Armada PAL Camp has been a state-licensed camp for 35 years and running. PAL continues to take Armada Middle School students up for the best week of the summer!
To help supervise over 200 middle school children for a week each summer takes some talent — but for Tim Woelkers, Camp Founder and Director for 35 Years, a crucial key is being a big kid at heart. Tim and our volunteers put that trait to use each August for camp held at Center Lake Bible Camp in Tustin, Michigan.
He was an officer in the Armada Police Department when he came up with the idea and took 103 children and 27 volunteers to the middle of the state his first year in 1984. At the time, there weren't any extracurricular activities at all in the middle school or the Armada community for the kids.
Since 1984, Armada PAL has grown in both size and participation averaging more than 200 children in 5th through 8th Grade making the weeklong trip each summer. As we celebrate our 35th year of camp, we've already begin to see second generation campers - children of our first camper group. Even our volunteer staff is made up of a majority of past campers.
As the years go by, we continue to find new ways to bring the wild outdoors to the children in our community. Children these days have to learn to live without the electronics when they head up to camp. There are no cell phones or any electronics of any kind allowed for the six days they are at the camp.
" It's the place where you get a little closer to the person you want to be. It's the place where you remember what matters, who matters. It's the place where trees blow on still nights and flowers bloom under frost. It's the place where pigs fly and boundaries are broken. It's the place that reminds you what life is really about. It's the place where the smell of campfire and evening dew stick to your skin. It's camp."
- Cody Michael Pagan, 1992 - 2015