CAMP LIFE ISN’T ALL FUN AND GAMES. THOUGH THERE’S PLENTY OF THAT TOO.

At Camp Manito-wish YMCA, camp life is all about making friends, embarking on trail adventures, trying new activities and having fun. More importantly, it’s about challenging yourself, being responsible and respectful, and doing your fair share of packing, sweeping and cleaning. These shared experiences build character, instill an appreciation for themselves and others, and an understanding that fun and responsibility go hand in hand. You could say that camp life is a lot like real life. Though our campers would add, “only better.”

Camp Life at Manito-wish is Unique

WHAT MAKES OUR SUMMER CAMP DIFFERENT? THE SAME THINGS THAT MAKE THEM STRONGER.

Camp Manito-wish YMCA has a reputation for offering a unique brand of Summer Camp. What makes us so special? First, the over a century of success we’ve had by honoring and continuing our traditions, second, our commitment to collaborative leadership, character growth and leadership development, and moreover wilderness tripping. These practices — built upon our history, heritage and experience — are effective in helping to develop character and leadership skills. That’s why we continue to embrace them. And interestingly enough, so do the campers! Explore the links at right for specific examples of what makes the Manito-wish experience so distinctive.

In your cabin is where friendships are made and batteries are recharged.

In Your Cabin

WHERE BATTERIES ARE CHARGED,
AND FRIENDS ARE MADE.

Our cabins are more than collections of log and timber. They’re a camper’s hang-out place, rustic retreat, and home away from home. So we make sure they’re comfortable, accommodating and well-maintained.

Each cabin has its own name, as well as a unique floorplan, but they all share several features in common. For instance, every cabin has a sitting room with wood-burning fireplace for cool summer nights and a bunkroom that accommodates approximately twelve (two counselors and eight to ten campers). Some “double cabins” provide two bunkrooms and an enlarged sitting area. Wash houses with showers, sinks and toilets are located a short walk from all cabins.

Campers stay in their cabins with other campers of similar age, along with two counselors. The cabin group is the nucleus of the Manito-wish community — sharing meals, wilderness trips, and attending afternoon program activities together. In addition, they share in the upkeep of their cabin, pitching in each morning to clean, sweep and tidy up their rustic home. Through their camp life experience, they learn responsibility, build character and help their fellow cabin-mates keep a comfortable, cozy home.

Food plays a major role in camp life, whether it is meals in Nash Lodge or preparing your dinner over a campfire on trail.

Meals

SO HEALTHY THEY WILL KEEP AN ACTIVE CAMPER GOING STRONG.
SO TASTY THEY WILL NEVER SUSPECT A THING.

Summer camp life requires plenty of energy, at Camp Manito-wish YMCA, it’s delivered in the form of a delicious and diverse menu. Most days, campers gather in historic Nash Lodge for hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners, prepared under the expert eye of Chef and Culinary Team. (Taste, nutrition and food allergies are always taken into account.) On Trail, campers plan, pack and prepare their own meals over the campfire, resulting in appetizing (and often creative) dishes. Whether your camper is enjoying beef stroganoff at the dining table or hunkering down for “ickabrunch” at the campsite, they’ll be well-fed and well-fueled for the days ahead.

A Day at Summer Camp


THE BEST ARGUMENT YET FOR A 36 HOUR DAY.

At Camp Manito-wish YMCA, every day provides new opportunities for high energy activity, challenge, relaxation and friendships. A campers day is structured to encourage them to explore their individual interests, get to know their cabin mates, and participate in larger, group activities. The activities are designed to teach our character values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Explore our daily summer camp schedule to learn more!

DAILY SUMMER CAMP SCHEDULE

7:30 A.M. Breakfast
8:30 A.M. Cabin Cleaning
9:00 A.M. Paddle In
9:15 A.M. 1st coaching period
10:30 A.M. 2nd coaching period
11:30 A.M. Free swim
12:30 P.M. Lunch
1:30 P.M. Rest hour
2:15 P.M. First cabin activity
3:30 P.M. Second cabin activity
4:30 P.M. Free swim
5:30 P.M. Dinner
6:30 P.M. Detail
7:00 P.M. Section Games
9:30 P.M. South End Taps
10:00 P.M. North End Taps

Evening activities might include a large group game of Capture the Flag, an all-camp campfire, special entertainment or the Camp Show!

