013

2014 Summer Camp Schedule

Session 1:
Exclusive week for MLK Elementary | Co-ed Ages 8-11 | June 16-19th

This week is set aside just for students at Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy.

The Best of The Best | Co-ed Ages 8-13 | June 23-27th

This will be a week filled with the BEST camp activities! Enjoy an awesome week of swimming, rock climbing, biking, fishing, kayaking, team building, arts & crafts, camp fires and fun games of fruit loop wars!

Session 3:
Discovery Camp | Co-ed- Ages 6-8 | June 30-July 2nd

Discovery week is for younger campers who want to get a taste of what camp is all about! Campers experience a fun three day and two night adventure enjoying swimming, arts & crafts, climbing wall, songs, exploring nature and water games!

NEW Session: High School/Keystone Boys & Girls Club Members | July 7-11th
High School week for campers ages 14-17 year old and Keystone Boys & Girls Club Members. Campers will get to participate in a volunteer project, develop essential skills, and participate in all of Camp O’Malley's activities.

Middle School Week | Ages 11-14 | July 14-18th

Get ready for a week full of fun events and activities! Campers will experience swimming, tubing, high ropes & low ropes courses, climbing wall, arts & crafts, hanging out with friends and the second annual O'Malley Relay Rally!

Super Hero Week | Boys  7-11 | July 21-25th

BOYS ONLY! Bring your favorite super hero costume and come save the day at Camp O'Malley! Have fun rock climbing, swimming, biking and hiking! Come shoot a bow and arrow and make super hero masks! Plus play fun games like Capture The Villain and Super Hero Relay!

Girl Power | Girls Ages 7-11 | July 28-August 1st

This week is filled with all things GIRL! Get your nails done at SPA night, wear your favorite dress to the DIVA banquet and have a dance party with your cabin mates! Plus experience all of the awesome events and activities at Camp O'Malley!

Adventure Camp | Co-ed Ages 8-12 | August 4th-8th

Get ready for a week packed full of adventure! Experience swimming, kayaking, archery, fishing, team competitions, low ropes, adventure races, talent shows and more!


#1 mandie fox said:

I need registration papers for session 2 for 2 girls ages 9 and 10.
My address is 1405 mark gr Mi 49525

#2 Jazzmyn White said:

I am very interested in getting my daughter in summer camp. She has never been so please cal me and let me know the process. 3132879928

#3 Racahel Jones said:

How do you register your child for 2014 summer camp?

#4 Linna Milligan said:

Do you have to live in Kent County or can you live outside of the county like Ionia County? I went to Camp O'Malley when I was younger and I am interested in sending my daughter to camp that way she is not bored all summer long.

#5 Chrystal Groelsma said:

I was wondering how to get my children registered and also will you have another GLEE inspired week of camp this year I was reading and seen last years and I know my daughter would love to attend a GLEE week at camp. Also the younger camper week is that the same price as a full week of camp or is it a different price? Thank you

#6 Eva said:

My girls love your camp this is the 3rd year in a row for them!! They wish they could do more then 1 session in a summer!! BEST CAMP ever

#7 Garry Strong said:

I want to send my daughters to summer camp for the first time. I want them to go together but when trying to sign up it says only one camper can join this event. Why is this?

#8 nisheikaboone said:

I need to know the fees for session 7

#9 Martin said:

Can you scan me over some paperwork regarding session 7 for 3 kids?


#10 Romeyne Cloud said:

I would love for my daughter to go to camp. Is there a wait list or cancellation list for the sessions that are full? She is 8 years old.
Thank you!

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

Be GREAT Gala raises $101,235!

September 15th, 2013

We're celebrating 75 years of serving youth in West Michigan, and in honor of this milestone, we held our fourth annual fundraiser focused on the great achievements of the organization's history and supporters. The BE GREAT Gala was at Thousand Oaks Golf Club (4100 Thousand Oaks Drive, Grand Rapids) from 6-9 p.m. on September 9, 2013

“Seventy-five years investing in youth development says something pretty special about the community in which we live,” said Executive Director Rick Huisman. “The BE GREAT Gala was a night where we celebrated our history, and the $101,235 we were able to raise thanks to our generous supporters will help us invest even more into the future of the Clubs and Camp O’Malley.”

