Miniwanca Opening Day 2021

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Summer 2021 has officially begun at Miniwanca! The Media Specialist will share periodic dispatches from Girls Camp and Boys Camp here on the blog. Check back often as we share more stories from camp! 

After 18 months, the season of cocooning came to an end as Camp Miniwanca sprang into life with the arrival of more than 200 campers from across the United States on Sunday, June 27, 2021. Wearing masks and Founder medals, campers and their families poured out of cars. Everyone shared joy and great expectation for the three-week adventure ahead.

For the entire Founder family, those present at Miniwanca and those cheering on from afar, yesterday marked the rebirth of the property. After the first missed summer in almost 100 years, all the scared spaces and places are open and ready for a new season of Miniwanca magic.


Throughout the day, a slow trickle of cars paraded through Graceland and Bryant Field, delivering this year’s campers here to rekindle the Founder flame. Laughter and a cacophony of beautiful voices echoed from Lake Michigan to Stony Lake.

Voices greeted old Founder Friends and said hello to new friends, too. Life burst into the cabin areas as campers unloaded their bags and picked the right bunk. After the last campers were settled, LITs rang the first bell, gathering the community for a dinner of rigatoni with marinara and meat sauce, garlic bread, and fresh steamed mixed vegetables.

The cabin groups sat together, eating family style, passing the camp-size bowls and platters among themselves. Loud cheering erupted when dessert – ice cream sandwiches – appeared from the kitchen.

Girls Camp Director Emily Knuth stood at the fireplace to announce the Night’s Doings, Opening Circle. Cabin groups bounded back to the cabin bays to prepare skits, music, and other offerings for the community circle, the official Opening Fire for this summer’s Founder family.

Sitting in the Circle, opening this summer singing “Rise Up, Oh Flame,” then cabin introductions followed. Each cabin group performed their own skit introducing themselves. Soon Quads were announced and cheers shared. “R-I-D-G-E-S!  R-I-D-G-E-S!” Which Quad would earn the most points this summer?

To close the Opening Circle, the Founder family sang a longtime favorite:

“River she is flowing, flowing and growing.

River she is flowing down to the sea.

Mother carry me, Child I will always be.

Mother carry me. Down to the sea.” 

Cabin groups filed out, heading for their bunks. Quiet fell over the Dunes, Draws, Trail and Ridges of Camp Miniwanca as campers fell asleep to the ringing of the Carillon.

Miniwanca Camp Photos