Activities

THINGS TO DO. PLACES TO SEE.
WAYS TO GROW.

Camp life at Manito-wish is what summer dreams are made of! Riding horseback through the forest; sailing under the blue sky; making a new friend; singing by the campfire; jumping into the refreshing lake; learning how to set up a campsite; paddling a canoe; going out on trail . . . each day is full of new adventures. As you can see, whether on land or water, there’s an incredible variety of experiences to choose from, every one of them exciting and enriching.

Our program areas allow campers to try new skills, build confidence and set goals of skill development and in some program areas, by making their way through progressively challenging levels. Campers will progress through levels at each area where they develop confidence in their skills. They have the ability to become a Waterfront Maniac, Equitation and Jr. Vet, Rock Star and Katniss. The session will end with a challenge to test the skills they learned by competing in tournaments and performance tests. Some program areas, like Crafts and Nature, are not level-focused, but are intentionally run to discover new activities and allow campers to cultivate life-long passions.

All campers go on trail for 3-9 days.

Trail Experience

OUT HERE EVERYTHING CHANGES.
THE WEATHER. THE TERRAIN. THE CHILD.

During every Summer Camp session, each camper will experience “Trail.” This uniquely Manito-wish experience sees small groups (two counselors and four or five campers) packing provisions and gear and venturing out into the northwoods wilderness. Their destination: Any number of rustic, undeveloped campsites along their route. The duration: Two to seven nights, depending on their age and experience level. Their goal: Adopt new outdoor skills, explore the natural world and learn something about themselves.

Along the way, they’ll camp, cook, travel and put their leadership skills to the test. They will be amazed, inspired and challenged. And subsequently, they’ll return with newfound confidence in their leadership and abilities. In short, it’s a transformative experience that puts them on a positive path, ready to achieve any goal they choose to set for themselves. One thing is for certain: They’ll set that bar high.

Camp life will challenge you to try new things and focus on the details.

Traditions

Detail

Campers are assigned responsibilities every evening. It is a part of our camp life and a way of instilling responsibility to your cabin (inside and out), cabin-mates and the camp community.

Grace before meals & Sunday Chapel Service

Part of helping campers learn about themselves and the world around them is introducing them to the spiritual nature of life. Therefore, campers attend nondenominational Sunday service in our outdoor chapel and sing grace before every meal. In doing so, they gain a better understanding of the power that connects us all.

Trail

Going “on trail” isn’t just a tradition at Manito-wish and one of the features that make us truly unique; it’s an integral part of every summer camper’s Manito-wish experience.

Programs

All summer camps offer programs and activities; our focus on what are commonly referred to as “silent sports,” or non-motorized activities is part of what makes Manito-wish unique. We believe these activities allow for greater focus and concentration and allow for a closer connection with nature and the world around us.

Part of camp life is going on trail and working together as a team.

Organization & Philosophy

Separate Boys and Girls Sessions

At Manito-wish, we hold separate boys and girls sessions to help campers be themselves.

Matching counselors with campers

Camp Manito-wish YMCA Summer Camp employs staff that reflect the sessions we’re serving. For boys’ camp, males serve as cabin counselors and Trail leaders; for girls’ camp, females assume those roles. However, program area activities are taught and supervised by both genders.

Unplug!

We believe that disconnecting is the best way to reconnect with friends, neighbors and the world around you. Therefore, cell phones, pods, pads, games and other electric devices are not allowed.

By spending a summer outside, your camper is exposed to many new growth opportunities. Our passionate staff are at Camp to help facilitate these opportunities in the best ways for your camper. Whether your camper is at Camp or on trail, our staff help your camper to try new things, develop their leadership abilities, and discover their passions.

