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10 Things to Know About Camp Geneva
How many people use GENEVA?
Approximately 4,300 kids are campers at GENEVA each summer; Approximately 15,000 people are retreat guests each year
Where is this camp?
GENEVA is located on ¼ mile of Lake Michigan beachfront, between Holland and Grand Haven at 3995 Lakeshore Dr. North, Holland, MI 49424
What’s the history?
The property was purchased in 1946 (first youth conference in 1948) by members of the Reformed Church and christened Camp Geneva in honor of the Swiss city that was John Calvin's center of activity during the Reformation.
Who runs it now?
GENEVA is now an independent camp led by a 15-member Board of Directors and Executive Director.
What’s the average cost of summer camp?
Day camp = $215; overnight camp = $375.
What’s the average stay one night for a retreat?
Retreat Center – lodging for one night is $40; add 3 meals for $64 total; stay in a cabin for one night at $20-24, add 3 meals for $44 - $48 total
What groups use GENEVA?
Retreat groups include churches, schools, non-profits, and businesses - groups range from Holland area public, private, and charter schools, Youth for Christ, Boys and Girls Club, United Way, Bluebird Cancer Retreats, middle schools doing team-building to pastors getting away to plan sermons, youth groups to choir retreats, scrap-booking parties to company picnics, college dorm retreats to sports team training.
What has been updated recently?
GENEVA completely renovated its Chapel in 2014 overlooking Lake Michigan and in 2016 renovated and expanded its Retreat Center. In 2009 Camp Geneva completed a redesign of its Lake Michigan property that includes a new pool/splash park, new cabins (w/bathrooms and showers), and a new dining room that seats 325.
How many camps are offered each summer?
Camp Geneva offers five levels of camps for young people in grades 1-12. Ten sessions of Day Camp (grades 1-4), Ten sessions at GENEVA Shores – overnight (grades 3-6), Ten sessions at GENEVA Pines – overnight (grades 7-9), 4 weeks of High School Camps – overnight (grades 10-College Freshmen), and 2 two-week sessions of Counselor-in-Training - Overnight (Grades 10-College Freshmen)
How many full time staff and how many summer staff does Geneva employ?
Permanent staff – 21 (9 FT, 12 PT); summer staff - 90
Possible Story Ideas: Camp Geneva
Summer employment for college students: Summer camps hire college students, staff – Camp Geneva will hire 90 college students representing 20+ schools. Applications deadline is the January prior to each summer.
This past summer there were almost 480 campers receiving financial aid, totaling almost $100,000; 10+% of camper population goes on scholarship
Special needs at camp: Over 300 campers attended camp this past summer with special dietary needs. Almost 100 campers with special needs such as autism were accommodated in the camp program in 2013.
Summer camp registrations are available the first week of January
Is your child ready for summer camp?
How does a family go about selecting a summer camp?
Other future events with great visuals and interesting back stories:
Camp Geneva Polar Bear Club – 200+ kids jump in Lake Michigan every morning in an effort to join the Polar Bear Club.
400-ft zip line adventure – Each week in the summer 140 middle school students take the challenge to ride the 400-ft zip line into our inland lake.
Blobbing campers – Each week in the summer 140 middle school students take the challenge to get “blobbed” into the lake.
Winter Camp – Kids come back to camp in the winter for a different kind of experience. Some activities are sledding, broomball, and an arctic expedition.
Summer church kick-off, a long tradition on the Lakeshore: Church worship services for the Lakeshore cottage community/summer guests begin on Memorial Day weekend and go through Labor Day.
Summer camp “Behind the Scenes”: summer camp nurse/lifeguard/food service/summer camp safety, polar bearing, challenge island (blob, zipline, climbing tower)
How parents stay in touch with their campers – care packages not allowed! GENEVA offers email and snail mail as a way for parents to keep in touch with their campers. We stress the importance of kids getting away for a week without depending on parent supervision or guidance; the significance in making decisions on their own, learning to live in community and share space vs. own bedroom and no schedule.
Spanish Language and Culture Week: GENEVA offers a week for students in Spanish Immersion programs at their schools and area migrant children. It is led by Camp Geneva staff and native Spanish speakers. The entire camp week is in Spanish. It is an opportunity to continue Spanish in summer and blend two cultures in a camp setting.