Camp Amnicon

Camp Amnicon strives to be a sanctuary to all people who set foot on its beautiful Lake Superior shoreline. Amnicon's ministry empowers today's youth by building community on small group adventure trips for at-risk youth groups. Campers are transformed by a week in the wilderness by learning that they are capable of overcoming challenges. Youth return home with the confidence and support to address the challenges in their home lives after team building in the wilderness at Camp Amnicon.
Jul 15, 2015

When there's a tree in the road...

When there’s a tree in the road… move it.

     Eight girls with their guide were returning from a canoe trip when they came upon a large fallen tree blocking the road. The van was not able to go around or over it. It would be hours before the highway crew could get there.

     So one of the girls – the one who was the most uncooperative early in the trip – offered a suggestion:  “Let’s move this tree.”  Which is exactly what they did. Soon they were back on the road.

     Then the conversation started … about how working together they were able to do far more than they thought possible. What a great learning experience for them.

     They experienced the power of people joining together to make possible what appeared to be impossible.

     Camp Amnicon offers people – especially young people – adventures like this where they learn to trust others, to experience Christian community, and to grow in their Christian faith.

     That’s why young people are drawn to Amnicon and are eagerly awaiting their trips this summer.

     There is a tree in the road for some youth who want to come to camp. In fact, the tree is in the road of every child.

     One thing I never want to happen is for a child to say he or she could not attend camp because they didn’t have enough money to pay the fee.   Not having enough money to afford camp is a tree that blocks a child’s road to camp.

     Did you know that even when a child pays the fee for a week of camp that fee is not the full cost? The full cost is $950. So when a child pays $450, an additional $500 must come as a gift to make the week of camp possible.

     That’s where you come in. Your gift of any amount goes toward keeping the fee within reach of most young people. And youth who cannot afford to pay the fee are helped by your generosity.

     Will you consider giving a generous gift to help “get the tree out of the road” – to help these kids get to camp?

     Just like those young women coming home from the canoe trip joined forces to move that tree, so your gift, no matter what size -- $25, $50, $100, $500 or $1000 or more – will join gifts from other friends to make camp possible for children.

     Summer is here. Young people are on the road to camp. Please do your best to get the tree out of the road… keep the fees within reach … and give full scholarships to those who need it.

     Thank you for joining other friends to do what no one of us can do alone.

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Mar 16, 2015

New Confidence

“I’m trying to express in words how much this trip meant to me, but truly it’s not completely possible to describe it. This trip has brought me so much happiness.”    -Camper Melissa

It’s often hard for us to express in a simple letter how much your support of Camp Amnicon means to kids like Melissa. To put it simply: without your gifts, there would be no wilderness trips like the one she attended last summer, no summer staff to help her build faith and confidence, no place in the Northwoods for her to call ‘home.’

Melissa’s church brought a group of teenage girls to camp. They didn’t know each other well, but they had one thing in common—a tendency to be negative towards themselves. Their guides stepped in right away with a new rule: for every unkind thing each girl said about herself, she had to give herself two genuine compliments.

It worked. Two days into the trip, and the girls were starting to see themselves—and each other—in a new light.   Melissa shared things with the group that she never would have shared at home. She felt safe here. She was real. She was challenged. And she was changed.

Later she said: “We discussed as a group things that were a ‘light’ in our darkness and these trips are mine. These trips remind me of my importance and my place in my faith. I hadn’t known I was on the wrong path until this week, but I feel I’m once again on the right path. I will take home confidence and new friendships.”

Nov 19, 2014

We're in this adventure together!

Dear Friends of Camp Amnicon,

Here’s one nice thing about being a supporter of an adventure camp: it’s easier to remember that all of life is an adventure.  At Camp Amnicon, every day is an adventure, full of challenges and opportunities—and like all good adventures, the friends you travel with make all the difference.  Thank you for being one of those friends!

It’s a good time to be Camp Amnicon together.  The momentum is palpable.  The adventure is on.

Let me explain what I mean. 

We’ve just come off of the biggest summer in five years, and the new family camp program has already had a powerful effect on the families it touches.  Thanks to your generous Campership giving last spring, new partnerships with churches and organizations have cropped up as we seek to bring the neediest kids and families into the woods. 

Around the site, new roofs and furnaces are being installed all over camp, all funded by your generosity.  This month we’re breaking ground on a new staff house—funded by a designated gift—which will offer stability and longevity to the camp staff.

New long-term staffers are coming on board—an investment in the future of our ministry together and sometimes a tight squeeze in our tiny shared office!

Do you see what I mean about momentum—and about adventure?  As the world changes, Amnicon is keeping up, and you who love this camp are making it all possible.  This camp is not content to rest on past success.

Every gift, large and small is moving Camp Amnicon forward.

But adventure, by definition, is challenging—even risky.  When my colleague Bethany Ringdal talks to campers before they head out ‘on trail’ to canoe or hike, she often reminds them that adventure is “worthwhile discomfort and healthy risk-taking.” 

That’s what we’re doing here. 

For over five years—ever since Central Lutheran Church made the difficult decision to cut funding for Camp Amnicon—we’ve been an independent non-profit.  That means that we’re entirely dependent on individual supporters, like you, for our operating budget.  Programs like trips and retreats cover some, but not all, of their own costs.  When it comes down to it, the future of this ministry counts on you.                      

Do you see what I mean?  We’re in this adventure together—you and I and the kids.

The growth and investment that the camp is currently undergoing does, like all investments, carry real risk.  Some organizations respond to this kind of uncertainty with fear, looking back and shutting down.  At Amnicon, we’ve chosen to respond in faith instead.

I have faith that we’ve been called to a difficult and important task—to showing people of all ages their own worth, and to inviting them to the adventure of truly living.  I believe we’ve only just begun this work.

And I have faith that you also believe in this calling.  Whether you’ve experienced Amnicon’s loving ministry yourself as a camper or guest or staffer, or have seen a child come home from camp aglow with the light of love, you know what I’m talking about. 

Together, we’ve signed up for the adventure of this work of love.  It isn’t easy.  But it is worth it. 

I’m writing today to ask you to support Camp Amnicon with a financial gift.  Any amount will help keep this ministry growing, but please consider a gift of $400, or maybe even $500. 

I don’t ask this lightly—I know you’re thoughtful about how you use your resources—but I do ask seriously.  The adventure is on.  The need is great.  Will you be a part of it all?

In love and gratitude,

 Alana Butler, Executive Director

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