Camp builds $2.7M center
The legacy of disability advocate Kate Pew Wolters will live on in a camp she once attended.
Wolters, who sits on the Steelcase Board of Directors and is president of the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation, is going to have recreational, therapeutic and educational center at Indian Trails Camp named after her. The center will help the camp serve campers during inclement weather and year-round.
Indian Trails Camp in Grand Rapids, located at 1859 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, has been creating camping experiences for people with disabilities since it was founded in 1953.
“Indian Trails Camp has changed the lives of children and adults with disabilities, as well as their families,” Kate Pew Wolters said. “Through creating long-lasting friendships or providing respite for couples and families, Indian Trails Camp has at one time or another meant so much to many of us in the community.”
The 18,000-square-foot building will be a “completely accessible facility,” said Tim Hileman, executive director, Indian Trails Camp.
The Kate Pew Wolters Center will feature a full-size gymnasium, life-skills training center, vocational hub, performing arts stage, café, sensory room and program offices.
Once the center is completed, Indian Trails Camp will be able to serve an additional 1,000 campers and community members each year.
The project will cost about $2.7 million, including a recent $100,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
Ground broke on the project this May, and the work should be completed in November.
“Each summer, campers from all over the state of Michigan come to Indian Trails Camp for their week of vacation, fun and respite,” Hileman said. “A week of rain really lowers the quality of our programming, as our current facilities are not able to provide full programming for the entire camp during inclement weather. The Kate Pew Wolters Center will ensure there is never a rainy day at camp.”
Hileman said the life-skills training center and vocational hub will provide education and training in helping individuals with disabilities increase their independence, employability and gain meaningful community employment.
“One of the biggest barriers for adults with disabilities is underemployment,” Hileman said. “With the life-skills area, we will be able to provide individuals with job training and education, along with opportunities for employment in the center.”
The sensory room will be used as a space for students in the GVSU Occupational Therapy graduate program to practice fieldwork with individuals that have sensory-processing disorders.
Hileman added that the gymnasium and performing arts stage will help increase access to recreational activities, as well as participation and performances in "a wide spectrum of performing arts."