Why I Give

dock at dusk.

We hope these stories will inspire you to support Camp Chippewa Foundation and as a result, Camp Chippewa for Boys.

Stories to Inspire You

The reasons are varied but all come down to the fact that Camp Chippewa is a place people believe in, either because of their own personal experience as a camper or staff member or by witnessing the transformation of someone they love who has spent a summer at Chippewa.

I give because kids need camp.

Sam E., Former Camper & Staff, Minnesota

‘What would you think about our son going to a camp in the north woods of Minnesota for a couple of weeks this summer?’

We were having lunch with my daughter and son-in-law at one of our favorite Southern California restaurants when they posed the question. My grandson, was just a “little guy” at the time and Camp Chippewa was nearly 2000 miles away; every protective fiber of my body reacted. All of the reasons why this would not be a good idea flooded forward. But given our tendency as a family to engage in reasoned decision making, we began to weigh the pros and cons. No doubt sending him to camp so far away felt like a risk, but Camp Chippewa’s strong reputation over many decades, and other factors that increased our sense he would be safe, lead to our unanimous agreement that this was a good opportunity for him. We didn’t yet know what a great opportunity it would become. Not only for him but for his two younger brothers (and many friends) who would join him at camp summer after summer.

I give to Camp Chippewa.

If I could put a price tag on what my three grandsons have gained, well, it’s impossible to even estimate what that could be. How do you begin to evaluate a child’s deep character formation, the strengthening of his confidence and sense of competence, and all that he learns during his weeks at camp and in the wilderness? To appreciate and navigate various aspects of nature, to build skills, to be safe and survive under sometimes difficult circumstances, and to respectfully interact with peers and adults. All while having rip-roaring fun most of the time. My grandsons have come home from camp different, deeper, more thoughtful, caring, and confident.

So, my giving is very personal, but it’s also an investment in an institution that partners with parents (and grandparents) to be a village for our boys and young men. Camp Chippewa is exceptional in their contribution toward raising excellent human beings- boys who grow up and give back to the world out of the riches that have been invested in them.

Thank you, Mike and Mary & the Camp Chippewa family.

Deborah B., Camp Grandparent, California

When our son first went to Camp Chippewa as a ten-year-old, my head knew that it was the right decision but my heart hadn’t quite caught up. I thought he would miss home, I knew I would miss him.  He didn’t miss home and he grew more there than in one month than he would have been able to here.  He continued to go each summer and each year I was struck by how much he changed while he was gone.  He became more confident and empathetic.  He grew into a leader and learned new skills.  He stood taller when he came home and because of this, I am so thankful to Camp Chippewa for enriching our sons life experiences.  When I give, I feel that I am giving back to a place that helped turn my son into a kind, strong  and confident man.  I hope that by giving I am helping other boys to share in the experiences that were so important and meaningful to our son. Thank you Camp Chippewa!

Brittany W., Camp Parent, Wisconsin

I give to Camp Chippewa for two reasons.
First, so that I can help ensure their ability to give young men the joy of experiencing nature in a responsible and ethical way. And second, because the Endres family teaches these young men the value of hard work, honesty, integrity, honor, and virtue…things that are becoming more and more rare in our ‘ME first’ society.   Thank you for the work you do and I pray that your influence and reach continue to grow and flourish.  God bless.

Rick L., Former Camper, Oklahoma

I donate to Camp Chippewa for Boys because I believe in what they do for the boys that attend their Camp.

Camp Chippewa provides a safe, healthy, outdoor experience for the boys that hopefully will have a positive impact in grooming the boys to become fine young men.

Morris G., Camp Friend, Pennsylvania

We give to Camp Chippewa because we believe deeply in its mission and because we were very impressed by how the camp handled the challenges presented by the pandemic. Mostly, however, we give because we think the world would be a better place if more boys spent more time in canoes.

Kimberly & John W., Camp Parents, Texas

Camp Chippewa is a tradition that provides children and young adults a healthy atmosphere to develop into citizens with character. Camp Chippewa has contributed to my character development invaluably. Anyone who is privileged to have spent part or all of one’s summer at Camp Chippewa agrees that time cannot be replaced and inspires one to live life with purpose. I give back to Chippewa to help the tradition carry on, especially in a world in desperate need of strong citizenry.

Dave E., Former Camp Staff, Minnesota

The 1962 camp memories have stayed with me through all these years! The canoeing and swimming and campfire stories by Cap and stay with you always! The Canadian canoe trip was the highlight of my 8 weeks at Camp Chippewa! The leadership of Cap, JP, and staff contributed to the highlights of camp life which was an important chapter in my life!

