Contact Us|248-647-1100

Let nature be your classroom.

Treat your group to a hands-on experience in the great outdoors. Help push students boundaries and move beyond their comfort zones. Foster teamwork, collaboration and trust among friends. Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center will give your group an adventure they’ll never forget.

Design your experience

Each year, children’s groups of all sizes and ages visit Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center. Our trained staff and accommodating facilities ensure a safe, educational and enjoyable visit. We specialize in working with you to develop a curriculum-enhancing program that your group will enjoy and remember for years.

Our youth programs cover nearly every topic, from living sciences to sports, history to high ropes. Explore some of our most popular options below.

Call Us!

Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center offers over 50 engaging programs to meet every group’s goals. Call us to learn about additional activities at 248-647-1100.

Category: Top Programs Team Building, Adventure Education Sports, Recreation and Camp Favorites Living History and Cultural Education Wilderness and Environmental Sciences Evening Programs

Duration: 30 minutes – 3 hours

Season:

Participants: Varies by activity

Age: Participants of all ages are welcome

Chaperones: Varies by activity

All Aboard!

RAFT BUILDING! A great way to work on teamwork in an all hands on deck scenario. Groups of 4-5 participants will be given a set of supplies and challenged to build a raft that is stable enough to keep all of the members afloat. Team members will most likely get wet, so towels and a change of clothes are encouraged!

Category: Team Building, Adventure Education

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 20

Age: 5th Grade and Up

Chaperones: 2

Animal Tracking

Tracking animals—looking for prints and other signs of animal presence—is one of the simplest and most enduring ways to learn about the natural world. They embark on a tracking expedition with an experienced Outdoor Educator to test out their tracking skills.

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: 30

Age: 4th grade and up

Chaperones: 1:10

Archery

Archery is a fun and exciting sport that is fun for everyone, no matter their athletic ability. Participants learn about the bow and arrows, stance, marksmanship techniques, and of course, the importance of safety. Tamarack uses basic recurve bows, perfect for participants of all abilities.

 

Category: Sports, Recreation and Camp Favorites

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: 30 maximum

Age: 2nd grade and up

Chaperones: 1:15

Balloon Drop

This unique class gets groups brainstorming, communicating and constructing a design that they believe will accomplish the challenge set before them: participants must safely drop a water balloon off a second story balcony without the balloon bursting!

Category: Team Building, Adventure Education

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: 30

Age: 5th Grade and Up

Chaperones: 1:12

Canoeing

Tamarack staff teach basic canoeing skills on land then shove off the group to learn first hand how to work with their partner to accomplish a goal. Once the group gains the necessary skills, Tamarack staff facilitate games on the water for the group! This program is supervised by an American Red Cross certified lifeguard.

 

Category: Sports, Recreation and Camp Favorites

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 30

Age: All Ages

Chaperones: 2

Community Puzzle

A fantastic culmination to your Tamarack trip, this debriefing tool will have your group reflecting on their time at camp and applying their reflection to life outside of camp. Each participant receives a blank puzzle piece that they customize to express their unique experience. The puzzle can then be assembled and hung in a common area for all participants to look back on throughout the year, long after they leave camp.

Category: Team Building, Adventure Education

Duration: 45 minutes - 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 100

Age: All Ages

Chaperones: 1

Eco Games

Participants will learn about adaptations, ecosystems, limiting factors, human environmental impact and more! Groups will play a series of games designed to help visualize these ecological concepts.

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: 50 max

Age: K-8th grades

Chaperones: 1:12

hike, wilderness, forest trek, explore

Forest Ecology

Discovery through observation makes this class a unique hands-on learning opportunity. Forest Ecology compliments many educational standards as participants explore, observe, measure and record data while they hike through the woods.

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: unlimited

Age: K-8th grades

Chaperones: 1:15

GPS: Geocaching

Join the world’s largest treasure hunt! Participants learn how to use a handheld GPS, then utilize this skill in small groups to hunt for more caches. Participants solve clues to learn the location of each cache and once at the cache, participants can opt to swap a keepsake or keep the one they have.

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 30

Age: 4th grade and up

Chaperones: 1:8

Group Initiatives

One of our most popular programs, Group Initiatives (also referred to as Team Challenge) encourages teams to work together and communicate to solve a series of challenges.

Category: Top Programs Team Building, Adventure Education

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

Season:

Participants: Unlimited

Age: 5th grade and up

Chaperones: 1:16 (for groups younger than 18)

High Ropes

High ropes gives group members an opportunity to explore and expand their personal comfort zones. Our course is equipped with 20 unique, elevated challenges. The course has fully updated safety systems and is always supervised by trained staff.

Category: Top Programs Team Building, Adventure Education

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

Season:

Participants: 40 maximum

Age: 5th grade and up

Chaperones: 1:10

Instincts for Survival

Participants learn the importance of a balanced food chain as they are divided into carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and discover how much energy they need to consume to survive!  A great way to get groups energized, running around and excited to learn!

 

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 100

Age: 4th- 12th grades

Chaperones: 1:20

Living Science

In Living Science, groups have the opportunity to get up close and personal with Midwest native mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds while learning about animal habitats, ecological niches and biodiversity.

Category: Top Programs Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: Unlimited

Age: K – 12th grade

Chaperones: 1:12

Map and Compass

Groups will learn basic orienteering skills as they make their way through a course. Kids will be divided into smaller teams, who will travel through wooded trails collecting Michigan facts and information to complete a puzzle.

