General Info

Camp Al-Gon-Quian is a typical sleep-away summer camp, with loads of activities like canoeing, sailing, archery, art and crafts, etc. Located on beautiful Burt Lake about an hour south of Mackinaw City at the very top of the lower peninsula. The camp caters to kids somewhere around ages 7 or 8 up to around 16 or 17. It emphasizes the YMCA "core values" of Respect, Responsibility, Caring, and Honesty.

Related to Ann Arbor, in that it's run by the Ann Arbor YMCA, and most of the kids who religiously return year after year are Ann Arborites.



The site that is now Camp Al-Gon-Quian was originally a farm on Burt Lake with a beautiful homestead called the "Elms." In 1925, Ann Arborite Herbert H. Twining purchased the land with the intent to start a summer camp. Herb was a University of Michigan graduate (1923), who initially wanted to be a medical doctor. However, an eye injury as a child prevented this and instead Herb pursued a profession that he found parallel: He dedicated his life’s work to establishing Camp Al-Gon-Quian as a private boys’ camp on the leading edge of camp programming. Mr. Twining was well-recognized in the camping community and actively involved with the American Camp Association, of which he was the first national president in 1935. He was the director of Al-Gon-Quian for 42 years until his retirement in 1967, when he sold camp to the Ann Arbor YMCA. [1]

In the news

Campers gathered daily in the camp library to select a “person of the day” to whom they each composed a personal, handwritten letter. President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Granholm, and Ellen DeGeneres were just a few of the celebrities invited to visit Al-Gon-Quian. Truth be told, not many celebrities wrote back. However, Stephen King’s publicist took time to send a handwritten note to the kids. Best of all, a large envelope arrived with this headshot and handwritten note from James Earl Jones himself! THANK YOU, MR. JONES!

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