Challenger Boys

Boys Camp

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.

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.


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.

2020 Dates and Rates

Entering Grades 6-8

Session A
1 week: June 28 – July 3 $1,130
2 week: July 5 – July 17 $2,580
3 week: June 28 – July 17 $3,400

Session B
1 week: July 19 – July 24 $1,130
2 week: July 26 – August 7 $2,580
3 week: July 19 – August 7 $3,400

Related Programs

Darer      Trailblazer

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 Miniwanca?

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.

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.

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.

“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

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