Tamahay Camp for Girls

Tamahay Camp

Tamahay Camp


Tamahay Camp is committed to providing a safe, supportive space for girls. Encouraging them to explore nature, learn new skills, and develop self-confidence. Our entire staff gets to know each and every camper personally. Helping to provide guidance and encouragement.

Most of all, Tamahay Camp is away from the distractions of modern technology and the pressures of social media. Here, girls are free to be themselves. In addition, our judgment-free atmosphere allows young women to try new activities and make new friends without fear of ridicule or bullying.


Registration 2019


Our Staff

Tamahay Camp

Elaine Denne, Camp Director

Donella Palmer, Outdoor Living Director

Rachel Hoffelt, Program Director

Naomi Hoffelt, Personnel Director

Sally Fairman, Waterfront Director

Anne Pavlik, Food Service Coordinator



Tamahay Camp

Tamahay was founded in 1969 by four teachers from Kansas with the intent of building a girls’ camp. Their dream was to provide a quality summer camp program at an affordable price. Together, these four women (Lois Haskin, Jane Besler, Donella Palmer, and Shirley Malcolm) cleared the land, built the buildings, and designed the program over the course of several years. Their mission remains the same today as it was in 1969: to help girls discover their true potential, and empower them to develop into confident young women.

For more stories about how Tamahay started, please click on these links to two newspaper articles published in 1969.

city girls

With their 8 hands


Frequently Asked Questions

Tamahay Camp

Why should my daughter choose Tamahay?

Tamahay is a unique experience, full of adventure and opportunity. Girls learn, grow, and have fun in a supportive environment without peer pressure or judgment. Our wide variety of activities ensures that every girl will find both new and familiar interests to explore. Campers develop self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and make lifelong friends while enjoying the beautiful north woods.

How long are the camp sessions?

We offer two-week and four-week sessions.

Can my daughter choose her activities?

Yes. On arrival day, campers choose their activities for the first week of camp. At the end of the week, campers sign up for the second week’s activities. Girls can continue with their previous activities, or choose new ones to try.

How does my daughter get to camp?

Most families drive up to camp, but there is Greyhound bus service available from the Twin Cities. We meet the girls at the bus station in Walker, MN. Some families are willing to carpool to and from camp. We can help connect you with someone in your area. If your daughter needs to fly to Minnesota, please contact us to make arrangements.

Should my daughter bring a friend to camp?

Some girls are more comfortable having a friendly face arrive with them, but many come alone the first time. In such a small community, campers make friends very quickly, and our counselors watch closely to make sure no one feels left out. Many girls tell us that they like having a place that is “just theirs,” away from school friends.

What are the cabins like?

The cabins are set up as duplexes, with six to nine girls on each side, and two counselors in the middle. The cabins are simple, open and airy, without electricity. Bunkbeds, of course, are essential to the camp experience.

How are girls assigned to cabins?

Girls are assigned by age to their cabin groups.

Are there bathrooms in the cabins?

No. Flush toilets and hot showers are available at the lodge, not far from the cabins.

What is the ratio of campers to staff?

Each cabin group of six to nine girls has one counselor. Often counselors will have a junior counselor or counselor-in-training working alongside them. Our overall ratio of campers to staff is about 3 to 1.

Can my daughter bring a cell phone, tablet, or computer?

No. Electronic devices are distracting and disruptive to the camp atmosphere, and will be held in the camp office until the last day of the camp session.

How can I contact my daughter once she is at camp?

Write cheerful snail mail letters to your daughter. Help her to know how fortunate she is to be at camp. Letters from home are great morale builders and can help make summer camp a wonderful adventure.

Emails will not be delivered to campers.

Please do not send treats to campers, unless you wish to treat the whole camp, and then only by special arrangement. Food is not allowed in the cabins, and unauthorized treats will be held in the camp office until the last day of the camp session.

Can I visit my daughter at camp?

Please arrange any camp visitations for your daughter’s convenience. She will be obliged to leave her regularly scheduled camp activities to act as your hostess and guide. Sunday visits are the most convenient, but since Sunday’s program varies from the routine, a weekday visit would give you a truer picture of her everyday camp activities.

Due to the number of parents visiting on Sunday, we suggest limiting the length of your visit. Please do not arrive before 2:00 p.m. Campers are free after lunch for one hour (2:00 – 3:00) with activities beginning at 3:00. We ask that all parents depart by 5:00 p.m. to allow us to return to our camp routine before our evening picnic dinner.

What if my daughter is homesick?

The first day or two of camp are an adjustment period for new campers, as they learn the camp routine and make new friends. Homesickness is not uncommon, but usually does not last long. Campers are so busy that they often do not even notice that their homesickness has faded within a day or two.

What about laundry?

Laundry service will be offered to four-week campers only at the end of first session. The $8.00 laundry fee will be deducted from the campers’ Trading Post accounts.

Can my daughter attend church services?

Yes. We will provide transportation to both the local Catholic church and a local Protestant church on Sunday morning for those campers who wish to attend services. A non-denominational inspirational program is held on Sunday evening.

Employment at Tamahay Camp

Young people become camp counselors for various reasons: to get experience working with people, to share their love of the out-of-doors with youngsters, to gain knowledge and skills for themselves, to spend part of their summer in a particular area, or for an number of reasons.

The position of counselor at Tamahay Camp for Girls consists of complete camper supervision, which includes teaching activities, working and eating with campers, and sleeping in the cabins with the campers. The reason for a counselor’s employment is to supervise and direct ALL camper activities. The teaching portion of a counselor’s job will be in an activity or activities in which the counselor has experience or interest. Counselors receive plenty of support and coaching from the administrative staff, but counselors design and implement the lesson plans. This structure makes Tamahay an excellent choice for anyone contemplating a career in teaching.

At Tamahay, we offer two and four week sessions for the campers who range in age from seven to sixteen. We accept a maximum of 36 campers per session. Counselors arrive during the second week of June, a week before the campers for orientation and planning. They stay until the third week of July, three days after the campers depart to assist with closing camp.

Camp counseling has never been a lucrative summer job. Anyone who has been in this position knows it is a constant, demanding, fun, short-term, and fulfilling job. If you accept a counseling position at Tamahay Camp for Girls, you will have a very valuable learning experience while enjoying five weeks in the north woods!

A link to our application is below. Feel free to send it by email to info@tamahay.com or send a paper copy through the U.S. mail.

If you have questions about our very special camp, please do not hesitate to contact us through the website or by phone at (208)652-3033.

Employment Application