Posted on

Miniwanca Odyssey Ride In

WOW. You could FEEL the energy pulsing through the air this morning. The day started with the Doc Wheels Fun Run. Both Girls and Boys camps met at Graceland to kick off “the world’sdoc wheels toughest 5K” with a route that took campers through Boys Camp, over Old Baldy and ended on the Green Acre in Girls Camp. The runners were greeted with donuts and fruit for breakfast. Yum!

The Voyager kayakers, rising 11th Graders, left Miniwanca on July 10 for three weeks of paddling around the islands of the Georgian Bay in Canada. The Odyssey bicyclers,rising 12th Graders, left camp on July 7 and traveled to our sister camp, Merrowvista, in New Hampshire, where they began a 1300 miles journey back to us in Michigan.

We’ve been busy preparing for their arrival. Chalk messages lined the pathways that led our bikers home. Posters held messages of love and support. The anticipation in the air was electric!

After breakfast and a well-earned Polar Bear swim, the Voyagers’ red kayaks stopped just south of our beach front. Their 12 boats sat in the beautiful blues of Lake Michigan awaiting their homecoming.  As soon as they came into sight, a roar of cheers and songs rose up.


They beached their kayaks and paused as the two Odyssey trips came riding through a human tunnel of campers, staff and families. They received a hero’s welcome. The wave of joy followed the Odyssey campers down the beach as they plunged into Lake Michigan.

ride in 2

The Voyager and Odyssey campers then greeted each other with water lapping at their legs. They formed a human circle with arms linked around shoulders and led a rousing chorus of Founder Hearts.

The palpable emotion and celebration of the Ride-In moves and touches everyone. The younger campers watch the returning trips with awe, and begin to make the connection that they, too, could accomplish a trip like that someday. Older campers feel the spark of motivation they’ll need as they embark on these trips in the near future. Staff and parents beam with pride at the incredible accomplishment of these young women. Now, we look forward to hearing the stories of their personal challenges and triumphs. We all witness the embodiment of the AYF motto, seeing them live as Their Own Selves, at Their Very Best, All the Time.


The rest of this beautiful day was dedicated to fun, rest and free time.

Our time with your children is nearing its end. We can’t wait for them to share their stories of growth with you.