In 1923, the Club president was Clarence L. Greilick, an avid outdoorsman, who proposed an idea for one of the Club’s earliest projects—the establishment of a community campground, to be used by the 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, each group having an allotted time for camp use. The membership approved the concept and raised $1,100 to buy some 450 acres of land in the Spider Lake and Rennie Lake areas.

That endeavor proved so successful that a very impressive $7,500 was next raised to purchase an additional 27 acres of land. The new acreage had Rennie Lake frontage and gave the camp excellent facilities for water sports. Control of the camp was turned over to a non-profit organization made up of representative Rotarians, named the “Community Camp Association.” Some 19 years later, then president, Jack Freethy, convinced the Club members that the properties should be deeded back to an organization of the Club.

On January 6, 1955 the first Articles of Incorporation for “Rotary Camps, Inc.” were filed to take title to the camp properties. Since then, Rotary Camps & Services has been the official land-management arm of the Rotary Club of Traverse City.

Camp Sakakawea post carc