post 8

Center for Independent Futures Graduate Life Tools Camp is offered to individuals who have completed our regular day camp experience, and are ready for a less structured away-from-home overnight Life Tools Camp adventure. Read on to learn more about this year's Grad Camp.

DAY 1 – Planning meals, grocery shopping and cooking together…

When this year’s campers arrived in New Buffalo the sky was cloudy, so the group headed off to a favorite local grocery store, Barny’s. As the group negotiated what vegetables to buy, Cody said “I haven’t eaten a vegetable since the ‘90s!” By the time the shoppers checked out, the cashier and baggers were wiping away tears of laughter at the jokes being tossed about. When the sun peaked out, the group seized the opportunity to hit the beach and play in the surf, sand, and sun! Tips for sun safety were shared and everyone was prepared with sunscreen and hats. The Michigan side of the lake beaches hold perfect skipping stones and the walk home gave campers time to smell the roses and listen to the birds sing. Everyone pitched in to make an evening meal that included salad, grilled corn on the cob, hamburgers, hot dogs, brats and red potatoes. Afterward, the screened in porch proved to be a great space to play a favorite card game, Phase 10. 

DAY 2 – A day of play and social engagement…

On Tuesday, the group learned a valuable lesson about Michigan – it’s important to call ahead because blueberry orchards are closed on Tuesdays! Flexibility is key, so mini golf became the morning activity with a “hole in one” as the highlight. Grilled pizza prepared by the group made a great lunch, and the afternoon was spent around the pool with the most fun water fight ever! An evening meal out at a local favorite, “The Stray Dog” and dessert at the popular “Oinks” ice cream topped off the day at play. 

DAY 3 – Hard work, physical activity, healthy eating…

A hallmark of camp was good food balanced with fun physical activity. Nine campers picked 22 pounds of blueberries…fun and tiring work. Diego commented that it was also “peaceful.” To rejuvenate, Redamak’s legendary burgers were just what was needed. Relaxing and swimming in the pool led to a game of “PIG” at the basketball court… and an up close and personal deer photo op presented itself on the walk to the court. For dinner, the group prepared grilled chicken, oven roasted potatoes, salad, and broccoli. Lindsay and Matt had made blueberry muffins from scratch using berries picked that morning, and even after that big meal they was hard to resist. Jonathon finally said “You can’t just let them sit there all night!” They were delicious. The evening ended with bonding time around a campfire. The campers were very supportive of each other as they shared about their lives, struggles and dreams. 

DAY 4 – Heading home…

Campers prepared buckwheat pancakes for breakfast and packed for home. The day was perfect for a couple of hours exploring New Buffalo gift shops and eating lunch outside. The car ride back was full of conversation, jokes and rocking out to favorite tunes. 

Camp provided a lot of opportunities to plan time, build relationships, practice social skills, get around, manage money, cook meals and clean up the space. Building on all of these skills in a fun environment with good friends is really enjoyable.

Upcoming Events & Activities

Our Blog