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Summer Camp in Southern IL

Near St. Louis MO

At our summer camp in Southern IL, all camp activities start with two basic principles, they are safe and they are fun!

Camp Manitowa offers summer campers a rich variety of activities, taught by a well-trained staff. Campers are initially exposed to all activity options, then get to have fun choosing those that interest them most. Their selections may develop new skills or build expertise in one or more. We believe that it is important for kids to pursue their own interests at camp. At the same time, we guide and encourage the campers to plan their session and to set goals for themselves. It’s this planned freedom philosophy that will provide healthy challenges for the kids, and keep campers coming back to Camp Manitowa for generations.

Here’s a list of summer camp activity options:


Land & Sports

GA GA! – Hiking – Biking – Basketball – Baseball – Volleyball – Outdoor Living Skills – Soccer –  Low Ropes Team Building – Golf at Rend Lake Golf Course – Frisbee Golf at Rend Lake Course – Ultimate Frisbee – Labyrinth – Fire Building – Rafter Ball


50′ Climbing Tower – 50′ High Ropes Course – 400′ Zip Line – Jump Shots – Home Runs


Water Skiing & Tubing on 20,000 Acre Rend Lake – Canoeing – Kayaking – Swimming Pool – Dive-in Movies – Fishing

Rend Lake & Southern Illinois

We take advantage of all the adventure opportunities surrounding our property. We shuttle campers to Rend Lake in our tie-dyed hippie buses and play in the 20,000 acre lake, build sand castles at large sand beach, bike the trails, drive golf balls at the 27 hole golf course, play on the frisbee golf course, and visit Army Corps of Engineers’ visitor center. We take trips into the local community of Benton to their farmers market, historic car and museum. We also visit the amazing state parks and Shawnee National Forest for day trips and overnights.


Camp Arts & Crafts – Baking – Yoga – Music – Tie Dye – Jewelry-Making – Improv – Video – Environmental Education

A Typical Day

8:00 – Flag pole morning ceremony
8:15 – Breakfast
9:00 – Cabin clean up
9:30 – Activity I
10:45 – Activity II
12:00 – Lunch
1:00 – Rest Hour in cabins
2:00 – Activity III
3:00 – Snack and cabin check in
3:15 – Activity IV
4:30 – Activity V
5:30 – Free time
6:15 – Dinner
7:00 – Evening Activity
9:00 – Wind down and prep for bed
9:45 – Lights out

Four of the five daily activities are specifically chosen by each kid.  A day at Camp Manitowa is designed to provide campers with a healthy balance between structured and choice time. Giving children the chance to think outside their box in group time, trying an array of new activities, and giving them the option to choose their favorite activities too! This allows our children to experience new projects and activities in an accepting environment, have the chance to socialize with friends, and lets them have control over part of the day’s schedule.