History | Ropes Course & CDAC


The Camp Daggett Adventure Center is the dream and vision of John Heinzelman. As a teacher in Petoskey Public Schools, John recognized the power and impact that play can have in the classroom. He worked—with great success—to inject experiential education methodology and team-building opportunities into his classroom, as well as the culture of his school. Students developed greater problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills, higher self-esteem, and began to set goals and tackle challenges with eagerness and excitement.

With evident growth in the classroom, John sought out new ways to provide a wider audience with experiential programming. In 1997, he collaborated with Camp Daggett to complete our Outdoor Adventure & Ropes Course. This course, which we still utilize today, provided the opportunity to deliver experiential programming to our Northern Michigan community and beyond. However, with harsh winters limiting our programming year, and excitement from local community members growing like wildfire, Camp Daggett saw the need to expand. So, in 2002, the Camp Daggett Adventure Center was completed. With the support of the community it serves, this indoor facility allowed John’s dream of providing unique experiential programming to groups of all ages to become a year-round reality.

Today, we are proud to carry on John’s legacy as we work every expand these great programs and share them with as many people as possible. His passion for play and dedication to experiential education is a constant reminder to everyone who enjoys the Camp Daggett Adventure facilities:

We never know what we can build, who we can impact, or how high we can climb… unless we try.

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