Entering grades 6-8 for 1, 2, or 3 week session.
Challengers in Boys Camp connect with new friends and discover their strengths in a dynamic and supportive environment. Our days are intentionally designed to encourage campers to discover their best, live a balanced life and contribute to a positive community.
Rising 6th graders can choose from 1, 2 or 3 weeks, while 7th and 8th graders build deep connections in the 2 or 3 week sessions. 6th graders are vital members of their small cabin groups, their color team, or ‘Quad’, as well as the Challenger age group. 7th graders are called Foresters and get to experience an overnight camping adventure at the Well Site Outpost on our property, where they are introduced to camp craft skills and outdoor cooking. 8th graders can opt for the in-camp Challenger program or the Trailblazer camping adventures which take them into the wilderness for three days of hiking and two days of canoeing.
All Challengers choose from a variety of activities to create their daily experience, with options including archery, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, sports, crafts, rock climbing, chess 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.
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.
7:40am Polar Bear Call and Rising Bell
8:20am Flag Raising
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
1:30pm Rest Hour
3:15pm Passing and Prep Time
3:30pm Interest Group 2
4:15pm Snack Time!
4:30pm Interest Group 3
5:15pm Free Time
7:30pm Night’s Doings
9:00pm Evening Reflections
9:45pm Bed Time Prep
10:00pm Cabin and Bed Checks
11:00pm Lights Out
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:
Pool Party/Swim Games
Paddle Sports (kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddleboarding)
Lake Michigan Beach Time
Sports (soccer, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, basketball and more)
High Ropes Course and Rock Climbing
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
Harry Potter Fun
Scenic Letter Center
Reading with a View
Paint and Jam
Other questions you may have about the daily schedule:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
Our Four Trails adventure trip leaders are at least 21 years of age, participate in a rigorous 3-week training, and are certified in high-level first aid as Wilderness First Responders. All of our staff members have background checks run against multiple local and national databases.
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.
“When they return from camp as always, our kids are better behaved, incredibly grateful, kind to siblings- all that the wonderful traits you pine for. Our boys always return better than they left.”
– Miniwanca Camper Parent