30 signs you’ve been to Camp Widjiwagan

YMCA Camp Widjiwagan in Ely, Minnesota is a magical place. You’ve definitely been a Widji camper if:

  1. You cringe and think, “Air, water, bread dough” when you see a canoe lying on its belly.
  2. You’ve pooped in a two holer or next to a friend in the woods.
  3. You can pump it up like Widji can.
  4. “Three times a day or once every three days” is serious medical advice.
  5. You’ve gone 7 days or more (30+) without showering.
  6. You’ve spent weeks in the middle of nowhere and a block of ice cream with chocolate sauce frequently popped up in your dreams.
  7. You have sent or received a care package that contains new underwear.
  8. You love Nutella.
  9. You’ve eaten more than your weight in gaddo gaddo even though you knew the aftermath.
  10. You have purchased Velveeta and Rye Crisp when off-trail and it only reminded you how much you miss the woods.
  11. The sound of rain on a tent puts you right to sleep.
  12. You own a Camp Widjiwagan song book and know all the words to “Madeline,” “Barges” and “River.”
  13. “We’re sorry you’re going away/ we wish that you could stay/ we’re going to miss you/ we wish we could kiss you/ we’re sorry you’re going away” makes you smile-cry.
  14. You have played bags, monster trucks and motorcycles, and drinky-laughy-spitty.
  15. You have been Big Booty.
  16. You’ve stood around the S.O.C. with your newest best friends, all with thermometers in your mouths.
  17. “Portage” or “pack” has become your middle name.
  18. Your sock tan lines do not reside at similar heights, on purpose.
  19. You have used a menstrual pad for something other than your period.
  20. Many of the crushes from your young-adult days had the job title “counselor.”
  21. You know how to clap, snap and tap your way to an indoor rainstorm.
  22. You will always laugh at the phrase, “Not today.”
  23. You have spooned peanut butter directly into your mouth from a five-pound bucket.
  24. You’ve been shunned for grazing the hull on a rock, earning no dessert for your entire group. You never hit a rock again.
  25. Finding a Gunslinger romance novel among your food packs was a rite of passage.
  26. You have told heard stories of Joe Smith and The Bear.
  27. You’ve peed on your shoe.
  28. Clean socks = Christmas.
  29. You are immune to mosquito bites.
  30. You’ve made lifelong friendships with people from all over and can’t imagine your life without the determination and strength you realized you already possessed all because of Widji.
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