Summer Camp 2021

Camp Manitowa

Summer Camps Near St. Louis

At both Camp Manitowa properties, our summer camps near St. Louis in Southern Illinois strive to provide campers an environment that fosters all the skills parents want their kids to develop early on in life. Our 2nd to 9th-grade campers gain independence, build self-esteem, and learn about cooperation and problem-solving, all while making new, lifelong friends. We offer a small community for campers so that they feel like they are part of the Manitowa family. 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 able to learn and grow. View a typical day at Camp Manitowa and a map of the grounds. Our well-rounded summer camp near St. Louis provides children ample entertainment opportunities. With so many water, art, sports, and nature activity options, campers will want to return to Manitowa for years and generations to come. We serve campers from St. Louis, Indianapolis, Chicago, Kansas City, Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Denver, and the many communities of Southern and Central Illinois.

Your child will make new friends from all over!

We have addressed many common questions on our FAQs page, but if you don't find your answer there and you have a concern or question, please feel free to call Dan: (314) 348-6412 or Andy: (314) 591-7771. They will be happy to answer your questions over the phone or address any of your concerns through a face-to-face meeting. Rising ninth and tenth graders have the opportunity to attend a Smokey Mountain Adventure Trip in Tennessee and a Rocky Mountain Adventure Trip in Colorado for 9th & 10th Graders.

At our summer camp in Southern Illinois, all camp activities start with two basic principles, they are safe, and they are fun!
Camp Manitowa offers summer campers a wide 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 in a way that sets goals they want to accomplish. 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 – Floating Dock & Trampoline – 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 sandcastles at a 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

Camp Nadav 2021

Click here to Register for Camp Nadav

Andy and Dan's roots are in Jewish camping. Both grew up going to and working at Jewish day camps and residential camps. We believe a Jewish camp experience gives kids a strong sense of their Jewish identity, allows them an opportunity to meet cool Jewish counselors who will act as solid mentors, and learn about their religion, culture, and heritage; all in a fun and exciting outdoor setting.

The concept of Camp Nadav came about as we heard from many parents about their desire for shorter sessions and affordable pricing for a Jewish camp. Camp Nadav is supported by a special fund that was created in 2016, which allows us to offer each week over 50% off our regular tuition.
In 2017 Camp Nadav moved to our new 257-acre facility, Camp Manitowa-Cedar Point, located in the stunning Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, 15 minutes south of Carbondale, IL. Campers sleep in our renovated air-conditioned lodges and have access to 8 rustic villages with platform tents and hogan cabins for the on-site camp out trips.


Our Program

Our Jewish programming strives to be unique, engaging, meaningful, and fun. We've partnered with Shelly Dean, owner of Rhythm' n' Ruach, who connects campers to Judaism and Hebrew music through drumming, singing, yoga, dancing, and story. We offer a wonderful Judaic arts program, Jewish song sessions, outdoor Tikkun Olam projects connected to the idea of repairing the world, and Friday night and Saturday morning outdoor Shabbat services. We serve Kosher-style meals and have a variety of professional Jewish educators participating in our program.

Campers also choose from an awesome array of camp activities every day, including canoeing, kayaking, and swimming in 1200 acre Little Grassy Lake, hiking on multiple beautiful trails, horseback riding at Giant City Stables, team-building at the low ropes course, archery, GA GA, dodgeball, basketball, frisbee disc golf, campfires, and more!

Camp Manitowa

Manitowa Adventure Trips

For eight years, Camp Manitowa has offered amazing trips to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and the Rocky Mountains in Colorado for campers entering 9th and 10th grade. We partner with locally-based professional outfitters, and experts who work alongside our Camp Manitowa trained trip staff who all provide a safe, high-quality, and unforgettable adventure experience.
We believe this type of trip offers a unique opportunity for our high school students to create a significant bond and develop a strong friendship through shared experiences while gaining a greater appreciation for the outdoors. Join us for these great trips and create memories that will last a lifetime!


We are excited to be able to run camp this summer and have been closely following the latest CDC Guidance for summer camps. We intend to do our best to keep campers and staff safe, will implement the following core practices:

  • Screening and testing: Campers and staff will be required to show a negative COVID test 72 hours before coming to camp. Campers and staff also take the rapid test upon arriving at camp.
  • Camper drop off and pick: We will have one central location separate from the main camp where campers will be dropped off on the first day and picked up on the last day. We will ask parents to stay close to their cars and not enter the main camp.
  • Best practices for masks: Campers and staff will wear masks when indoors on the bus and outdoors within 6 feet for a prolonged period of time.
  • Camp activities: We will be OUTDOORS and spread out as much as possible. We will not hold activities in the WIGWAM rec hall or "old dining hall" unless we have inclement weather.
  • Staffing: All our staff will be encouraged to take the vaccine. The Franklin County office of the Illinois Department of Health is offering the vaccine to any Camp Manitowa employee over 16 without an appointment. Our goal is to have 100% vaccinated staff by the start of camp. Staff will be tested regularly throughout the summer.
  • Village life: We will have reduced capacity in the yurts. Campers will not be allowed to hang out in other campers' yurts. We'll have maximum distance between beds, sleep head to toe, and increase the number of fans, airflow, and ventilation. We will have limited numbers in the shower houses at one time and will schedule shower times.
  • Foodservice: We will have extended spaced out food lines, limit the numbers of people in the dining hall, encouraged campers and staff to eat outside.
  • Hand hygiene: We will have hand sanitizer at each yurt and in communal spaces. Campers and staff will be regularly encouraged to wash their hands and use sanitizer
Camp Manitowa
Camp Manitowa


Food is a significant part of a camp experience – you eat every day! We offer a balanced menu with a variety of food kids like. We are a nut-free facility, and because of our small size, we can accommodate almost every food allergy and special dietary need of any camper. We have a relationship with and buy produce from the local Benton Farmer's Market. Each summer, we hire a professional chef who can accommodate any individual camper's dietary need or food allergy. We try to avoid frying food in our kitchen and bake foods that are typically fried. Camp Manitowa is a nut-free facility. At camp, we just take what we need so we don't waste resources. We encourage our campers to take enough food to fill their belly and not to have excess food that gets thrown away. We teach the importance of food and how food keeps us healthy. At Camp Manitowa, no one goes hungry!

Camp Manitowa
Camp Manitowa


Our Health Center is staffed by a licensed registered nurse with school and camp nursing experience. One of our RNs dispenses all medications to campers as prescribed by your family doctor and treats campers at any time if they are ill or have sustained an injury. Parents are always called when a child stays overnight in the Health Center, needs to see a specialist, or needs to be started on prescription medication. In the unlikely event of a more serious illness or injury, Camp Manitowa is 5 minutes from the Franklin Hospital in Benton. Parents are always welcome to contact our nurse before camp starts and during their child's stay.

2021 Summer Camp Schedule:

Session III A (July 11-19)
Session IV A (July 25-July 31)
Taste of Manitowa 50% off (Aug. 8-14)

Manitowa Cedar Point

Camp Nadav Jewish Camp Program
Week Aleph – July 18-24
Week Bet – July 25-31