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/ Business of the Month / Camp Manito-wish YMCA
Business of the Month: July 2021
5650 Camp Manitowish Ln,
Boulder Junction, WI 54512
Phone: (715) 385-2312
Summer camp is one the most memorable times of our life. It was also one of the most rewarding.
Vilas County is home to Camp Manito-wish YMCA, a renowned camp that enriches lives here and across the country. Their Vision says it all, and very simply - The Manito-wish experience develops confident, responsible, and enlightened leaders who will improve the world in which they live. The data supports their Mission and Vision statements.
Since 1919, Camp Manito-wish has served more than 150,000 youth with more than 1,000 youth ages 10-17 participating in their Summer Programs each year. Adults can participate as well through Family Camp and volunteer opportunities.
Camp Manito-wish employs more than 300 young adults to lead wilderness adventures and teach leadership skills to young people who then take their expertise to the larger world. They employ 17 people on a year-round basis.
In addition to summer camp which includes sailing, archery, crafts, horsemanship, music, biking, and tennis, unique to Camp Manito-wish is their Outpost Wilderness Program. These small-group adventures for ages 15 and older focus on both the hard and soft skills necessary for extended wilderness travel. Campers learn about their own abilities and leadership qualities through the challenge of a nine-to-45-day canoeing, backpacking or sea kayaking trip. Trip destinations include: Isle Royale National Park, and in Canada - Quetico Provincial Park, Northern Saskatchewan, Nunavut, and Alaska.
According to Camp Manito-wish CEO Pat Soldan, coming out of the pandemic has presented challenges, and in support of their Mission, opportunities to address the impact the pandemic has had on youth.
“What are the needs of the youth in our nation coming out of this pandemic?” said Soldan. “They have been sitting at home looking at screens, isolated, with mental health concerns on the rise. What can we do as a camp, what role can we play in helping schools, families and kids rebound from what has been a really challenging 18 months?”
Soldan attributes the Camp’s success to three things. “Our success starts and ends with our Mission, Vision and Commitment. We are a mission driven organization. Second, we have had such a long-standing consistent, stable leadership. And, third, the relationships with our alumni, staff, and local community.”
He added, “We have a tremendous alumni network, and they are doing what our Vision calls them to do. A lot of times our Manito-wish alumns are in their own community, at their schools, and they talk about how their students, friends and neighbors could really benefit from camp, that the lessons they learned at camp are unique, and that Camp Manito-wish has that special sauce.”
That special sauce is not only the fun activities. “It’s what the kids come away with, what’s happening underneath all of that,” said Soldan. “Consistently, we hear from parents how their kids back at home are asking ‘what I can do to help?’, doing tasks that maybe they weren’t doing before like cleaning up after themselves, doing dishes, or taking the lead on a school project. It’s based on the lessons they’ve learned from their camp experiences. They’re taking those leadership and life skills back home. But most importantly, it becomes part of who they are.”
Soldan added, for the kids and staff … “it’s all those intangibles, that when they really start reflecting, many acknowledge, that where they are at today has a big part to do with their experiences at camp.”
If you would like to nominate a Vilas County Business of the Month, please contact Kathy Schmitz, VCEDC Executive Director, at [email protected]
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Located in Eagle River, the Northwoods Children's Museum has thought outside the box continuing its programming and mission to give back to the community even during Covid-19.
Congratulations to the new $3.3 million Country Market in Lac du Flambeau (LdF) for being selected as the VCEDC July Business of the Month. According to Melissa Doud, LDF Business Development Corp. Interim COO, the Country Market which opened in June, has enhanced the entire shopping experience.
Congratulations to Land O' Lakes Arts, a cultural establishment that offers people of all ages that sense of wonder and purpose.
Steve and Lisa Coon have turned their passion for the outdoors into a successful business and yet, feel their true success comes from being integrated into the community, a community they feel is like family.
Among being a stellar lodge, restaurant, and destination of choice for tourists and area residents, we congratulate Debby and Dan Johns and all of their staff for their generosity and commitment to Vilas County to ensure our history and culture live on for future generations.
Congratulations to Eagle River's Last Resort for 38 years in business providing great customer service and experiences to Eagle River visitors, and providing a positive influence on the Eagle River community.
In 2016, April graduated from a business startup course, now called Nicolet Entrepreneur Training (NET) program, offered through a partnership with the VCEDC and Nicolet College. "With ongoing support from the VCEDC, including rental space within the Eagle River Business Incubator, I was able to develop and implement my business plan, founding Starlight in 2016," said April.
We can email you a PDF highlighting many of the wonderful aspects of our area.