Is your child ready for a wilderness trip with Camp Manito-wish YMCA?

Below is our Wilderness Tripping Essential Eligibility Criteria. We have created this check list as guide to help you understand the nature of our programming and our expectations of our participants. We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

General Skills:

  • Consistently understand verbal and/or visual instructions individually and in a group setting. Follow instructions autonomously and with integrity.
  • Consistently understand basic safety instructions or directions in English in an emergency situation.
  • Consistently communicate personal distress, injury, or need for assistance. Additionally, communicate any hazards or dangers they perceive.
  • Must be self-sufficient in basic self-care and hygiene such as hydration, nourishment, bathroom use, and dress.
  • Adhere to medication and treatment plan outlined by parent/guardians and their medical professional(s) if needed.
  • Refrain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, controlled substances, and misuse of prescription or OTC drugs.
  • Comprehend hazards and safety concerns when explained and adhere to safety policies and procedures. Follow instructions autonomously and with integrity.
  • Recognize hazards posed by the environment (i.e. steep or uneven terrain, moving water, sun exposure, wind, cold, etc.). Additionally, recognize risk in other participants including fatigue, state of mind, and other aspects that may influence judgement or decision making and affect the group.
  • Adapt to the physical and emotional rigors of a remote wilderness environment, at minimum a day from advanced medical care, for the entire length of the wilderness trip.
  • Consistently walk unassisted over uneven terrain.
  • Able and willing to contribute to group tasks and responsibilities.
  • Contribute to and maintain a physically and emotionally safe environment for self and trip mates.
  • Respect the wilderness environment and adhere to Leave No Trace principles.
  • Act independently and as a part of the Manito-wish community in alignment with our community standards.

Canoe Trips:

  • Carry packs and other gear items weighing at least 40 pounds over rough terrain for up to 1 mile with rest breaks as needed.
  • Wear a personal flotation device and maintain a face-up position in water while wearing a PFD.
  • Sit in a canoe for up to 4-6 hours a day with stretch breaks as needed.
  • Grip and control a paddle.
  • Perform basic paddle strokes in the stern and bow.
  • Enter and exit a canoe independently.
  • Re-enter a canoe from the water with assistance.

Sea Kayak:

  • Maneuver a kayak through a variety of elements.
  • Properly execute various paddling strokes.
  • Independently wet exit from their kayak in the event the boat turns upside down.


  • Carry a backpack weighing at least 50 pounds while hiking over rough terrain for 4-6 hours with rest breaks as needed.
  • Pack a pack appropriately with support.