I am the new Michigan Out-of-Doors Youth Camp Director, Ashley Carmichael. I am very excited to continue the camp’s mission of creating stewards and connecting our youth to the outdoors.
A southern California native, I spent much of my childhood outside riding horses, hiking local trails and camping with my family. For me, the outdoors was a place to have fun, grow and learn. I was also fortunate enough to experience outdoor education programming both in and out of school. In school, I spent science class dissecting owl pellets and exploring vernal pools. Summer found me scribbling in Jr. Ranger notebooks and enthralled at campfire programs. My passion for science and the outdoors followed me to college.
For college, I moved across the country to attend MSU. Initially, I studied chemistry, hoping to focus on environmental chemistry. Later, I decided to fully pursue my outdoor interests and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management. Throughout college, I volunteered with MSU Science Theatre and brought fun science demonstrations to local elementary students.
After graduating, I was unsure what role would suit me best in the conservation field. I decided to dip my toe in education serving as an Americorps educator with New York State Parks. I discovered a love for environmental education and spent the next two years improving my skills with different organizations.
Eventually, I ended up working for a camp in the Catskills and found my third love. Being able to provide amazing programming to youth and watching them grow over the week was truly a treat. After leaving school and family programs at camp, I had the opportunity to oversee their backcountry equestrian program this past summer. Now I am back in Michigan and ready to bring my experiences to the MOOD Youth Camp.
As I start looking at the 2022 season, I am reminded of the importance of camp in young people’s lives. Camp to me is a place to grow and learn through fun. I believe in placing campers front and center in designing camp and activities. Programs centered around campers take safety seriously, empower campers to take active roles in the learning process and facilitate fun. I want campers this summer to leave, not only with new friends and memories, but with a deeper connection to the outdoors and a passion for conservation. The MOOD Camp provides youth with unique and amazing opportunities, and I am excited to welcome campers back this summer.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-346-6462.
See you this summer!