News & Events

New Camper Orientation

posted on Mon, Apr 3 2017 1:10 pm by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Attending a New Camper Orientation will give you a glimpse into the experience your child will have this summer at Widji.

Bring your questions and meet the staff.

  • April 26 & May 1
  • 6:30-7:30pm
  • YMCA Association Office: 2125 E Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis

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Calendar of Events

posted on Thu, Mar 2 2017 10:00 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

2017 Upcoming Events

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Director’s Corner

posted on Thu, Mar 2 2017 9:41 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Kathleen Floberg and Amy Hadow

As many of you already know, our Director’s Corner will have a new author soon! Liz Flinn, our esteemed Director of 11 summers has left her position at Widji and will be joining the team at YMCA Camp Ihduhapi! Widji say tremendous success and growth under Liz’s tenure, including a Capital Campaign that allowed us to strengthen our programming with new buildings. Liz also led countless closing campfires for campers and families and has served as a positive and caring mentor for campers, staff, and program directors. Liz shared shared some parting words below:

"It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to you this morning to share that I will be leaving Widji. I have accepted a new position within the Y as the executive director of Camp Ihduhapi which is located just west of the Cities in Loretto, MN. I am very excited for this opportunity yet at the same time very sad to be leaving Widji.

Thankfully, I’m not going far and will support Widji any way possible. It will be a different experience to think about horses, arts & crafts and paddleboards this summer instead of wood canvas canoes and the mountains. I will miss Closing Campfires, banquets and staff training. But more than anything I will miss being surrounded by the wonderful Widji community!"

Please join us in wishing her luck in her new endeavor. We don't know how to begin to thank her and will miss her a lot!

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Summer Camp Update

posted on Wed, Mar 1 2017 9:49 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Amy Hadow

Winter seems to be sputtering to an anti-climactic end around the cities, reminding us that summer is just around the corner! Soon paddles will be dipping and swinging down Burntside’s sparkling waters again and boots will be hiking off into the Mountains. Already over 600 campers are gearing up for their Widji trip this summer! About 200 of these campers will be participating in a Widji trip for the first time! We are so excited to welcome all of these campers back into our wonderful community! 

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Viva La Compagnie! The Widji Winter Warmer!!

posted on Tue, Feb 28 2017 9:51 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Amy Hadow

Widji community members of all ages gathered at Surly Brewing Compay on Monday, February 6th for a night of camaraderie and an interesting and inspirational presentation by esteemed Widji Alum, Ann Bancroft. Bancroft, an Explorer, became the first recorded Woman to reach the North pole on foot and by sled in 1986 and became the first recorded woman to cross both poles in 1993. Bancroft spoke to the Widji Community about her current ongoing project to travel on waterways on every continent with a group of women representing every continent. We learned about the members of her expedition team and about their 2015 trip to the Ganges in India as well as about water conservation around the world. Along the way, we enjoyed Bancroft’s energy and wit. Many thanks to Ann and the Ann Bancroft Foundation for making this event possible! 

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New to Camp: Summer Shower Building

posted on Mon, Feb 27 2017 9:53 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Joe D Smith

Widji has always promoted respect for cleanliness but our method has evolved over the years.  When I was a camper, Widji’s gear list specified that campers should bring Ivory Soap because it floats and is hard to lose in the lake.  Eventually, we stopped allowing soap in the lakes due to increased environmental awareness but campers still needed a place to clean themselves with soap before returning home.  In the early 90's, Widjiwagan recognized the need to upgrade camp’s showering facilities in order to offer campers efficient showers and support good hygiene; the result was the construction of the Winds Wash House. This wash house features 8 toilets, six showers and an environmentally friendly way to get clean.  Recently, we have found that six shower stalls no longer serves our current session sizes in a timely fashion.

We are in the process of building a summer only shower building which will add 8 more shower stalls to our current capacity.  This building is located next the Winds Wash House where the Lynx biffy used to be.  It is a well-designed and high quality building thanks to generous donors and our thoughtful Buildings and Property Committee.  Each stall is a separate unit with its own changing area to maximize privacy.  The area above the walls is open to accommodate air flow and to allow bathers to hear the birds.  The upper walls are cedar paneled and the lower part is tiled.  The roof extends over the entry doors to provide a good waiting area.  At present, construction on this building is mostly finished with the exception of a final touches that will be completed in warmer weather.  We are confident that this new shower house will make Widji even better!

