Our Story – YMCA Camp Mi-Te-Na

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Our Story

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208 days 'til Camp

Leaders Right This Way

Our Mission

YMCA Camp Mi-Te-Na creates a community where all are welcome. Camp builds a healthy spirit, mind, and body in all campers while striving to bring out the potential in each child.

The History of Camp MI-TE-NA

In the early spring of 1913, a committee was appointed by President Oliver W. Branch of the Manchester YMCA to “look into the matter of establishing a summer camp for boys.”
 

The Committee set out immediately to find a suitable location. On July 29, 1913, a special meeting was held at the YMCA. The board of directors voted to authorize the purchase of the site recommended upon Crescent Lake, for a sum of approximately $1,800. During the first few years, the camp was used in primitive fashion by groups of boys and young men of the YMCA association, who pitched tents on the shores of the lake and spent short periods fishing, swimming, hiking through the woods and working several hours each day clearing the underbrush and developing the property. Twelve boys attended camp the first year. From that time, the camp developed rapidly through the tent stage with limited facilities to a camp with screened wooden cabins, a dining hall, tennis courts and other equipment.

A capital expenditure improvement was completed in 1973, which included a new bath and shower building, as well as a new camper cabin and the lagoon systems built by the Army Corps of Engineers. Later, in 1989, the CIT building (better know as”Peeps Place”) was added. Camp Mi-Te-Na saw one of its biggest years in 1999 when Camp DeWitt offered us their recreation building. This building had to be moved over to Camp Mi-Te-Na in pieces and reconstructed. Thanks to the leadership of John Howe and Hal Jordan along with the initial lead gift of $100,000 from the Cogswell Trust, alumni, and friends of Camp Mi-Te-Na the campaign to make this happen was a success. The campaign raised over $230,000 to move the lodge to Camp Mi-Te-Na as a new recreational lodge and an additional building known as “Alumni Hall.” The Kevin Ian Charbonneau Memorial Basketball and Tennis Courts were added in 1992 with capital campaign funds, along with additional funding given in Kevin Charbonneau’s name.

In 1996, we built a new leadership cabin, to enhance our camp staff and to create a more challenging program for the oldest boys. The last several years has been very exciting at Mi-Te-Na, with the addition of two new bathhouse facilities, a large high ropes course, a climbing tower, six new frontier cabins, a new infirmary, a beach volleyball court, new rifle range, a new dining hall with a new state-of-the-art kitchen facility, new white house, new pioneer cabins, and paintball. The Granite YMCA and camp staff have many goals that they work towards each year to continue to build the 100 year tradition of Camp Mi-Te-Na.

Cultural Heritage of Camp Mi-Te-Na

Traditions have always been a big part of the history of Camp Mi-Te-Na. As time moves forward and some of these traditions change, there are others that stay the same. Like anything that is passed from generation to generation or person to person, some of the history of those traditions are sometimes lost or passed along slightly differently. As societies and cultures change it is also necessary to pause, reflect and determine if traditions still align with our mission and accurately reflect what we believe. Over 100 years ago, Camp Mi-Te-Na was founded by the Manchester YMCA and held its first season on the shores of Halfmoon Lake in 1913. This land had been used many years prior by the Abenaki, Abenaquis and Wabanaki Confederacy and we are privileged to be able to continue to use that same land today. The use of that land by Camp Mi-Te-Na has allowed us to transform thousands of lives and form memories that last a lifetime.

At one point prior to the 1960’s, the camp logo was changed to a hand drawn profile view of a Native American. Sometime even before then, campers and staff would share that “Mi-Te-Na” meant “Crescent Moon” in Abenaki. Despite extensive research by staff and board members today, we have not found that to be factual. As years went by, there grew a wider perception that some of the camp traditions were based around the Native culture. Several of these traditions were not based on any historical facts and, in some instances, reinforced negative stereotypes that do not accurately reflect Native Culture or the true beliefs of Camp Mi-Te-Na.

Through our meaningful dialogue, we have discovered that while unintentional, our logo has promoted misleading associations and showed a lack of respect to Native Americans. It was from these dialogues and our strong values that we made the decision to move away from the use of Native imagery and traditions that are not anchored in fact. “Mi-Te-Na” means a lot of things to a lot of different people over the last 100 years, however it does not have a Native American translation.

As we continue our second century, we will work to instill the core values of the YMCA and teach campers lifelong skills and lessons during their time with us each year. As we do so, we will continue to learn from our own history and pause regularly to ensure we are outwardly representing what we believe at our core. We understand that while our logo and some traditions are changing, it is the right decision to make moving forward. While these things have changed, we believe strongly that our campers will continue to have the same great experiences and will continue to participate in many traditions that promote who we are and what we teach.

Goals & Outcomes

It is the goal of Camp Mi-Te-Na that each camper will be given the opportunity to develop self-confidence and independence. As a result campers will feel good about themselves and have a better outlook in life and their worth to their local communities.  This includes trying something new and building upon skills.

Completion of this goal is on-going and can be observed in the mannerisms and general behavior of each individual campers they progress through their time at camp. Additionally this will be measured through a parent survey question by agreeing or disagreeing with the following statement: My camper stated that they were more confident after attending Camp Mi-Te-Na.

It is the goal of Camp Mi-Te-Na that each camper will build relationships with others and make friends during their time at camp. As a result campers will feel a sense of belonging.

Completion of this goal is on-going and can be observed in the mannerisms and general behavior of each individual campers they progress through their time at camp. Additionally this will be measured through a parent survey question by agreeing or disagreeing with the following statement: My camper made friends at camp

It’s the goal of Camp Mi-Te-Na that each camper will learn the value of putting others first by living in a group of 6 to 8 other people.

Completion of this goal is on-going and can be observed in the mannerisms and general behavior of each individual campers they progress through their time at camp.

It’s the goal of Camp Mi-Te-Na that each camper will learn the value of balancing the development of spirit, mind and body.

Completion of this goal is on-going and can be observed in the mannerisms and general behavior of each individual campers they progress through their time at camp.

It is the goal of Camp Mi-Te-Na that each camper will have the opportunity to make decisions and choices free of influence from others.

Completion of this goal can be accomplished by signing up independently through choice periods throughout the week.