History of Camp Leelanau

Camp Leelanau for Boys was founded in the early 1920s by William M. “Skipper” Beals and his wife, Cora Mautz Beals. Having spent several summers with a group of young men from Christian Science families from The Principia, they moved the group to Glen Arbor, Michigan, where they bought a unique piece of land at the mouth of the Crystal River. Arthur S. “Major” Huey and his wife, Helen Mautz Huey (Cora’s sister), continued Skipper’s work together with Cora in the decades following Skipper’s untimely passing in 1942. 

Daily educational programming in the early years eventually gave way to a wide range of summer activities. The Leelanau School was then created to encompass year round, traditional academics. The camp flourished for many years, sharing property with The Leelanau School.

Camp Kohahna for Girls joined Camp Leelanau on its facility in 1971. From 1981 – 1988, the Camps were located in Northport. The camps and school maintained this relationship until 1988 when the non-profit Camp Leelanau and Kohahna Foundation, Inc. was formed to take responsibility for the Camp operation. It purchased the early Camp Kohahna property on Pyramid Point as the permanent site for the camps.

The exciting waterfront and beautiful property, surrounded by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, have made a perfect home for the camps. Although the facility has been thoroughly refurbished and modernized, the original beauty of the Camps has been preserved. The Camps look forward to the continued use of this beautiful facility.

Endless adventures await campers at Leelanau (a Native American word for “Land of Delight”). Rustic cabins that are settled into the wooded hillside overlooking Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands are home to Leelanau campers for the summer. Campers share cabins with boys their own age in groups of five to ten. The daily schedule for all ages includes cabin cleanup, morning activities (scheduled weekly), afternoon activities (selected daily), and evening junior and senior group activities. Throughout the summer, all campers are encouraged to participate in our wide variety of activities as well as our backcountry camping opportunities.

Solid young men from all over the country converge in a team of counselors at Leelanau. Their goal is to bring out the most in their campers and to love, support and challenge them. The counselors for the younger cabins are always ready to be caring big brothers while the counselors in the older cabins also strive to develop communication and teambuilding skills in these future leaders.

Each day provides for dedicated study of the Daily Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly. There is time for each camper to expand his love and understanding of God. Counselors help reveal how the Lesson can provide solutions to life’s challenges and how Christian Science can be applied every day at camp and at home.