Kawaga’s storied 100-plus-year heritage is a great source of pride for campers, staff, and alumni alike. There’s a reason why a huge “1915” is painted on one of our backstops.

Kawaga’s cornerstone values of Enthusiasm, Sportsmanship, Fellowship, and Spirit are at the heart of everything we do. They spring from the Kawaga Ideal. Doc E built Kawaga not just on a breathtaking pine- and birch-forested peninsula, but on a foundation even more inspiring and permanent: a set of ideas, now known more familiarly as The Ideal. Two hundred and thirty-six words that Kawaga campers hold close to their heart and know by heart.


Our goal is for each boy to have the best summer of his life, while becoming the best version of himself. It takes only a single summer to appreciate what makes Kawaga unique, but its impact will last a lifetime.

Kawaga campers feel a deep connection to a culture much larger than themselves by participating in a set of rich, purposeful traditions. Campers earn special honors for achieving their goals, accomplished through a point-based merit system that encourages them to participate in all that Kawaga offers. Each boy creates his own customized plan, guided by their counselors to instill a growth-based mindset and provide deep-rooted reference points to build their confidence. Campers are rewarded for their effort, improvement, creativity, and achievement. They feel proud of themselves and are supported by the entire Kawaga community, as they learn, grow, and experience.

Parents tell us that they’re amazed by how much their sons have grown after only a single summer at Kawaga. They show a new sense of confidence, independence, and appreciation for what they have. And, of course, they’re already counting the days until they return to Kawaga next year.

Rooted by the vision of Doc E and the grounds to which our camp stands today, the mission is timeless. Articulated through a passage written by Doc E – read for yourself what drives our passion for connection.


Be yourself. Be your best. Be proud.

Character Building





Kawaga Heritage

“Be Kawaga means to live by the Kawaga Ideal, understand those who have come before you, and carry on the tradition and reputation of Camp Kawaga.”
– Parent of 12-year-old