Non-Profit Organization

Camp Josh

Camp Josh is a place for individuals with disabilities and/or special needs with their teachers or support persons to come out and learn about outdoor life


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Ontonagon Michigan 

The mission of Camp Josh is to provide outdoor recreational opportunities and education for people who have a disability of any kind, focusing on hunting, fishing, and the camp itself.  We are a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization, and operate on a volunteer basis.  We have no paid staff.  The camp is located on 40 acres on the Cranberry River in Ontonagon County, and was named after Josh Bader, an enthusiastic young man with a significant mobility impairment, who tragically passed on far too soon.  Camp Josh was organized as a 501(c)(3) in the year 2000.  The cabin and grounds were donated by Norman Pestka of Ontonagon.

  2021 was a very good year.  We had over 200 users with support people who enjoyed our activities.  We hosted multiple outings, for children with developmental and physical disabilities, adults with developmental and physical disabilities, and veterans.  We do not charge a fee for our users.

     We refurbished our pond for 2021 and the Keweenaw Bay Tribe donated 300 rainbow trout from their Pequaming hatchery, in the 13 to 16-inch range.  We measure success by smiles, and the smiles were abundant.  Be sure to check out our photo gallery on this website. 

     The Camp Josh Board has expanded to 15 people, and we utilize all of them, plus additional volunteers to accomplish our events.  Eugene Lewis is our event coordinator, and can be reached at 906-884-4912.  He is also known as our fun coordinator.  Give him a call if you wish to plan an outing for next summer.

    An addition to the Camp Josh story is Doug Filppula’s collection.  Doug was a passionate enthusiast of the outdoors, and a role model for children.  He influenced many as a teacher in Ontonagon Area Schools.  Throughout his life, he collected guns, paintings, knives and memorabilia for their uniqueness and simplicity.  He lived as an advocate for the beauty of nature and took great pride in all of his collectibles.  Doug loved sharing the joy of his collection with youth, friends and family.  At our annual Camp Josh Banquet, some of Doug’s collection of guns and collectibles are on display, to be raffled or auctioned in order to allow his friends and family to continue to enjoy them as he did.  All proceeds raised from Doug’s collection are shared between Camp Josh and scholarships for youth, in Doug’s name, at the Ontonagon Area High School.

Camp Josh has been featured in recent newspaper articles. Click on the buttons below to read about our program:

Upcoming Events

Camp Josh is proud to host a number of events for children with developmental disabilities, adults with developmental disabilities, and senior citizens.  We do not charge a fee for our users.