IMPORTANT - Summer Camps - SEW and NKB

Summer Camps

For the last 20 years, summer camps in Ely, MN have been the best thing the OSHY team has done. Going to camp in Ely has been a rite of passage for 100’s of OSHY swimmers for the last two decades. We spend a week on Cedar Lake in Ely, MN swimming, hiking, kayaking, exploring the wilderness, tackling physical challenges, and most importantly, bonding as a team. The foundation for any team’s success are the bonds that the swimmers develop with each other. No place do we develop stronger bonds, more quickly, than at camp.

Over the years we have done all sorts of variations of camp – middle school camp, middle school girls camp, middle school boys camp, high school camp, national team camp, and NKB Camp.

This year we are planning to run two camps

July 6-11 will be the SEW (Strong Empowered Women) Camp.  This is a camp for girls and young women, run by women. We have an amazing group of women that have volunteered to be leaders for the week. There will be elements of the SEW Camp that are very similar to other camps. There will also be parts of the SEW Camp that are unique. Beyond the fun of swimming, hiking, and kayaking together, the goal of the SEW Camp is to help participants move forward in their lives as strong empowered young women.

The target group for the SEW Camp is swimmers anywhere from entering middle school to early HS years.

Aug 2-7 will be NKB Camp. NKB Camp is for high school age swimmers. The traditional NKB Camp brings swimmers from multiple teams together for a week that encourages friendships beyond team associations. Leaders for the NKB Camp are past NKB Camp participants from the last 11 years.

The target group for NKB Camp is swimmers that are in high school.


Through prior fundraising and grants, both the SEW Camp and the NKB Camp will be without cost to participants.

We will not be able to run camps this summer with unlimited numbers. It is possible that we will have to narrow our target groups for each camp. Our hope is to accomodate everyone that would like to attend camp, but it may not be possibile this year. Our initial step in figuring out camps for this summer is to generate a list of people that are interested in attending. If would like to attend either the SEW camp or the NKB camp in 2021, use the sign-up under the “Events” column on the front page of the OSHY website.


For those new to the OSHY summer camps, a little background.

Starting in the late 50’s Lee, Jay’s mom, guided trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. In the late 60’s, Lee and Jim, Jay’s dad, bought and built a canoe base about 5 miles outside of Ely to be the permanent home of Lee’s outfitting / guiding business, Voyageur Trails.  By the 90’s the first incarnation of Voyageur Trails had slowed down. In 2001 OSHY started running camps and Voyageur Trail began its second life. SEW and NKB Camp 2021 will be the 39th and 40th OSHY camps we have run in Ely, MN.