Camp Just Us       

The mission of Camp Just Us is to foster transformative personal growth for each child through a focus on personal responsibility and collective action, developed through close mentorship by our camp counselors. We are called to help children recognize their own unique gifts and we will encourage them to broaden their horizons by leading meaningful discussions and collective action to create good in our community.

Camp Just Us is designed as a summer-long expeditionary learning day camp for school-age children (ages 6-11). The camp has three distinct sessions that build on one another.  Our camp enrollment capacity is 24, with two full-time counselors and one program coordinator.  Enrollment priority will be given to children enrolling for the entire summer.




Session One – June 19th – July 7th, 2017 – Develop Individual and Group Voice – In session one, campers will learn how to articulate who they are as unique individuals, what their individual rights and responsibilities are, and, through this, build self-confidence.  We will have guest presenters teach us about personal wellness and we will learn how we can support friends and family members through visits to area organizations with expertise in this area.  Also, guest presentations and visits with personal trainers and local physicians will help us explore body image what it means to be healthy at all sizes, including shame resiliency techniques.  Campers will end session one by designing and implementing a service project and accompanying video about anti-bullying and self-confidence.


Session Two – July 10th – August 4th, 2017 – Connect to Local Advocacy Movements – In session two, campers will learn how to use their voice to stand up for people and ideas they believe in.  We will partner with and learn from organizations that advocate for others and help create social change in Battle Creek and more broadly.  Campers will explore the history of Battle Creek, learn about the present-day role of local advocacy organizations such as PRIDE, Voces, and The Burma Center in the lives of Battle Creek residents, and hear from presenters from around the city about issues they are passionate about.  At the end of session two, campers will create a personal Vision Action Plan, and together, plan a community rally for a cause to be determined by the campers.


Session Three – August 7th – Sept 1st, 2017 – Connect to Global Rights Movements – In session three, Camp Just Us campers will focus on our collective responsibility for our planet.  We will learn about earth and outer space at the Kingman Museum and on other virtual field trips. We will have direct encounters with local animals (domesticated, native, and exotic) as we learn about how to protect them.  And, we will learn about global food issues through partnership with organizations like Sprout and our local food production facilities.  As a culmination of the entire camp, children will learn about cooking from local chefs and host an end of summer dinner that will be open for families and community partners.



Camp Just Us: The Details

Location:  Camp Just Us is part of Garden of Dreams Community Preschool and Child Care at 145 Capital Avenue NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017.  Camp Just Us is an expeditionary learning camp, which means that our campers will be doing lots of hands-on learning and will participate in many different activities both at Garden of Dreams and off-site.  Our campers will spend a lot of time outside and take many walking field trips within downtown Battle Creek.  Students will also ride the city bus on several occasions as a group.

Camp Daily Routine:  Camp Just Us runs from 8:15am – 4:15pm daily, June 19 – September 1, 2017.  Garden of Dreams Community Preschool is open from 7:00am – 5:30pm.  Children may enroll in before- or after-camp child care for an additional $5/week.   

7:00 – 8:15am Before-Camp Child Care

8:15 – 8:30am Opening Flag Ceremony

8:30 – 9:10am Breakfast and Job Chart Discussion

9:10 – 9:40am Camp Greeting Time

9:40 – 11:00am Team Time (discussion with counselor on topic/speaker and small Group )

11:00 – 11:45am Outdoor Exploration

11:45am – 12:15pm Lunch

12:15pm – 1:00pm Camp Council ( discuss emotions what we need to do expectations )

1:00 – 2:00pm Independent Creation Time (art/ journal/ craft/reading/table toys)

2:00 – 3:00pm Session Focus Time (work on session’s project in large or small groups)

3:00 – 3:15pm Snack

3:15 – 3:45pm Mentoring Time with Younger Children

3:45 – 4:15pm Closing Flag Ceremony (Review circle and prepare for next day)

4:15 – 5:30pm After-Camp Child Care (Outdoor Exploration Time)

How to Enroll

For families interested in full-summer enrollment:

  1. Fill out enrollment survey
  2. Send in $100 non-refundable deposit within two weeks of submitting enrollment survey.  Deposit will be credited toward tuition due.  
    1. You may pay online at
    2. You may send a check made out to Garden of Dreams Preschool to 145 Capital Avenue NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017.
  3. Fill out enrollment forms here and submit by 5/31/17.

For families interested in only certain weeks of enrollment:

  1. Fill out interest survey
  2. The camp is designed as a full-summer experience.  We will accommodate requests to enroll for particular weeks as we determine vacancies from other campers’ vacations, etc.  
  3. Requests will be filled on a first-come basis.
  4. Once a week, parents will receive a weekly email about whether their request for enrollment has been approved yet.


Enrollment Information

We are so excited to offer this unique, summer-long day camp to families in Battle Creek.  The camp is designed to grow the self-confidence and personal responsibility of our campers through group discussion and collective action. We look forward to working with your child(ren)!

How to Enroll:

  • Fill out enrollment survey here:
  • Send in $100 non-refundable deposit within two weeks of submitting enrollment survey.  Deposit will be credited toward tuition due.  
    • You may pay online at
    • You may send a check made out to Garden of Dreams Preschool to 145 Capital Avenue NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017.
  • Fill out enrollment forms here and submit by 5/31/17.


  • $115 weekly tuition
  • 5% sibling discount (if two or more children from the same families are enrolled at Garden of Dreams)
  • 5% discount for full-summer enrollment
  • Families enrolled for the entire summer qualify for one week of tuition-free vacation if there will be weeks when your child will not be in attendance.
  • $5 additional weekly charge for before- or after-camp care