Get Outdoors in Southern Illinois
Camp Manitowa is located just 90 miles from St. Louis, Missouri in the heart of scenic Southern Illinois. The lakefront abode is located on a private cove on Lake Hamilton. With our proximity to Rend Lake, offering an additional 19,000 acres of fun and recreation, we are located at the intersection of serenity & adventure.
Camp is an outdoor, natural experience – no social media or video games here! Our lake front property is located on a private cove on Lake Hamilton, equipped with a swimming area & dock, kayaks & canoes, and a water trampoline directly on the lake. Our grounds feature a large, in-ground swimming pool, athletic fields, numerous ga-ga pits, basketball courts, a recreation lodge & game room, a 50-foot-high ropes challenge course, zip line, & climbing wall, a large campfire circle, an outdoor performance stage and more!
Camp Manitowa is the ideal place for a young person to thrive. Each day is curated to provide an exceptional, adventurous, lively day for a Manitowa camper. Each day at camp is filled with activities to foster self-confidence, character-building, team building, and FUN. By offering structured free choice activities, we encourage kids to feel a sense of belonging and control over their experience, which leaves them feeling empowered and more adept to learn and grow.
We believe the most self-growth comes in situations of uncertainty. We encourage campers to take risks, try new things, & overcome obstacles. In doing so, campers gain self-confidence and independence all while creating memories to last a lifetime.
We believe in fostering a community of true belonging, where campers and staff can bring their authentic selves to feel accepted and cared for
We show spirit in everything we do, creating passionate and enthusiastic young people.
We believe that youth of all backgrounds deserve a place and environment that is specifically for them to thrive as kids: have fun, build lasting friendships, take risks, and experience joy.
Our summer camp program provides campers with a forum to experience new challenges, enhance self-confidence, develop new skills, and establish enduring friendships in the safe, beautiful surroundings of our Midwest location.
We are dedicated to creating an inclusive camp environment that celebrates, supports, and thrives on diversity. With infinite elements of one’s identity, we welcome, affirm, and support youth no matter their background or how they identify.
Each camper at Camp Manitowa brings something special to the camp atmosphere. Our unique gathering of kids and caring and mature staff create a diverse and supportive community that we plan to witness for generations.
andy brown, MSW
Andy Brown was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He has dedicated his life to youth and adolescent development through 32 years of camp experience, both in residential and day camp settings. Andy brings his experience as the Assistant Director at Camp Sabra in the Missouri Ozarks, the Director at Camp Sidney R. Baer in St. Louis, the Assistant Director at Goldman Union Camp Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana and the Executive Director at Camp Livingston in Bennington, Indiana.
Andy earned his Master’s in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. Andy’s wife, Stephanie Zetcher Brown, has also dedicated her career to enriching the lives of our youth. She currently spends the school year as a dedicated and devoted Pre-Kindergarten teacher in St. Louis and her summers are spent at camp, leading our oldest Manitowa campers on adventure programs through the mountains. Andy and Stephanie have four children: Dylan, Jake, Gaby, and Lily. Dylan is currently the assistant director at Camp Manitowa.
Dan Grabel, MSW, MEd
Dan Grabel was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in 2013, and currently lives in Denver, Colorado. Dan has made a career working with children and young adults in a variety of different settings. With over 25 years of experience working in residential and day camp settings, including Goldman Union Camp Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana, Camp Sabra in the Missouri Ozarks, YMCA Camp Greenville in Greenville, North Carolina, Camp Charles Pearlstein in Prescott, Arizona, and Camp Livingston in Bennington, Indiana. Dan also brings ten years of experience working in Illinois and Missouri public schools as a school social worker.
Dan obtained his BA at Indiana University, MSW at Washington University in St. Louis, and MEd at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Dan’s wife, Dr. Lisa Reyes Mason, is on faculty at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. Their daughter, Cora, is currently in high school and spends her summers at Manitowa.