Each year there are children who are unable to attend regular summer camp due to serious medical conditions.
Our camp currently hosts approx. 1,000 children and family members annually, free of charge. By 2021, we plan to host 1,600 campers during our year-round camp programming.
Annual fundraising, endowment funds and planned giving support long-term operations.
The Need for North Star Reach
Unfortunately, each year there are many more children who are unable to attend regular summer camp due to serious medical conditions. A needs assessment conducted in 2008 confirmed that there are more than 75,000 children in the Great Lakes Region (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada) with serious and life-threatening illnesses (cardiology, gastroenterology, blood disorders, cancer, burns, organ transplants, ventilator dependence) that will be eligible to attend North Star Reach. Currently, less than 10% of these children have an opportunity to attend summer camp and for some no programming exists at all. A health center staffed by nurses, physicians and other medical professionals allows children with complex medical needs to come to camp, often for the first time.
The Benefits of North Star Reach
Campers at North Star Reach experience all of the fun, joy and independence that all children receive at camp and appreciate a rare sense of normalcy. Campers leave with improved self-esteem, restored childhood and a sense of accomplishment at attempting challenges in an environment that provides physical, emotional and medical support and supervision. Campers, staff and volunteers are all impacted in a positive way by the camp experience. Additionally, parents have a much-needed opportunity for respite and many report that their children return from camp with a new sense of autonomy and independence.
About Our Camp
North Star Reach is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization located on 105 acres in Pinckney, Michigan. As a Full Member Camp of SeriousFun Children’s Network founded by Paul Newman, North Star Reach serves children with chronic and life-threatening health challenges across the Great Lakes Region, free of charge. North Star Reach operates year round and includes a health center, dining hall, cabins to house campers and staff, arts and crafts center, two swimming pools, nature trails, athletic court, sports field, an accessible tree house, archery range, amphitheater and waterfront docks, all designed to fit in a rustic camp environment. Camp can accommodate approximately 1,500 children and family members annually.
Medical Advisory Board
Our Medical Advisory Board, assembled from partner hospital and health systems, continually evaluates the need for additional programs and includes:
Matthew Denenberg, MD, Chair
Vice President for Medical Affairs, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
John Charpie, MD, PhD
Director, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
Roland Chu, MD
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Robert McCurren IV, MD
Regional Vice President, Emergency Physicians Medical Group
Rebecca Patrias, MD
Medical Director, Three Chelsea Docs
Robert Takla, MD
Medical Director and Chair of Emergency Medicine
Ascension St. John Hospital and Medical Center
Alison Tothy, MD
Chief Experience and Engagement Officer, University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital
Doug Armstrong, RN
CEO, North Star Reach, Ex Officio
Children and their families attend North Star Reach free of charge. Following a $26.2 million comprehensive capital campaign to cover construction costs (≈ $18M) and a two-year operations budget, annual fundraising, endowment funds and planned giving will support long-term operations. We thank each and every individual who has supported our mission, and we welcome your sustaining support as we host even more children with serious health challenges to camp in the coming summers.