Be Greater Race Series

Be Greater Race Series

5K Fun Run-Walk

Become part of the Be Greater Race Series and join us at our 5K Family Fun Run/Walk.





Camp Fish Tales’ 5K Family Run/Walk is now part of the Be Greater Race Series!

Stay committed all race season and register to run the Great Lakes Bay Region! This collection of races which will keep you moving and motivated all race season long!

FREE to register for the series! All you have to do is race in at least four races to receive a shirt and gain eligibility for prizes provided by Runners.


Series Details





Camp Fish Tales begins a new campaign

As camp Fish Tales continues to grow and serve more campers every summer, the need for additional housing and bath facilities has emerged. We do not want to turn away any campers due to lack of space.

The board, in a strategic planning session has laid out the plans for expansion beginning with a new accessible shower house affording more privacy and more shower and toilet facilities. A new universally designed residential 24-bed camper cabin with room for up to 8 staff is next on the docket. Providing more privacy and more bathroom facilities is a must going forward.

The capital fundraising campaign has begun. Dow Corning has given $50,000 toward the project. The Strosacker Foundation has pledged $50,000. The Gerstacker Foundation of Midland has donated $10,000 toward the project. The Jean V and Donald J Massnick Charitable Trust has contributed over $14,000 toward the effort. In addition, many personal donations have been collected during our camp fundraisers. Please consider donating to CFT today and help us meet the goal of a new cabin.

Our dock is in need of renovation. The Garber Management group has pledged to repair the accessible dock beginning in the spring of 2018. THANK YOU GARBER! Plans to extend the current office and reception area as well as storage are also proposed. A wetlands delineation and environmental survey has taken place. Volunteers have begun to clear the areas of trees and brush to make way for the new buildings. Some material and much of the labor for the bath house have been donated by Van Popplen Brothers, Sequin Lumber, Operating Engineers OE 324 and many community volunteers.

We are always looking for volunteers and donations of money or supplies. Please consider giving today!


2018 Letter from the Director


Dear Family, Friends, and Area Businesses,

I would like to take a minute of your time to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about an amazing place I just began my Non-Profit career. My name is Rachel Bartlett, and I am the new Executive Director at Camp Fish Tales, Pinconning MI.


Camp Fish Tales provides a unique and exciting outdoor learning experience where individuals with special needs interact and develop skills that enhance their health, abilities, independence and quality of life.

We helped just under 160 campers last year, and for 2018 our goal is 200! We have plans of expansion soon, and have upcoming fundraisers to help make this all possible. We also provide scholarships, so we never have to turn a camper away. To provide these services, we count on our partners in the community to help us achieve our goals.

If you are receiving this letter, it is because someone who cares about Camp Fish Tales has recommended I send this information to you. We have a phenomenal board, 15 upstanding members of the community, that donate their time to help people and achieve Camp Fish Tale’s mission.

I hope you will consider partnering with us! I have included a Sponsorship Form and if choosing to do so, I will mail our 501c3 information and receipt for your tax deduction purposes.

I thank you for taking the time to read, and encourage you to stop out for a tour or visit our website at You can also visit us on Facebook and sign up to receive our quarterly newsletters. If you have any questions or need more information, please call me anytime,

Rachel Bartlett, Executive Director 2177 E. Erickson Rd
Pinconning, MI 48650


Download the Sponsorship Form

*Your logo and business name at all of our events:

The Fish Races, Open House, and The Happy Camper 5k.
It includes your name & logo on a mile marker and at the start/finish line, on t-shirts for all events, on our FB page, mentions on FB, mentions in other advertisements, inclusion of name & logo in our email blast, and a “fish” for the Fish Races. Any event we hold, you will be a part of!

*Your logo and business name at the Open House and The Happy Camper 5k. It includes name and logo on a mile marker, on t-shirts, on our FB page, mentions on FB, and inclusion in email blasts. You also will receive 2 tickets for the Fish Races.

*Your logo and business name at the Open House & The Happy Camper 5k. It includes logo on the t-shirt & a mile marker for The Happy Camper 5k. It also includes 2 tickets to the Fish Races.

*Your personal or business name on our website.
NOTE: You can mail check now, or do it anytime your budget allows in 2018!! THE CAMPERS of CAMP FISH TALES, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AND I THANK YOU for your continued support.
Those planning a Gold sponsorship kindly reply by 2/10/17 to reserve your fish and seats at the races!


Camp Fish Tales Fish Races
2nd Annual Fish Races: March 16th, 2018
Doors open: 5:30pm. Dinner Served: 6pm Post time: 7pm
Join us for dinner and this crowd pleasing, one of a kind event which includes pari-mutuel betting on wooden fish. 6 fish will race in each heat on our very own “track.” Admission is $25 per person and included dinner and an evening of gambling fun. Event is BYOB. Must be 18 years old to attend and place bets. Tickets are available beginning January 15th or by calling 989-879-5199.

Camp Fish Tales Open House
May 20th, 2018 12-2pm
Camp Fish Tales would like to invite you to our open house! Lunch Menu: Hot dogs, chips, popcorn, slushies, and lemonade. We will have activities for the family including: Camp Tours, Build-a-cabin, Pontoon Rides, Zipline and Rock Climbing Wall!

Camp Fish Tales Happy 5K Fun Run/Walk
3rd Annual Family 5K on September 30th at 2pm. The event will take place at camp. Runners & Walkers will get to explore parts of the property’s 66 acres via the groomed trails. Race is timed. Registration begins July 2018, and if using the link provided, you reserve your t-shirt and swag bag! Call Camp Fish Tales for more information!
Adults $20; Kids 16 and under $15, $50 for a family of 4
All proceeds from fundraisers benefit Camp Fish Tales. For further information go to or visit us on Facebook. Be sure to like our page!

