Team Building Initiative Games
Each group is given a “mission,” a problem that can only be solved through solid individual contributions and cooperative group effort. Students learn valuable lessons in effective teamwork, leadership, and communication.
Participants learn rock-climbing basics on our climbing tower and bouldering cave. Climbers face physical and mental challenges while supportive teammates provide encouragement from the ground. All participants are instructed in proper safety equipment and procedures and are belayed by certified instructors.
Students learn about goal settling and are encouraged to make connections between stepping off of the zip line platform as taking their first step towards achieving goals. (extra $3/person)
High Ropes Course (6th grade and up)
Students tap into new levels of trust and self-confidence as they traverse a series of steel cables, rope walkways, and wooden obstacles over 20 feet in the air. Certified instructors provide thorough safety training and lots of support. (extra $15/person)
Ride the Big Blue Bus to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Headquarters for an introduction to dune formation, geology, and wildlife. Then head over to Sleeping Bear Point, the best classroom of all, for lessons on dune succession and a visit to the ghost forest.
Students test their skills of observation along our “unnature” trail as they try to identify objects not commonly found in nature. Other activities are designed to increase awareness through touch, sight, and sound.
This is a newer addition to our Activities catalog and it was an instant favorite! Students become aerospace engineers as they create bottle rockets from reused soda bottles, cardboard, and water.
Students take a step back to the mid-1800’s to learn all about pioneers and
the logging and homesteading that took place in Michigan. Students get an opportunity to use tools from this era to make a three-legged stool to take back to their classroom.
Pyramid Point is a local treasure. Participants hike this often overlooked trail, which ends with a beautiful vista overlooking Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands.
Pirate Compass begins with a tutorial about how to use a compass. Students must then complete the compass course to find the hidden booty.
Canoeing (Fall Only)
Beginning instruction in paddling a canoe is followed by a gentle trip down the Crystal River. Watch for salmon, kingfishers, and Great Blue Heron.
We take nets and buckets to a nearby beaver pond and learn first hand about beavers, frogs, turtles, dragonfly nymphs, and minnows. Watch out for the Eastern Toe Biter!
Students enjoy a hands-on experience of skulls and furs from animals living in the local area. Additionally, students learn about predation, starvation, and biotic potential as these words relate to the muskrat environment.
Students transform into predator and prey and interact with each other in different environmental scenarios. A staff member leads a discussion which helps students make connections about animal populations and relationships in the wild.
Students learn more about what makes a good leader and how they can positively impact their school. Students leave with a new understanding of how to interact with people who are different than others and gain a general knowledge of how to be accepting of all. “You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but you can be nice to each other” (Fuzz Foster).
We go sledding during every free moment and always have a roaring fire and hot chocolate waiting in the Great House. In addition to team building initiative games, beach hikes, and the Pyramid Point Hikes, we offer the following wintertime activities:
This activity begins indoors with a lesson on identifying animal tracks. Then we strap on snowshoes and become winter detectives, looking for signs of animal activity around LOC property. Along the way, we learn more about the nivean environment and discuss wintertime habitat and adaptations of local wildlife.
Cross Country Skiing
Campers learn basic cross-country skills from our instructors as they ski through meadows and pine groves.
Depending on snow conditions, we may build block shelters or pile the snow and carve out quinsies. This is a great team building exercise as well. Time permitting, we take a guided tour of each shelter on the final morning of your visit.
Students re-live Jack London’s nail-biting tale of survival. Staff provide instruction in winter fire building and survival. Each group has a single match. Will they succeed?
While learning about human history, students travel back in time to become millers and bakers. By grinding their own wheat berries, throwing ingredients into the flour, and kneading the dough, students make delicious homemade bread. While the bread is baking, students make butter the old-fashioned way and enjoy spreading it on warm bread right out of the oven! This activity has been discontinued indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Evening Programs (All Seasons)
LOC would not be the same without songs, stories, and games around a roaring fire. We do bonfires year-round in our pine forest.
Story Be Told with Jenifer Strauss
Enjoy local storyteller Jenifer Strauss of “Story Be Told” as she leads students in storytelling and improvisational games. Read more about Jen here.
Songs & Stories with Pat and Norm
Local talent Pat Niemisto and Norm Wheeler provide an interactive experience filled with songs, stories, and poetry.
This is a staff favorite! Boys and girls go on separate, guided journeys into the woods and fields at night. Each hike is unique and may include storytelling, stargazing, or an unusual encounter with nocturnal wildlife.
*Evening programming is an extra $5/student per night up to 2 nights. If your group comes for more than 2 nights, there is no additional evening program charge after the initial charge.