The BE GREAT Gala included the first annual BE GREAT Awards, exciting live auction, delicious food, and live music. Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids had more than 250 supporters as well as prominent citizens and businesses in the Greater Grand Rapids Area in attendance.  

The BE GREAT Awards were presented to three recipients who have shown tremendous support of their mission. Peter Secchia received the Outstanding Leadership Award, the Grand Rapids Police Department received the Community Impact Award, and Amway received the Outstanding Business Award.

The night would have not been the same without the support of our numerous sponsors and a special matching gift from Candace & Bruce Matthews, with which we were able to raise $20,000 at the event to sponsor Club members and Campers.

Check out photos on Facebook or on our Website!

And of course...

“Special thanks to our incredible staff and volunteers for their support in making the BE GREAT event one of the best events in our history. We could not have done it without you!” – Rick Huisman, Executive Director

BE GREAT Staff & Volunteers (in no particular order): Kate Arnold Botma, Kathy Gates, Lynn Kotecki, Becky Reed, Janet Knaus, Lisa Hunter, Bruce Matthews, Barb Hanley, Derek Mason, Kelly Hassberger, Madelon Hassberger, Nan Swanson, Peaches McCahill, Ted Bingham, Sara Schneider, Ray Townsend, Nancy Schondelmayer, Erin Crison, Kevin Little, Zak Knaus, Chris Wilson, Jamie Prawdzik, Casey Stratton, Amanda Alters, Mario Leon, Suzan Guben, Dan Myers, Michael Harris, Sierra Demski, Joel Petroelje, Ryan Huizenga.


#1 Maureen Mead said:

Is that the Nan Swanson who taught at Catholic Central in the 80s? I've been trying to find her! Can you put me in contact with her?

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

And Camp comes to an end for now...

August 8th, 2013

(Photo shows THREE GENERATIONS of Camp O'Malley Campers!)

It is hard to believe how fast the summer flew by here at Camp O'Malley. Each week, Campers enjoyed days filled with making memories, meeting new friends and participating in the many activities at Camp O'Malley. This summer has been an incredible opportunity for Campers to try new things, gain new skills and to do unique things they couldn't do at home. Whether it was climbing the rock wall, flying down the zipline, tubing down the Thornapple River, tye dying a t-shirt, or catching fish and fireflies, Campers had a blast this summer!

During our eight sessions, we were able to welcome kids ages 6-17. Each session had a special theme and Campers and their Counselors were able to dress up and participate in our weekly talent show on the last night of camp. Campers would sing, dance, act and show off all of their fun and unique talents. The talent show was always a highlight for many of our campers. This summer provided a unique opportunity for campers to get outside their comfort zone, try new things, learn new skills and have tons of fun. We believe that all kids deserve a unique experience like a week at summer camp, and we are thrilled to have provided that experience to 592 campers this summer!  Although we are sad to see the summer of 2013 go, we are already looking forward to welcoming even more campers next summer!

- Amanda Alters, Camp Director


#1 Don Harper said:

It was so nice meeting you two at the river clean-up. Please feel free to contact me if you need help with any projects around the camp.

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

BGC Glee Week!

June 17th, 2013

This summer at the Clubs and Camp O'Malley, we have a new program as part of our new music programming. It is a Musical Theatre Workshop called "BGC Glee Week." Members and Campers will put together a mini-musical using a scene structure and popular music. Each scene will be improvised within the pre-written storyline about two friends from school who attend a summer camp and struggle against bullying and peer pressure. In the end, their loyalty remains and everyone learns a lesson about appreciating one another for our differences. Participants will audition for the various roles on the first day of each workshop, which will be held for three hours per day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The workshop will culminate with a performance on Friday afternoon/evening (Camp O'Malley).

