About Youth Camp 

Jijak Youth Camp has been held annually since 2012. Camp brings together Tribal youth to share hands-on life experiences that combine cultural, environmental and leadership skills. Jijak Youth Camp is a bi-annual event that takes place in January or February and June. Each year, Tribal youth ages 5-17 can enjoy a camp experience at the Jijak Property.

Mission Statement:

Jijak Youth Camp serves our Tribal Community by strengthening our young people’s bond to cultural traditions, engaging youth in nature and forging lifelong friendships, based on the rich history and living traditions of the Gun Lake Tribe.

At Jijak Youth Camp we strive to develop a sense of responsibility and an awareness of all people; to develop the individual sense of responsibility to conserve and protect the natural world; to celebrate culture; to develop a high level of self-esteem and personal experience; and to provide a wholesome experience in youth-adult partnership. 

To accomplish this, camp focuses on cultural lifeways skills and knowledge, environmental discovery, outdoor skills, youth empowerment and recreational activities. Many of the camp activities are built around cultural and environmental lessons, but also includes favorite conventional camp activities.


Meet Your Camp Staff...

Leadership Staff

"I LOVE Jijak Camp!" 

Shawn McKenney, Camp Director

Department: Environmental
Title: Environmental Specialist
Years at Jijak Camp: 10
Favorite Color: Green 
Favorite Joke: Ask me what's in the box...
Interests: Family, hunting and fishing. 
“I love Youth Camp! It’s my favorite time of the year! I have been volunteering with kids activities since I was 11 and leading nature center programs and working at nature-based youth camps since I was 14." 

Nikki Yargeau, Activities Director 

Department: Environmental 
Title: Natural Resource Outreach Coordinator
Years at Jijak Camp: 9
Favorite Color: Purple & Green 
Favorite Joke: Our 4-year old granddaughter, Ivy, has been taking riding lessons for over a year. One day during breakfast, she was talking with her mom about horseshoes. Ivy’s mom said the person trained to show a horse is called a farrier. “Are they little people with wings?” Ivy asked.
Interests: Time with family, reading, quilting, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking
“Summer and Winter Jijak Youth Camp are two of my very favorite times of year. I especially love exploring water bugs with all the campers!”

Liz Binoniemi-Smith, Instructor

Department: Environmental
Title: Environmental Director
Years at Jijak Camp: 10
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Joke: Why did the sun go to school?
To get brighter
Interests: Playing outside with my family & friends!