|Youth Camp Opening|
|Q: On the calendar there are two Youth Camp Opening events. What are they?|
A: The Youth Camp is a co-ed camp for deserving youth of Minnesota ages 9-13 and is a Minnesota Elks State Association project.
The camp consists of 270 acres of land near Brainerd on Pelican and Markee Lakes where the north woods atmosphere is prevalent with evergreen trees, fresh air,
wildlife and a large sandy beach. There are 10 cabins on the property to house the 80-100 kids that come for each weekly session during the summer as well as
7 cabins for camp staff. Several of the cabins are winterized and can be used year around by Elks members. |
The camp is only open during the summer months and shuttered during the winter months. During the Youth Camp Opening event in May (this year 5/14-5/16),
roughly 150 members (mostly men but some women) from lodges across the state gather at the camp to accomplish a number of clean up tasks including setting
up the miniature golf course and the climbing wall, cleaning up debris from the winter, repairing the cabins where necessary, setting up the docks and the
boating facilities (e.g. canoes) as well as performing special projects which vary from year to year such as installing new air conditioners.
During the Ladies Youth Camp Opening the following weekend (5/21-5/23), 40-50 women get together for spring cleaning, decorating, general housekeeping,
planting and landscaping to ensure the cabins and grounds are ready for the campers.
Members and their spouses that participate in the event generally stay on-site in the cabins, in their RVs or camping the traditional way in tents.
Thereís often a campfire burning and shared meals at the end of the day. There is a steak fry on Friday night for both Camp Openings ($12/person) and
a Potluck on Saturday for the ladies Opening. Itís a great way to meet members from other lodges, do a light dayís work on the camp and
enjoy the great outdoors. The young campers greatly appreciate your efforts!
The Hopkins lodge has a special project this year which is to build a deck off of the main dining hall. The lodge could use your help to complete our
special project. While general construction skills are desired, they are not required. A friendly helping hand is greatly appreciated.
If you are interested in more information on either event or would like to join in the effort, feel free to contact John Miller at 952-888-8756.