Glee Weeks:
Seidman: June 24-28
Paul I: July 8-12
Camp O'Malley: July 29-August 2
Steil: August 5-9

This workshop is a great way for kids to learn important skills such as working together, listening, movement, acting and singing. Using improvisation to tackle a subject such as bullying is a great way for kids to explore their own feelings and make more sense of the world around them. For more information, contact Music Program Coordinator Casey Stratton at cstratton@bgcgrandrapids.org or (616) 233-9370 ext 109.



No one has commented yet, you could be the first!

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

Meet our new Camp Director, Amanda Alters

June 16th, 2013

Camp O'Malley has a great new addition this Summer! Meet Amanda Alters, our new Camp Director! We wanted to get to know her a little better and thought maybe you would too. Read her interview below!

Q: What is your background/experience?
A: Throughout college, I spent my summers working as a camp counselor. Once I graduated from Grand Valley State University, I spent a year working as a coordinator for a nonprofit organization that served children with life threatening illnesses. I was given an opportunity to get back into the camping industry, and I accepted a job at Spring Hill Camps where I served in a variety of roles within the organization.

Q: What drew you to this position? 
A: I have always had a strong desire to work with kids in the Grand Rapids community.  I was excited that this position would allow me to use my experience in the camping industry and desire to work with children in Grand Rapids.  

Q: What was your favorite camp activity as a child? 
A: I always loved arts and crafts as a camper. Each year, I would make a friendship bracelet and see how many months I could wear it after camp before it fell apart.

Q: How was your first day of Camp?
A: The first day was GREAT! The energy of our staff was contagious, and the kids were so excited to be back at camp.

Q: What are you looking forward to most?
A: I'm really looking forward to seeing kids get out of their element and try new things at camp. It's always inspiring to see the accomplishment kids feel after they conquer one of their fears by trying something new.


#1 Barbara Bonham said:

It is wonderful you found a camp director who is passionate about what she does and she clearly loves her work. That is enthusiasm that will inspire everyone!

#2 BGC Grand Rapids said:

Thanks so much Barbara! We are equally as excited!

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

Camp O'Malley raises $11,000 on St. Patrick's Day with the help of McFadden's and Taco Bell

March 20th, 2013

The Owners of McFadden’s, Mark and Michele Sellers hosted the 2nd Annual Shamrocking Party to benefit Camp O’Malley’s Residential Summer Camp for kids from Grand Rapids on Saturday, March 16th at the Irish on Ionia Party downtown Grand Rapids. Funds raised from this party went directly into the 2013 Camper Scholarship Campaign to help send kids to Camp O’Malley who might not otherwise have the funds to pay for a summer Camp experience. The Shamrocking Party, held in the Pearl Room at McFadden’s, offered Irish on Ionia party goers a fun way to support Camp O’Malley’s program with a selection of Irish appetizers, drink specials, and live music. “The Shamrocking Party was a great event again for the second year to help raise money for Camp and everyone had a great time,” commented Michelle Wickens, Board President for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids.

Volunteers from Camp O’Malley spent hours on the streets of Irish on Ionia selling beads and Irish hats to raise additional funds to send kids to Camp. Bead sales totaled almost $1,000. “A thousand dollars can send four kids to Camp this summer and it was well worth it spending the time outside in order to make Camp a reality for four kids,” explained Becky Missad, Camp Director who was dressed all day in the Good Luck Care Bear costume.

Twenty-two West Michigan Taco Bells also contributed to the cause by selling $1 Shamrock Hat Icons at each of their locations. Stores competed amongst each other on Icon sales to help raise more money for Camp O’Malley. Donated prizes were awarded to the cashier and Taco Bell store that sold the most icons. “We are so grateful to the West Michigan Taco Bells for supporting our organization and helping us raise money to send kids to Camp,” commented Kathy Gates, Development Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Grand Rapids.


No one has commented yet, you could be the first!

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

2013 Camp O'Malley Summer Schedule

February 10th, 2013


Pre-Camp Staff Training (You will be notified if you are needed to be in attendance for this): May 22-24
Camp Staff Training (all staff): May 28-31, June 3-7
*All staff report the night before each session (Sunday) at 7pm for a weekly required staff meeting.

