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Art Gutz

Art Gutz, of Wyandotte, Mich., holds Jasmine while talking about his 16 years hosting at Pinckney State Recreation Area’s Bruin Lake Campground. (Gillis Benedict/Livingston Daily)

Every summer Art and Jane Gutz pack up their camping gear and spend three months living at Bruin Lake Modern Campground in Michigan’s Pinckney State Recreation Area.

They say they are the most fun camp hosts, according to the Livingston Daily.

“You’re talking to the minister of the Bruin Lake Redneck Yacht Club,” Art said.

They escape city life in Wyandotte to assist guests at the campground, plan games and group events and keep an eye on the camp. Camp hosts rotate throughout the year. They’ve been doing it for 16 years.

Livingston Daily photographer Gillis Benedict pitched a tent at Bruin Lake on a Friday night earlier in July and was wowed by the sense of community he found.

He set up camp next to the Gutzes, who say the camp attracts people from near, and also far.

“The biggest percentage of people who come to the park are working-class guys who live within an hour or two. For a lot of people, it’s far enough away that it has an Up North feel,” Jane Gutz said.

Bruin Lake Campground is on a chain of seven lakes in the state recreation area, at 21237 Kaiser Road in Unadilla Township. The chain attracts people who fish, boat and otherwise enjoy the great outdoors and family outings.

The campground features 161 campsites with modern camping amenities for tent, trailer and RV campers, including seasonal flush toilets, showers, electricity, a beach with swimming, a playground and a fishing pier. There are also several hike-in campsites and a yurt. The campground is open from the end of March through November.

“We have about 30 miles of connected lakes on hundreds of acres. It’s the fishing. It’s the boating. They have access to Patterson and Half Moon Lake, which has access to tubing there. You can connect with the Poto (Potawatomi Trail) between Watson and Half Moon lakes where it crosses there,” Jane Gutz said.

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