Scholarships are available for qualified campers and can be applied for by following these steps.
The initial application considers your annual income and the number of adults and dependents in your household. Scholarships are awarded to align with your individual circumstances. This initial application applies to all YMCA programming including Camps. You will receive an email notification from the YMCA Customer Service Center indicating the initial scholarship amount available to you.
Secondary, Widji-Specific Application
If the initial scholarship award does not meet your family needs, we encourage you to initiate the second part of our Scholarship process by replying to the award notification email with a request for an “exception.” Please indicate Camp Widjiwagan as your program of interest in this reply.
You will receive a follow up email asking for a narrative that explains your need for additional assistance. You will be asked to answer the following questions:
- Are there any additional circumstances that we should be aware of and take into consideration? Please include unusual expenses or debts that affect your monthly budget as well as any financial changes that may have happened over the last two years.
- If applicable; please have your camper share why they want to attend camp this summer.
Widjiwagan’s Camper Services Committee will receive and review these requests in an anonymous format and consider additional scholarship awards. Please note, committee review can take up to 14 business days. You will be notified of the outcome via email.
We recognize that Widji trips stretch the financial resources of many families. The Widji Administrative Team and Board raise funds annually to ensure that these powerful experiences are accessible to all interested campers. We encourage enthusiastic campers to register and apply for a scholarship. The majority of families who apply for a scholarship receive some assistance. Campers who opt to withdraw because their scholarship award does not meet their financial needs can receive a complete refund of any tuition paid including their deposit.
The Work Camper Program
Work Camping has been an important part of our program for many years. This program offers committed, responsible high school age Widji Campers the opportunity to earn credit towards the cost of their session through service to camp. This year, work campers will earn a credit of $160 towards their tuition for each week that they work. The Customer Service Center will automatically apply earned awards to camper accounts. Transportation is provided to Work Campers for their work camp session(s) free of charge.
The Work Camper program is open to registered campers who are currently enrolled in grades 9-12.
A Work Camp session is Monday – Friday. Work Campers can work camp for up to two sessions. However, Widji is not able to provide supervision for Work Campers over the weekend. Work Campers working for two weeks will be asked to find alternate accommodations for the weekend in between their sessions.
Work Camper Responsibilities
Work Campers primarily help in the Widji kitchen – setting up and cleaning up for meals including washing dishes. Work Campers also may be asked to assist with other maintenance such as helping the Tripping Center pack out groups, light maintenance around camp like sweeping and clearing trails. In addition to providing valuable service to camp, they will catch a glimpse “behind the scenes” at Widji and have time for fun.
Each Work Camper will be expected to participate in all scheduled, organized Work Camper activities. Activities might include assisting with dishes, helping in the Tripping Center, hiking, paddling, time on the beach, or games as outlined in the program information. There will be some rest time but napping in the cabin all day is not a valid option!
We expect that all work campers will follow the Camp Widjiwagan Code of Community. Failure to do so can result in dismissal from the program.
Work campers spend 5 days at camp. They arrive at camp on the same day as a northbound bus, volunteer that evening, volunteer enjoy the north woods for the next three full days before heading home on the morning of their fifth day.
Work Camper Supervision
6 work campers will be supervised by two Widjiwagan Counselors who report to the Program Coordinator. They will stay in the cabin with the Work Campers, facilitate group activities, assist with kitchen duties, and make sure that our code of community is followed. Work Campers may be supervised by other Widji employees, including Kitchen Staff, Tripping Center Staff, Office Staff and other assigned Trail Counselors while volunteering during the day.
Work Camper housing is in a designated cabin – usually West Wind. This cabin offers separate rooms sleeping and a common space for socializing. Campers will be clustered in sleeping spaces around male and female gender identities. Trans and Gender Non-binary campers are welcome to sleep where they feel most comfortable.
Registration will be conducted electronically on a first come, first served basis.
Work Campers should register for a slot based on their gender preference for their sleeping space – we offer all gender, female and male options. We will accept 6 workcampers per session. Once a session is full, work campers are encouraged to register for the waitlist but select another session that works for them. Unfortunately, we are not able to run sessions with fewer than 4 work campers.
As an option to reduce some of the cost of Camp, Widji recognizes volunteer work with trip credit. This volunteer opportunity is limited to advanced campers (Explorer, Advanced Explorer, Voyageur, and Mountaineer trips) and financial aid applicants on a first come first serve basis.
For each 8-hour chunk of volunteer hours an eligible camper submits, they will receive the equivalent of the cost of 1 day of camp off the total cost of their session. The maximum amount a camper can earn is the cost of 3 days for a total of 24 hours of volunteering. 8 hours of service is equivalent to 1 day and not more than 3 days will be accepted. We do not accept partial days.
Please feel free to call the Widji Office at 612-822-2267 with any questions.
In the operation of the Summer Camp Food Service Program, no child, as defined by the Program regulations, will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age or handicap. Any person who believes that a child has been discriminated against in any USDA-related activity should write immediately to the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington D.C. 20250