on Lake Michigan
Camp Miniwanca is nestled in the dunes of Lake Michigan in the asparagus capital of the world – Shelby, Michigan. It is one of two camps run by the American Youth Foundation and was founded in 1925 (The sister camp is Camp Merrovista, located in New Hampshire). ‘Aspire nobly, Adventure Daringly, Serve humbly’ is one of the mottos of the AYF, which focuses on youth leadership and development. I spent two summers on the dunes as a camper and five as a leader, logistics guru, and boathouse coordinator. So many memories were made including polarbear dips early in the morning, making lanyards and visiting the infamous craft store at the craft house, swimming in Stony Lake, and reflecting with the whole camp while watching sunsets on the beach. Warning: Lake Michigan doesn’t really ‘warm up’ until August for those of you looking to go for a swim!