« BACK


It’s Time to Start Thinking About Summer Camp for Your Kids – Here’s a Sample of Some of the Region’s Top Options

V1 Staff, photos by Andrea Paulseth

It’s not even technically spring yet, so talking about summer might seem premature. However, it isn’t: We’re in the midst of registration season for all kinds of summer activities, including that beloved rite of childhood passage – summer camp. Here we’ve compiled information about some of northwestern Wisconsin’s most intriguing camps, places where boys and girls of a wide range of ages can paddle canoes and make s’mores, explore science and nature, and connect with their peers, their families, or even their faiths. To learn more about these and other camps, check out Chippewa Valley Family’s listings in print and online at ChippewaValleyFamily.org, or visit the American Camp Association’s listings at find.acacamps.org.

Co-ed Camps:

YMCA Camp Manitou

New Auburn • ycampmanitou.org • Camp Manitou is an overnight camp with programs for youth entering grades 2-12. The camp sits on 170 acres of forest along the shores of pristine Long Lake near New Auburn. Campers will learn new skills, play large group games, and have plenty of opportunities to go swimming or boating every day. The activities we offer provide great opportunities for campers to enjoy the outdoors while learning to work together and foster new friendships. Campers make memories that will last a lifetime. Because the YMCA believes all kids should have the opportunity to experience camp, financial assistance is available.

Kamp Kenwood

Chippewa Falls • wisconsinfarmersunion.com/youth-camp • camps run June-August • Built on the shores of Lake Wissota through volunteer labor by members of Wisconsin Farmers Union over 50 years ago, Kamp Kenwood’s educational mission has flourished in the time since its dedication by offering a place for people of all ages to come together to celebrate, to learn, and to enjoy family, friends, and nature. The education programs focus on cooperatives, family farms, sustainability, leadership, conservation, rural communities, social justice, and active citizenship. Overnight camp activities include hiking and campfires, swimming and sports, singing and drama, speakers and workshops, co-op games and theme nights, and arts and crafts.

Swift Nature Camp

Minong • swiftnaturecamp.com • camps run June-August • This camp for boys and girls ages 6-15 is focused on blending traditional summer camp activities while increasing a child’s appreciation for nature, science, and the environment. They specialize in overnight summer camp for first-time campers. The short-session Discovery Camp was created for children who are a little reluctant to go to camp. Reduced size and increased staff ratio helps children become comfortable while at camp.

Faith-based Camps:

Herzl Camp

Webster • herzlcamp.org • Herzl Camp is a welcoming, independent camp where young people become self-reliant, create lasting Jewish friendships, and develop commitment and love for Judaism and Israel. Located on 120 acres on the shores of Devils Lake, Herzl Camp offers summers filled with friendship and fun, including outdoor education, water activities, creative arts, and sports.

Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp

Amery • campwapo.org • camps run June-August • Wapogasset is a camping and retreat ministry serving youth, adults, and families throughout the year, with thousands of campers participating every summer in life-changing Christan experiences in an outdoor ministry setting. A variety of summer camp opportunities are available for kids from first grade through high school. Also affiliated with nearby Ox Lake Bible Camp as well as the Wilderness Canoe Base, 54 miles northwest of Grand Marais, Minnesota.

Luther Park

Danbury • lutherpark.com • campus run June-July • Nestled by a beautiful spring-fed lake in the Northwoods, Luther Park offers Bible-based programs hosted by caring, Christian role models. Camps are offered for elementary, middle, and high school students, and include cabin camps, treehouse camps, and canoe trips. Family camps and grandparent and grandchild camps are also offered. 

University-affiliated:

Blugold Beginnings

Eau Claire • uwec.edu/blugold-camps/ • Blugold Beginnings offers five engaging summer camps each summer to provide students the opportunity to spend a week learning about a topic of interest to them on the UW-Eau Claire campus. These hands-on, project based learning camps help participants to explore careers and build valuable academic skills. Registration for camps begins on March 1 and continues until all spots are filled. Each camp has a capacity of 100 students. Camps for students in grades 6-12 include Robotics Day Camp; STEAM Overnight Camp; Biomedical, Kinesiology, and Nursing Overnight Camp; Coding Day Camp; and Exploring Art, Language and Culture Camp.

Blugold Sports Camps

Eau Claire • uwec.edu/blugold-camps/sports/ • Blugolds play hard and work harder, which is what you can expect for your camper. UW-Eau Claire’s sports camps pass along the expertise and mentorship of Blugold coaches and student-athletes to thousands of aspiring young athletes. Whether it’s found in drills, team-building exercises, leadership lessons, contests or games, campers will leave with new skills, new confidence and new friends. Camps offered for boys and girls basketball, football, gymnastics, running, soccer, softball, swimming, girls volleyball, and boys wrestling.

Specialty Camps Camp Wabi 

New Auburn (held at Camp Manitou) • campwabi.org • Aug. 2-8, 2020 • Created by Mayo Clinic Health System and the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley, this camp is designed to provide a welcoming place for kids who struggle with obesity. If you are interested in a healthy, fun experience where your child will enjoy a typical summer camp, learn how to eat well, and develop skills to live a healthy lifestyle, then Camp Wabi is for you! 

Joshua’s Camp

Eau Claire • joshuascamp.org • Joshua’s Camp is a place for families with children going through cancer treatment. A respite where everyone can smile, laugh, have fun, and enjoy themselves. Joshua’s Camp is available to qualifying registered families free of charge. The magic unfolds at the Metropolis Resort and Hotel, the home of Action City and Chaos Water Park. The Metropolis Resort was designed with families in mind where everyone will be treated to fun-filled activities, including both indoor and outdoor adventures.

Wisconsin Lions Camp

Rosholt • wisconsinlionscamp.com • weeklong camps run June-August • Come swim and boat on Lions Lake; explore the environmental education program; hit a target in archery; climb to new heights on a climbing tower; enjoy a campfire; and wallow in a mud pit. This quality camping experience is provided free of charge to eligible children and adults with disabilities from Wisconsin. The camps serves children and adults who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, children with intellectual disabilities or educational autism, and children with diabetes.