A former Girl Scout camp of over 50 years, this 257-acre property now known as Camp Manitowa – Cedar Point is located in the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. Camp Manitowa – Cedar Point offers beachfront access with a new swim dock to 1200-acre Little Grassy Lake. This expansive property includes a full commercial kitchen, a dining hall that seats several hundred, and air conditioned / heated bunkhouses with showers for around 80 people. There are three villages of hogans and two of platform tents complete with fireplaces and restrooms, as well as large spaces for tent camping on this property that offers outdoor retreat experiences for groups big and small.
Camp Manitowa – Cedar Point is available for school groups, church groups, festivals, business and corporate retreats, family reunions, and weddings.
Important first note: This is a group campground. It's used for summer camps but families and groups can also reserve it. I was there for a Vanlife Gathering. A yoga retreat was the previous week.
Imagine a place where peace seeps in to your soul and no worries can find their way in. This sanctuary gave all of us a private setting to relax and enjoy our community. Our group was the only one in the camp. With only one road in, we knew everybody there. The owners spent time with us and even donated the money from our reservation to our fundraising causes. They made sure we had everything we needed and we all noticed their care.
As for the facilities, there are lodges and tent platforms throughout the camp. We were in vans, tents and teardrop campers. We just drove right up onto the grass and set up camp. The beach at the end of the loop opened up to a huge lake that wrapped around the corners. Others must have access because there were some early morning fishermen out there. Since this is used as a summer camp, there are a variety of activities around. I saw frisbee golf, a labyrinth maze game, a beach and some canoes (no lifeguard) among other activities spread around. The main kitchen and dining hall was opened up and they had cooks serve up great food if you wanted some. We took advantage of the space and had a 260+ person (and numerous dogs) potluck dinner one night. A bonfire ring can be found near the lake as well as by the kitchen. The fire was great even though it rained on us. The owner said there were hiking trails but we were too busy as a group to find them. They even brought in a band, The Mighty Pines, to play for us. Live music under the stars surrounded by beautiful souls - pretty close to perfection.
If I were planning a family reunion or large group camping experience, I would definitely keep Camp Manitowa in mind. The owners cared about our experience and kept the place up beautifully.
Product Review for Liquid I.V.:
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I get products to test from time to time. This trip I am testing Liquid I.V. It is a hydration drink mix that helps increase your fluid intake. Their literature states that it help you hydrate 2-3 times faster than water alone.
I put it to the test this weekend. I left 55º weather and quickly found myself in the mid 80's. It was the first heat of the year and I was camping. Liquid I.V. mixed in the water quickly and kept me hydrated.
What I loved about Liquid I.V.:
- I really felt more hydrated. Normally I find myself with headaches from not drinking enough on hot days. This didn't happen all weekend using Liquid I.V. I found myself reaching for more water without thinking about it.
- Convenient packets that are easy to carry. This made it a lightweight addition to my gear. The large pack of them also ziplocks shut so they stay contained back at base camp.
- Quickly dissolved and left no clumps or residue. I looked in my water bottle after finishing and found no telltale clumps of powder anywhere.
- The flavors I tested, açaí berry and passionfruit, tasted great. They started a bit too sweet for me but I added more water after drinking half the bottle and it worked well. The flavor was strong but not overpowering.
I will continue to use Liquid I.V. to chase away dehydration. I would rate Liquid I.V. a 5 but you might go with a 4 if you don't like the sweetness.