Don Wackerly and Green Hills Golf Course are hosting the Camp Fish Tales Annual Golf Outing July 21st! The cost is $75 per person and includes a delicious meal, green fees, cart, raffle drawings, and a 50/50. All proceeds will be generously donated to Camp Fish Tales.

Patt’s Perspective – A Note from Our Camp Director

Patt Dutchik., Camp Director

Patt Dutchik., Camp Director

About a year ago, I received a phone call from, then an acquaintance, now a treasured friend, Beth Dow. The former Camp Director of Camp Fish Tales had taken a job out of state and Beth was asking if I would like to accept the position of Camp Director at Camp Fish Tales. As a retired special education teacher I was beyond excited to start on this new adventure.

I met with Beth and some staff members a few times before I moved up to camp mid May. I was impressed with the progress Camp Fish Tales had made since I had visited the summer of 2016. We started preparing for the arrival and training of our summer camp counselors. It was such a pleasure getting to know the young people who would be our counselors for the season. We provided a week of training before any campers arrived, we wanted to make sure we had the “cream of the crop” recruits to service our awesome campers. In all honesty, a few people decided that this was not the summer job for them. We appreciated that they let us know this during training week and our recruits and staff became a TEAM as that week went on. We felt we had prepared this “crop” of young people to be a companion to their special campers that they would meet throughout summer. We had a lot of training but also a lot of bonding along with learning some new and silly camp songs, preparing skits and enjoying campfires and s’mores (of course s’mores, its camp).

Our first group of campers arrived in June, we were all a bit nervous as we had all never worked together and for several of our counselors, this was their first job. Our campers arrived on Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening found us gathered together on our first hayride of the season. I cannot begin to explain the wonderful feeling I got when I saw this group of camp- ers and counselors together on the hay wagon. We barely got everyone loaded when one of our counselors started singing one of our camp songs. Campers and counselors all joined in as a group and enjoyed the songs and the hayride, I could tell, not only would it be a great week it was going to be an amazing summer. Did we have some bumps in the road, sure we did; did we provide an amazing outdoor experience for some special campers, you bet we did! Camp Fish Tales has become a second home to me and most of our counselors. These young people united as one to provide a truly extraordinary summer for their campers and themselves. They put the needs of others before their own needs to make this happen. There is allure that happens at Camp Fish Tales, the Indians call it “Orenda” meaning “magic power”, it’s the special way that campers, counselors and all staff are transformed from spending just a week and this camp. I am truly blessed that I was able to spend my entire summer here and look forward to an even better 2018 season.

– Pat Dutchik, Camp Director

What Our Counselors Say About Working at Camp Fish Tales

“I was given a chance. A chance to go back and do what I love, a chance to prove myself, a chance to change lives. I am so thankful for this chance because without it I wouldn’t have made so many friends, so many memories, I wouldn’t have cried so many tears out of love, and I wouldn’t have been able to make the differences I have made in so many lives.” Tara Reed

“I’ve been living out of a suitcase for the summer due to an amazing job. The first week with this suitcase, I was quiet, shy, and unsure if I wanted to keep doing this. But now, at the end of the season, I look back and I thank the Lord for guiding me to stay. I’ve seen all the things living out of a suitcase does for you. You meet people with the same passions, the same willing- ness to take on challenges. It’s brought me some of the greatest friends I have ever known. Most of all, living out of a suitcase this summer has taught me a lot about myself and has shown me that caring for others is one of the greatest privileges in the world.” Taylor Pajak

“Ten weeks ago I started a job that I was scared about, a job that was going to help me decide if I could handle the career. I will never forget the summer I had at camp fish tales the people I met and the friend- ships I made. Thank you fish tales for the best summer I’ve had.” Kristy A Fair


The Long-Lasting Benefits of Camp

Camp Fish Tales Lodge

Camp Fish Tales Lodge

Camp has become a part of the fabric of America — conjuring special memories of hiking, swimming, friendships, and adventure for generations. When children go to camp, they’ll likely come home gushing about the lifelong friends they’ve made, and the exciting adventures they had. What they probably won’t tell you about are the life lessons camp has given them — those skills that, if nurtured at home after camp, translate into a lasting self-confidence, an awareness of the importance of kindness, and a greater comfort in voicing their opinions.

For more than 150 years, camp has been changing lives — allowing all children to feel successful, especially those who may struggle with traditional educational settings. Camp is full of fun and excitement, but it is so much more — developing children who are better equipped to lead in the twenty-first century with skills such as independence, empathy, the ability to work as part of a team, and a broader world view.

  • Camp is a safe and nurturing environment that enhances social skills. Camp is for everyone, so children and youth have the opportunity to meet and interact with peers from outside their school environment.
  • Camp supplements traditional education. Camps use intentional programming to create a balance of experiential learning opportunities that are physical, emotional, and social.
  • Camp provides experiences that promote self-confidence and future academic growth. American Camp Association® (ACA) independent re-search shows that parents and camp staff, as well as the campers themselves, report significant growth in several areas, including leadership, independence, social comfort, and values and decisions.
  • Camp encourages a respect and love of nature. Children are able to learn about the natural world. Camp also gives them a chance to “unplug.” More and more experts are advocating the value of time spent in nature for children — and camp is a perfect place to do that.
  • Camp provides the opportunity to stay physically active. Camp is the ultimate outdoor experience with programs that offer physical activities and sports that enhance health and teach self-confidence.
  • Camp is a natural extension of the classroom. Research indicates that by participating in strategically planned, structured summer experiences, children reduce summer learning loss. Camp challenges children, keeps them engaged, develops creativity and their talents, and expands their horizons.