  • Appreciation for nature and place: Spending time outside can help build a stronger sense of place, allowing campers to more easily connect to the natural world. As they connect with the world around them, they have the opportunity to form an appreciation for the places they spend time in.
  • Learn something new: While outside, there are a lot of opportunities to learn something new. This could come from the education that occurs on trail when learning new technical skills, from learning more about the ecosystem of the Northwoods from their friends and staff members, or from learning interpersonal skills from interacting with their cabin. At Camp, kids are given the tools to learn many new skills and pieces of information both independently and in a group.
  • Form resilience: Campers learn how to be ready to adapt to whatever might happen while they are in the outdoors. Whether they face a day of high winds while sailing on Boulder Lake, a rainy day paddling on the Upper Manitowish River, or a long and competitive game of Wells Fargo, campers are exposed to experiences that allow them to develop their resilience. Many of our participants reflect that these experiences help them develop resilience at home—if they can make it through a challenging day of paddling or hiking, they can surely complete a paper or study for an upcoming test.
  • Technology free time: While spending time outside at Camp, participants have the opportunity to have a digital detox. They are able to enjoy the world around them, building their wonder for the natural world and encouraging campers to continue to have technology free time outside of Camp.
  • Fosters curiosity through experiential learning: What’s a better way to learn and grow than by getting your hands dirty, strolling in waders through a bog, or observing the world through a hand lens? Experiential education in the form of going on trail, adventuring to our 12 Program Areas, and exploring around Camp helps promote the learning process by experiencing activities hands-on. Whether they are looking at the bark of a tree, learning how to sail, or paddling a canoe for the first time, they are gaining experiences that they might not have in other aspects of their lives. This environment fosters curiosity to learn more through experiential education and gain new passions—not just at Camp, but in the world beyond the Northwoods.

Fun

Many summer camps are purely fun-oriented. Manito-wish campers have plenty of fun — but they also have their share of responsibilities and challenges. Through this unique and balanced approach, they gain more than great experiences and new friendships — they build confidence and self-esteem.

Camp friends make the best friends.

Contacting Campers

Keeping in Touch

Parents can communicate with their campers by letters or email only (which are printed and delivered as daily mail). Campers can send hand-written notes through standard mail. It’s an effective way to forge an appreciation for family and build good writing and communication skills.

Visiting Days

With our new Summer Camp schedule, we will offer full Chapel services on each Sunday (except Closing Day) during the session. Visitor Days have traditionally been on Chapel Sundays, and we are hopeful to have one Visitor Day each session. We will continue to monitor best practice guidelines for visitors at Camp, and will communicate with you once that plan is finalized.

Testimonials

We support Manito-wish because of its commitment to youth, leadership training, outdoor education, long-standing traditions, character development, and simple pleasure.
V. A.

Testimonials

We support Manito-wish because of its commitment to youth, leadership training, outdoor education, long-standing traditions, character development, and simple pleasure.
V. A.

CAMP LIFE ISN’T ALL FUN AND GAMES. THOUGH THERE’S PLENTY OF THAT TOO.

At Camp Manito-wish YMCA, camp life is all about making friends, embarking on trail adventures, trying new activities and having fun. More importantly, it’s about challenging yourself, being responsible and respectful, and doing your fair share of packing, sweeping and cleaning. These shared experiences build character, instill an appreciation for themselves and others, and an understanding that fun and responsibility go hand in hand. You could say that camp life is a lot like real life. Though our campers would add, “only better.”

Camp Life at Manito-wish is Unique

WHAT MAKES OUR SUMMER CAMP DIFFERENT? THE SAME THINGS THAT MAKE THEM STRONGER.

Camp Manito-wish YMCA has a reputation for offering a unique brand of Summer Camp. What makes us so special? First, the over a century of success we’ve had by honoring and continuing our traditions, second, our commitment to collaborative leadership, character growth and leadership development, and moreover wilderness tripping. These practices — built upon our history, heritage and experience — are effective in helping to develop character and leadership skills. That’s why we continue to embrace them. And interestingly enough, so do the campers! Explore the links at right for specific examples of what makes the Manito-wish experience so distinctive.

In your cabin is where friendships are made and batteries are recharged.

In Your Cabin

WHERE BATTERIES ARE CHARGED,
AND FRIENDS ARE MADE.

Our cabins are more than collections of log and timber. They’re a camper’s hang-out place, rustic retreat, and home away from home. So we make sure they’re comfortable, accommodating and well-maintained.

Each cabin has its own name, as well as a unique floorplan, but they all share several features in common. For instance, every cabin has a sitting room with wood-burning fireplace for cool summer nights and a bunkroom that accommodates approximately twelve (two counselors and eight to ten campers). Some “double cabins” provide two bunkrooms and an enlarged sitting area. Wash houses with showers, sinks and toilets are located a short walk from all cabins.

