Located on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Camp Voyageur is the ideal place for a boy to grow, gain independence, self-reliance and have fun in the summer. We are a small camp typically enrolling up to 50 boys per session, and we maintain a ratio of one college-age counselor to four boys. Our in-camp program of land and water sports and extensive wilderness trips allow boys to make lifelong friends and experience things they can’t do at home. We’ve been in business since 1951. Read more about the benefits here.
Sessions are four and eight weeks long, with a two-week intro for some beginners. Camp Voyageur was built on a two, four-week foundation where boys break the cord with home and become more independent. It takes time to form friendships and get in shape, so boys are ready to take longer trips at the end of each session. Campers develop physically and socially at camp, and they become more responsible for their own well being. Our two-week sessions with limited space are for boys to sample Voyageur for the first time. During this intro, new campers will get a shorter Boundary Waters canoe trip and enjoy lots of in-camp fun.
A few boys attend camp with a friend from home, but most do not. Campers make friends quickly as they share the Voyageur experience with others. Many campers return year after year specifically to see their CAMP friends who live in other areas of the country.
We group campers by age in cabins. Most other activities and wilderness trips intermix ages.
Our cabins are simple buildings with screens for windows. Bunk beds line the edge of the cabin and we generally house 5-7 campers in each cabin with 2 counselors.
No, there is a central wash-house facility near the boys cabins.
Sure. Often the day’s weather will determine the activities offered. We offer three or four activities so campers choose a favorite activity each period.
Sure. We stress recreational participation rather than competition. These are fun games with plenty of time for play. We strive to teach sports activities that campers can enjoy for a lifetime.
Yes, everybody takes canoe trips in the wilderness. No previous camping experience is necessary to attend Voyageur. We are wilderness camping experts. Counselors review basic canoeing and camping skills at the beginning of a session. The Trip Director interviews campers to find out what kind of wilderness trips they want to take (ie. fishing, difficult, route, etc…) A 4-week session starts with a four or five-day trip, with longer routes as the session progresses. Older,experienced four-week and eight-week campers may spend up to half of their time on the trail.
Our trips will challenge every camper. We canoe, hike, and sea kayak and he could have the opportunity to enjoy all three kinds of trips in eight weeks.
No. After April 1 there are no tuition discounts because of the expenses camp incurs in preparing for the camp season. Unspent tuition may be applied to the next summer season.
Many of our staff grew up at Voyageur. They are here because they love camp and believe in the value of the CV experience. New counselors are carefully screened, at least 18 years of age and are usually in college or have graduated. They believe in our style of experiential education.
Campers are closely supervised. We maintain a ratio of one counselor to every four campers.
All our staff go through two weeks of staff training starting in late May. Additionally in order to lead trips counselors have current certificates in CPR, Wilderness First Aid and Lifeguard Training.
All of our staff have a criminal background check that include the National Criminal Database and National Sex Offender databases from their place of residence on file. In addition we personally check all their employment and/or personal references prior to hiring.
Many campers drive to camp. If you drive your son to camp plan to arrive between 10 and 2 on the first and last day of camp. A few boys fly to Duluth, Minnesota where we pick them up. We schedule your son’s Duluth flight between 10-2 on the first and last day of the camp session. Our Duluth shuttle costs campers $90 round trip.
Since 1951. Founded by Mim and Charlie Erdmann, siblings John and Deb have directed camp since 1984. Voyageur is our family’s mission.
Yes, call Deb to request a list of people you can call. Some may even live in your area.
Time will pass very quickly for your son at Voyageur. During a session lots of growth and development can occur at camp. A few weeks at camp allows a boy to become acclimated to the routine and get in shape for tough wilderness trips. We get a chance to try all the activities camp offers. Voyageur is a well supervised place for boys to gain independence, confidence and self-esteem while exploring the northwoods and making new friends. There are so many benefits.
The only camping gear he’ll need is a compact sleeping bag and fishing gear, if he plans to fish. CV provides the rest of the group camping gear for trips. Boys planning to hike should bring hiking boots that are well broken in already. To learn more, check out Packing for Camp in 5 Simple Steps.
It’s easy to apply, use our contact form and Deb will respond to you shortly. Campers apply online using the CampMinder registration form.
In the spring preceding each camp season.
You can check out our packing guide and/or download the CV Clothing and Equipment List and Joe Camper lists.
The first day of camp we ask campers to call home from the airport. Campers do not have access to a phone for the rest of the session. You can write your son by snail mail and encourage him to write you back. A letter from home can be one of the highlights of a day for him. Your son can also receive up to two e-mails per week, though he will not have access to a computer to respond. Your e-mails will be distributed with the regular mail. We frequently post pictures on our website so you can watch what’s going on at camp. On-line you can see your son and trace his progress by pictures. This feature is password protected for camp families.
NO! We do not allow electronics at camp. Do not send your son to camp with iPods, video games, cell phones, laptops, radio or any other electronics. Taking advantage of our remote location, we want to tune boys into their surroundings, without any electronics. Any electronics brought to camp will be confiscated the first day of camp and returned the last day of the camp session.
We work hard to integrate new campers into the CV routine. There may be a short adjustment period for some new campers but we’ll help them through that. Campers keep busy all day and once a camper makes new friends and takes that first wilderness trip homesickness usually fades. You can also read our 10 tips for preventing homesickness blog post.
Significant discounts are available for families to pay tuition in-full when they register.
Camp Voyageur is a rugged outdoor environment and our staff are generally not trained to accommodate children with some special needs. Participants need to be able to carry gear and paddle on wilderness trips and all participants sharing the load is key to the success and safety of our trips. If a child has a special need such as physical limitation, diabetes, allergies, or other concerns, contact the camp office so we can assess–with our administrative and medical staff–your child’s special condition prior to applying for his/her spot.
Camp administration reviews, discusses, and evaluates participants’ special health needs prior to enrollment as needed. Each campers health form is also reviewed by license medical personnel. Camp employs a nurse and requires all trip counselors to be certified in Wilderness First Aid, which includes some mental, social, and emotional emergency response training. Camp may also consult with local health professionals.
Review dates and tuition costs for the upcoming summer, then complete the online CampinTouch registration.