Sherman Lake site bought by W. K. Kellogg and gifted to Battle Creek Boy Scouts. Property served Boy Scouts for nearly 70 years under name of Camp T. Ben Johnston.

Southwest area Boy Scouts made the decision to consolidate their camping efforts at Camp Roto-Kiwan in Kalamazoo and Camp T. Ben Johnson subsequently reverted to W. K. Kellogg Foundation stewardship. Desirous of honoring W.K. Kellogg’s original intent, the Foundation pursued the idea of whether the camp could be utilized as a youth and family camp/retreat center.

about_boyscouts2Group of dedicated volunteers and staff of the YMCAs of Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties came together in a unique regional collaboration to better support a youth camp/retreat center and meet the larger, unmet regional needs of Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and the surrounding communities.

An independent YMCA, the YMCA Camping and Retreat Services of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, was formed to take on this important endeavor of developing the “Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center”.

Phase I Development

March 1994 to June 1995
about_kellogghallFinished Phase I construction at the Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center. Phase I construction consisted of three pavilions, two cabins, ten acres of playing fields, a multi-use playing court, an administration/visitor center, water front, amphitheater, and the infrastructure for the entire project, including underground utilities, paved paths and roads, and a created wetland sewage disposal system.

Summer 1995
Grand Opening! The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center runs a regional day camp serving 1440 youth in its first summer of operation.

Summers 1996-99
The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Centers’ regional summer day camp operation was at full capacity, serving over 1800 children each year with waiting lists in every session.

Phase II Development

about_ldpPhase II is designed to complete the original plan to serve 15,000 people annually in a new evolutionary camping/retreat concept. We are prepared to move into Phase II development. Phase II features the completion of the Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center and the implementation of the full program activities.

Phase II Program Components

  • Youth Day Camp
  • Family Camp – Labor Day Weekend
  • Youth Resident Camp
  • Day Retreats
  • Teen Leadership Camp
  • Overnight Retreats
  • Integrated Education
  • about_staff1Volunteerism
  • Youth School Partnering
  • Fitness Membership Center

Phase II Facility Components

  • Dining Hall/Meeting Space for 300
  • Indoor Recreation Facility with Indoor Pool, Gym with indoor climbing wall and high ropes course, and Multi-Use Recreation Areas
  • Arts Studio, Nature Center, Chapel and Two Villages with 18 cabins (216 bed sleeping capacity)
  • Parking Lots, Equipment, Furnishings, Staff Housing