We value the place and the spirit that is Ajawah in the role of nurturing the growth of whole and happy people.
We strive to build positive self-esteem, self-confidence and independence through wilderness experience, while gaining knowledge and appreciation of the out-of-doors.
We promote fun, friendship and cooperation while respecting differences within a diverse community.
We believe in developing a relationship with a God who teaches how to love and be loved.
Camp Ajawah’s Purpose
Since its founding in 1922, Camp Ajawah’s purpose has been:
To nurture the growth of children
In their independence and self confidence;
In the knowledge and appreciation of nature;
In the ability to get along with others and to respect their differences;
In knowing how to love and be loved;
In a relationship with God
Camp Ajawah is located on a beautiful, wooded, 57-acre site on the northern shores of Linwood Lake near Wyoming, Minnesota. While just 35 miles north of the Twin Cities, the wooded campgrounds provide cover for many animals.
Upon arrival, the first place you’ll be is Main Camp. Main Camp consists of Headquarters, the Mess Hall, the Infirmary, the Craft Shop, the Trading Post, and the Lodge. There is also a basketball hoop, a volleyball/badminton net, and tetherball.
To either side of Main Camp are the Tent Lines. All campers sleep in open-air platform tents on their own bed and mattress under a mosquito net. There are five or six campers per tent. Outhouse style restrooms nearby have running water for handwashing and general hygiene. Centrally located outdoor showers feel great after a busy day.
At Ajawah, we eat three full meals each day. Most meals are served in the Mess Hall, though we sometimes eat outside for special events or pack a lunch for out-of-camp activities. Our full-time cooks and kitchen staff serve a variety of nutritious and delicious foods at every meal. We eat family-style and always finish up with songs.
Campers love to hang out in the Lodge, where we have ping-pong, foosball, chess, and a climbing wall.
At Ajawah, we swim every day in Linwood Lake. The lake has a sandy, sloping bottom, and our dock provides quick access to the shallows and the diving platforms. Campers attend swimming classes taught by our staff.
Our Beach Staff is always happy to instruct campers in canoeing, rowboating, sailing, and motorboating, or just take them out for a spin. Qualified campers may take canoes, rowboats, and sailboats out by themselves.
The Craft Shop
The Craft Shop is home to our Crafts Director. Here, campers can learn to make dream catchers, lanyards, friendship bracelets, tie-dye T-shirts and more.
The Flats are where we play many of our best games. A big, grassy field surrounded by forest, the flats are home to soccer, football, softball, ultimate frisbee, and a host of wonderful games we’ve made up.
The Trading Post
After dinner, campers can buy candy and more useful items, like batteries, stamps, bug spray, and toothpaste.
Health and Safety Facilities
Our infirmary is staffed by a live-in health care provider who is on duty 24 hours a day. There is a separate bedroom reserved for sick campers, and the infirmary staff will happily care for minor aches, pains, and injuries. We are 10 minutes away from Fairview Medical Center.
The basement of the Mess Hall is also a storm shelter.
At Ajawah, we raise our staff ourselves. The great majority of our staff has risen up through the ranks of Ajawah campers. They came back summer after summer to have fun and meet friends, but along the way they grew into confident individuals and valuable team members. As young adults, they return as leaders.
We find spending years as an Ajawah camper is often the best training for becoming a staff member. It’s also a great interview. Our staff believe in the quality of the Ajawah program because they’ve all experienced it firsthand. Some of our staff members have been campers since they were seven years old, and the insight this provides them can be invaluable.
Our staff is young and relentlessly energetic. A team of friends, they push and support each other and the campers to try new things and to do their best to be the best they can be.
It is their genuine wish that every camper has a spectacular, positive experience, and they love to see campers return year after year.
Boys Camp Director – Dave Moore
Dave Moore has been Camp Director since 1959. Before retiring, he taught History at Edison High School in Minneapolis. Now he devotes his time to Camp Ajawah and Boy Scout Troop 100, a troop for Hmong scouts, which he founded in 1983. He also served as Scoutmaster of Troop 33 from 1965 to 2010. As a teacher, Camp Director, Scoutmaster and published author, Dave has devoted his life to young people. As a leader, mentor and friend, Dave has guided thousands of lives. Many of Dave’s former campers have sent their children to Ajawah, where Dave influenced generations of people from around the globe. He continues to guide the Ajawah staff with more honesty and experience than you could hope to find anywhere.
Girls Camp Director – Mindy Meier
Mindy Meier, a Presbyterian pastor and North Dakota farmer, is also known by her camp name, “Tilly,” She has deep roots at Ajawah — her family started going to camp in the summer of 1983. Mindy has been a counselor, Assistant Camp Director, Camp Nurse, Head Cook, and Boys Camp Athletic Director. She attended North Dakota State University, where she met her husband, Preston. At Luther Seminary in St Paul, Mindy earned a Master of Divinity degree. After ordination, she served on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation for 4 years. She does pulpit supply, coaches, and is deeply involved in suicide prevention, education and awareness in rural communities.
Mindy and Preston operate a grain farm in New Rockford, where they are raising five children.
- Ted McLaughlin – Assistant Boys Camp Director, Troop 33 Scoutmaster
- Shenanigans – Assistant Girls Camp Director
- Chingla Thao – Director of Administration
- Julie Neville – Camp Registrar
- Long Thao – Camp Caretaker
- Linda Pietzman – Medical Director
Yimeem Vu – President
Jess Niebuhr – Vice-President
Jeff Hill – Treasurer
Doug Van Valkenburg – Secretary
Meredith St. Pierre
Tawnya Van der Haeghen
Since 1922, children from Minnesota and throughout the world have come to experience two weeks of summer fun at Ajawah. After its founding by Westminster Boy Scout Troop 33, Camp Ajawah held its first sessions on Phelps Island on Lake Minnetonka. In 1929, the camp was moved to its permanent home on Linwood Lake.
Today, Ajawah holds four summer sessions, two for girls and two for boys. Ajawah becomes the temporary home of more than 300 campers each summer, about 80 campers per session. The boys’ sessions still enjoy a vibrant scouting program, and Ajawah serves as a home base for Scouts BSA Troop 33, Troop 100 and Cub Scout Pack 33.
For over 85 years, Ajawah has operated under the guidance of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Camp Ajawah has 57 acres as well as wonderful facilities that are available whenever Summer Camp is not in session.
If you would like to rent Camp Ajawah, please contact our Off Season Chair for rates and availability. Click here to send an email now.
Click here to check availability, Camp Ajawah Calendar. This calendar is for reference only. Some dates may be in the process of being booked, but won’t show up on the calendar until booking is finalized.