Striving to ensure a safe and positive experience is always our top priority. Our staff is well-vetted and completes a 10-day training program including Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness Lifeguard Training. Formal emergency procedures are in place for any eventuality. And our Health Center’s certified medical staff are always ready to provide quality care, with a full clinic and hospital just 25 minutes away.
Camps are often thought of as places for kids to go. Camp Manito-wish YMCA is a place for kids to grow. Since 1919, we’ve used engaging activities, wilderness trips and the Northwoods itself as tools to reinforce values, develop character and build leadership skills. As campers grow, so does their confidence, their caring and their sense of community. And by embracing this Manito-wish experience, they’re ready to embrace new challenges and a larger world.
For some, three weeks away from home can feel challenging. One of the greatest things that happens at Camp is that our staff are trained to guide our campers to challenge themselves to try new things – especially if they are nervous of stepping out of their comfort zone, as we know this is where the growth happens. Our staff are well equipped with the tools needed to help your camper face challenges and walk away feeling more confident, stronger and braver than before. If your camper is feeling homesick, our staff will guide your camper through the process with patience, empathy and by setting goals to help them feel more at home while here at Camp. If you would like to talk with us about how to prepare your camper, please just give us a call.
Our staff takes great pride in helping your child feel welcome, build community and become part of the Manito-wish family. After check-in, your camper will be introduced to their counselors and cabin mates. They’ll play games and small group activities designed to help all campers get comfortable with their cabin. We’ll always do our very best to help your camper feel at home in no time.
Many first-year campers arrive not knowing anyone. We work hard to match first-time campers with similar interests and ensure that each camper has lots of opportunities to share new experiences and make new friends. If your camper has a friend attending, and they want to be in the same cabin, both families must make an online request via your Camper Accounts.
Our Summer Camp schedule is set up to start on a Sunday and end on a Saturday. Campers can be dropped off by a parent or guardian on opening day or if that is not convenient, we recommend you take advantage of our bus transportation. Camp staff are on the bus to help facilitate meeting new people, teach camp traditions, answer questions, and connect your camper with others on the bus to start building relationships right away. When the session is over, bus transportation is available or you can pick them up and meet the counselors and staff, tour the property and have your camper share their favorite memories and places. The car ride home will be full of stories, laughter and then naps.
We offer hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners via a delicious and diverse menu, usually served in historic Nash Lodge. On Trail, campers plan and prepare their own meals, resulting in nutritious and creative dishes. There’s always a chance to try something new, and nutrition and dietary restrictions (food allergies, etc.) are carefully taken into account. Your camper will be well-fed and well-fueled.
We will offer full Chapel services on each Sunday (except Closing Day) during the session. Visitor Day is the generally the last Sunday of the Camp session. Detailed information is shared with registered families.
Absolutely. We have camperships that can help! We believe in making camp possible for all who want to participate. While our costs are necessary to provide the very best experience, we know that this investment in your camper can be significant to your household budget. Camp Manito-wish YMCA enjoys a strong history and commitment to providing an outstanding Manito-wish experience to all who want to participate. Our fee structure, payment plan options and Campership program are in place to make this happen, by striving to make our programs affordable for everyone.
Camp’s mission statement was informed by the scripture reading of Luke 2:52. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and Man.” This helped to establish the four corners of the Manito-wish square to create the foundation of our programming and form Camp’s current mission statement: To enrich the character and leadership development of each person who has a Manito-wish Experience by challenging them to grow in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God and one another.”
GROWING IN WISDOM
Our programming fosters the ability to think critically such that participants grow more comfortable with who they are in order to “Show up” authentically in life.
GROWING IN STATURE
Our programming fosters improvement of body and physical skills which make for pride and confidence in being.
GROWING IN FAVOR WITH GOD
Our programming fosters growth in participant’s exploration of what God means to them.
GROWING IN FAVOR WITH ONE ANOTHER
Our programming develops participant’s ability to interact well with others.
We believe that a balance on all four sides through our values based programs is critical to the Manito-wish experience.
Chapel is a time to gather as a camp community to reflect while sitting amongst the pines. Chapel is held Sunday at the Wones Pinewoods Chapel. The Camp Director, Program Directors and/or Sectionals all come together to guide and lead the chapel service. Our chapel service does not have a specific religious affiliation, but rather offers us all a moment to gather and reflect together. People of all backgrounds are welcome. The framework includes a passage, singing, a reflective message and lasts approximately an hour. All summer camp campers will wear a white shirt and staff their staff shirts to Chapel.
Our closing ceremony occurs the last night of each camp session. The closing ceremony is referred to as the Square Ceremony during Boys camp and Vespers during Girls camp. These ceremonies are an opportunity for the entire Camp community to assemble in the Nash Lodge dining hall. Each ceremony offers a time for reflection about their growth in wisdom, stature, in favor with God, and everyone while at Camp Manito-wish. The ceremony lasts about 90 minutes.
Grace is a moment to center yourself prior to each meal while standing behind your chair in our Nash Lodge dining hall. Graces or a passage to self-reflect upon, known as a Password, are sung or read. While participation in the graces is not a requirement, a moment of silent reflection, while standing behind your chair, is encouraged. The staff member leading the Grace or Password periodically throughout the session provides a full explanation of this tradition.
The Commissioning Ceremony is the process of officially bringing to a close the staff training for all seasonal staff. The commissioning is held on the opening day of Boys and Girls Camp and is a ceremony to inspire our staff for the upcoming session! Each member of the training team-Operations Director, Camp Director, and applicable Program Directors participate in the commissioning with words of wisdom, inspiration, and celebration. The ceremony includes a song, time for reflection, and a message of inspiration. In prior commissioning ceremonies, the words of prayer have been time for self-reflection: utilizing a moment of silence, eyes closed at comfort level, and may include a scripture reading. The commissioning is concluded by individual silent reflection, sitting somewhere on the waterfront, and then transitioning to Nash Lodge for lunch. The total time of the commissioning ceremony is approximately 30 minutes.