Boys Camp & Girls Camp
Explorers discover the fundamentals of outdoor adventures while they hike, bike, and canoe through the best of scenic coastal Michigan.
In their introduction to Miniwanca’s cycling program, Explorers travel through nearby coastal towns along the shore of Lake Michigan, and nearby inland lakes. They carry all of the essential items they’ll need for the day including rain gear and snacks while the rest of their camping and personal gear is delivered to each of their campsites by a Miniwanca staff member.
Before departing, Explorers prepare for their first Miniwanca cycling trip by learning the fundamentals of cycling, the rules of the road, and bike maintenance from their leaders and coordinators. They also participate in a practice ride, known as a shakedown, where they gain a better sense for how to safely ride their bike with their group.
Explorers will also take on a second adventure, either canoeing (Session A) or backpacking (Session B) in some of the most beautiful wilderness settings of West Michigan. These self-supported adventures offer the additional challenges of carrying all the food and supplies campers will need for the duration of their trip and continuing to reflect on how they can best support each other as they encounter new opportunities for growth.
Taking this next step in the Four Trails progression of trips, Explorers stretch themselves physically and emotionally as they build friendships, gain confidence, and thrive in the mobile communities they create while on trail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Though there are no hard and fast requirements, Four Trails campers must be in good physical condition and prepared for an experience in the outdoors. Beyond that, a positive attitude and a sense of adventure are the only things necessary to join the Four Trails program. You can review recommended exercise routines in the program handbook under the ‘Resources’ section of this page. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
We enthusiastically welcome children with diverse backgrounds, experiences and identities. We value each camper’s right to fully experience Miniwanca free from prejudice and harassment. All of our staff members are trained to supervise children and to prevent and address incidents of conflict or bullying based on any aspect of a person’s identity, including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation.
Miniwanca is fully accredited by the American Camp Association and meet or exceed state health requirements and industry safety standards in both our in-camp and adventure trip programs. American Red Cross standards guide our waterfront activities. We have a team of committed, on-site health professionals, staffing multiple fully equipped health centers, with the nearest hospital just 12 miles away. Miniwanca campers are supervised throughout the day and maintain a 1:6 staff to camper ratio so that we can provide a fun, safe summer for our campers.
Staff members strive to be excellent role models by adhering to the camp motto, My own self, At my very best, All the time. Our senior staff members are caring professionals who work with children year-round in camp, school programs and conferences.
Our cabin leaders have completed at least one year of college, are certified in first aid and CPR, and go through two weeks of extensive training at camp prior to the arrival of campers.
Four Trails adventure trip leaders participate in a rigorous training program in which leaders gain hands-on experience in each of Miniwanca’s program areas: backpacking, cycling, canoeing, and kayaking. Our leaders are certified in first aid, and many of our leaders are certified as Wilderness First Responders. In addition, each Four Trails adventure trip has at least one leader who is 21 years of age or older.
Children love to hear from their families while at camp! Campers are encouraged to write letters during the session and parents are also welcome to send mail to their camper, or send emails through our one-way email provider, which our office staff print and distribute every day.
If families have an urgent message, question or concern about their child, our directors are always willing to speak with parents on the phone.
“Our daughter comes home full of confidence and inner peace, ready for the next school year! Her heart is full of wonderful memories and time spent with good, good friends. So many great stories to share with her family. Thank you for the positive, values-laden influence you and others like you have on her during her stay at camp and on trail.”
– Miniwanca Camper Parent