Session 1 – June 10-13MLK Leadership Academy Session – ages 8-11 year olds – CO-ED
This special session is set aside just for Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy students. Join us for the best of the best camp experience filled with swimming, low ropes challenge course, sports, campfires, songs, rock climbing, nature explorations, and much more!

Session 2 – June 17-21 – X-Treme Team Challenge - 11-14 year-old – CO-ED
Do you crave adventure, challenge and excitement? Tackle a different task with your team every day and challenge your skills at the high ropes course, zip line, team competitions, tubing, archery, capture-the-flag and a first ever “O’Malley X-treme Rally” adventure race.

Session 3 – June 24-28 – BEST OF THE BEST - 8-11 year-olds CO-ED
This will be a week filled with all of the BEST camp activities and super fun experiences! Spend the week swimming, climbing the wall, biking, fishing, teambuilding, camp fires, and playing Capture-the-Flag!

Session 4 – July 1-3 – DISCOVERY CAMP – 6-8 year-olds – CO-ED
This camp is a great week for the first-time camper! Campers will get a taste of what camp is all about with this three day, two night experience! Enjoy swimming, arts & crafts, climbing wall, games, songs, exploring nature, and water games!

Session 5 – July 8-12 – HIGH SCHOOL CAMP – 14-17 year-old – CO-ED
This will be a week filled with all of your favorite Camp experiences! Spend the week tubing, canoeing, archery, doing the high ropes course, swimming, biking, teambuilding, and playing an extreme game of Capture-the-Flag! Come and chill with us, meet new people and have a blast!

Session 6 – July 15-19 – GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN for 11-14 year-old – GIRLS
“Girls just wanna have FUN!” Join this all-girls camp for arts and crafts, swimming, dance parties, late nights, high ropes, tubing, talent shows, relaxing and all your other favorite camp activities!

Session 7 – July 22-26 – SUPER HEROES CAMP – 8-13 year-old – BOYS
Kapow! Spend the week like a superhero would! Join forces with the staff to become the ultimate superhero! Climb walls, make your own comic book, catch a super villain, dress in disguises, swim, and capture-the-flag!

Session 8 – July 29-Aug. 2 - GIRL POWER for 7-11 year-old – GIRLS
During this totally awesome, girls-only session, you will be able to relax by the pool, get papered at Spa Night, express yourself at the talent show, exercise to hip hop, make new friends, and tap into your inner girl power! Red carpet dinner night is also the annual highlight of this week! Don’t miss out!


#1 April Boyd said:

I would like to know what the cost would be for Session 6 and Session 7 please.

Thank you

#2 andrea holsey said:

Thank you for having an overnight camp for 6-8 year olds.

#3 Dawn Helms said:

How do I register for sessions 4 and eight? And what is the cost?

#4 Destiny Stevens said:

WHat is the cost for session 2

#5 kati-lynn said:

i need a rgistration

#6 kati-lynn said:

i need a registration for session 5. and i woul like to know the cost.

#7 Jill said:

Registration form with fee scale is on their site:

#8 Mand1 said:

I would like to know the cost of session 5,6, and 7. Thanks

#9 alondra said:

How much does it cost

#10 Miki Vernet said:

I will like to know the cost of section 8 please

#11 Yonika Metellus said:

I would like to know the cost of section 6 and 8 please.

Leave a Comment

will not be published or sold, but will be stored incase a staff person needs to contact you

email facebook twitter sharethis

view older posts ⇒

Our Mission

To enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible citizens through education, recreation, and other positive community experiences in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Contact Us

for direct numbers to specific departments and staff visit the contact page.

Admin/Steil Club


(616) 233.9370

235 Straight Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI

Paul I. Phillips Club


(616) 719.0775

726 Madison Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI

Seidman Club


(616) 452.0061

139 Crofton Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI

Camp O'Malley


(616) 871.6551

7360 Thornapple Dales
Alto, MI