Hello Parents!

We are so glad your child will be joining us for a summer full of outdoor adventure!  Imagine the stories your child will tell after spending their days exploring thousands of acres of fields, forests, and old farm roads. Camp Bells Bend Beaman is the perfect place for them to have unforgettable fun while learning outdoor skills and building character strengths that last a lifetime.

Camp Bells Bend Beaman is a partnership between Friends of Bells Bend Park, Friends of Beaman Park, and Leadership Academy LLC to help children fall in love with nature and immerse themselves in beauty of the outdoors. Thank you for choosing Leadership Academy’s Camp Bells Bend Beaman.

Our Mission

At Leadership Academy, we believe that play and exploration increases creativity, confidence and social intelligence. We do this by creating camp adventures for people of all ages. Our goal is to get more people outside, exploring, learning, playing and having fun so they develop a strong sense of self and a deeper connection to nature.

Camp Bells Bend Beaman is a safe and fun summer adventure day camp that encourages a lifelong love of nature and outdoor play.

Our Program

At Camp Bells Bend Beaman, children will spend every day outside. Our programming encourages imaginative play, nature education, and outdoor skills development. Above all, our goal is for every camper to increase their appreciation and respect for nature. A flexible schedule allows campers to collaborate with their counselor and peers to choose their own adventure, and decide where each day takes them.

Activities include: nature education, hiking, camp games and songs, crafts, outdoor cooking, archery, fishing, geocaching, creek exploration, animal tracking, camping skills and more.  All camp activities are lead by caring, enthusiastic staff who are building careers in education, sports and recreation, and child development.

Camp is where your child will be supported and encouraged as they develop their independence, imagination, creativity, teamwork, collaboration, and social skills. They will spend every day playing, learning, and growing: surrounded by natural beauty.

Drop Off/Pickup & Busing

Camp is Monday-Friday from 9:00 am-4:00 pm for $210/week

Monday-Wednesday is at Bells Bend Outdoor Center

Thursday-Friday is a Beaman Park Nature Center

Extended care is offered from 7:45 am-5:15 pm* for $50/week for car rider campers.


Busing Service is from Elmington Park from 7:45 am-5:15 pm* for $90/week and includes counselor supervision and extended care. Buses depart at 8:25 am and arrive at 4:25 pm.

*A late pickup fee of $1/minute may be assessed.

What To Bring

Your camper will need to be dressed and ready for an active day of outdoor exploration.  This often means getting wet and muddy. We love that!

Campers should bring a backpack each day filled with the following items:

  • Sturdy sports sandals: with back straps (ie. Keens/Crocs) or gym shoes to protect feet from injury.  NO open-toes sandals or flip-flops, please!
  • Sunscreen & bug spray: We will spend much of our time in the forest, but sunscreen will be important for field games. Please apply both before you arrive & our counselors will re-apply as needed throughout the day.
  • A hat: to keep the sun off of delicate faces.
  • A rain jacket: Camp adventures will not be stopped by rain. We will seek shelter during lightning or severe weather.
  • An extra set of clothes: or swimsuit that can get wet and/or muddy. We will not be swimming but we often walk or sit in the creek.
  • A plastic water bottle: Proper hydration keeps our campers happy and cool. We will refill the bottles throughout the day. BPA-free water bottles are sold in our camp store.
  • Lunch & a snack: packed in a reusable lunchbox/bag. All wrappers/uneaten food will be kept in the lunchbox and returned home so parents can be aware of what their child is eating at camp.

PLEASE NOTE: If a child forgets their lunch, CBBB will call the listed contact person. Lunch can be dropped off or CBBB will provide a pre-packaged lunch for a fee of $5.00. CBBB is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please label all of your child’s belonging. Unclaimed items will be held for 1 week, displayed at checkout, then donated to charity.

What NOT To Bring

Camp Bells Bend Beaman is a place to explore your natural surroundings so we ask you not to send any electronics or items that could distract from your child’s experience in the the park.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • cell phones
  • iPods or MP3 players
  • trading cards
  • hand held video games
  • digital cameras

CBBB staff will upload photos to the Camp Bells Bend Beaman Facebook page each day! Like us while you’re there!

The following items are not permitted on camp property at any time: drugs, alcohol, pornography, weapons, fireworks or tobacco.

Camp Behavior Policy

*Please review with your child before arriving at Camp Bells Bend Beaman.

Camp Bells Bend Beaman wants to cultivate the naturalist in your child and engage them with their immediate environment. It will be a fun week at camp, especially if the campers  already know what is expected from them. Read these guidelines with your child.

To guide us, we use the ACORNS* philosophy.

Camp Bells Bend Beaman’s campers aim to be:

  • Active
    Be active in your group. Participate and try new things.
  • Curious
    Ask questions & try and find out answers. Explore your environment.
  • Observant
    Pay attention to world around you. Listen and notice small things.
  • Respectful
    Respect all things: people, animals, plants and our environment.
  • In Nature
    Being outside makes us mentally and physically healthier. Unplug and enjoy!
  • Safe
    Make good decisions. Be careful with ourselves, others and our words.

(*Adapted with permission from Kalamazoo Nature Center – PDF)

Inclement Weather

Rain brings the field flowers to life and replenishes the creeks and rivers. We wouldn’t want to miss out on that! Our campers should bring rain gear and be ready for new adventures when the rain falls. Our staff will monitor the weather and if lightning or thunder is detected campers will be moved to shelter.

Itchy Things

Mosquitoes, Ticks, Poison Ivy & Chiggers oh my!

Due to the outdoor location of our programming, your camper may come in contact with something that makes them itch. Our staff will educate your camper about these hazards and remind them to check themselves for ticks. We do request that you thoroughly check your camper when they arrive home as ticks will often hide under clothing in areas that will not be checked by our staff.

Medications

Please administer all medications before bringing your camper to Camp Bells Bend Beaman each camp day. Please alert the camp director of any issues or if your child will be bringing an inhaler or EpiPen.

Emergency Communications Plan

Although we do our best to stay safe and prevent injuries, sometimes accidents happen. In the case of an injury or an emergency, we will do our best to communicate with parents (or emergency contacts) as soon as possible.

Please note, that Camp Bells Bend Beaman does not provide any transportation. In case of an injury or emergency, the camp staff will assess the situation and call emergency services as appropriate. Once the nature of the injury/emergency has been established, parents will be notified by the camp director or the CEO. If the child’s parents cannot be reached, the designated emergency contacts will be called. If the injury or emergency is not life-threatening but requires further medical attention, the parents or emergency contacts will need to provide transportation to seek care.

Additional Questions?

We want you and your child to have an unforgettable experience at Camp Bells Bend Beaman. If you have any questions or concerns not addressed in this parent guide, please feel free to contact us online or text/call 615-856-4772.

Further Reading

NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER

This term was coined by Richard Louv to describe the effect that increased time indoors has on children. Examples range from increased rates of obesity and behavioral problems to lack of focus at school. Time spent outdoors quickly combats many of these issues. Learn more

Our First Summer (2016)

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