Alhambra St. Francis Camp on the Lake

Rating: 4.82 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Mental Health, Disabilities, Human Services, Sports

Location: PO Box 475 Dearborn MI 48121 USA

Mission: St. Francis Camp was founded in 1985 to provide a camping experience to the mentally handicapped. St. Francis Camp serves those clients who are from the age of 8 to 80. St. Francis Camp receives a foster care license for both Children and Adults each summer. Fundraising activities include an annual calendar raffle drawing, letter writing campaign to all Knights of Columbus Councils in the State of Michigan and requests for charitable donations.
Programs: St. Francis Camp operates from June to August each year providing camping for up to 35 campers each week. The weekly sessions start on Sunday and run until Friday.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Great Camp and professional support. I love the 3 to one ratio. My daughter has been going to this camp for several years now, and asks when she can go back she has so much fun. I feel very comfortable and am confident in the care she receives there. i have recommended this camp to many others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have more office support.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My Daughter Amy tarted going to St. Francis Camp on the Lake two years ago. It was such a fantastic camp experience for her, that from the time she returns home, until the next years camp session, she talks in excitement and anticipation of returning.

They offer a non pressured fun week filled with activities, socializing, and skill building.

For me as a parent, I am comfortable with this particular camp because they are a respite care provider, which means we I can use respite dollars to send Amy there,. If one is out of respite dollars, in my opinion the price for the week is very affordable.

They have councilors that are trained in dealing with a variety of disabilities, and I also like the three to one ratio of campers to councilor.

The grounds are beautiful, clean, and bring a certain amount of peace and serenity into the campers week.

I cant say enough about St. Francis Camp! I am grateful Amy has had the privilege of enjoying the camp experience there, and we look forward to returning every year.

Janet Sides
Amy's Mother

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Sending my Daughter to the summer week camp.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have tri-fold broacher's printed up so the campers and parents/guardians could take some to hand them out. Other than that, I feel they are doing a fantastic job. :)

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Rating: 5 stars  

When I was a kid, I would always look forward to the summer when my parents would rent a cottage for a week at the lake. It was a week of swimming, fishing, hiking and making memories that last even till today. Donating to St Francis Camp and being on the board, thinking about those kids enjoying themselves the same way brings on a "warm and fuzzy" feeling had to explain. Especially knowing that it was made possible, in a small way, my my time donations.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

While taking exit interviews from Counselors this year I was very pleasantly surprised to hear that they were happy with their pay as long as they received that big grin from those under their care. Even as a member of the Board I was unaware of the total dedication of the counselors and the group of totally dedicated volunteers that assist at Camp! As a result of the above, I will become more involved with the daily operation of our Camp to get then what they need to better fulfill our mission!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

St. Francis Camp offer children and adults, who are mentally impaired, the opportunity to be with friends for a week of fun in an outdoor setting. This is a wonderful break for their parents and caregivers, yet also a wonderful break in the campers' every day routine. Their entire week is geared toward FUN for everyone, regardless of their level of impairment!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with St. Francis Camp since 1994 both as a paid staff and as a volunteer. I have watched campers over the years blossom and grow in the nurturing environment provided at camp, under the watchful eyes of trained staff who care a great deal about the campers we serve. Being a small camp can be both a blessing and a curse. A curse because there never seems to be enough money to go around~! However, we are blessed by our small size because it allows for a much more personal experience for our campers. Our activities are camper-led and inspired. Ideas for camp programs and activities come from our campers themselves and their families. I have been blessed to be a part of this wonderful organization~!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The happy, joyful faces of our campers as they greet staff and each other year after year. The results of the excellent work done at St. Francis Camp are evident in the first words of an autistic youngster's first word being "camp", the letters we receive from parents and when campers try new foods and activities they would not try at home.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More monies need to come in from individual donations, corporate sponsors and fund-raising to keep St. Francis Camp a vital and viable recreational option in the face of the ever changing needs of the cognitively impaired community.

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Rating: 4 stars  

I was a Camp Counselor for 7 summers and it was the best job I have ever had. I learned so much from the other staff and the campers during my years there. It was also one of the hardest, challenging, and rewarding jobs i have ever had. I still keep in contact with the camp and some of the staff. It has been almost 20 yrs ago since my first summer there and I have made some life long friends and memories from working at St. Francis Camp. I Love you guys and what you represent. Thank You for allowing me to have the greatest work experience of my life, I will never forget my time, friends, campers, or family from St. Francis Camp.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

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Rating: 4 stars  

This is a wonderful organization run by a great group of men supported by their spouses who believe in making a BIG differences in the lives of these special children!! They donate their time, talent and money and only expect smiles on these children's faces as their reward!!! Kudos to them for their selfless devotion to bettering their children's lives!!

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter went to St Francis and has gone for the past 5-6 years
She loves it so much
I would highly recommend this camp
They are kind, caring and cater to the specific needs of the person

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter is a camper there

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More weeks!!!!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter goes to St Francis and has for many many years
The staff is so warm and welcoming. We drive up and they all greet her and are so excited she is there. She looks forward to going and has a great time. A beautiful enviroment and a great experience for all.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It helps the special needs children become independent and have a great time.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have more weeks available

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter has been going to St. Francis for over 5 years now. She is now 22 and looks so forward to going. In fact now she goes a few times every summer. She is greeted so warmly and lovingly - everyone knows her already. She can be behavioral but they hire the best staff who certainly know how to handle her, keep her busy and very happy. She is already talking about going to St. Francis next summer. It is such a rewarding experience for both campers and counselors.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter loves going, makes her happy and independent

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NONE

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Rating: 5 stars  

St. Francis Camp is a special place for people with cognitive disabilities. It provides an opportunity to experience the thrill of camping in a beautiful environment. When I was young I got to experience the fun of going to camp and this is something that most people with cognitive disabilities do not have an opportunity to experience. At St. Francis Camp people of all ages are able to enjoy campfires, boat rides, and all the other fun that goes along with camping.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the improvement of the facilities. I have personally been a part of groups of 30 - 40 volunteers spending their precious free time to repair, improve and clean up the camp. Their dedication is an inspiration.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the camp available to more campers.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with St. Francis from its inception in 1984. That year, we had to replace the roof on one of the buildings, a roof we replaced again last year. For the past 12 years I have been very active in updating and providing leadership for capital improvement projects which have included replacing the siding on Alhambra Lodge, building a new deck, rebuilding the screened porch and this year, building a new pole barn for the camps use. I tell you this because I love St. Francis Camp. With up to 350 campers yearly St. Francis provides a safe fun environment for those who society has pushed aside the cognitively impaired. To see the smiles on our campers faces, to have a camper give you the biggest bear hug you can imagine is the greatest reward I will ever receive in life. I know that St. Francis Camp makes a difference in these camper’s lives, and I am proud to be a part of that difference.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In witnessing the smiles of our campers, and the thank you's from parents and caretakers upon their campers return home.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Wish to expand our services to every cognitively imparied person free of charge. OK, so I can dream big.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

I have been involved in the organization for over 25 years.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

To rebuild Cedar Hall

What is its top priority in the long run?

Improving our services, and bringing them to more campers.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am new to this but just fell in love with the camp so much that I got 20 new campers from Ionia County to come to camp this summer. I know these "kids" are excited cause they worked hard at fundraising to help pay for camp. I can't wait to see there reaction!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the smiles on the face of the campers!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

more money = more improvements

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