My daughter is a currently a second year Daisy scout. Last June she attended a week of day camp at Camp Crawford and loved it. This summer we have been trying to figure out our schedule to travel to family and were purposely avoiding the week that camp was held at Camp Crawford last year. Yesterday the Girl Scouts announced that they are selling their Camp Crawford property in Milan. I am sad to hear this news.
While Camp Linden (Linden) and Camp O’the Hills (Brooklyn) are about an hour from Ann Arbor, they a little far from Ann Arbor to be a viable option for day camp. Per google maps, Camp Linden is 48 minutes north of Ann Arbor, Camp O’the Hills is 51 minutes southwest. Camp Crawford is 20 minutes south of Ann Arbor and very conveniently located to US-23 (less than 2 miles). To me 20 minutes is a reasonable drive for a day camp, 45 minutes is not. While Camp Linden and Camp O’the Hills offer resident camps, my 7 year old is not ready for that and I would rather spend money to send her to two weeks of day camp instead of one week of resident camp.
I understand that the decision to sell Camp Crawford was based on income vs. expenses on the property. However, last summer they ran only a single week of day camp at Camp Crawford. It is not surprising that they were unable to meet their expenses by only offering one week of day camp. I am not sure if there were resident camps offered at Camp Crawford last year. Since I did not grow up in Michigan and my daughter is only in her second year of Girl Scouts, I do not know what the history is behind the lack of programming at Camp Crawford.
This summer they are running 8 weeks of day camp at their new office building in Ypsilanti Township, a former car dealer. While I am planning to send my daughter to at least one week of this camp, I do not like the facilities as much. Camp Crawford was a large natural property (55 acres) with plenty of opportunities for nature exploration and plenty of woods for shade. My daughter’s class had a field trip there and I know there were at least a few screened cabins available for camping or crafts as well as a lodge. During the week at Camp Crawford, they offered the opportunity for the older girls to spend one night.
On the flip side, the new office in Ypsilanti Township is a former car dealer with wide expanses of parking lot. and 2 acres of green space behind the building. While they have plans to convert some of the parking lot back to green space, I don’t know that it will be done for this summer’s camps and there is still a lack of shade. I doubt that they would have the on-site facilities to allow for an overnight stay. On the plus side, they e-mailed our leader a list of the themes for day camp this year and they do sound fun and some include related field trips. My daughter is eager to attend a few of these camps. Prices have not yet been announced, so I am waiting to see how much they cost before committing to too many camps.
I have to wonder if Camp Crawford would have been closer to a break even point with the increased day camp option.