Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Camp Mishawaka?
Camp Mishawaka is located 5 miles south of the town of Grand Rapids, MN and 180 miles north of Minneapolis. Situated along 1900 feet of shore of Lake Pokegama, Camp Mishawaka maintains 240 acres of woods and trails.  Find us on Google Maps.

Where do you get your staff and what are their qualifications?
Our 2015 staff averaged 7 years experience at Mishawaka. Many of our staff are former campers, and each year we have experienced teachers, coaches and college professors who combine with college age men and women to give our staff the energy, qualifications and dedication necessary for a successful summer.

Can my child be placed with a friend from home?
Each spring parents are asked to indicate housing preferences on a response sheet.  Campers are housed according to age, grade and interests. When a request is mutual and the campers are the same age, every effort is made to honor this request. It is not possible to guarantee placement, or honor request of multiple friends being placed together.

How does my child travel to Mishawaka?

Mishawaka engages the service of a travel agency to assist in airline reservations, and help ensure that each camper is on the appropriate flight. This allows us to ensure that campers from the same area are on the same flight. Campers fly to the Minneapolis/St.Paul airport and are met at their arrival gate by a Mishawaka staff member. They then board a chartered coach for the 3 hour trip to camp. Parents can also drop campers off at the airport for the bus trip to camp.

We encourage parents to pick their children up at camp, as opposed to dropping them off. This allows campers to share their experience with the parent, introduce their new friends and counselor and show them around.

How do campers choose their activities?

There are differences in the way the Boys Camp and the Girls Camp choose their activities, but each camper is able to choose his or her own activities.

Girls sign up for their core activities on a two-week rotation. These take place in the morning, and contain a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule. Each afternoon there are two periods of a broad range of activities, that the campers sign up for each day.

Mishawaka for Boys has two morning activity periods. The first is programmed on a weekly basis, with campers indicating there preferences. The 2nd morning period, boys start with some stretching and calisthenics and then choose from a variety of active games, such as soccer, basketball, running, and others.

Boys sign up for the two afternoon activity periods each day. Sign-up is rotated so that there is a fair distribution of being near the first to sign up.

Sundays a bit different in that much of our programming is combined, and campers choose from a variety of activities, including mixed doubles tennis, sailing races and others.

What are the meals like?
Meals are served family-style, and campers can choose from options at each meal. We have a salad bar at lunch and dinner, and can accommodate most requests for diets, including a vegetarian preference.

How do you provide for routine medical care?
Julie Purdum, RN, serves as the Health Care Director and works with a student nurse each summer to attend to the routine medical needs of campers, including administering regular medication. Should the need arise, Camp Mishawaka is located just 3 miles from the Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital.

Where do Mishawaka campers come from, and what percentage return each year?
2018 campers came from 27 states and 7 foreign countries. For the past 5 years, nearly 70% of our campers have returned.

How do I stay in touch with my camper?
There is still nothing that beats the impact of a letter, and that is best way to relay news from home. Campers are encouraged to mail letters home through US Mail. We also use CampStamps program which allows your camper to send a faxed page directly to your email address – there is a charge for the CampStamps program. For no charge, Parents can send an email to campers@campmishawaka.com with the camper’s name as the subject, and it will be delivered once a day with other mail. Campers do not have access to computers or wifi. Because a part of the camp session is about gaining independence, phone contact with campers is not provided unless it is previously discussed with the camp directors.

What is the right age to start camp?
There is certainly no universal answer to this question. Some children do very well starting camp at eight, while others might do better waiting a year or two. Parents and families need to answer this question on their own. It is not uncommon, however, for the child to be ready for camp before the parent is. This is only natural, and talking with your child, friends and family who have sent their children to camp can be a big help in finding the answer. It is important that both parent and child feel comfortable in the decision to attend and the choice of camp.

Does the camp have any religious affiliation?
No – there are a variety of beliefs and denominations represented each summer. The camps do have a non-sectarian vespers service each Sunday that focuses on the value of friendship and the beauty of our surroundings. Transportation to and from Catholic Mass in Grand Rapids is available for those campers who wish to attend.

What kind of housing is there at camp?
Housing at Mishawaka is rustic, but comfortable. The youngest boys and girls stay in lodges with electricity, while many of the older campers use cabins that use natural light.  The lodges for the youngest girls have in-cabin shower and toilet facilities. The older girls campers, and the boys campers each have their own central facilities.

What is the weather like at camp?
A typical summer in northern Minnesota sees highs in the 80’s and lows in the 50’s. The lake is normally in the mid 70s by the time camp starts.  Campers often come to breakfast in jeans and a sweatshirt, and by the time the meal is over return to their cabins to change into shorts and a short sleeve shirt.

What if I have more questions?
You can check out the Camper FAQ or you can contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any other questions you have.