Leadership Camp is affordable and open to everyone, regardless of your current or past farming background. It's all about helping young people become good citizens by planting the seeds of responsibility, leadership and cooperation in an environment where those qualities can grow and flourish.
Campers have opportunities to develop these qualities through some of the simple, day-to-day tasks at camp. These simple activities provide a common foundation for all campers to share the responsibility of making camp a fun, safe place to be and are the foundation of developing cooperation skills that can last a lifetime.
There are other ways campers can develop their leadership and cooperation skills, too. Some may choose to share a special skill on talent night or run for a director's position on the board of the camp's cooperative concession store.
Leadership and cooperation happen at all levels of Farmers Union Leadership Camp, and sometimes these skills are demonstrated in an act as simple as helping a younger camper with a craft project or assembling a costume to wear at a theme night.
Campers develop strong leadership roles by participating in groups where campers are taught the importance of legislation and how it can affect their community, and how to become an effective leader. Farmers Union Leadership Campers can make a difference in their community.
Farmers Union strives to provide an environment that continually fosters young people. One of the many ways the organization achieves this is by allowing campers to take an active role in shaping the educational component of camp. During the year, the Youth Advisory Council, elected by their peers at Senior Camp, discuss, select, and build the base for the annual educational theme.
But camp isn't only about education. It's also about providing a safe environment where campers can hang out, be kids and have fun. Campers get to sing at campfires and dress up in crazy costumes for theme-night. They can swim, play games, go on nature hikes and much more.
Most of all, campers can meet young people from throughout the state - both urban & rural with whom they can build lifelong friendships.
We invite you to join us this summer for a week of fun!
Click on each form below to access a printable PDF.
Camp Registration Form
Camp Health and Waiver Form
Getting to Camp
What to Bring to Camp
2018 Theme Nights: TBA
2018 Day Camps: TBA
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Camp Registration Opens March 1st
Early Bird Rates End May 1st
Northern Elementary Camp (Ages 8 - 11)
June 18th - June 22nd (Monday-Friday) at Farmers Union Lake Sarah Campground near Erskine, MN
Northern Junior Camp (Ages 11 - 14)
June 25th - 29th (Monday-Friday) at Farmers Union Lake Sarah Campground near Erskine, MN
Southern Elementary Camp (Ages 8 - 11)
July 17th - 21st (Tuesday-Saturday) at Sibley State Park near New London, MN
Southern Junior Camps (Ages 11 - 14)
July 23rd - 27th (Monday-Friday) at Sibley State Park near New London, MN
Senior High Camp (Ages 14 - 18)
July 29th - August 3rd (Sunday-Friday) at Sibley State Park near New London, MN
Lac qui Parle Day Camp (Ages 5 - 12)
TBA at Dawson Swimming Pool Park – FFI and to RSVP: Deb Breberg, 320-769-2088
Morrison County Day Camp (Ages 5 - 12)
TBA at Little Falls Lions Park – FFI and to RSVP: Carol Schmidt, 320-632-9432
Farmer for a Day (Ages 5 - 12)
TBA at the Wilts Family Farm, 505 150th Ave SE, Kerkhoven, MN – FFI and to RSVP: Amanda Rosendahl, 320-815-8670
Prairie Oaks Institute Day Camp (Ages 5 - 10)
TBA at Prairie Oaks Institute, 1100 W. South Street, Belle Plaine, MN – FFI and to RSVP: 952-873-6367 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MFU Day Camp on a Dairy Farm (Ages 5 - 12)
TBA at Triple O’ Dairy, 29433 Northfield Blvd, Randolph MN – FFI: Dori Klein, 507-843-4560
Bloomington Day Camp (Ages 5 - 12)
TBA at Isaac Walton League, 6601 Auto Club Road, Bloomington, MN - FFI and to RSVP: Ted Suss, 507-828-3377
Kandiyohi Day Camp (Ages 5 - 12)
TBA at Robbins Island Park, Willmar, MN – FFI and to RSVP: Helen Hennes, 320-382-6359
Q: How Do I register for camp?
A: You can register online by clicking here, or, if you prefer, you can download a paper registration here and mail it in with the payment for of your choice.
Q: What is the age breakdown of each camp?
A: They are:
Elementary Camp: Ages 8-11
Junior Camp: Ages 11-14
Senior High Camp: Ages 14-18
Day Camps: Ages 5-12
Q: My child is at an age which is between camps (11 or 14). Which camp should I register them for?
A: We allow campers at ages 11 or 14 the opportunity to attend whichever camp they, and their parents, feel is right for them. So, for example, a camper who is 11 during the summer could choose from either the elementary or junior camps.
Q: Does Minnesota Farmers Union offer transportation to camp?
A: MFU does not offer transportation to camp. Instead, during the registration process, parents of campers will be asked if they would like certain information (name, city, email, phone number) released to other parents interested in coordinating carpools. If you select yes your information will be emailed to the other parents who also selected yes. It will then be the responsibility of the parents/guardians to organize transportation/carpool options to and from camp.
Q: What is the selection process for the camp staff?
