The Pathfinder School: Traverse City Community School

Summer Camp

The Pathfinder School offers a variety of summer programs taking advantage of our beautiful 22 acre campus and wonderful teaching staff between June and August each year.  Programs are open to all students, regardless of whether they attend The Pathfinder School during the school year.  With the popularity of our Summer Camp in particular, we recommend registering as early as possible. 



Our Summer Day Camp, the staple of our summer offerings, engages children in a developmentally appropriate program with a strong emphasis on the outdoors. Campers are split into four age groups (listed below) that pursue a different theme each of the seven weeks of camp. Mornings are typically spent exploring the main theme for the week outdoors. At noon, campers decend on the Lower Campus for lunch with time down at Cedar Lake filling the afternoon hours (2-4pm). Unless there is thunder and lightening, we are cruising around our 22 acres learning, having fun and making friends and memories to last a lifetime.  LEARN MORE ABOUT A TYPICAL DAY AT CAMP HERE!

Young Explorers (3 & 4 year olds)
HALF DAY | 9am-12pm

Explorers (4 & 5 year olds)
FULL DAY | 9am-4pm

Discovery (6-8 year olds)
FULL DAY | 9am-4pm

Adventure (9-12 year olds)
FULL DAY | 9am-4pm



While each day is slightly different, we do try to maintain a similar daily routine to ensure a predictable and safe environment for learning & play. Many of our camp counselors are full-time teachers either at Pathfinder or in the Traverse City community who join us in the summer months. As a result, we draft a curriculum each week for camp that we roll out over each day making sure that we are playing with a purpose. Your children have good old fashioned summer fun while learning about all kinds of exciting new things. They're also working on teamwork and conflict resolution as they exercise their creative, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. 

Potential Schedule:

7:30-9am: Early Camp Care - $6 per use (billed at the conclusion of camp - Aug)

9am: Round up for songs & Circle on the Lower Campus

9:20am-12pm: Campers break off into individual age groups for team building games, exploring & activities based in the week's focus. Campers will always be outside on our 22 wooded acres unless there is thunder and lightning or severe weather. In that case, they will move into our log cabin classrooms around campus. 

11am: Healthy snack with group – provided by camp

12pm: Campers return to the lower campus with their packed lunch from home. The whole camp eats together on the lower campus picnic tables followed by some much loved free play time.  Half Day Campers are picked up before lunch but are always welcome to eat with their parents & older camp friends if so inclined. 

1-2pm: Campers break off into their age groups once more to finish morning projects.

2-4pm: Everyone heads down to the school's dock on Cedar Lake. Many of our counselors have their lifeguard certification to monitor the swimming area. The littlest campers (4-8 years) must wear a life jacket at all times while in the water. Older campers (9-12 yrs) are allowed to take a swimming test at the top of the week to see if they can swim in the deeper water without their life jacket.  We have three swimming areas which are all relative to age - the first being extremely shallow (1-2ft). Children must rotate in and out of the water to keep the numbers in the water at any given time very low. Campers who are on the shore are encouraged to play in the sand, face paint, read books, play puzzles and build tree forts in the woods with counselor supervision.  

3pm: Healthy snack by the waterfront - provided by camp

4pm: Pick up on the Lower Campus

4-5:30pm: After Camp care is available to families who cannot make it to campus by 4pm - $6 per use 


Pre- & Post-Camp Care:

We offer pre- and post-camp care for those families who aren't able to make our drop-off and pick-up windows. Either of these services is $6 per use and will be billed out at the end of each week of camp.

Pre-Camp: 7:30am-9:00am (*note - pre-camp care is NOT available on Mondays)

Post-Camp: 4:00pm-5:30pm (*note - post-camp care is NOT available on Fridays)

PICK-UP for both Pre & Post Camp Care is in the Camp Office (in the Gym off the south parking lot)




"I feel free to call upon the faculty at our school anytime - weekday or weekend, to voice a concern, seek advice, raise a classroom issue or share an anecdotal story of accomplishment. It’s like having a competent group of allies to assist in the daily challenge that raising children with character poses."

- Parent, grades 3, 8 and graduate