Campers stay in their cabins with other campers of similar age, along with two counselors. The cabin group is the nucleus of the Manito-wish community — sharing meals, wilderness trips, and attending afternoon program activities together. In addition, they share in the upkeep of their cabin, pitching in each morning to clean, sweep and tidy up their rustic home. Through their camp life experience, they learn responsibility, build character and help their fellow cabin-mates keep a comfortable, cozy home.

Food plays a major role in camp life, whether it is meals in Nash Lodge or preparing your dinner over a campfire on trail.

Meals

SO HEALTHY THEY WILL KEEP AN ACTIVE CAMPER GOING STRONG.
SO TASTY THEY WILL NEVER SUSPECT A THING.

Summer camp life requires plenty of energy, at Camp Manito-wish YMCA, it’s delivered in the form of a delicious and diverse menu. Most days, campers gather in historic Nash Lodge for hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners, prepared under the expert eye of Chef and Culinary Team. (Taste, nutrition and food allergies are always taken into account.) On Trail, campers plan, pack and prepare their own meals over the campfire, resulting in appetizing (and often creative) dishes. Whether your camper is enjoying beef stroganoff at the dining table or hunkering down for “ickabrunch” at the campsite, they’ll be well-fed and well-fueled for the days ahead.

A Day at Summer Camp


THE BEST ARGUMENT YET FOR A 36 HOUR DAY.

At Camp Manito-wish YMCA, every day provides new opportunities for high energy activity, challenge, relaxation and friendships. A campers day is structured to encourage them to explore their individual interests, get to know their cabin mates, and participate in larger, group activities. The activities are designed to teach our character values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Explore our daily summer camp schedule to learn more!

DAILY SUMMER CAMP SCHEDULE

7:30 A.M. Breakfast
8:30 A.M. Cabin Cleaning
9:00 A.M. Paddle In
9:15 A.M. 1st coaching period
10:30 A.M. 2nd coaching period
11:30 A.M. Free swim
12:30 P.M. Lunch
1:30 P.M. Rest hour
2:15 P.M. First cabin activity
3:30 P.M. Second cabin activity
4:30 P.M. Free swim
5:30 P.M. Dinner
6:30 P.M. Detail
7:00 P.M. Section Games
9:30 P.M. South End Taps
10:00 P.M. North End Taps

Evening activities might include a large group game of Capture the Flag, an all-camp campfire, special entertainment or the Camp Show!

Activities

THINGS TO DO. PLACES TO SEE.
WAYS TO GROW.

Camp life at Manito-wish is what summer dreams are made of! Riding horseback through the forest; sailing under the blue sky; making a new friend; singing by the campfire; jumping into the refreshing lake; learning how to set up a campsite; paddling a canoe; going out on trail . . . each day is full of new adventures. As you can see, whether on land or water, there’s an incredible variety of experiences to choose from, every one of them exciting and enriching.

Our program areas allow campers to try new skills, build confidence and set goals of skill development and in some program areas, by making their way through progressively challenging levels. Campers will progress through levels at each area where they develop confidence in their skills. They have the ability to become a Waterfront Maniac, Equitation and Jr. Vet, Rock Star and Katniss. The session will end with a challenge to test the skills they learned by competing in tournaments and performance tests. Some program areas, like Crafts and Nature, are not level-focused, but are intentionally run to discover new activities and allow campers to cultivate life-long passions.

All campers go on trail for 3-9 days.

Trail Experience

OUT HERE EVERYTHING CHANGES.
THE WEATHER. THE TERRAIN. THE CHILD.

During every Summer Camp session, each camper will experience “Trail.” This uniquely Manito-wish experience sees small groups (two counselors and four or five campers) packing provisions and gear and venturing out into the northwoods wilderness. Their destination: Any number of rustic, undeveloped campsites along their route. The duration: Two to seven nights, depending on their age and experience level. Their goal: Adopt new outdoor skills, explore the natural world and learn something about themselves.

Along the way, they’ll camp, cook, travel and put their leadership skills to the test. They will be amazed, inspired and challenged. And subsequently, they’ll return with newfound confidence in their leadership and abilities. In short, it’s a transformative experience that puts them on a positive path, ready to achieve any goal they choose to set for themselves. One thing is for certain: They’ll set that bar high.

Camp life will challenge you to try new things and focus on the details.

