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Lasting Benefits of Overnight Camp

Have you ever wanted to spend a weekend off the grid, unplugged from your phone or laptop, and surrounded by friends, family, and acres of fields, trees, and fresh water? Adults may think of camping like this as a dream getaway, but overnight camp provides this kind of picturesque environment for maturing children for as long as two months! Not only is overcamp camp a great place to be, but it offers campers a place to accomplish goals—large and small—and grow into impactful members of the community at camp as well as home. If you’re new to overnight camp, read on to learn:

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  • Why millions of kids choose overnight summer camps

  • Why overnight camps thrive in The Wisconsin Northwoods

  • How Camp Menominee sets itself apart

Overnight Camp 101

You might not realize it, but camp (for kids and adults) is hugely popular in the U.S. According to the American Camping Association, more than 14 million children and adults attend one of the 8,400 resident (overnight) camps or 5,600 day camps throughout the country. As the name suggests, resident camps become summer homes for boys and girls of all ages. We prefer the term overnight camp (some also call it sleepaway camp), and for most children, a trip to overnight camp marks the first time they’re living away from home (and their parents) for more than a day or two.

Sometimes these experiences last as long as eight weeks, while others can be as quick as two weeks. Regardless of their duration, overnight camps provide maturing children with an experience that no day camp can match. Providing residential accommodations away from home is the obvious distinguishing factor between overnight cams and day camps, but with that comes a multitude of opportunities to create personal growth and lots of fun! Each overnight camp provides a unique campground, diverse community, and original program… yet they all boast about producing wonderful memories that last a lifetime for their campers. There is some truth to that shared sentiment though, as reflected in the ACA’s survey of campers, parents, and staff:

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Overnight camp can shape the lives of young men and women in a variety of ways. Here are just a couple of the benefits from a great summer experience...

  • Campers gain a sense of independence before heading to college, getting a chance to experience what it feels like to thrive away from home for the first time

  • Campers develop a feeling for community living, learning how to support their fellow cabinmates by owning certain responsibilities to make the group better. This requires building trust with and caring for each other.

  • Campers interact with and appreciate people with attitudes, values, and abilities different from their own. Everyone at camp is on the same playing field.

  • Campers are constantly encouraged to try new things and learn new skills, which requires focus, patience, and determination

  • Campers can earn leadership positions within their cabin, age group, or camp-wide. These positions test campers’ social and communication skills

  • Campers detach from technology (no phones or tablets allowed!), which allows them to be present with their friends and nature, which is incredibly rare nowadays for anyone, not just kids. As more adults crave moments like these, we help kids appreciate the time they can spend interacting with peers of all ages, learning new things face to face.

At Menominee you will find an experienced administration and staff who support our campers in all of these opportunities to learn, achieve, and grow. Just ask our current families and alumni—we’ll be happy to connect you! You can also read more about why families choose Menominee.

The Magic of The Northwoods

Boys and girls come from all over the world to attend overnight camps in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. This summer tradition stretches back over 100 years, and the neighboring towns are home to many sleepaway camps catering to either boys or girls.

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Camp Menominee has been the summer home for boys aged 7-15 for over 90 years. For decades Menominee welcomed the majority of its campers from the suburbs of Chicago, located five and a half hours south of Eagle River. Now, families from many other Midwestern cities choose Menominee for their sons, including Minneapolis (245 miles, 4.5-hours away), Milwaukee (240 miles, 4 hours away), Madison (230 miles, 3.5 hours), Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

As cross-country travel became less expensive and difficult over the last 20 years, Menominee has welcomed a surge of new families from all over the country and beyond. The Arizona communities of Scottsdale and Phoenix have become home to families of Menominee faithful, and our Arizona alumni network is already 45 families strong. A growing number of campers join us from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston, Dallas, Denver, and Boulder, too. No matter where you come from, you’re a member of the Menominee family the moment you arrive at camp. Speaking of family, Menominee has always been family-owned, which fosters an environment of unconditional acceptance.

Not only is Camp Menominee family-owned, it’s led by a team of directors with over 125 years of collective camping experience. Thanks to this team, Menominee has been accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA) for decades, dating back to the very first year ACA began the process in 1948. This means Menominee has undergone a thorough peer review of its operating and safety standards—from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation.

This specialized training and certification extends to all of Menominee’s nurses, lifeguards, and instructors for archery, riflery, the climbing wall, and zip-line staff. In addition to extensive staff training, ACA standards ensure first-aid facilities are present, emergency transportation is available at all times, and staff-to-camper ratios are appropriate for different age groups.

From Menominee Camper to Owner/Director

Jason Feldgreber, Camp Menominee’s current Owner and Director, spent his first summer at Menominee as a ten-year-old camper in Cabin 5. Over 12 summers as a camper, CIT (counselor in training), counselor, and Associate Director, he has many incredibly vivid memories.

“I remember getting off the bus as a first year camper and meeting my cabinmates and counselors. I remember Woody teaching us the chants, cheers and songs in Wasserman Hall every year. I was in awe of the Senior Cabin members on that stage leading the charge. I remember Big Ten activities where I learned how to play softball the Menominee way, and where some of the most elite coaches and teachers helped me hone my skills on the basketball and tennis courts. I remember learning to water-ski while deciphering the instructions through a New Zealand accent. That was just the first summer.

I believe in Menominee. I believe in the core values that have sustained our camp for 91 years, because it’s those very values that have made me the ambitious, enthusiastic, conscientious man I am today. I know that Menominee is a safe environment where campers can step out of their comfort zones and try things they’ve never done before. I know Menominee promotes athletic, social and interpersonal growth. I know that Menominee forges bonds between friends that will never be broken. I know these things because I experienced them, first hand."

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At Menominee EVERY child matters, which is why it’s the perfect place to instill the confidence every boy needs to grow into a self-assured, self-reliant young man. We emphasize effort, attitude, improvement, sportsmanship, family and being a great teammate. Whether it is through activities like Cabin Clean-up, the Spelling Bee, Campfire Skits, Canoe Trips, White Water Rafting, MCAA Leagues, Twi-Light League, Intra-Camp Events like British-American, Sun & Wind, Green & White or Inter-Camp events, our boys learn how to be gracious winners and how to lose with dignity. There are few places in the world that provide such an impactful, safe and nurturing environment. This is why camp is perhaps the most positive experience a young man can have.

Continue learning about Menominee and how to make the most of overnight camp!