The average person in the US spends 95% of their time indoors. But COVID-19 encouraged us to more deeply connect with the outdoors. Before the pandemic, only ½ went outside for recreation. Now 87% are going outdoors. Abundant research shows spending time outdoors improves physical, mental, and social well-being. 120 mins per week is also a key factor in maintaining positive mental health. It is not just physical exercise that we need, but activity in a green (or blue -rivers and lakes) environment, and engagement with the environment and with nature, to preserve health. It takes at least 30 minutes of exercise to offset every day we spend in front of a screen. A walk through the woods for 40 minutes or more helps release negative thoughts stuck in your head.
GO•REC Greilick Outdoor Recreation & Education Center provides outdoor recreation, technical skills, and leadership training in the Great Lakes region. People of all ages can train in leadership, outdoor skills, and recreational safety. Our outdoor classroom is 500 wooded, lakeside acres in northern Michigan where you can hike, bike, kayak, and rock climb. Rent campsites, bunkhouses, and cottages to explore the outdoors and support education. Come see for yourself!
Our goal is social good through outdoor education. Everyone is welcome here!
Our core off-season skeleton crew is four full-time staff. From May through August, we double that with interns from college outdoor recreation programs across the US. We have nearly 100 years of creating passion for our natural world through outdoor experiences.
Outdoor recreation and education professionals who believe to change the world you have to #getoutside …
Jamie Lewis Hedges
Jamie has a masters of interdisciplinary studies in natural resources and community values. Most recently he helped nonprofits develop their digital communications. He founded University of the Ozarks’ outdoor and environmental program in Northwestern Arkansas. Additionally, he worked as Guest Services Coordinator for an environmental education center in the Cascades of Oregon, developed the outdoor adventure program at Indiana State University, and worked for Galyan’s Trading Co. His experiences include video documenting Maasai ethnomedicine in Kenya, swatting mosquitos in the Colombian Amazon, drinking Guinness in Ireland, and enjoying bánh bao in Vietnam.
Annie is Midwestern born and raised, a childhood spent honing a love for the outdoors. She began working in the outdoor industry as an outdoor educator at her childhood summer camp. Her skills include risk management, team facilitation, program administration, multi-day wilderness expeditions, and more. Annie has worked as an instructor for Outward Bound, traversing the High Sierra in California and the Rockies in Colorado. She received a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She’s currently finishing a master’s degree in Outdoor Recreation with an emphasis in Adventure Education from Indiana University.
Facility & Resources Manager
Michael was born and raised here in the Mitten. Growing up he would spend his days and nights learning about and from nature, be it in his own backyard, vacationing in the wilds of the UP or at summer camp. He received his degree from Lake Superior State University and proceeded to embrace a more nomadic tradition of learning. He moved overseas to travel Europe, learning the cultural and historic traditions. Returning to America, Michael has lived in several of the major metropolitan areas of the US. Visiting all 50 States almost exclusively using back roads, meeting and learning from locals and exploring the wild spaces. But always yearning for the peace and tranquility of Northern Michigan. In addition to a deep passion for nature and ecology, Michael spends his time studying through practice permaculture, cooking, woodworking, and paddling.
Born and raised in Suttons Bay, Emily grew up camping, canoeing, and hiking around the Great Lakes and beyond. Emily is a recent graduate of Kenyon College where she majored in Spanish and International Development with a concentration in Public Policy and is the recipient of a 2021 Fulbright grant in Argentina. Emily is experienced in education and communications, having previously worked in communications for L.L.Bean’s corporate offices and at Kenyon as a Spanish TA and consultant in the Writing Center. Although she has traveled extensively through Central and South America, including a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student in Chile, Emily maintains that northern Michigan is one of the most unique places in the world and is excited to join the GO•REC team in helping others enjoy its natural beauty.
Our Mission is…
to be a gateway to outdoor industry-informed recreation & leadership in the Great Lakes Region.
Our Vision for GO•REC is to be…
- a resource for diverse, equitable, and inclusive public immersion in the outdoors through human-powered recreation;
- an innovative team of certified professionals who teach best practices in mountain biking, climbing, paddling, wilderness medicine, and backcountry skills; and…
- a destination that embraces environmental stewardship and is sustained by diverse revenue sources.
Our Values are…
- The Outdoors: Responsible Stewardship of Our Natural World using Evidence-Based Ethics
- Equitable Access: Welcoming Diversity, Equity, and Respectful Inclusion in Outdoor Areas, Activities, and Opportunity
- Experience: Immersion in the Outdoors through Human-Powered Recreation
- Education: Opportunities to Learn and Use Industry Best Practices in Outdoor Recreation
- Sustainability: Renewable Management of Revenue and Natural Resources
GO•REC is thankful for people like you who make outdoor technical skills available in the Great Lakes region.
History of GO•REC
Today GO•REC continues Clarence Greilick’s legacy through recreation opportunities and distinctive outdoor education.
The Rotary Club of Traverse City was founded in 1920. Three short years later, their third president decided to do something really significant for the five county region. Greilick was a lumberman, and furniture manufacturer. He was also a great lover of the outdoors. Clarence knew the woods, lakes, and streams of the region well. With an eye to the future, he proposed Rotary create a place where our community could enjoy healthy outdoor recreation and learn about woodlore. The club authorized $1,100 to purchase 430 wooded acres in the Spider and Rennie Lake area, 13 miles southeast of Traverse City.
The next step was the construction of a lodge. This was done by enlisting the aid of a building contractor, some members of the Kiwanis Club, and the enthusiastic help of all the Rotarians. The lodge provided a kitchen, dining and assembly hall. That endeavor proved so successful that an impressive $7,500 was then raised to purchase an additional 27 acres. The new acreage added substantial new Rennie Lake frontage and outstanding facilities for aquatic sports and activities. Control was turned over to a newly created nonprofit organization made up of representative Rotarians. Nineteen years later, then president, Jack Freethy, convinced the Rotary Club members that the properties should be deeded back to an organization controlled by the Rotary Club. And on January 6, 1955 the first Articles of Incorporation for “Rotary Camps, Inc.” were filed to take title to the camp properties. Today we know that organization as Rotary Camps & Services.
In 2003, an agreement was made with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy to place a conservation easement on the property. This voluntary agreement restricts development in favor of protecting natural resources and water quality. Since that time, land management has been focussed on increasing wildlife habitat with selective harvesting and prescribed burning as well as volunteer conservation efforts.
In early 2017 Rotary moved to pivot Camp Greilick into a new multi-user facility. Director Jamie Lewis Hedges came on in 2019 to bring new life to that vision. Jamie weaves his experience in outdoor education with the Rotary vision of a legacy for the community. Clarence Greilick’s vision was ahead of its time, and for GO•REC, this is our time to help create passion for our natural world.