From the directors – End of season letter

Dear Families of Lookout and Crystalaire,

We want to thank you for another wonderful summer season at Camp Lookout and Crystalaire Adventures! This summer had many memorable moments, and we are grateful we got to share and create them with your children. The weather was as close to perfect as it will ever be, the waters were (mostly) warm, and everyone’s spirits were high. Thanks to you and your children, we had an incredible summer season and hopefully you did as well!

dsc_0797This past January we welcomed Izzy Cooper to our year round team as the assistant director for Lookout. Izzy, a Traverse City, MI native, graduated from Michigan State University in the spring of 2015 with a degree in Arts and Humanities and Natural Resource Recreation and Management. She has been connected with camp for many years and is grateful to have the opportunity to continue working with Lookout in this new capacity.

We were happy to receive so many responses to our end of session surveys this year; all of the feedback is very helpful. In the parent responses to our survey, a majority of you mentioned seeing an increase in confidence, a deeper connection to nature, and a greater sense of independence in your children. We work hard to foster a community where this kind of growth can take place and are happy to hear that your children benefit from spending time with us!

Some of the favorite activities campers mentioned in their survey responses were: our first ever all-camp trip to Baldy; an impromptu all-camp game of capture the flag; sleeping on the beach; and spending time in Ethan’s Net, a new addition to camp this year. Of course there were so many more, 558 programs to be exact! Over the past few years we’ve been working on increasing camper involvement in planning and leading activities. This year was our most successful yet—over 20% of activities were camper-led throughout the summer. We look forward to further developing this model together with our campers.

Now that we have taken some time to reflect and unwind after the summer season, we are off and running with plans for the summer of 2017. We are excited to announce the launch of our new website,www.lookoutsummer.com  . Please take a moment to explore everything from the 2017 schedule to our new  blog, which will feature posts from staff, campers, and others in the Crystalaire and Lookout family. We hope our new website can illuminate our philosophy and enlighten new and old families about what we work to accomplish through our programs.

Not only do we have a new and improved website, but we also plan on improving some of our facilities14192585_10154440118503427_625022b0244592842697_n at camp during the off season. Most notably, we hope to give our beloved four-seater a well deserved face-lift!

In the coming months, be on the lookout for our yearly mailing with plenty of new information about the coming summer. Also, don’t forget registration starts on December 15th at 7AM! If you want to make sure your child gets into her or his session of choice, the earlier you register, the better!

Lastly, we are beginning to plan our in-home visit schedule for this coming winter and spring. For those of you who don’t know, each year we partner with families to set up informal meetings with others who may be interested in participating in our programs. This approach has proved to be very successful, and we enjoy being able to make personal connections with new families prior to the start of the summer. If this is something you are interested in helping us with, please feel free to reach out to Izzy Cooper at izzy@lookoutsummer.com.

Thank you for another incredible summer, and we hope to see you again next year if not before!

Sincerely,

Curtis McFall and Izzy Cooper