Campers explore dunes, hike forest trails, wade through wetlands, fish, snorkel and sail on Lake Huron while educators and scientists teach them about the Great Lakes ecosystem.

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On April 2, 2020, Michigan State University made the decision to modify or suspend youth events scheduled to take place this summer on MSU’s campus. This, combined with the suspension of in-person K-12 instruction for the remainder of the academic year, informed changes to scheduled MSU Extension youth programming. As a result, all on-campus MSU youth events scheduled to occur before September 1, 2020 will be modified to an online space, postponed or cancelled. In addition, no face-to-face MSU Extension youth events or programs will take place anywhere in the state until September 1, 2020. This was a heartbreaking decision for MSU Extension to make but is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to youth safety and security, a guiding principle of Michigan 4-H, and the right thing to do to protect the health and wellbeing of MSU Extension staff, volunteers, program participants and all Michiganders.

This decision impacts the 2020 Great Lakes Natural Resources Camp. Unfortunately, a variety of challenges prevent us from postponing or moving 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp therefor, this event has been canceled. MSU Extension remains committed to delivering meaningful experiences to youth through supplemental education offerings that support the educational development of Michigan youth. 

Check back for 2021 dates in the spring!


Camp Chickagami


Young teens have fun and amazing outdoor hands-on learning experiences as they go charter fishing, snorkeling, sailing, hike through forests, wade through wetlands, explore dunes and more! This really fun MSU pre-college program could be the highlight of your summer - it could even change your life!

Learning sessions and recreation are designed to:

  • Increase teens’ appreciation and enjoyment of the outdoors, natural resources, and science.
  • Increase teens’ knowledge about the Great Lakes, natural resources ecology and management issues.
  • Develop strong attitudinal attachment to Michigan’s unique natural resources and bioregional features.
  • Foster scientifically rooted environmental stewardship.
  • Develop and expand career and personal interests.
  • Develop leadership skills and self-confidence.
  • Increase social and academic skills needed for a successful transition to college and life as an adult.

Download the 2018 Great Lakes & Natural Resources Camp brochure. Learn more by reviewing the one-page 2018 impact summary.

Who should attend?

The camp is for teens aged 13 to 15, or going into 8th-10th grades in the fall, who are functioning at grade-level or above. (We use the public school cut-off date for school-year eligibility which is that 2020 campers must be born before 12/01/2007 to be entering 8th grade in the fall.)  You don’t need to be a 4-H member to attend.

So each camper can have the best experience possible, each camper must be able to fully participate in grade-level appropriate small group science learning sessions as well as very active large group recreation. It’s an action-packed week of fun and learning! (Campers who are unable to meet these expectations will be dismissed from camp at the parent/guardians expense.)

Maximum camper capacity is 70 campers, so apply early to increase your chances of getting a spot. Promotional materials and applications will be available in March.

Where is the Camp?

The camp is held at a place called Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, near the shores of Lake Huron between Alpena and Rogers City. The state-licensed camp has dormitory-style cabins, a dining hall, and toilet and shower facilities. Meals are all prepared by a qualified cook and served right in the dining hall.


Related Programs

Camp Chickagame in Presque Isle County4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp is just one of many 4-H environmental and outdoor education program offerings. For more information, please visit the Environmental and Outdoor Education section of this site.

For information about the pre-college programs offered at MSU, please visit Spartan Youth Programs at You'll find a multitude of programs that can help you develop valuable skills, make new friends and taste college life. 


Laura Potter-Niesen, Educational Programs Event Coordinator
Phone: 517-432-2963
Fax: 517-353-4846