Director, 1973-1990

A former camper, counselor, section leader, chief counselor and European trip leader, Bob Telleen was well-versed in Camp Manito-wish YMCA philosophy and programming. With previous stints as director at two other YMCA camps, he applied this potent combination of diverse experience and Manito-wish spirit to his new task.

Telleen was known for his enthusiasm and attention to detail, both of which he applied to all aspects of Manito-wish. He established Board retreats for better communication and oversaw the launch of Family Camp in 1973 and the formalization of the Outpost program in 1974. He was also instrumental in adopting minimum-impact camping standards in response to growing environmental awareness.

Recognizing the need for continuous maintenance, facility improvements and financial support to continue the Manito-wish mission, Telleen applied his considerable talents to fundraising, re-establishing regular contact with alumni, initiating the first marketing efforts, and strengthening the relationship with the community of Boulder Junction, including hosting the annual Fall Colorama dinner in Nash Lodge.

Through his years of service, Telleen earned the reputation as one of the YMCA’s most experienced and effective mentors and served as a consultant to camps nationwide. This eventually led to his resignation to accept a post with the YMCA of the USA Program Services Division.

“Manito-wish, most of all, is giving — to friends through support given, problems listened to, ideas exchanged — to a group, a goal, a shared experience.”


“Not only did students come back from this trip describing how amazing it was, but they came back acting in a way that reflected what they learned.  I have witnessed them be more consistently engaged in volunteering at school and in the community, be more mindful of their peers, and in many cases, be enthusiastic about returning as mentors for a new class of participants.  This is all the result of the intentional and dynamic way that Camp Manitowish Staff talked with us beforehand about outc…
Michael Greuel, Social Sciences and Theology Teacher