Camp WOW

Camp WOW (an acronym for Women of the Wilderness) is an experiential, educational, participatory, fun, challenging, unplugged, mind-opening camp for women. It takes place at a beautiful rustic privately-owned log cabin on a secluded island in quiet Elbow Lake, surrounded by mature red and white pines. Located ten miles from the town of Cook, Minnesota, the lake is six miles from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and seventy miles from the Canadian border. The ages of past campers range from eighteen to eighty. You may attend with a friend or a relative, or come by yourself and fit in immediately! You don’t need to know how to canoe, swim, or camp. The only requirements are a love of nature, a willingness to try new things, and the ability to live unplugged for a week.

The camp is loosely structured like a Girl Scout camp. We all live, sleep, and eat together for a week. We all participate in cooking, cleaning up after meals, and doing a daily assigned chore. Our days are filled with activities, some planned and some spontaneous. Those activities include canoeing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, orienteering (learning to use a compass), fire-building, campfire cooking, blueberry-picking, journaling, carving, crafts with birch bark, scavenger-hunting in the woods, woodworking, singing, knot-tying and lashing, braiding bracelets, fishing, drawing, creative writing, yoga, camping skills, and a closing campfire.

In a lecture format, we learn about local wildlife, plant identification, edible plants, foraging, the history of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, local lore, canoeing and kayaking skills, and emergency first aid. More importantly, we learn about ourselves through creative art activities, writing, talking, sharing, and working together towards common goals. Team-building activities, readings, and book discussions help us to get to know each other and form lasting friendships with other campers. A service project and field trips to local points of interest are also included. Don’t worry! We have scheduled quiet time, allowing us to collect our thoughts, appreciate the surroundings, and rest.

If you are interested in learning more about Camp WOW, which is now in its fifth year of operation, please contact Anne Sherve-Ose at

The Cabin

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