Summer Camp - High School Programs


Pioneer Unit

Designed to enhance our campers’ summer experience through exposure to an array of beautiful natural settings and diverse educational opportunities, Pioneer Unit, in particular, will also allow campers the chance to increase their roles and responsibilities by setting up campsites, cooking, and caring for equipment.  The social opportunities provided through outdoor tripping are also immense, as campers are asked to work in close groups while using appropriate “expedition behavior”. While at camp, PU campers will be participating in a progressive team building program that will allow them to develop their group dynamics prior to their first canoe trip, a three day, two night excursion on the Muskegon and White Rivers. Upon their return from the first canoe trip, campers will join in on the fun happening at camp, like Low Down Dirty Day, Carnival, Lake Fest and more! PU’s second trip will be a four day, three night trip on the Pere Marquette river (Session 2) or Au Sable river (Session 3). Ending their stay will be the Closing Ceremony celebration, where campers will receive their bead necklaces and awards.


  1. Canoeing Skills
  2. Tent Etiquette
  3. Outdoor Cooking
  4. Fire Building
  5. Leave No Trace
  6. Community and Teamwork
  7. Conflict Resolution
  8. Leadership
  9. Responsibility
  10. Trip Planning
  11. Personal Goal Setting


Muskegon River

White River

Located in Hesperia, Michigan, the White river is a hidden treasure among rivers! The White is about 20 miles from Newaygo and is nestled right between the Muskegon and the Pere Marquette Rivers. The White River flows in a southwesterly direction through the southern section of Manistee National Forest. The lake and river discharge into Lake Michigan, near the towns of Whitehall and Montague. A wetland river, it is bordered by ooze for much of its length. The swampy conditions make the river and its tributaries an ideal living area for beaver and other wetland small game. During the fur trade era, trappers found the White River was one of the most productive rivers in lower Michigan. Later, loggers harvested old-growth timber along the river. The timbers were floated down to now-vanished sawmills in Montague and Whitehall.

Pere Marquette River (Session 2)

In July 1978 the Pere Marquette River was designated a National Wild and Scenic River, the first in Michigan. The river wanders gently across the central Michigan landscape; alternately hidden in the forested shadows and then opening up into the sinuous floodplains in its lower reaches. The river is the longest river system in the Lower Peninsula without dams or impoundments.

Au Sable River (Session 3)

The Au Sable River is known as Michigan’s premier river for both trout fishing and canoeing.  It is home to the world famous Au Sable Marathon, a canoe race from the headwaters north of Grayling to its mouth in Lake Huron.  It is also the setting of one of Pioneer Unit’s canoe trips.  This trip begins on the second Tuesday of Session 3; the group will depart by bus to our drop off point near Grayling.  For four days our campers will enjoy one of the most beautiful rivers in North America, as they pass through the Au Sable State Forest on their way to their destination at Mio Dam Pond where they will again be picked up by bus.  This trip will focus not only on canoeing skills, but also ‘leave no trace’ camping and cooking skills.  Difficulty: Moderate


Leaders in Training (LIT)

Want to become more of a leader in your community, school or even on your sports team, consider the Leader in Training program.  Our Leader in training program is a two-week program that gives high school students the tools they need to become a better leader in all aspects of their lives.

Application Process- The application process for the LIT program is more for campers to be able to experience the application process.  Potential LIT campers apply for the program and are required to answer a few questions to say why they want to be a part of the LIT program and why they want to be a better leader.

Goals: The goals of the Leader in Training program is to be able to prepare high school age campers to be leaders in their community, at school or even a leader to their peers.  We want to be able to give our LIT campers the tools that they will need to be the best leader that they can be in any situation.

Service project: Our LIT’s will participate in a service project to help realize the significance that they as LIT’s have on the Camp Pinewood Community. 

Download LIT Application Here
Sample LIT Schedule


Counselor in Training (CIT I & II)

Are you are a camper who is a leader among your peer group? Interested in becoming a counselor? Do you want a great start at college resume building? Do you LOVE CAMP? This program is for you!

Our counselor-in-training program is a two year program broken in to two parts. In their first year, campers will receive specialized training in camper leadership, class development, facilitating, and peer evaluations. In their second year, CIT II’s, will take on a special role at camp; facilitating rotations, assisting counselors in cabins, helping to lead or design activities and establishing themselves as the next generation of counselors.


Counselor-in-Training I (CIT I): Entering Grade 11. Session 4.

 During the first year in the CIT program, campers will learn a variety of skills that encourage class or rotation management and facilitation. CIT I’s will enjoy typical camp activities while learning to peer facilitate. CIT’s will become belay trained, help to run special event days, lead a devotional with younger campers and shadow one of our veteran counselors. Their first week will be spent on a trip to Hoffmaster State Park to enjoy the camaraderie of their peers, participating in a community service project, learning more about facilitating activities, and developing goals for their growth and maturation. Their second week, CIT’s will move in to a cabin with another CIT and counselor, and start to practice their role as a peer leader. Application Required.

Sample CIT I Schedule

Counselor-in-Training II (CIT II): Entering Grade 12. Sessions 1 & 2.

 The second year of the CIT program is designed as a continuation of goals, growth and trainings to develop the very best counselors! This three week program combines one week of hands-on training, a service project and trip; with two weeks of in cabin experience and counselor mentoring. In their first week, CIT II’s will spend two days at their final Senior Beach as campers in Muskegon State Park, participate in an on-camp service project and be trained in risk management, emergency procedures, conflict management and American Red Cross CPR, First Aid & AED.

At the beginning of Session 2, CIT II’s will be moved in to a cabin to assist veteran counselors with campers. Each evening, mentoring counselors and the Teen Leadership Coordinator, will lead quick “check-ins” with their CIT II’s. These sessions will offer advice and positive feedback for the CIT’s. The goal of this program is to help campers that dream of coming back as staff to realize their fullest potential and to help transition campers into amazing peer leaders. At the final campfire, CIT II’s will not only be recognized but will also present a special display for the rest of camp. Application Required. CIT I is not required for participation in CIT II; but highly recommended for program participation.

Sample CIT II Schedule

Application Process

All CIT I & CIT II Campers are expected to fill out an online paper application and to have a conversation with our Camp Director discussing their interest in the program and why they will make a stellar CIT. Phone calls will only be scheduled after receipt of written application.

Download CIT I & II Application Here

Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the program is filled.