Now more than ever, kids and teens are concerned about following the “right” path. Our children make commitments in school, sports and clubs, anticipating that their performance will affect their future. These commitments provide our children with valuable expectations, such as earning good grades or advancing through friendly competition. However, all too often, children correlate their self-worth with these measurements—even comparing their performance with that of their peers.

At YMCA Camp Minikani, your child will have the opportunity to explore their interests and meet new friends in a safe space, away from outside pressures and their everyday routine. Counselors and staff work together to build a community of support around your child as they discover the best version of themselves. Each child is provided age-appropriate responsibility and independence in a technology-free space that is full of pure fun and imagination. Along this journey, your child is encouraged by a cool and kind counselor who makes it their mission to foster their confidence and resilience.

counselors Make it their mission to be a positive role model.

Counseling staff were once campers at YMCA Camp Minikani. At a very young age, they were inspired to be themselves, unabashedly, by their own counselor. Later as teenagers, they dedicated themselves to learning youth programming skills in Minikani’s nationally recognized leadership (LT) program. For counselors, Minikani was the first place where they became resilient, independent and confident in themselves, which inspires them to create experiences for your child that far exceed their own childhood memories of Camp Minikani.

WHILE AT MINIKANI, CAMPERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO EXPAND THEIR FRIENDSHIP CIRCLES.

Directors balance groups so that campers who know each other never exclude those who attend independently. In addition to thoughtful cabin placements, Minikani’s community expects all campers and staff to embrace differences. As a result, campers are able to make meaningful friendships that are grounded in acceptance.

Parallel to the outside world, a typical day at minikani follows parameters of time and schedule—the bugle, skill rotations, meal times and lights out.

Yet, time never feels routine at Minikani because of the pervasiveness of creativity. Counselors set the tone by creating programming that inspires imagination. A game of capture the flag becomes a submersion into a totally wacky and hilarious world where monkeys return to the wild. An hour on the craft porch begins with creating dream catchers and ends with counselors and campers embracing their inner walrus with craft sticks. Each activity and interaction is an opportunity to enter an alternate universe where campers can harness their imagination alongside supportive staff.

AT THE BEGINNING OF THEIR SESSION, CAMPERS CHOOSE PERSONAL GOALS, WHICH MAY INCLUDE MEETING NEW FRIENDS, BEING KINDER TO OTHERS OR TRYING SOMETHING UNFAMILIAR.

In a safe and supportive environment, campers work with their counselor on these aims, sometimes unaware that by doing so, they are improving their ability to be self-reflective. Overnight campers continue to practice thoughtfulness by cleaning up after themselves in the Dining Hall and in their cabin. Vesper, which is a thoughtful cabin discussion before bed, is a chance for campers to be self-reflective while hearing diverse perspectives.

Returning campers often describe ymca camp minikani as a second home, mostly because they feel a sense of ownership and comfort while at camp.

By being assigned age-appropriate responsibility, campers develop confidence in themselves and their behaviors. Minikani counselors make every effort to encourage responsibility in campers. Minikani campers feel entrusted to independently walk to their next skill—unaware that counselors supervise them along the way. Campers also claim their independence at camp by making daily choices regarding interests and relationships. Minikani prides itself in being a place where campers take ownership of their identity and shine in ways that suit their personality best.

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