Where inspiration grows
“I took a walk in the woods and came out
taller than the trees.” — Henry David Thoreau
The outdoors is a wonderland that belongs to all of us. Experiencing nature at its source invigorates us, teaches us, comforts us and connects us closer to our true selves and those around us. Chicago Youth Centers’ (CYC) Camp Rosenthal is a natural resource of inspiration, and we invite you to make it your outdoor home for summer camp or to host your private group events in the spring, winter, fall, and summer.
Located in Dowagiac, Michigan, just 115 miles (or 90 minutes) from Chicago, Camp Rosenthal is nestled within its 330 wooded acres and surrounded by a 30-acre lake. During the summer, it is home away from home to 350 young Chicago campers, where they make their introductions to the great outdoors while meeting new friends, learning new life skills and discovering their leadership potential. Off season, Camp Rosenthal offers a beautiful landscape for private group retreats, weddings, corporate events and big family outings. See our Group Rental section for more information.
At CYC’s Camp Rosenthal, our goal is to teach independent life, skills that each camper can take back home and implement into their daily lives. It is our hope that at the end of each camp session, we have changed a life or possibly saved a life by offering a service that is not obtainable back at home.
Camp Rosenthal has benefited thousands of Chicago children, ages seven to 15, since 1962. Camp offers urban youth an opportunity to gain team-building, leadership and social skills as well as a sense of belonging and responsibility through hiking, sailing, canoeing, swimming and campfire storytelling.
Camp is divided into four villages, each of which consists of cabins, a bathhouse and an activity building. Campers are grouped in villages by age and gender and sleep eight to a cabin along with two counselors who maintain a consistent, caring and attentive presence day and night. The camp dining hall is large enough for all campers to eat together family style. The food is delicious, nutritious and plentiful — no one leaves a meal hungry!
Activities include swimming, paddle boating, canoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, hiking, environmental education, bicycling, dance, group games, talent shows, plays and skits, singing and music, campfire storytelling, cook-outs, environmental education, archery, ropes courses, and creative writing! Campers make life-long friends, learn self-reliance, and learn more about the natural world and their place in it.
How to Register
If you are interested in Chicago Youth Centers’ (CYC) Camp Rosenthal, click here to view the registration form. Fill out the form and submit for our review. CYC staff will determine if you are eligible for scholarship accommodations and respond by phone within one week and you will receive a confirmation post card by mail within two weeks with your application.