Skip to main content

Learn our Rich History

Since 1915, YMCA Camp Copneconic has provided outdoor programs for youth and families. Our heritage begins with a strong Christian foundation. Add 700 acres of beautiful, serene property, a medley of historical and modern facilities, and a long-standing reputation of caring staff, Camp Copneconic is truly the Genuine Article in the camping industry.


The story as told by Chief Fisher of the Chippewa tribe… “Many years before the white man came to Michigan, there came a very cold, severe winter; hunters could not hunt, animals died of the cold, and the Chippewa tribe was in danger of starving to death. The corn was frozen before it was ripe and even nuts did not bear. The wise men had told them that the roots of the water lily, which grew and blossomed so beautifully all summer in the shallow water near the banks, were poisonous. In their desperation, the Chippewa Indians dug a big hole and built a fire in it. When it got hot enough, they raked out the coals and piled in the water lily roots. The roots were sometimes as large as a man’s arm. When smoked in this way, they were found to be very palatable, and they were thereby kept from starvation. In gratitude, the Chippewa tribe named the lake “Opin,” which means bread and “Neconic,” which means lake. Together – “Opin-neconic” means Lake of Bread.” At some point the “C” was added to the front of the name. The time and reasons for this addition are unknown to-date. In 1917, the camp was named after the lake – YMCA Camp Copneconic.