Director, 1999-2000

Like his two predecessors, Rolf Thompson came to Camp Manito-wish as an experienced YMCA camp director, having served in the same capacity for two camps in Minnesota. And like those men, Thompson made positive impacts to the Manito-wish experience during his brief tenure.

Thompson’s background and passion was in canoe tripping, and he applied that enthusiasm vigorously to the Outpost and Summer Camp program areas. He was known as a good listener and a patient and thoughtful manager — someone who helped youth and staff members alike believe in themselves and maximize their potential.

Thompson was proud of Manito-wish impeccable safety record and made it a continuing focus. He was also keenly aware of the need for long term funding to maintain the high quality of the Manito-wish experience. He encouraged Manito-wish board members to consider a major capital campaign that helped Camp develop an honorary society for deferred giving, which became the “Fires of Friendship Circle.”

Thompson resigned on November 1, 2000, a family decision to return to their roots in Minnesota.

“I look at every activity we offer and apply the same three standards: Is it safe? Is it fun? Is it enriching?”


What a great treat to see 12 advanced trips come in and learn about the trail experiences of each of them. They start at camp, go off on a well planned and executed long wilderness experience, and return to camp on the same day, 12 different groups. No one else does this!
K. H.