6-3-15-Learning archery at Camp Kis-Kaw-Ko1      6-3-15-Summer fun at Camp1

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Before the Stage Nature Center was established, the site at Coolidge and South Boulevard was home to Camp Kish-Kaw-Ko, the City of Troy’s summer day camp. Held in week-long sessions for children 6-11 years old, the camp was more outdoors-oriented than the playground program. Initiated in 1975, the program was limited to about 40 boys and girls each week. Kish-Kaw-Ko was so popular that kids who wanted to register for more than one session were put on waiting lists to allow other children to participate.


Nature study was an important component of the program, and was the focal point of the campers’ hikes. Camp director Rick Smagacz said “We show the children the different types of flowers, which they have to know because later in the week we have a scavenger hunt. We also go down to the creek and dip for turtles, and catch butterflies.” Each camp day had a major activity, whether it was a three-hour nature hike, a cookout, or Apache Day on Friday, which was similar to a field day. Kish-Kaw-Ko campers also took field trips to the lake at Sylvan Glen to go fishing, learned archery, and made crafts.


After the Stage Nature Center was established, the home base for the camp was shifted to the Troy Farm at Beach Road and South Blvd. Camp Kish Kaw-Ko was renamed the mid-1990s and remained a popular Parks and Recreation summer program in the early 2000s.



Walden, Christine.1976. Day campers stalk nature’s best at Kish-Kaw-Ko. Troy (MI) Eccentric, July 22.

Troy (MI) Eccentric. 1979. (no title). July 12.

Image Source- Charlie Kidd, 1976.

To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at ed@thvmail.org.

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