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Assistant Director/Camp Director Mike Simmons

Please welcome the newest member of our Lake Nixon Outdoor Center team, Mike Simmons!

Mike comes to us after years of service at the Arkansas 4-H Center. He has 25 years’ experience in the camping and outdoor education field and has a passion for helping people realize the best in themselves. He is involved in a number of professional organizations related to outdoor education. He is certified as a challenge (ropes) course facilitator and lifeguard as well as an experienced Wilderness First Aid, and Leave No Trace instructor. Mike will serve as the Assistant Director of the Lake Nixon Outdoor Center, working with the rest of the LNOC team to develop year round programming and as the Director of the Lake Nixon Summer Day Camp.

Mike has lived and worked in a wide variety of locations. He was born in Mexico City but only lived South-of-the-Border for 17 months. He primarily grew up in the Midwest, Ohio and Kansas. When he and his family moved to Western North Carolina, his interests in outdoor activities such as rock climbing, camping and hiking took off. Pursuing his love of the outdoors, Mike obtained a degree in Recreation Management from the University of Montana. He has worked at camps in North Carolina, New England, Canada and Arkansas. He taught at a boarding school in Vicksburg MS for 6 years.

Mike has lived in Little Rock since 2006. He is married to Rene, who works in healthcare. They have 4 teenage children, 2 boys and 2 girls. The eldest two are in college and the younger two are still in high school. Mike enjoys staying active, spending time with his energetic family and being outside.

Outdoor Adventure -- Just Minutes Away!

Summer Day Camp

A Little Rock summer tradition for more than 50 Years!

Lake Nixon Summer Camp is a 9-week summer day camp. Camp will run this year from June 7 through August 6, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. each weekday. With a rotating variety of activities, including arts and crafts, nature hikes, team games and sports, swimming, fishing, boating, volleyball, basketball, picnicking, sand structures, water games, table games, and more. . . . Each day is packed with fun!

Lower Camp is open to boys and girls who have completed kindergarten through 5th grade, and Upper Camp is open for those finishing 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

Middle school-aged campers enjoy a separate swimming area, specialized activities to provide daily structure, positive role models, and the opportunity to play in a safe environment. Middle school is hard enough. Give your child a break this summer!

Swimming and playing in the lake are core components of each day at camp. Certified Lifeguards and counselors closely supervise all water activities, and our swimming facilities are approved by the Arkansas State Department of Health. Lake Nixon provides a safe, shallow swim area for younger children, and more adventurous areas for older campers who have passed a swim test.


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Summer 2021 Update

At this point, our plan for camp reflects current COVID-19 guidelines and best practices. In particular, we will continue to monitor statements from the Arkansas Department of Health, and on the national level, our practices are informed by the “Field Guide for Camps in Implementing Centers for Disease Control Guidance” published by the American Camp Association and the YMCA of the USA. 

The biggest implication of our current plans is that we are planning to have 14 groups of 10 campers each week (12 groups for the “lower camp” [K-5th grade] and 2 groups/week for “upper camp” [6th-8th grade]). This is significantly lower capacity than in years past. Another change is that we will not be offering some options from previous years, or at least not in the exact same way. We are not planning to offer a prepared lunch for optional purchase (though we will provide snacks and drinks throughout the day). Because we will be keeping campers in self-contained groups throughout the week of camp, we are also not planning to offer an extended care option.

We do hope to offer bus transportation this year, but due to the need to reduce rider capacity, we need more information from parents before we can make determinations about bus locations, times, and pricing.

Toward the end of the camper application you’ll see some survey-type questions about transportation and lunch. Please take a minute to respond to these. Your answers will be very helpful!

Summer 2021 Day Camp Pricing Structure

We are looking forward to summer 2021 and are making some additions and exciting improvements to camp. One of these additions is a new tiered pricing structure. In this format, you may choose the tier that best fits your family. No matter which price tier you pick, your camper will receive the same camp experience.

Our goal in offering tiered pricing is simple: we want to continue to provide a safe, active, memorable, and inclusive camp experience for all campers while allowing greater opportunities for partnership for those who value this ministry and want to take an active role in sustaining Lake Nixon, now and for years to come.

Support from our friends in the community has helped us through the Covid-induced hardships of having to cancel camp in 2020 and operating at a substantially reduced capacity for the summer of 2021. We will be feeling the financial effects of those difficult decisions for years, and we are deeply grateful for all the support! Again, tier selection is completely voluntary and has no effect on your camper’s experience at Lake Nixon. We will not ask for any documentation to support your selection; it is up to you to decide what level of commitment to Lake Nixon and camp best fits your family.

  • Tier I: $195/week (plus one-time $25 registration fee). This is the lowest rate (with the reduction of the registration fee from $45 to $25, the price for one week of camp at this tier is the same as it would have been in 2020). This price does not reflect what it costs to run our summer camp program.
  • Tier II: $225/week (plus one-time $25 registration fee). This is a partially subsidized rate for families who want to do a little more to help Lake Nixon but cannot pay at the level of the full cost of camp.
  • Tier III: $250/week (plus one-time $25 registration fee). This rate closely reflects the full or true cost of summer day camp at Lake Nixon, including equipment and supplies, insurance, staff salaries, and facilities and groundskeeping/property maintenance.

Two more important registration changes for Summer 2021:
  • there will not be a sibling discount available 
  • there is no two-week minimum registration requirement

Scholarships/ “Camperships” 

It is very important to Lake Nixon that opportunities to enjoy recreation, education, and sanctuary in this beautiful place are accessible. For the summer of 2021 we have limited funds available to help campers and families whose financial circumstances would otherwise prevent them from experiencing summer day camp. If you are able, please help make the fun, friendships, and memories of Lake Nixon possible for more kiddos in 2021 by making a donation here.

May 29, 2020 Update: We are no longer accepting new applications for financial assistance for Summer Day Camp 2021.


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Assistant Director/Camp Director Mike Simmons

Please welcome the newest member of our Lake Nixon Outdoor Center team, Mike Simmons! Mike comes to us after years of service at …

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