Summer Information Guide

Building a Foundation

Campers will spend two to three days preparing at base camp on West Bearskin lake before heading out ‘on trail’ to explore wilderness areas across North America. During their time in camp they will progress through the Menogyn Shuffle. Each rotation in the Menogyn Shuffle will set them up for success as individuals and as a group. They will spend time planning a menu for their trip, learning about the canoes in our fleet, setting a tentative route, checking in with the health officer and taking a swim test. These days offer a lot of time for groups and their counselors to get to know one another and to set expectations and goals for the upcoming trip. 

Wilderness Setting

All Menogyn trips take place in a wilderness setting. This context truly provides an opportunity for campers to witness and engage in the magical connections that can be made in nature as well as small group units. Groups move most days and often camp in a different location every night they are on trail. Through hard work and collaboration groups will be able to accomplish their goals while simultaneously exploring some of the most remote landscapes in North America.

Trail Groups and Friend Requests

Campers are grouped as much as possible according to age and experience. Groups are kept small, by design (4-8 people). A big part of what makes wilderness tripping special is the strong friendships that groups form on trail. We encourage campers to come to camp ready to meet new people and make friends. We also understand that sometimes two campers may want to be a part of the same trail group. We will try to honor friend requests for up to two friends but we cannot accommodate requests for more than two friends to be grouped together. 

Progression of Challenge

The Menogyn program has been carefully crafted to offer progressive challenge and growth opportunities for teens ages 12-18. Campers build upon their wilderness skills and take on greater leadership roles as they return to Menogyn year after year.

Trail Counselors

Leadership, preparation and awareness are the keys to a quality wilderness experience. Menogyn trail counselors are teachers, role models, and mentors. All trail counselors have participated in our extensive staff training and hold current lifeguard, CPR and Wilderness First Responder certifications. We select staff members based on their judgment and leadership abilities paired with their personal and professional experience in wilderness tripping and working with teens.

Health, Safety and Wellness

Camper safety and well-being comes first at Menogyn. While some risk is part of any wilderness experience, Menogyn trail guides are trained to execute sound judgment and employ best-practice risk management techniques in all situations. In addition, all Menogyn groups go on trail with a state-of-the-art satellite phone that allows them to contact camp or emergency officials if needed. There is always a qualified volunteer medical professional (usually a doctor or nurse) at Menogyn to assist campers and staff while they are on trail and in camp.


While at Menogyn, campers will eat family style with other trail groups in our dining hall. Meals often include classics such as spaghetti, salad, tacos, tater tot hot dish and lots of yummy homemade bread!

Campers are involved in the menu planning for their trip and can tailor their trail menu to suit their tastes. But generally, meals are made from scratch out of common grocery items and specialized dehydrated goods. Groups are mostly limited by their own imaginations! On trail common menu items include:

  • Breakfast: granola, pancakes, oatmeal, cinnamon rolls.
  • Lunch: cheese, sausage, tortillas, trail mix, dried fruit, trail mix.
  • Dinner: mac & cheese, calzones, burritos, soup.

Both in camp and on trail we can accommodate most food allergies and other dietary needs.

Please contact us with any concerns you may have.

Getting to Camp

You are welcome to bring your child directly to Camp Menogyn or register for the camp bus.

Campers should bring a bag lunch and water for the trip to Menogyn. On the return trip, the bus stops at the Amazing Grace Cafe in Duluth. Each camper gets a boxed lunch made by the caring folks at the cafe.

Please arrive 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled departure or pickup.

Twin Cities Pickup/Drop-off—Shoreview YMCA

  • 3760 Lexington Ave North, Shoreview, MN 55126
  • Get directions
  • Departs for Menogyn: 7:30 a.m.
  • Returns from Menogyn: 4:00 p.m.

Duluth Pickup/Drop-off—Thompson Overlook Rest Area

  • Get Directions: From I-35 just south of Duluth, take exit 249/Boundary Ave. and follow the signs to the parking lot of the rest area.
  • Departs for Menogyn: 9:30 a.m.
  • Returns from Menogyn: 1:00 p.m.

Camp Store

Menogyn’s camp store, also known as the Tuck Shop, accepts cash and credit on site.  We also offer sales year round here: We sell tees, sweatshirts and few items like dry bags, journals, and sunglasses that could be helpful for your trip! Questions? Email us.

Note: Menogyn’s camp store process is unique from the other Y of the North camps.