Summer Programs at Camp 7 Campground

Release Date: Jul 3, 2013

Contact(s): Anne Okonek 906-474-6442

Rapid River, MI –

The Hiawatha National Forest is proud to offer a wide variety of programs to entertain the public at area campgrounds this summer.  All of the programs are free of charge and will be held in the picnic area of the Camp 7 Lake Campground.  All programs begin at 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted and will be held rain or shine, thanks to the availability of an event tent.  Attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. For more information on any of these programs, contact the Manistique District office at 341-5666 or the Rapid River District office at 474-6442.

“We are excited to be able to offer these high quality programs this summer” said Anne Okonek, Recreation Program Manager for the West Zone of the Hiawatha National Forest.  “We would not be able to provide these free programs to the public if it weren’t for the generous financial assistance of the Hiawatha Interpretive Association and Wildlife Unlimited of Delta County.” 

The first program of the season will be held on Friday, July 5th at the Camp 7 Lake Campground.  The Interpretive Ranger Program is entitled “ Wildly Inspiring.. and a Little Loony: A Field Guide to Creativity in the Hiawatha National Forest.”  Most of us have just a few precious days each year to step away from the chaos of everyday life and into the serenity of nature.  Come be inspired by our beautiful forest by joining us for a “wildly inspiring” interactive program to see nature with a fresh pair of eyes.  Sights, sounds, activities, stories, legends, and fun facts inspired by the forest—as well as by a loony local resident of the forest—will help you transform inspiration into creativity and memories you can take home with you when the vacation ends!

On Friday, July 12th at 7:00 PM, Camp 7 Lake Campground will feature Randy Bruntjens from the UP Raptor Rehab Center.  Randy will bring a Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl (the “Who Cooks for You” owl) and a Broad-winged and Red-tailed Hawk with him to show the audience.  While people may hear the birds occasionally or see them at a distance, this is a wonderful opportunity to view these impressive birds close-up and learn about how they survive in the wild.  This program is especially impressive to the youngsters but young and old alike will enjoy the birds.

Have you ever wondered what geocaching is, or wanted to try it out but didn’t have the equipment or the know-how?  On Saturday, July 20th at 7:00 PM at the Camp 7 Lake Campground, you will learn about one of the latest outdoor crazes from Amy Anderson from the Delta County Geocaching Club.  Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game where players use GPS (global positioning systems) units or smart phones to try and locate treasures hidden in the woods.  Geocaching is a wonderful family activity that gets people outdoors during these beautiful summer months on real outdoor adventures.  Amy and other members of the Delta County Geocaching Club will have GPS units available and caches hidden in the campground so audience members can try to find the treasures.  Prizes will be hidden in the caches for those able to find them! 

On Friday, July 26th at 9:00 PM visting Interpreter Leah Sexton from Indian Lake State Park will host a “Star Party” at the Camp 7 Lake Campground.  Come discover the beauty found in a dark summer sky!  This program will be held again on Saturday, August 10th.

On Saturday, July 27th at 7:00 PM at the Camp 7 Lake Campground Hiawatha Interpretive Association Intern Nick Moreno will present his program entitled “Wildlife Adaptations of the North Woods.”  The animals of the north woods use different adaptations to help them survive. Come look at the furs and skulls of some of the species that live around us while learning about these amazing adaptations.

On Friday, August 2nd  at 7:00 PM at the Camp 7 Lake Campground try your hand at making a Native American Pinch Pot.  Create a traditional style of earthenware used by Eastern Woodland Native Americans called Pinch Pots which were used for cooking and eating.  Instruction and materials will be provided by Christine Groleau, retired art teacher, local artist, and owner of Christine’s Studio Gallery in Nahma.

On Friday August 9th at 7:00pm Hiawatha Interpretive Association Intern Nick Morenowill present a program about the typical life of an old time Voyageur entitled “Voyageurs -What a Life!”  They lived a hard life full of adventure and hard work while traveling by canoe.  Come find out how YOU would stack up!

On Friday August 16th, we will have a repreat performance of the Interpretive Program entitled “ Wildly Inspiring.. and a Little Loony: A Field Guide to Creativity in the Hiawatha National Forest.” 

The summer’s final program at Camp 7 Lake Campground will be Saturday, August 17th with Universe in the Park!  This popular program from the Department of Astornomy at the Univeristy of Wisconisn-Madison, introduces the general public to the northen night sky.  The program begins at dusk or approximately 9:00 PM.

Due to the close proximity of Camp 7 Lake to Manistique, Rapid River, Gladstone, Escanaba and Munising, many people drive to the campground for the evening programs; the programs are open to everyone, not just for those camping. “Many people bring a picnic dinner or go swimming as part of the evening” said Okonek, “and some bring their bikes or boots to hike or bike the 1.8 mile Van Winkle Lake trail too.  Camp 7 Lake is also a fine lake for canoeing or kayaking.”    

The Camp 7 Lake Campground is located 4 miles west of County Road 437 (the Thunder Lake Road) on Delta County Road 442 for those traveling from the Manistique area.  For families traveling from Escanaba, Gladstone and Rapid River, Camp 7 Lake Campground is located 8 miles east of Forest Highway 13 on County Road 442.  For those wishing to camp for the weekend, approximately half of the  campsites at Camp 7 can be reserved in advance by calling toll-free 1-877-444-6777 or going to  The remaining campsites are available on a first come, first served basis for those planning last-minute get-aways.  Camp 7 Lake campground also has a dozen electrical sites available now.  

On Thursday, August 15th employees from the Hiawatha National Forest will be staffing the Pocket Park from noon until 6:00 the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Pocket Park during State Fair week.  Nestled within the UP State Fairgrounds, the Pocket Park features a fishing pond shaped like the UP as well as archery and pellet ranges.   All of the activities within the Pocket Park are free and Smokey Bear has promised to be on hand to give hugs, high fives, and free goody bags to all of the youngsters.   The Pocket Park is GREAT fun for everyone!  See you there!