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Camp O'Malley reaches new heights this summer!

August 27th, 2012

Warm and fun memories of tubing, fishing, splashing around in the pool, singing crazy camp songs, seeing wild animals up close, and flying down the zip line fill the minds of Campers who attended Camp O’Malley this summer as they anticipate the beginning of the school year. The Camp just completed another successful summer serving 584 campers over an 8 week period; a 22% increase in attendance from last year. Since 2011 Camp O’Malley has built a new cabin, added a week of camp, established a new partnership with the Outdoor Discovery Center, and is working their way toward an American Camping Association Accreditation.

Camp O’Malley is growing! For years, the camp has been only able to serve 72 campers at a time. With the addition of our new cabin, Camp O’Malley is able to serve 80 more kids in a summer. On the opening day of the Camp season, Camp O’Malley welcomed 83 bright-eyed and excited Campers. “Our dining hall was packed! It’s an exciting problem to run out of chairs in our Dining Hall. It’s all a part of growing,” commented Ceara Goree, Lead Camp Staff.

In an effort to attract more campers, the Camp has expanded the camper age requirements from 8 through 14 year-olds to 6 through 17 year-olds by adding two new themed sessions to the Camp program. The Discovery Camp session geared towards 6-8 year-olds was designed to for the first-time camper allowing them to get a taste of what camp is all about with a three day, two night experience. The High School Adventure Week allowed older campers to continue experiencing their favorite camp activities and meet new friends.  Both of the new weeks of camp were well accepted by parents and attendance was at or near capacity for both weeks.

With the new found partnership with the Outdoor Discovery Center (ODC) based in Holland, Camp O’Malley is now able to offer Environmental Education opportunities for the Campers. Each camper had the opportunity to participate ODC’s educationally and environmentally focused programs during their time at Camp. Campers enjoyed many different wild animal demonstrations, habitat explorations on the Camp’s nature trails, and lessons on our Wetlands. “We’re excited about our new partnership with Camp O’Malley and had a great time working with the kids at camp this summer,” commented Jamie Krupka, Program Director at the Outdoor Discovery Center. In addition to the programs offered by the ODC, the ODC staff also provided training to the Camp O’Malley staff on facilitating educational nature walks and the basics on archery instruction.

Camp O’Malley has been working for over a year to have the Camp Accredited through the American Camping Association (ACA) and the Camp will receive word in October if they have received this important Accreditation. What does Accreditation mean? It means that Camp O’Malley has worked to ensure that over 300 ACA health, safety, and program quality standards are in compliance this national accrediting organization of leading camp professionals. This Accreditation process has allowed our Camp leadership to be educated in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, especially those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. “We are very excited about this accreditation and believe it will allow us to serve more campers in the most safe and effective way,” mentioned Rick Huisman, Executive Director.

Camp O’Malley serves kids ages 6-17 through a residential summer Camp experience. No child is ever turned away because they cannot afford to pay. This summer, 89% of our Campers fell below the poverty line qualifying them for a Camper Scholarship. Campers who attend our adventure Camp participate activities like the climbing wall, swimming, canoeing, tubing, high ropes course, team-building, low ropes, sports, arts & crafts, hiking, biking, fishing, dance, archery, healthy living, and nature exploration.

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