History of Camp Daggett


Nestled on the west arm of picturesque Walloon Lake in Northern Michigan, Camp Daggett resides as a longstanding nonprofit organization with a rich history of serving generations of summer campers and outdoor enthusiasts since its establishment in 1925.

Enduring through the challenges of the Great Depression and World War II, Camp Daggett attributes its longevity to strategic staffing, a purposeful motto, a dedicated Board of Trustees, and facilities that have adapted to meet the evolving needs of our community.

In the late 1890s, Henry R. Daggett, a local business owner in Petoskey, often brought his Presbyterian Sunday School classes to a property he owned on Walloon Lake. Decades later, in the fall of 1924, Harriet S. Harper—Henry Daggett’s daughter—generously donated the same 43-acre parcel to establish a children’s summer camp. The following year, Petoskey teacher Walter J. MacMillan opened Camp Daggett on this donated property, starting with a traditional boys’ summer camp.

Harriet Harper shared that her father strongly believed “the children in a community are its richest assets, and its future depends upon influencing their lives for good.” The duty of Camp Daggett’s Board of Trustees, comprising members appointed from local service clubs, is to uphold Henry Daggett’s beliefs.

The current Board of Trustees includes representatives from bi-county service organizations and at-large representatives from Emmet and Charlevoix counties. Each member diligently updates their clubs and communities on Camp Daggett’s progress and provides essential support, ensuring the camp offers the best services to Northern Michigan children and community members.

To honor Henry Daggett and Walter MacMillan’s passion for supporting youth, Camp Daggett has adopted the following mission statement, integral to every camp activity:

Since 1925, Camp Daggett has cherished the tradition of providing quality character-building experiences through educational and recreational programs in a safe, fun environment. We serve all ages, with an emphasis on youth.

For a comprehensive history of Camp Daggett, visit this page: Complete History of Camp Daggett

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