Rotary Camps and Services

In northern Michigan, abundant nature surrounds us. We have the opportunity to enjoy it. We have the responsibility to protect it.

Rotary Camps & Services has stewarded of more than 1,750 acres in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties since 1923.

Today we are opening up new landscapes for the community to enjoy. 


Rotary Camps & Services envisions a region with thriving ecosystems and abundant access for all to water, land and recreational opportunities.


We are stewards of strategic land and water resources, and collaborative innovators who respond to community opportunities.


Our Values Guide Our Decisions

We value:

Youth, recreation, and stewardship

Being proactive, flexible, open, transparent, and accessible in fulfilling our mission

Access to natural resources and recreation for people of all ages, abilities, and need



Rotary Camps & Services owns over 1,700 acres in Grand Traverse County and 14 acres in Leelanau County. The properties serve various community purposes including use by Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, outdoor recreation at East Creek Reserve, and a freshwater campus at Discovery Center Great Lakes.


Matt McDonough, Executive Director

Matt became the first CEO of Discovery Center Great Lakes in the fall of 2019. Originally from southwestern Michigan, Matt has called Traverse City his home for over 20 years.  He has a B.S. in Resource Development with an emphasis in Water Resources from Michigan State University.  Prior to a 17-year career in land conservation, Matt worked in the fields of fisheries and water rights in Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Montana, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon. 



Traverse City's Noon Rotary Club’s first major community service project was to raise funds to establish a camp for youth, believing that all youth would benefit from time spent exploring the northern Michigan wilderness. In 1923, Club president Clarence L. Greilick, an avid outdoorsman, 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.

In 1955, all  the land acquired was turned over to a new nonprofit corporation called Rotary Camps & Services, the official land-holding arm of the Rotary Club of Traverse City. Rotary Camps & Services owns approximately 1700 acres of property in Grand Traverse County and 17 acres in Leelanau County, known as Discovery Center Great Lakes.

We have also incubated several regional institutions, including Grand Traverse Regional Land ConservancyGrand Traverse Regional Community FoundationHomeStretch and NorthSky Nonprofit Network.


Our trustees are elected from the membership of the Traverse City Noon Rotary Club.

Chris DeGood, Senior Associate Engineer at Beckett & Raeder
Katy McCain, Director of Community Development at Traverse City DDA
Jim McWilliams, Certified Public Accountant at L.E. Williams & Company
Mark Newhouse, Chair, State Farm Insurance
Pat Parker, Fire Chief at Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department
Lisa Pointe, Development & Events Director at Great Lakes Children's Museum
Dan Rickard, Vice Chair, Owner of The Copy Shop
Bob Stow, Semi-retired Architect
Rick Summers, Northern Division Brand Manager at Fox Motors
Sharron Zimmerman, Safety & Compliance Specialist at Goodwill Industries