Category: Top Programs Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes OR 2 hours 45 minutes

Season:

Participants: Unlimited

Age: K – 12th grade

Chaperones: 1:8

Microscope Lab

Bring the science classroom outdoors with Tamarack’s microscope lab! Participants will collect samples from all over the woods and use them to create slides for observation under the microscope. A great class for groups that wish to gain skills in scientific study and using scientific equipment. Can be combined with Pond Expedition or Forest Ecology for more in-depth exploration.

 

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 30

Age: 4th- 12th grades

Chaperones: 1:15

Mock Olympics

Groups are divided into teams and assigned a color then create a name and mascot for their team’s color, representing those teams in a series of hilarious relay races and team challenges! A fun and engaging way to burn off any extra energy your group has before bedtime.

Category: Sports, Recreation and Camp Favorites

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 100

Age: 4th- 12th grades

Chaperones: 2

Nature Hike

Getting participants into nature is one of the best things about coming to Tamarack. The nature hike is for those groups that want to explore the natural beauty of the woods while experiencing teachable moments with their Tamarack guide. Boots or sneakers required.

Category: Sports, Recreation and Camp Favorites Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour to 3 hours, depending on goals

Season:

Participants: unlimited

Age: 4th grade and up

Chaperones: 1:10

Outdoor Cooking

Give your group a hands-on taste of an authentic camping tradition with outdoor cooking. Kids will create and cook their own meal over a fire before sitting down to eat. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated upon request.

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: Unlimited

Age: 4th grade and up

Chaperones: 1:15

Pioneer Skills

Immerse your group in the life of an 1860’s homesteader as they travel in small groups around Tamarack Camps’ pioneer village. Choose the stations that work best for the age and skill level of your participants:

  •  Candle making
  •  Doughnut making
  •  Hayride
  •  Tin punching
  •  Town Tour
  •  Pioneer games
  •  Quill Writing in School House
  •  Using pioneer saws
  •  Square dance

Tamarack Staff will train chaperones to run various stations. Chaperone participation is required, and dressing up is encouraged! Don’t worry, costumes are provided.

Category: Living History and Cultural Education

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes (4 stations) OR 2 hours 45 minutes (8 stations)

Season:

Participants: Up to 60

Age: K-8th grades

Chaperones: 1:5

Pond Expedition

Participants get their hands dirty as they explore the wet and wonderful world below the surface of our lakes and ponds. Using nets, buckets, magnifying glasses, and other equipment, groups will experience an up-close, hands on investigation into this intricate ecosystem. Participants interpret the information they collect to identify the type of environment and learn about succession and food chains.

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 30

Age: K-8th grades

Chaperones: 1:10

Raptor Pellet Disection

Participants learn about a day in the life of a raptor; where they live, how they hunt, what they eat, and what happens after they eat! Participants work in groups to dissect owl and hawk pellets and make scientific observations and conclusions based on their findings. The experience is deepened as participants are introduced to our Red Tailed Hawk.

 

Category: Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: 30 maximum

Age: 4th grade and up

Chaperones: 1:20

Rock Wall and Zip Line

Participants fly down the zip line and cheer on their friends as they do the same. After an exhilarating zip through the trees, we open the rock wall for participants to push themselves further and try to climb to the top of the wall.

Category: Top Programs Team Building, Adventure Education

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

Season:

Participants: 30 maximum

Age: 1st grade and up

Chaperones: 1:10

Skit Trunk

Get ready for a hilarious good time as students rummage through the Tamarack props and costumes, then create their own skits! You’re bound to be surprised with what your group comes up with! Kids love watching the adults do a production of their own, so get creative!

 

Category: Sports, Recreation and Camp Favorites

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 100

Age: 4th- 12th grades

Chaperones: 2

Smoklerville

Smoklerville–an 1860s town modeled after the American pioneer era–is an immersive experience that allows children and chaperones to see what it took to survive as a 19th century homesteader. Participation from both children and chaperones is imperative.

Category: Top Programs Living History and Cultural Education

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

Season:

Participants: Unlimited

Age: 4th – 8th grade

Chaperones: Minimum of 10

Square Dance

A classic form of entertainment revitalized at Tamarack! Groups have good ol’ fashioned fun as the Tamarack facilitator teaches them authentic square dance calls and responses, then spends the remaining time showing off their new moves to a mix of classic and modern music.

Category: Sports, Recreation and Camp Favorites

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 100

Age: 4th- 12th grades

Chaperones: 2

Tamarack Tie-Dye

Create this classic piece of camp attire! Participants receive a white Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center shirt to create their masterpiece. Shirt sizes MUST be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to class.

 

Category: Sports, Recreation and Camp Favorites

Duration: 45 minutes - 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: up to 30

Age: 4th grade and up

Chaperones: 1

Team Games

Get your group thinking like a team with a series of games, designed to reinforce basic team skills like collaboration, leadership, respect and good sportsmanship.

Category: Top Programs Team Building, Adventure Education

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Season:

Participants: Unlimited

Age: All ages

Chaperones: 2

Wilderness Survival

Wilderness survival gets participants’ hands dirty as they dig into what it takes to survive in the wild. Groups discover the basic needs of food, shelter and water, and learn what to pack in a survival kit. Short and long programs available.

Category: Top Programs Wilderness and Environmental Sciences

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes OR 2 hours 45 minutes

Season:

Participants: Unlimited

Age: 4th – 12th grade

Chaperones: 1:12