Parent Guides

For a comprehensive list of resources, please see the handbook for your child’s program:
Overnight Camp Handbook
Explorer / Expedition Handbook


Paperwork may be completed through your family portal account at minikani.campbrainregistration.com. If you are unsure of your login, please contact the office at 262-251-9080.
Required online paperwork:
• Medical form with immunization records
• Uploaded physical exam form
• Parent/counselor confidential form
• Behavioral agreement
• Medication authorization (if taking medications)


What to Bring to Camp:
Packing List for Traditional Overnight Camp
Packing List for Explorer & Master Explorer Camps
Packing List for the Expedition Trip

What to Leave at Home
• Cell phones
• Smart Watches
• Video cameras
• Personal music or video game devices
• Laptops or other electronics
• Jewelry and other valuables
• Pets
• Fireworks
• Aerosol spray cans
• Alcohol
• Tobacco products (includes vaping devices)
• Illegal substances
• Weapons of any kind
These items will be confiscated immediately. Possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia, tobacco or alcohol products is grounds for immediate dismissal.

Cabin Requests

Camp is an opportunity for children to meet new people and have new experiences. However, we do understand that some campers may have reservations attending independently, especially if it is their first time. As such, overnight campers may request one friend for their cabin. Requests are honored when mutually reciprocated among two campers who are within a year of age, the same gender and in the same session and program.

Please note, Explorers are unable to make cabin requests since a fundamental aspect of the Explorer program is independence. Additionally, requests are unaccepted when made among three or more campers. Oftentimes, having three or more campers with established relationships in a cabin negatively impacts the cabin culture, especially for children who attend independently.

Requests are made by contacting the office at minikani@ymcamke.org by the Monday before your child’s session.


Check-In & Out

Check-in time: 1:30 p.m. Campers & families called to cabin at 2 p.m.
Check-out time: 9:15 a.m. Families may arrive at 8:45 a.m. to watch the closing ceremony at Council Bluff.

Please note that pets are not permitted on the grounds. At check-out, parents, guardians or authorized pick-ups must present a government-issued ID at the cabin prior to departure.


Transportation is free and available from the Northside YMCA, located at 1350 W North Ave., Milwaukee. The bus departs at 1 p.m. Sunday and returns to the Northside Y at 10:15 a.m. Saturday. Please call the office at 262-251-9080 to make bus reservations.


Each child’s swimming capabilities will be checked by our expert aquatics staff. Based on their swimming ability, some activities, such as tech diving, may be restricted. Some activities (such as the water trampoline) require a life-vest for ALL swimmers. We staff the pool and waterfront with trained lifeguards to ensure the highest level of water safety.


What is the daily schedule?
What are skills?
What if my child is sick or hurt at camp?
What if my child has allergies or dietary needs?
What if my child is shy or nervous around new people?
Why do you group by age and not grade?

What is the daily schedule?

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What are skills?

Skills are fun activities that your child may participate in. The six different skill areas are:
• Adventure Challenge – Rock wall & high ropes course
• Crafts – Arts and crafts
• Waterfront – Swimming and boating
• Games & Rifles – BB rifles (8 years or older), air rifle (10 years or older), disc golf, and archery
• Wilderness Survival Area – Fishing and nature
• Corral – Horses, goats & chickens

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What if my child is sick or hurt at camp?

Our counselors and staff are dedicated to the safety of your child. Minikani has a RN or LPN nurse onsite 24 hours a day and certifies all counselors and staff in First Aid and CPR. You will be contacted in the event that your child is injured or sick. In the event of an emergency, your child will be taken to the nearest hospital. If we are unable to reach you and your spouse, we will call your emergency contacts and/or primary care physician.
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What if my child has allergies or dietary needs?

Please indicate your child’s allergies or dietary needs on your medical paperwork. We read all information and pass this to the appropriate directors, kitchen staff and counselors that will interact with your child. Camp’s dining hall is strictly peanut and tree nut free and personal food is not permitted in cabins for the safety of our campers with allergies. Sometimes, day campers unintentionally bring nut items when they eat in the lodge. Counseling staff monitor lunches to ensure nut items are consumed in a separate space. Here are some examples of camp meals:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Scrambled eggs Chicken patty on
whole wheat bun
Spaghetti with
Bagels Chicken tenders Baked ziti &
Texas French toast Brat on whole wheat
Baked chicken
Sausage egg & cheese
breakfast sandwich
Grilled cheese
& tomato soup
Burrito &
Mexican rice
French toast sticks Ham & cheese
Minikani pizza
Belgian waffles Chicken nuggets Roast turkey &
Country breakfast
(eggs, cheese, potatoes, meat)
Lasagna &
garlic bread
Whole grain
Hamburger on whole
wheat bun
Stir fry with white
Healthy options
accompany the meal along with a full salad bar as an alternative.
Healthy options
accompany the meal along with a full salad bar as an alternative.

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What if my child is shy or nervous around new people?

We are very deliberate in fostering a safe environment where friendships and confidence grow. We will create an experience for your camper based on the information you write in the Parent/Counselor confidential form. Completing this form will help us ensure that we are proactively working with you to ensure your child is welcome and included in a way that suits their personality. Additionally, we take a strong and proactive stance against bullying. Parents and children are required to complete the behavior agreement prior to attending camp through the family portal.
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Why do you group by age and not grade?

We group our campers by age primarily because our accrediting and licensing bodies use age as a criterion. For example, our Minicamp program is licensed by the state, and our participants must be ages 5 – 6. Our LTs must be 17 by the time they join staff, so therefore our explorers must be 14 by the time they begin the program. Because age is the criterion used by these bodies, we also use it for grouping our cabins. Additionally, by using age to place campers into cabins, we can match the developmental stages of youth as accurately as possible.
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