Avail Senior

Boys Camp & Girls Camp

Our Avail Senior program is an opportunity for community service and leadership within the Boys Camp and Girls Camp communities.

Service projects include mural painting, dune restoration, and community volunteer work. Some campers serve as Quad leaders, providing direction and leadership for the Quad teams while being role models for younger campers. Avail projects take place on site and in the surrounding community at organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Oceana Food Bank, and Shelby Public Schools, offering campers the opportunity to make a difference in the wider world.

Avail Seniors choose from a variety of activities to create their daily experience, with options including archery, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, sports, crafts, woodworking, rock climbing, and more. Campers select new activities each week, giving them the opportunity to discover and explore new interests and strengths in a dynamic and supportive environment.

Each evening our community gathers for all camp Night’s Doings fun, with favorites ranging from the Leader Hunt to the Talent Show where campers perform and support their friends. Evening Reflections brings a quiet close to the day as we reflect, set goals, and learn more about one another.

Campers leave Miniwanca with lasting memories, new found skills and friends, and newly gained confidence in themselves and their ability to make a positive difference in the world.

Learn more through our FAQs, meet our staff or review parent resources.

A Day in the Life

A Typical Day

Campers will experience both typical and special days at Miniwanca. Most weeks consist of 4 or 5 typical days and 2 or 3 a-typical days. We value consistency and know it is important for campers, which is why we ground the week in consistent schedules and activities. However, we also know too much consistency can be boring! Special days may include Opening and Closing Days, the Fourth of July, and other camp-specific holidays like Founder's Day and Ride In.

Girls Camp Typical Day

7:50 am         Polar Bear Call
8:00am          Rising Bell
8:40am          Morning Stretch
9:00am          Breakfast
9:45am          Camper Free Time
10:30am        Community Time
11:30am        Interest Group 1
12:30pm       Cruisers
12:45pm       Lunch
1:30pm          Rest Hour
2:35pm          Assembly/Quad Meetings
3:00pm          Passing and Prep Time
3:15pm          Interest Group 2
4:15pm          Snack Time!
4:30pm          Interest Group 3
5:15pm          Free Time
6:15pm          Dinner
7:30pm          Night’s Doings
9:00pm          Evening Reflection
9:30pm          Bed Time Prep
10:00pm       Carillon Lights Out in 10-40 Bay
11:00pm       Lights Out in 50/60 Bay

Boys Camp Typical Day

7:40am          Polar Bear Call and Rising Bell
8:20am          Flag Raising
8:30am          Breakfast
9:15am           Free Time
9:45am          Interest Group 1
10:45am        Community Time
11:45am        Quad Games/All Camp Activities/Service
12:15pm        Passing Time/Cruisers
12:30pm       Lunch
1:30pm          Rest Hour
2:45pm          Assembly
3:15pm          Passing and Prep Time
3:30pm          Interest Group 2
4:15pm          Snack Time!
4:30pm          Interest Group 3
5:15pm          Free Time
6:15pm          Dinner
7:30pm          Night’s Doings
9:00pm          Evening Reflections
9:45pm          Bed Time Prep
10:00pm       Cabin and Bed Checks
11:00pm       Lights Out

Interest Groups

What are they and how do they work?

Interest Groups are activities offered on a weekly basis that campers sign up for. While campers may gain new skills in their Interest Groups, the activities are a time of day to engage in relaxed fun and practice being their best self. They also offer opportunities for the campers to make new connections with other campers of all ages.

Campers will take part in Interest Groups on typical days and will choose new activities at the beginning of each week. Many Interest Groups are offered on a consistent basis and new options are created all the time based on camper ideas.

Interest Group Options

Most weeks, typical Interest Groups will include:

 Sailing
 Pool Party/Swim Games
 Paddle Sports (kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddleboarding)
 Lake Michigan Beach Time
 Sports (soccer, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, basketball and more)
 Archery
 Woodshop
 High Ropes Course and Rock Climbing
 Pottery
 Yoga
 Theater/Improv
 Crafthouse (knitting, friendship bracelets, copper enameling, print making, pottery, and more)

Special Interest Groups created from camper ideas in the past include:

 Zumba and dance
 Hike and Dip
 Active Adventures
 Harry Potter Fun
 Scenic Letter Center
 Creative Writing
 Reading with a View
 Paint and Jam
 Melty Things

Other questions you may have about the daily schedule:

What is the Polar Bear Call?

Campers can choose to wake up a few minutes early each morning to take a quick dip in Stony Lake. If a camper Polar Bears all the mornings they can while at camp, they’ll receive a Polar Bear t-shirt at the end of the session as a prize!

What is Community Time?

Community Time is a chance for all the campers in each age group (Darers, Challengers, or Avail) to spend some time together doing fun activities! Activities range from “getting to know you” games, fun team sports, and even deep group conversations. We meet the campers where they are at as an age group and have some fun.

What are Quad Games?

In Boys Camp we have Quad Games on every typical day. Quads are communities or teams in camp that are represented by a Quad name. In Boys Camp we have the Beaches, Breakers, Sands, and Creeks. Throughout the summer, Quads will compete in games to earn points towards the ultimate prize: their name on the coveted Quad Paddle that is hung in the Dining Hall. Quad Games are a mix of camp sports, trivia, and other games throughout each session.

What is Assembly?

Assembly is a call to our entire Boys Camp Community to get re-energized after Rest Hour each day. Campers and staff participate in games, skits, and songs presented to each other inside our Council Circle. Highlights include the Sports Report, Paddle Clues, and Cleanest Cabin.

What is Night's Doings?

Night’s Doings is one of the most fun and active times of the day! Every day brings a new activity, game, or event. Night’s Doings can resemble a classic game of capture the flag with a camp twist, involve trying to catch leaders dressed as wizards and lizards, be the week’s Low Council, a talent show, and more.

2020 Dates and Rates

Entering grades 9 - 12

Session A
2 week: July 5 – July 17 $2,580
3 week: June 28 – July 17 $3,430

Session B
2 week: July 26 – August 7 $2,580
3 week: July 19 – August 7 $3,430

Related Programs

Adventurer      Explorer

Frequently Asked Questions

What safety measures does Miniwanca take?

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.

Will my child feel included at camp?

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.

What qualifications do staff members have?

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.

How do parents communicate with their children during camp?

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.

What kind of food does Miniwanca serve?

Following our Food Program guiding principles, we aim to serve a variety of healthy options, including a balance of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables incorporated into a child-friendly menu.

“My daughter and I talk about Miniwanca all year long. Especially as she's gotten older and is more able to articulate her thoughts, we talk about things like how we can help each other be our best selves and lead balanced lives. It's a wonderful legacy that will be with her for her whole life.”

– Miniwanca Camper Parent