In February of 2010, Dan Grabel and Andy Brown realized their dreams of camp ownership. For months the two searched the country for camp properties before signing the lease on a site 90 minutes outside of St. Louis, which for 50 years was the site of Lake Benton Baptist Camp. The camp is adjacent to Rend Lake and borders Wayne Fitzgerell State Park. Grabel and Brown renamed the property Camp Manitowa — which means the Great Spirit — and put more than $1 million into renovations right away.
- adding a high school grade baseball field
- adding NBA-sized basketball courts
- building the ten yurts (five girls and five boys)
- commercial kitchen upgrades
- remodeling the cabins
- enhancing the dining and rec halls
Since opening our gates in August 2010 Camp Manitowa has hosted thousands of campers, adults, and families.