Camp Shout Out named Lakeshore Innovator of the Year

Julie Raynor poses with the Lakeshore Innovator of the Year Award
Julie Raynor
Image credit - Adam Bird

A camp dedicated to improving the lives and speaking skills of children and teenagers who have speech disorders won the first-ever Lakeshore Innovator of the Year award presented by Grand Valley State University's Muskegon Innovation Hub.

Camp Shout Out, located in Holton, Michigan, was recognized at a ceremony on March 14 for its innovative approach to speech-language pathology and its combined benefit of helping children ages 8-18 who stutter while also providing hands-on training for language pathologists and graduate students.

Julie Raynor, a co-founder of the camp, accepted the award on behalf of the camp and her co-founder, Kristin Chmela. Raynor said the camp is unique in the United States, and the innovative training and treatment portion of the camp has been recognized by international experts. The program serves about 60 children per session.

"Camp Shout Out is a place that's all about positive communication and interaction," Raynor said. "Our camp is a place where young people can feel confident to say what they want to say, even if they stutter sometimes."

The winner was selected from a group of finalists, which also included Smart Vision Lights; John Bilsky, a master water specialist; Rick Smith of HyVIDA Brands, Inc.; and a group of students and teachers from the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center.

Hub director Kevin Ricco said he was pleased with the strength of all of the nominations for the award, and congratulated Camp Shout Out on being the first winner of the award. 

"These awards really show us the amount and quality of innovation happening along the lakeshore, and we're happy to celebrate the success of this area, not only with Camp Shout Out, but all of our finalists for the award," Ricco said. 

The signature sponsor for the event was Varnum Law. 

About the Muskegon Innovation Hub

Grand Valley's Muskegon Innovation Hub is a business innovation center that provides business incubation, coworking space, funding assistance, events and programming. It is a key partner in the regional innovation ecosystem, and supports startup businesses, entrepreneurs and corporate innovation teams.

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