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 Rend Lake camp is a non-religions program that serves campers 2nd to 9th-grade. Kids 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. With so many water, art, sports, and nature activity options, campers will want to return to Manitowa for years 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 are always available and excited to discuss our all of our camp programs. 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.
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 campers a wide variety of activities taught by a well-trained staff. Campers are 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:
Camp Nadav 2022
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 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!
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 were able to run a successful COVID free program in 2021 and will maintain our policies and practices in 2022 as appropriate. This may include screening and testing on the first day of each session, running programs and activities exclusively OUTDOORS, hand washing and sanitizing before every meal and throughout the day, and following all the latest CDC Guidance for summer camps.
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!
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.
2022 Summer Camp Schedule:
SESSION I (JUNE 26- JULY 16)
Session I-A (June 26-July 9)
SESSION II (JULY 17-AUGUST 6)
Session II-A (July 17-July 30)
Taste of Manitowa 50% off (Aug. 7-13)
Manitowa Cedar Point
Camp Nadav Jewish Camp Program