Traditions

Detail

Campers are assigned responsibilities every evening. It is a part of our camp life and a way of instilling responsibility to your cabin (inside and out), cabin-mates and the camp community.

Grace before meals & Sunday Chapel Service

Part of helping campers learn about themselves and the world around them is introducing them to the spiritual nature of life. Therefore, campers attend nondenominational Sunday service in our outdoor chapel and sing grace before every meal. In doing so, they gain a better understanding of the power that connects us all.

Trail

Going “on trail” isn’t just a tradition at Manito-wish and one of the features that make us truly unique; it’s an integral part of every summer camper’s Manito-wish experience.

Programs

All summer camps offer programs and activities; our focus on what are commonly referred to as “silent sports,” or non-motorized activities is part of what makes Manito-wish unique. We believe these activities allow for greater focus and concentration and allow for a closer connection with nature and the world around us.

Part of camp life is going on trail and working together as a team.

Organization & Philosophy

Separate Boys and Girls Sessions

At Manito-wish, we hold separate boys and girls sessions to help campers be themselves.

Matching counselors with campers

Camp Manito-wish YMCA Summer Camp employs staff that reflect the sessions we’re serving. For boys’ camp, males serve as cabin counselors and Trail leaders; for girls’ camp, females assume those roles. However, program area activities are taught and supervised by both genders.

Unplug!

We believe that disconnecting is the best way to reconnect with friends, neighbors and the world around you. Therefore, cell phones, pods, pads, games and other electric devices are not allowed.

By spending a summer outside, your camper is exposed to many new growth opportunities. Our passionate staff are at Camp to help facilitate these opportunities in the best ways for your camper. Whether your camper is at Camp or on trail, our staff help your camper to try new things, develop their leadership abilities, and discover their passions.

  • Appreciation for nature and place: Spending time outside can help build a stronger sense of place, allowing campers to more easily connect to the natural world. As they connect with the world around them, they have the opportunity to form an appreciation for the places they spend time in.
  • Learn something new: While outside, there are a lot of opportunities to learn something new. This could come from the education that occurs on trail when learning new technical skills, from learning more about the ecosystem of the Northwoods from their friends and staff members, or from learning interpersonal skills from interacting with their cabin. At Camp, kids are given the tools to learn many new skills and pieces of information both independently and in a group.
  • Form resilience: Campers learn how to be ready to adapt to whatever might happen while they are in the outdoors. Whether they face a day of high winds while sailing on Boulder Lake, a rainy day paddling on the Upper Manitowish River, or a long and competitive game of Wells Fargo, campers are exposed to experiences that allow them to develop their resilience. Many of our participants reflect that these experiences help them develop resilience at home—if they can make it through a challenging day of paddling or hiking, they can surely complete a paper or study for an upcoming test.
  • Technology free time: While spending time outside at Camp, participants have the opportunity to have a digital detox. They are able to enjoy the world around them, building their wonder for the natural world and encouraging campers to continue to have technology free time outside of Camp.
  • Fosters curiosity through experiential learning: What’s a better way to learn and grow than by getting your hands dirty, strolling in waders through a bog, or observing the world through a hand lens? Experiential education in the form of going on trail, adventuring to our 12 Program Areas, and exploring around Camp helps promote the learning process by experiencing activities hands-on. Whether they are looking at the bark of a tree, learning how to sail, or paddling a canoe for the first time, they are gaining experiences that they might not have in other aspects of their lives. This environment fosters curiosity to learn more through experiential education and gain new passions—not just at Camp, but in the world beyond the Northwoods.

Fun

Many summer camps are purely fun-oriented. Manito-wish campers have plenty of fun — but they also have their share of responsibilities and challenges. Through this unique and balanced approach, they gain more than great experiences and new friendships — they build confidence and self-esteem.

Camp friends make the best friends.

Contacting Campers

Keeping in Touch

Parents can communicate with their campers by letters or email only (which are printed and delivered as daily mail). Campers can send hand-written notes through standard mail. It’s an effective way to forge an appreciation for family and build good writing and communication skills.

Visiting Days

With our new Summer Camp schedule, we will offer full Chapel services on each Sunday (except Closing Day) during the session. Visitor Days have traditionally been on Chapel Sundays, and we are hopeful to have one Visitor Day each session. We will continue to monitor best practice guidelines for visitors at Camp, and will communicate with you once that plan is finalized.