For Campers Entering Grades 11-12+

The Widjiwagan progression of challenge culminates with the advanced trips programs, which gives experienced, qualified campers the added challenge of traveling in more remote areas for a longer duration. Qualified campers refine their skills in wilderness travel, group dynamics and leadership.

Special Considerations for 2020 Advanced Campers

The decision to cancel our 2020 summer had perhaps the greatest impact on our 2020 advanced campers. We know that, for many of our advanced campers, their Explorer, Advanced Explorer or Arctic level trip represented a long term goal. Many advanced campers have already reached out to us with questions about how they can continue to progress through our advanced trips.

Current advanced campers will receive an Invitation for the same level of trip that they received an Invitation for in 2020. We will also offer these campers an opportunity to apply to register for the trip that they would have received a 2021 invitation for had they successfully completed a trip in 2020. Prospective advanced campers will receive more information about the application process by email and should feel free to reach out to amy.hadow@ymcamn.org during the second week of October if they haven’t heard anything. 

Campers who are currently in 10th grade, who registered for a trip in 2020 and who have successfully completed at least one Widji trip will automatically be considered for an Explorer Trip Invitation. These campers do not need to submit an application to be included in this process. Campers who are currently in 10th grade and who would like to be considered for an Explorer Invitation but who did not register for a Widji trip in 2020 should reach out to Amy Hadow at amy.hadow@ymcamn.org to ensure that they are included in the Explorer Invitation review process. 

We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to run a full summer schedule in 2021. However, prospective campers should be aware that the Covid-19 pandemic will likely have an impact on our programming. We may need to alter some traditions like group size, in-camp activities, session structure, trip length and travel destinations. Please note that the Canadian Border currently remains closed. We will update families and adjust our session pricing to reflect any significant programmatic changes that are necessary to align with national and state guidelines and other risk management considerations.

Trailmate Requests

We create trail groups with the goal of balancing leadership styles and blending strengths. We encourage campers to make new friends and to challenge themselves to work with diverse personalities and backgrounds. We do not honor Trailmate Requests by advanced campers due to these group considerations.

Non-traditional Advanced Campers

We feel that following the Widji progression is the best way to prepare for each trip. However, we recognize that this progression may not work for everyone. We review campers who wish to be considered for an advanced trip invitation without completing the preceding advanced trip on a case by case basis. Please contact Amy Hadow, Summer Program Director for more information.

The Invitation Process

Advanced Camper Invitations will be sent out by mail over the month of October. Voyageur and Mountaineer Invitations will be sent first, followed by Advanced Explorer Canoe and Backpack invitations and finally, Explorer Invitations. We communicate with every camper who is eligible to be considered for an invitation based on age so please reach out if you don’t hear from us. Every year, a few campers don't receive their invitations due to changes of address or other extenuating circumstances.

In addition to grade level, we review advanced campers on their technical wilderness skill competency, interpersonal leadership, good judgement and enthusiasm for wilderness travel. Our expectations in each of these categories rise as campers progress through our programing.

If you have questions about the Advanced Camper Invitation process, especially if you have a camper who is currently in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade and you have not received an update from us by November, please contact the Widji Office.

Explorer Backpack, Entering Grade 11

Sessions are 26 days, with 19 days on trail. Recent groups have explored the Wind River Range in Wyoming and the Sawtooth Wilderness Area in Idaho.

Fact Sheet

7/05 – 7/30 | 26 days | Single Gender | $3,870
7/12 – 8/06 | 26 days | Single Gender | $3,870
7/26 – 8/20 | 26 days | Single Gender | $3,870

Advanced Explorer Backpack, Entering Grade 12

Sessions are 35 days, with 24 days on trail. Recent groups have traveled to the Beartooth Wilderness in Montana and the Willmore Wilderness in Alberta, Canada.

Fact Sheet | Addendum

7/12 – 8/13 | 33 days | Single Gender | $4,855
7/19 – 8/22 | 35 days | Single Gender | $5,150

Mountaineer, Completing Grade 12

Sessions are 48 days, with 35 to 40 days on trail. This trip travels to the mountain ranges of Alaska and Canada. Recent groups have hiked in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska, and the Ogilvie Mountains in the Yukon Territory of Canada.

Prospective Arctic campers are invited to learn more about these trips and have their questions answered by joining one of our Voyageur and Mountaineer Information nights. Campers who miss these opportunities are encouraged to watch a recorded version of this session.

Fact Sheet | Addendum

6/17 – 7/31 | 45 days | Single Gender |$8,725
6/21 – 8/07 | 48 days | Single Gender |$9,305
6/28 – 8/14 | 48 days | Single Gender |$9,305