Up North: YMCA Camp Miller celebrates 125 years of summer fun

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The sound of kids laughing, fires crackling, and campfire songs filled the air of 340 acres of tall pines, beautiful shoreline, and miles of trails this past weekend at Sturgeon Lake, all in celebration of the YMCA Camp Miller 125th anniversary.

“We are the oldest resident camp in Minnesota. We’re one of the oldest camps in the nation and one of the oldest YMCA’s,” said Executive Camp Director Ross Barnes.

“So the Open House today is a celebration of that legacy of 125 years of serving the community around here,” continued Barnes.

The big attraction of the day was the unveiling of the camp’s brand-new climbing tower and zip line.

It stood 17ft taller than its predecessor, featuring dual lines and a spiral staircase, adding even more thrills and adventure to this outdoor wonderland.

One that brings over 600 campers of all ages to the grounds every summer.

“I was in Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts, so I’ve spent a lot of time camping my whole life. I think camp’s amazing for getting friends, learning different life skills and growing,” added camp parents Sean and Toni Prouty.

Not only was there a free lunch and live music, but kids, young and old, got to participate in scavenger hunts, archery, hatchet throwing and so much more.

“We went on a hike and did a scavenger hunt and did parachutes. Oh, and had s’mores,” chimed in nine year old camper Pia Katchuba.

Registration is NOW OPEN for all camps these summer months. With the organizers preaching everyone is welcome to the camping community, giving all a chance to be, belong, and become.

“I think it’s a special place, the camp experience in the grand scheme of things you can do there isn’t a ton of risk but there is a ton that you can gain. It is just a really good experience of just exploring and getting out,” concluded camp counselor Brady German.