Our initial offer of 18 slots filled so quickly that we decided to expanded to 27 to accommodate everyone’s response.  CHF, aided by the Stanley and Marvel Chong Foundation, was able to meet the need and underwrite a substantial portion of the cost for each of these kids to attend this special camp program.
These kids who attended this camp from August 13-18 came back transformed.  They sent us effusive comments (below), marveling at a totally unexpected experience.  They enjoyed independence as well as responsibilities, great fun as well as challenges, and delicious food as well as inclement weather.  Above all they treasured the easygoing friendships that deepened with each encounter and the compassion that was freely given and accepted.  Of course the ultimate winner was the pristine environment of the BWCA, waiting quietly to work its magic and grabbing the heart of every heart open to its beauty.
Below are their own words, slightly edited:
By Will Ye
The trip to camp Menogyn is a very different trip than your average vacation.
First, we went on a six-hour bus ride with one adult for each bus. The bus ride was pretty chaotic, because there were many middle schoolers crowded together on a bus. One kid even started crying after he couldn’t handle his situation. Everyone stopped and you could just hear a dude sniffling.
When we got there, we all made a fire truck line and unloaded from the bus. Everyone, excluding some slackers, was in line to load the boat to carry the luggage to the main site of Camp Menogyn. For a while we were just sitting ducks for the mosquitoes waiting there just to suck us dry.
Before boarding the boat, the Camp directors and individual trail guides told us the rules of Camp Menogyn. Then, all the trail guides collected those of us who would be under their individual lead and performed a fun skit for us. I was happy to be with the campers whom my parents had signed me up with.
We then walked to the dock and loaded onto a speed-boat, and quickly made it to the main site. When we arrived there, our group got together to play “The Name Game.” After our trail guide, August, learned all of our names, we went to find our luggage and take it to our assigned cabin. We were introduced to a small room filled with bunk beds.
We then continued to do the mandatory things we had to do, like setting up a tent, treading water, practicing paddling, picking canoes, making trail food, etc. After all of that, we got to eat a delicious meal of chicken noodle soup, rice and some amazing fresh rolls. Everyone was hyping up the food. Because they had a professional chef. We then continued to sing songs and play games.
The next day, we packed all the gear we needed. We then left to go to our campsite. When we got there, everyone lifted the boats to land and we all set up tents. We got to eat lunch and made a campfire. We then went to sleep after dinner.
After that, we grabbed a few things and went to other islands to collect firewood. When we got back, we spent time swimming, collecting more firewood, and tending to the fire.
The next day, we waited for rain to clear and we packed up all of our gear and we headed back. While we were eating lunch, it started to rain, so we couldn’t go on. After the rain cleared we headed back. When we got back, we were introduced to a new cabin and were tasked to clean the things we used on the trail. We then got to eat a delicious banquet. After that, we performed a skit and watched other groups do a skit.
On the bus ride back to the Twin Cities, everyone was excited to see their parents, they hadn’t seen their parents in a week. The ride went pretty smoothly. When we finally arrived there was another 20 minute wait to get off the bus.
I think a positive thing this trip did to me was I stopped using my phone so much and I stopped worrying about other things. I would definitely go again and would definitely recommend this unique experience, everyone was really happy during the trip and we all had fun.
By Amelia Pham
I went on a one-week trip at Camp Menogyn. It was really fun and allowed me to experience things I’ve never known about before, such as portaging. I also learned a lot about myself on the trip, such as that using the bathroom in the middle of the woods really isn’t something terrible, and that I’m horrible at carrying the canoe. However, I also learned how to steer and row, and I feel I’ve become much more confident and adaptable after my excursion. I made wonderful friends I’m still in contact with now, and created memories I won’t forget anytime soon. Before, I didn’t like nature, but after my trip, I think I’ve realized how great it is to be outside too.  I’m glad I went here.
By Kevin Ye
I enjoyed Camp Menogyn a lot because my camp guide was very nice, and because I loved the food, scenery, and activities. We went to Daniel’s Lake by canoeing and portaging. When we got to the campsite, we settled down. Then we made a fire, ate, skipped rocks, and some of us would swim while others enjoyed the fire. When we got back to Camp, we swam in Bearskin Lake, used a sauna, unpacked our stuff, and had a banquet. The banquet included a huge professionally made dinner, and dessert.
Our camp guide was very helpful. He took care of what we wanted to eat and what we wanted to do. He was quite nice and helped get us to where we wanted to go faster. We stuck together and my trail guide made sure we were safe, he even asked each of us if we were okay with the food,  or if we had any health concerns, and if we were okay with what we would be doing when we were out on trail.
The food was amazing because they had a professional chef and the food wasn’t rationed. When we were on trail, we would eat dehydrated food. My trail guide made food for us, and it was amazing. The food was unexpectedly amazing even without a good grill or anything. My favorite meal or snack was burritos or PEM Mix, because the burritos were expertly made by my trial guide. PEM mix is a trail mix made by Menogyn campers and staff.
The sights were amazing; if you were to sit by the lakeside and enjoy the view, it could entertain you for a long while. If you were to do that while the sun was rising or setting, you would see a beauty unseen in urban areas.
The thing I enjoyed the most was their food because it was healthy, nutritious, and deliciously amazing.
2023 BWCA Trips
On our second year of offering YMCA Camp Menogyn Bold and Gold Program, we received an enthusiastic response from our young Chinese American youths. With funding from the Stanley and Marvel Chong Foundation..
2022 BWCA Trips
Our initial offer of 18 slots filled so quickly that we decided to expanded to 27 to accommodate everyone’s response. CHF, aided by the Stanley and Marvel Chong Foundation, was able to meet the need and underwrite a substantial portion of the cost for each of these kids to attend this special camp program.