candlesSince the camp started in 1952, many traditions have become part of our camp life. Some of the traditions have endured since the beginning, others have faded away, and newer ones have begun. It is these traditions that add to the wonderful experience of MDSC, and are often fondly remembered by campers and staff from the past. Below are some of our time-honored traditions:

Camp Skits – Late in the week, each camper group and the staff create skits and perform them in front of the entire camp. Some of the best skits have never been forgotten over the years!.

Chief Hug-a-Bug – The beloved Chief of Echo Lake, who occasionally visits the campers and staff during the summer.

The “Kaka” Fairy & “Kaka” Land – Occasionally, campers are visited during the night by the “Kaka Fairy” who leaves a mysterious dab of brown paint on their nose, forehead or cheek. Of course, the Kaka Fairy is never seen, but we know she lives in the famous “Kaka Land” area of Echo Lake.

Favorite Activities – Capture the Flag, Color Wars/Water Olympics, Staff vs Seniors Basketball Game, Loon Lake, Senior Canoe Trip on the Au Sable River, Dodgeball.

Evening Worship – At the end of the camp day, before the campers are dismissed for bed, everyone gathers in the lodge to sing the petitions known as “Come my Brothers”, hear the gospel reading for the day and a short sermon from our clergy. The Evening Worship brochure, used at camp, can be downloaded by clicking here.

Farewell at the Beach – On the Friday night of each week, everyone gathers on the beach to sing favorite camp songs including ones that take advantage of the “echo” on our beloved “Echo Lake”. The counselors then receive candles, light them and form two lines from the firepit to the edge of the water. While the staff sings the Farewell Song, the individual campers walk through the two lines of staff, lighting their candle and placing it in the water. Everyone then gathers in the Friendship Circle, and symbolically says “farewell” while holding hands and shaking the person’s hand next to them, until the handshake travels around the full circle. The Farewell Song words can be found by clicking here.

This is only an initial list, and we hope to add many more of our camp traditions over time. If we’ve forgotten any of the camp traditions, please e-mail us at and put “Camp Traditions” in the e-mail subject. Feel free to share the tradition and an explanation, particularly for those from years past.