A: MFU receives applicants for the counselor positions and reviews them. After this, interviews are organized with the individuals MFU feels are a good fit for the job. After the interview and a review of their references, the top choices are submitted to a full background check which includes: county criminal felony and misdemeanor, federal criminal, national criminal search, national sex offender registry, and prohibited parties. If the background check comes back clear the candidate is offered the position. The hired counselors receive training on many topics, such as conflict resolution, homesickness and child welfare and protection. There are 8 counselors in all (4 female and 4 male) who are at all the camps. The education director Glen Schmidt is also at all the camps in a supervisory role, and if he cannot attend another MFU staff member steps in to fill that role.
Q: What is the difference between the northern camps and southern camps?
A: The main difference is location. The northern camp is located about 5 hours north of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The southern camp is located about 2 hours west of Minneapolis and St. Paul. See the map section below for more details on location. Camp programming is the same regardless of the location. Campers can attend either (or both) camps at either location.
Q: What does a typical day at camp include?
A: A typical day at camp is filled to the max with fun activities to keep every campers attention. On an average day, there are two lessons, swimming, a dance, a campfire, a theme night and much more. Below is a general example of an average day at camp (schedules vary depending on camper's age).
7:30 AM Wake up
8:15 AM Flag Raising
8:30 AM Breakfast/ KP/Rec. Time
10:00 AM Lesson
11:00 AM Free Time
Noon Lunch/ KP/ Hike/Craft
1:15 PM Swimming
3:00 PM Co-op Store (Snack Store)
4:15 PM Lesson
5:45 PM Flag Lowering
6:00 PM Supper/ KP/ Volleyball/Kickball
8:00 PM Change for theme night
8:15 PM Theme night
9:30 PM Snack
9:45 PM Change for Campfire
10:00 PM Campfire
10:45 PM Back to cabins
11:30 PM Lights Out
Q: How do I receive a referral discount?
A: If your camper is bringing a brand new participant to camp (has never attended an MFU camp before) you will be eligible for a discount on next year's camp. The information on the discount (if it applies to you) will be sent out in early spring.
Q: Can I send my camper mail?
A: Yes! The camp addresses are below. Please note that it takes 3-4 days for mail to reach the camps, please do not mail anything to the camp past the second day.
MFU Lake Sarah Campground
C/O [Campers Name]
38524 200th Ave. SE
Erskine, MN 56535
Sibley State Park
c/o Minnesota Farmers Union & [Campers Name]
800 Sibley Road NE
New London, MN 56273
Northern Camp: Farmers Union Park near Erskine, MN
Southern Camp: Sibley State Park near New London, MN
Camp Visitor Policy
If you are a parent, and would like to visit camp, please click here and fill out the attached form. Then mail it back to email@example.com at least 3 weeks before the begining of the camp you wish to visit.
Why is there a visitor policy for Minnesota Farmers Union Camp?
The number one reason we have a specific visitors policy in place is for the safety of the campers. If we receive unannounced visitors it is an obvious safety concern for the campers and camp staff. Even visitors that inform us ahead of time carry inherent risks. There is no way to run background checks on every individual that would want to visit camp. Knowing whom, when, where, and for how long a visitor will be at camp greatly enhances the ability for the camp staff to do their jobs effectively.
Minnesota Farmers Union is liable for anything that happens at camp, during camp. To limit the liability of MFU a clear and concise visitors policy need to be in place and the visitor needs to agree to this policy, in writing. This helps limit the liability of Minnesota Farmers Union and increase the safety of the campers and camp staff.
#3. Lack of Authority Over Visitors
Without a visitors policy the camp staff for Minnesota Farmers Union has no way of enforcing reasonable visitor activity. Without a clear and concise policy visitors to camp may overstay, or try to visit camp multiple times. Current campers and staff have expressed concerns over former campers returning to camp and being extremely disruptive. Camps that are currently operating are for current campers, not for campers or parents who have already had their camp experience.
Making campers feel that camp is a safe place is a huge part of a successful camp experience. Homesickness of campers can happen very easily and with almost no warning. If a camper sees an individual on the campground that they do not recognize this can cause considerable anxiety and ultimately homesickness. Sometimes, if the person is a relative of the camper it can cause an even higher possibility of homesickness. Campers that are successful at camp don’t even think about home, or their parents. Seeing a parent can remind a camper that they are away from home, upsetting their entire camp experience.
#5. Allowing Campers to Branch Out On Their Own
Attending camp provides a unique opportunity for campers to gain independence and self-reliance. It can be challenging for campers to readjust after a family/friend visit for both the camper and fellow campers or cabin mates whose parents cannot visit. Minnesota Farmers Union Camp is a great opportunity to gain independence and self-confidence, when a parent or friend visits it undermines that. If a camper can complete a camp session without contact from a parent or friend, they will have a huge sense of accomplishment, and a definite boost to their confidence.
#6. Disruption of Camp Activities
Daily camp activities run on a very full and tight schedule. If visitors were to be constantly coming and going it would be a huge disruption for the camp staff and could lead to many problems that multiply exponentially. For example, if a visitor show up to camp unannounced a camp staff member will have to attend to the needs of the visitor, pulling them away from their assigned duties. If that duty was not finished the camp staff will have to attend to it later, throwing off their entire schedule and possibly leading to problems down the road like lack of sleep.
#7. Visitor Policy Modeled after other Farmers Union and General Camps
Minnesota Farmers Union’s visitor policy is by no means unique. National Farmers Union All States Camp limits the time for visitors to one evening meal, and many camps nation–wide do not allow visitors at all due to the many reasons listed above.