Freshman Rat Camp
Starts 8/29/2023 Ends 8/29/2023
Location Camp Geneva, Holland MI
Contact Cessie Wright, Senior Advisor at
More Information (Directions)


Dear Ninth-Grade Parent:

Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior

These are the years during which your children will receive key parts of their education that will carry them forward into college and life.

How can my child make the most of these years?

To help answer that question, all 9th-grade students will participate in a one day, off-campus retreat at Geneva Pines Camp & Retreat Center on Tuesday, August 29th from 8am until 3:00pm. This retreat will promote peer relationships, help establish academic focus, and provide an opportunity for students to gain insight as to how to make the most of their high school career. 

Team Building

We are welcoming many new freshmen to the Black River community this fall. A good portion of the day will be devoted to team building activities where students will work together and get to know each other.

Community and Extracurricular Exploration

Student Council upperclassmen will describe their activities in school and their service in the community and how students can become involved. We will explore involvement and helping in our community beyond the Black River graduation requirements. Students will also start some important programming with our school counselor, Mrs. Roberts.

College Exploration

We’ll bring in representatives from various Michigan colleges: big and small, private and public. Students will find out what life is like in these various types of schools, what it takes to get in, what it costs to go there, and how it can impact their career choices.

Why should I go to college?

Our aim for this retreat is to provide an answer to why your student should work hard and make good choices during high school.  The retreat will help to provide a context for the upcoming high school years, and equip students with information, experience and inspiration.

Faculty Support & Advisement

Several Black River Faculty & Staff will be on hand throughout this retreat, working directly with students and providing guidance along the way. Students will continue to build upon what they learn at Rat Camp throughout the school year with assistance through CAP class and other academic activities.

What should I do now?

Below you will find a link to the required retreat permission form that is due Friday, August 11th. We are asking that all students be dropped off and picked up at the Geneva Camp & Retreat Center (Pines location) on August 29th between 7:45am & 8am. If you are concerned about transportation, please consider organizing carpooling options with other BR parents. Bus transportation for a very limited number of students may be possible if it is impossible for you to make other arrangements. 


This event is a 9th-grade requirement and there is no additional fee. Students will be fed lunch, provided snacks, and given a class t-shirt. If you would like to help offset the cost of this important event, you are welcome to make a donation payable to Black River Public School.  

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Miss Wright at More detailed information, including specifics on drop-off /pick-up, maps, and more, will go home with students at the end of the first week of school.


Cessie Wright

College Advisor




491 Columbia Avenue
Holland, MI 49423
Phone: (616) 355-0055

Fax: (616) 355-0057