Steve N., Former Camper, Kansas

Camping has played a very significant part in every generation of our family’s life for 100 years. Our camping tradition goes back to the 1920’s, and the values and the learning that go with that tradition are carried out at a high level at Camp Chippewa. At a time when self reliance, personal integrity and individual responsibility are being questioned in our national life, I feel it is important to support these values and the venues where they are still taught and nurtured.

Curt H., Former Camp Parent, Colorado

The values statement of Camp is adventure, tradition, character. Now more than ever we need young men to have those values instilled in them. Traditions like earning your tam. Values that are earned while portaging a canoe, shooting rapids, or simply sweeping the dirt out of a cabin. As a former camper and counselor, I can think of no better place than Camp Chippewa to learn those values, maintain those traditions, and build character.

Bob A., Former Camper, Wisconsin

We love Camp Chippewa so much we worked as Camp Doc for many years. We can say firsthand that boys and teens get something they will not get anywhere else. Wish we could describe in just a few words what Camp Chippewa does for boys but it is so much more. From teaching them skills (such as canoeing, archery, fencing, swimming, and tennis to name a few) to enjoying carefree times as a boy playing table tennis with your new friends, to fireside stories and roasting your own hot dog, to planning your first adventure, boys grow in so many ways! It is adventure, tradition, camaraderie, but also learning respect for one another, your things, and our natural world.

Sue & Greg F., Former Camp Parents and Camp Doctor and Nurse, Missouri

We give to Camp Chippewa because we want Chippewa to be around for not just our generation of campers, but our grandkids too. Camp Chippewa has been a huge part of our kid’s life, a highlight of their years, and we want to do anything we can to support that for others.

Chris D., Camp Parent, Washington

Both my sons, spent many summers at Camp Chippewa as campers and, in time, as counselors and trip leaders.

These were experiences of a lifetime, ones that they loved and that contributed importantly to their being the men they are today. As a parent, I learned early on that Camp Chippewa is committed to providing each boy with experiences on his journey from boyhood to manhood that build confidence, self-reliance, a respect for others, camaraderie, a love for the demands of the wilderness, and the pleasure of living life well—how to work, how to play and the importance of both. These are lessons for a lifetime. Each boy is encouraged to compete against his own best efforts in mastering skills—whether tennis, sailing, archery, riflery, swimming, or canoeing. And every summer brings the excitement of a cherished canoe/camping trip that increases in length and difficulty as each camper and his cabin mates get older. It is a trip that requires teamwork and perseverance in setting up and breaking down campsites, learning to read rapids and shooting them, managing difficult portages, and dealing with the unexpected. Under the guidance of seasoned trip leaders, the boys experience the ruggedness and beauty of the wilderness around them and learn to respect the importance of leaving it as pristine as it was when they first saw it.

Each summer when my sons returned home, I loved hearing about their adventures and accomplishments, the skills they had learned, the highlights of canoe/camping trips, camp gatherings in Knutson Hall, Hook Island trips, sailing on Cass Lake, and the satisfaction of earning a special tam at the conclusion of the extended canoe/camping trips. They had grown in wonderful ways. Each year, I give to Camp Chippewa both to say “thank you” to JP and Cammy, Mike and Mary, and the entire staff for the experiences that my sons continue to remember and value and also to help ensure, in the years to come, that other boys will have the benefit of a Camp Chippewa experience.

Margo S., Former Camp Parent, Maryland

We give for several reasons. The biggest reason is we love what the camp does for kids, especially certain kids who need an assist the most. It can be jaw-dropping and amazing the growth and maturity some kids gain at Camp Chippewa. Priceless.

Chuck & Judy S., Former Camp Parents, Mississippi

As an alumnus of Camp Chippewa, I offer continuing support because I have, as do others, a special attachment with the camp that I attended one summer when I was a teenager. I not only discovered and acquired an activity not before known to me, specifically riflery, but spent that summer in the delight of good company enjoying the northern Minnesota pine woods on the shore of Cass Lake. The experience was a very healthy one for a boy of my age as it was and still is for boys who are able to benefit from a few months of time in their lives that they otherwise do not have while engaged in sports, swimming, canoeing, camping trips, nature hikes and just engaging with one another in a growing, maturing manner. It is quite amazing that Camp Chippewa has continued to flourish for so many years since Cap and Mom Endres established it in those beautiful pine woods. And so I am honored in fact to contribute even in my small way to such a meaningful cause.

Jeff D., Former Camper, California

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Because of your commitment to Camp Chippewa, we will continue to build on decades of providing transformational experiences to boys of all ages and backgrounds.