The Wetfoot Blog

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pre-Camp Questions: Answered by the experts

First time Camper Jitters! Is your Camper coming to Camp Manito-wish for the first time? We have all been in situations that are fresh & new. Some of us like to jump right in while others prefer to sit back and watch a while before joining in. Whatever your style, you will be welcomed with open arms when you arrive at Camp Manito-wish YMCA. Whether arriving by coach bus or with family by car, campers are greeted by Camp staff geared up to meet them! Staff and volunteers help guide campers and families through the check-in process. Cabin Counselors are trained in group dynamics and work towards creating a friendly, welcoming atmosphere so your camper can easily settle in.

Lost and Found

Help Camp reach the goal of reducing the volume of unclaimed lost and found! Campers lose stuff…or forget where they put it...or don’t remember it belongs to them! It is a huge help to Staff and Campers when all belongings are clearly labeled. An easy solution is to order a nifty clothing stamp or name labels directly from Sterling Name Tape Company at or complete and mail the order form enclosed in the Parent Information Packet directly to Sterling Name Tape Company. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It is equally as important to not bring anything that you don’t want your camper to lose! Camp is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

What happens when I arrive at camp?

After campers arrive to camp, either by bus or with family, and have their luggage checked in, they are guided to the Connor Council Ring (CCR in the world of Camp Manito-wish acronyms), located on the lakeside of Nash Dining Hall, to begin the check in process. In the CCR, campers and families will be greeted by the Business Office staff to officially check in to camp and verify their camp bank balance for Trading Post (camp store). Haven’t set up a camp bank account yet? That’s ok. You can do it at this time with cash, check, Visa or MasterCard. The camp bank account works like a debit account…every time campers go to the Trading Post, they will be told how much money is in their account and they can spend against that balance. Sweatpants, sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, Frisbees, postcards, song books, are just a few of the cool Manito-wish items you’ll find.

After the bank check-in, campers are guided to the Camp Health Center. Heath Center check-in consists of meeting with a nurse, reviewing medical forms, discussing any medications you may have brought with you and answering any questions you might have. The next step is to move into your cabin, meet your counselors and cabin mates, unpack and get settled. Your luggage, and any items you may have purchased through the Equipment Order Form, should already be at your cabin or arriving soon. Please be sure to label your equipment purchases as soon as you get them.

What to bring list…

Let’s back up a little ... when you’re still at home packing for camp, you probably used the What To Bring List Check Off Sheet. It does seem like there are a lot of things on there, but it is important you read it carefully and bring all of the recommended items on the list. (for additional hints, please see the “What to Bring” Video).

Some of the most common questions about this list are:

  • Its summer time, does my camper really need long underwear? Yes - it is summer but the Northwood’s can also be cool and damp, especially in the evenings. Layering helps keep your body warm and dry, especially using synthetic or merino wool based materials instead of cotton. (Long underwear can be purchased from the Camp Manito-wish Equipment Order Form in your final information packet)

  • Does my camper need to bring a backpack for their time on trail? No - Camp will provide this for you if needed. However, you do need to bring 1-2 nylon stuff sacks to pack your clothing for the trip.
Footwear on Trail:
  • Socks: Heavy wool, merino or ragg wool, or thick poly pro is highly recommended. No Cotton! The wool materials wick the moisture away from your skin leaving them warm in wet cold situations. Your feel will get wet as you paddle and portage (carry canoes/packs) through the Northwoods waterways.

  • Boots: Look for boots with good ankle protection and support with a durable sole.

And a few other thoughts about packing for Camp:
  • Does my camper need his/her own paddle? No - paddles are optional; Camp will provide a paddle for your camper if they do not have one. Also, paddles may be purchased during check in or through your bank account beginning the 2nd day of camp.

  • We have a rain jacket or poncho; do we need the rain pants? Yes - If the weather is rainy, campers are still outside doing activities and canoeing. A durable 2 piece, loose fitting rain suit is best. This can also be purchased thru the Manito-wish Equipment Order Form.

  • What happens if my camper gets homesick?! As parents of campers ourselves, we can tell you that kids feel homesick at one time or another during their camp experience. Homesickness can be a good thing! It gives campers an opportunity to travel through uncomfortable feelings with the support of experienced counselors and understanding cabin mates. A huge accomplishment for anyone is dealing with a difficult situation successfully. Do we want children to feel bad – no way – but we do want them to learn more about themselves and build confidence and that means they will have a few challenges along the way. Parents can help to alleviate homesickness by being encouraging and positive in your letters, and by avoiding telling your camper how much you miss him/her.

Respectfully Submitted by:

Karmen Tornow - Business and Finance Manager

Beth Rondello - Administrative Assistant

Becky Jirikowic - Business and Finance Assistant

Dianna Schuenemann - Registrar

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