Program & Philosophy
Every day at Kawaga is active. Our campers average eight hours everyday of outdoor sports, games and water activities! Directors Ty and Lauren encourage a non-stop fun and safe environment that ensures that campers want to participate. We love to surprise and excite campers with our activities — and take pride in our innovative programming that does just that. Each four-week session of camp is unique: no evening or special program is repeated. And, that’s just one reason why more than half of Kawaga campers attend for a full eight weeks.
Camp Kawaga offers a balanced, well-rounded program. Yes, we love to play all kinds of sports, but you don’t have to be an athlete to succeed at Kawaga. It’s about participating, developing skills, giving your best effort and having fun. Boys play on teams with guys their own age and with those younger and older. And, when we compete against other camps, everybody participates. Win or lose, we have fun, bond even more with each other, and display the best of sportsmanship. That’s Kawaga!
With endless opportunities, Kawaga offers an exciting array of more than 100 athletic and nonathletic activities, including a full tripping program, so that campers appreciate and enjoy the surrounding beauty of the Northwoods. Every camper finds his own niche at Kawaga.
We encourage campers to participate and try new things. Each summer and session offers new programming and timeless favorites. Special programs and events include the Boundary Waters and Sailing Trips for our CITs, socials with girls camps, the Kawaga Spectacular, Blue-Gold Cup, the All-Night Treasure Hunt, and sports competition with nearby camps. And, for 40-plus years, Kawaga has proudly hosted highly regarded co-ed ski tournaments and sailing regattas.
Be active. Be enthusiastic. Be humble.
Mawanda and Sachem
Since the early years of camp, Kawaga has rewarded diverse participation and achievement by admitting campers into the honorary tribes of Mawanda and Sachem. Campers earn points by participating in every area of camp life — both athletic and non-athletic. Gaining admittance into Mawanda and Sachem is not a requirement; therefore, doing so is completely self-motivated. In addition to playing all day, campers are setting goals for themselves and working throughout the summer to accomplish these goals. In this way, campers build independence and confidence, while being encouraged to participate in a wide variety of activities — including those that aren’t available at home.
We celebrate the traditions of Mawanda and Sachem at our small and large powwows on alternating Sunday evenings, one of the most magical times of camp. The powwows provide a forum to present and discuss our five Pillars and The Kawaga Ideal, which has been the moral center for Kawaga Braves for 100 years and counting. It’s proven to be a precious and memorable tool for teaching and inspiring maturity, friendship, and compassion.