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Widjiwagan’s Outdoor Learning Program – 2017 Winter Update

posted on Sun, Feb 26 2017 9:55 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Karen Pick

Widjiwagan’s Winter Outdoor Learning Program season is flying by!  We have piles of snow and already more than 300 participants have enjoyed the fun of cross country skiing, tracking animals, learning about the boreal forest, wilderness survival skills and more. 

Animal sightings so far this winter include a pine marten, wolf, deer, grouse, otter, lake trout, vole, red squirrel. 

Comments from chaperones and students this winter….

“Our students learned to do things they thought they couldn’t do.  They were able to have new experiences and they learned to work together as a group.”

“Year after year, Widji is noted as a highlight of middle school experience by our students. It is a great way for our students to test their limits, learn science in the woods, increase their awareness of environmental issues and get to know each other outside of the classroom.  I appreciate how welcoming the staff is to students and faculty.  It was a stellar 5 days.”

“Everyone was nice and welcoming, the food was great and the activities were fun!”

“I had a ton of fun because the activities (skiing, snowshoeing, orienteering) were super fun!”

“I had fun because I got to experience a lot of fun and new things that I had never even thought of trying before like a night hike.”

“I liked how I was still learning but it was interactive, outside and fun!”

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Jim’s Famous Cranberry Wild Rice Bread

posted on Sat, Feb 25 2017 9:58 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Jim Schwartz

This Cranberry Wild Rice Bread Recipe is the perfect treat on a cold winters day!

This recipe reflects my best guess at ingredient measurements. I always cook by sight and never use a recipe. I encourage you to plan to experiment a little with these ingredients. I find that food tastes best when tailored to our individual palettes.

8 cups hot water from tap

16 cups bread flour

8 cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup yeast

¼ cup oil

3 tbls salt

Honey to taste (~1/2 to 1 cup)

Add vanilla flavoring to taste (3 tblspoons)


Cooked wild rice to your personal taste

Sunflower seeds as desired

Combine to the water and yeast, salt, oil and honey. Whisk and look for bubbles. After about 1 minute, add flour, crazins and rice. Mix for 12 min. Let rise to double the size, then cut and roll into whatever shape you would like. Brush with egg wash and bake at 400 till done (about 20 min ). Make sure to watch your bread as it bakes.

Good Luck! If instead, you just want this delicious bread made for you, come and join us some weekend at camp! I normally make it for lunch on Saturday.

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Save the Date! The 2017 Risk Management Symposium is just around the corner!

posted on Fri, Feb 24 2017 10:00 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Kathleen Floberg

YMCA Camps Manito-wish, Menogyn, and Widjiwagan are excited to host the 5th Annual Midwest Risk Management Symposium at YMCA Camp Ihduhapi from November 15-17! The mission of the Symposium is ‘to provide an opportunity for outdoor educators of the Upper Midwest to collaborate and contribute to the advancement of risk management practices. If you’re interested in learning more about the risk management of experiential education and wilderness tripping programs, please consider joining us this fall! The theme of the 2017 Midwest Risk Management Symposium is Risk and Resilience. Through presentations, discussions, and workshops, we’ll explore the interdependence of risk and resilience in our programs. We will unpack the concept that risk helps promote resiliency but we need to also be resilient in the face of risk. It’s going to be a great event! Please contact Kathleen Floberg ( if you want more information about this event or are interested in presenting!” 

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Spring Garage Sale

posted on Tue, Dec 13 2016 7:19 am by YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Funds raised from the sale benefit an endowment fund that benefits Camps Widjiwagan and du Nord.

Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Merchandise Mart Building
1640 Dan Patch Ave.
Falcon Heights, MN 55108

Donate Goods:

  • Saturday, May 13 | Noon - 7:30pm
  • Sunday-Tuesday, May 14-16 | 9am - 7:30pm

Shop for Treasures:

Thursday-Saturday, May 18-20

  • Thursday-Friday, 9am - 7:30pm
  • Saturday BAG SALE, 8am - 4pm

Volunteers and treasures needed!

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