Preparing for Camp

The Camp Program Handbook includes the Michigan 4-H Youth Code of Conduct and 4-H Great Lakes & Natural Resources Camp Rules. All participants, volunteers and staff members are expected to abide by the code of conduct, the event rules and all other MSU regulations in order to attend this program. Everyone involved in this camp must sign an agreement stating they’ve read, understand and agree to the Michigan 4-H Code of Conduct and program rules in order to be allowed to participate in the program.


What's the 4-H Great Lakes Natural Resources Camp Schedule Like?

Camp begins with check-in from 3 to 4 p.m. on Sunday and ends with campers' departure at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Here's a tentative daily schedule:

7 a.m. * Wake-Up (optional early morning activities include fishing, polar bear swim,
running and bird watching)
8 a.m. Breakfast 
8:30 a.m. Camp and Personal Area Clean Up
9 a.m. Great Lakes Ecology Exploration Sessions (attend a different session
each day)
Noon Lunch 
12:45 p.m. Announcements, Group Meetings, Personal Time
1:30 p.m. Recreation Learning Options
3:30 p.m. Swimming and Beach Activities
5:30 p.m. Supper 
7 p.m. Group Recreation
8:15 p.m. Evening Program
9:15 p.m. Snack
9:30 p.m. Campfire
11:15 p.m. Curfew – Campers Must Be in Their Assigned Cabins 
* 1st time campers rise earlier one day to go charter fishing

Examples of Great Lakes Ecology Exploration Sessions 


  • Birds of a Feather – Become an ornithologist (bird biologist) and learn to identify different bird species while investigating the unique traits, habitats, and life cycles of local birds.  You will interact with birds in their natural habitats and explore conditions that promote their survival and reproduction.  You will also learn about what threatens bird populations today such as natural predation, habitat loss disease and climate change.
  • Charter Fishing and Fisheries – First-time campers go charter fishing and learn about the techniques and equipment to catch fish on Lake Huron.  Later, campers will fillet their catch while discussing the Great Lakes fishery, trout and salmon life cycles and great ways to eat fish!  Returning campers will sample for native fish and other aquatic life at local lakes and streams to explore the web of life below the surface to see these organisms and their habitats up close.
  • Climate Change – Learn about climate change, its effects on Lake Huron, the Great Lakes coastlines and surrounding systems while exploring woods, wetlands and waterways. This session lets youth act as climatologists for a day collecting data from local ecosystems to better understand long-term climate patterns while exploring Great Lakes and natural resource habitats of northeast Michigan.
  • Forestry and Wildlife –We need trees and forests for food, shelter, healthy soil and clean air and water.  Wildlife has the same needs!  Explore some special forest communities of Northern Michigan and how they are managed for timber, wildlife and recreation.  Find and identify wildlife while exploring the habitats where they live.  Learn how to keep our forest healthy and productive for both humans and wildlife.
  • Watersheds & Marine Debris – Study water samples, explore an inland lake from aboard a boat, and learn about the freshwater version of marine biology!  Collect mud from the lake bottom using scientific equipment; see what pollutes our lakes and learn ways to help protect our waters. Discover how micro-beads, shampoos, cleaners and plastics are creating environmental concern and a call for action.

Recreation Learning Options

You’ll attend five different options. For first time campers, this includes filleting fish caught during charter fishing. Your choices include archery, air rifle shooting, crafts, hiking, canoeing, photography, a sea lamprey research presentation, rock and fossil hunting at a local quarry, lighthouse tour, outdoor survival, orienteering and swimming enhancement for those who can’t swim well or at all. Strong swimmers will also have the chance to go kayaking, sailing and snorkeling.

What to Bring . . . And What NOT to Bring to Camp

Be sure to label everything you bring to camp with your name.

Definitely bring the following items with you to camp: Consider bringing the following items with you to camp:
  • Athletic shoes with closed toes and heels for getting wet and muddy or aquatic sandals with straps (to stay on in mud)
  • Athletic shoes with closed toes and heels for everyday wear
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Insect repellent
  • Jeans
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Shorts
  • Sleeping bag (bedroll)
  • Pillow and pillow case
  • Rain gear
  • Swimsuits (one-piece or modest 2-piece for girls)
  • Shampoo, soap, deodorant
  • Towels and washcloths
  • T-Shirts
  • Underwear
  • Water bottle or canteen
  • Flip flops or water shoes for shower use (water shoes can also be used)
  • Any medication (prescription and non-prescription) that you'll need to take during camp MUST be in the original container and turned in to the camp health officer upon check-in. This is required by state law. (Anyone arriving to camp without an original med container will not have it dispensed until a fax is sent from the physician confirming it's a legitimate prescription.)
  • Winning smile and enthusiasm!
  • Binoculars
  • Camera (plus film or memory card)
  • Fishing equipment
  • Musical instrument (nonelectrical)
  • PFD (personal flotation device or life jacket)
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Water shoes
Leave the following items at home:
  • Archery equipment
  • Electrical equipment
  • Electronic games
  • Firearms
  • Good clothes
  • Hair dryers, curling irons and other primping items
  • Jewelry
  • Knives (including jack-knives or fillet knives)
  • Snack food, pop or energy drinks
  • Cell phones
  • Sandals or shoes with open toes and heels (aquatic sandals with straps are okay)

Directions to Camp

Camp Chickagami is located along Lake Huron in the northeast corner of the Lower Peninsula in Presque Isle (between Rogers City and Alpena.)