Simple, real, transformative - Mimanagish matters.
Mimanagish is a sacred wilderness sanctuary where we engage with spirit, community, and creation.

Located deep in the heart of the Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains, Mimanagish is a sacred wilderness sanctuary where we engage with spirit, community, and creation. Programs are designed to elevate personal living, strengthen interpersonal connections, deepen authenticity, generate creativity, and tune perception through the development of technical and soft skills. Retreats require a contribution to community living, offer all-inclusive programming, provide an opportunity for personal reflection through rest and recreation, and immerse participants deep in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Supported by Montana Northern Wyoming United Church of Christ, a progressive Christian community, Mimanagish serves people of all ages and backgrounds through opportunities of inner and outer exploration. For example, one popular camp, Geography of Grace, brings the inspiration of Parker Palmer to a four-day personal growth workshop.

In addition to traditional youth and adult programming, this summer Mimanagish is offering eight new camps to serve people beyond MNWCUCC. This August, Mimanagish - with the help of program leader Bobbie Zenker, will be hosting Pride Family and Youth Camp for LGBT+ families, children, couples, individuals, or any combination of LGBT+. It will encompass a spiritually broad-based program to assist attendees to connect with a God of their own understanding without fear of judgment or condemnation for who they are. 

Then in September, there will be a Civic Action Retreat to provide an opportunity to relax, repurpose, rejuvenate, and inspire voice for civic action. This retreat will be nourishing for people at all levels and shades of current civic involvement. There will be time reflect, to journal or write letters, to learn from and/or inspire others, to integrate body-mind-spirit, get to know new people, recreate, and enjoy the beauty of nature.



**The hike to “four-mile” up the Boulder River forest road starts with a mile-long steep hill right out of Camp Mimanagish. You really have to want to get to the “four-mile” destination to face that hill. It was well worth hiking, just for the scenery along the way: a couple ponds, a boulder field, and beautiful views of Mount Hawley. Not everyone started eagerly to reach the destination: “it is too far” “I don’t like to hike” “my feet hurt just thinking about it” “I don’t have enough asthma medication.” With my deep appreciation for these complaints, I offered to be the counselor who accompanied the rear group of hikers.   The most vocal complainer almost didn’t make it the first few hundred yards, but halfway up the hill, she moved on to the next group ahead, and eventually, she made it to the very front group which was the first to reach “four-mile” destination. The slow group never quite made it to “four-mile.”   We stopped to take refuge under a tree during a torrential downpour, and then we sang and prayed that the thunder on the other side of mountains bypass us. The camp vehicles that had been parked at “four-mile” came to rescue us and take our drenched bodies back the Camp Mimanagish.  We got within a quarter-mile of our destination, but it turns out that was not the point of the hike. This was a hike of transformation: a camper who found confidence in herself to hike the whole way, the slow group finding comfort in song and prayer amid an afternoon summer storm. All could say, “God is good.”

 **My grandparents were part of the movement to develop Mimanagish back in its infancy. My grandfather baptized me and my cousin at Mimanagish, and 30 years to the week later (unplanned and unknown until weeks later), my father, a 4th-generation minister, baptized my son there; my children and their cousins are 4th-generation Mimanagish campers.  My family’s roots run deep up the Boulder River valley – Mimanagish is a place on Earth like no other, with great meaning to us. Arriving at Mimanagish as a child, the sights and sounds of Camp greeted me: fresh air, trees, peace, calm, aromas that only a mountain setting can bring, and most especially, the crashing water of the Boulder River - its lullaby, albeit loud, still brings me a calm that is unknown anywhere else. My children have grown to love and respect the Place of the Singing Waters, and they long to spend time there, as I do, still, after 40 plus years.

**Camp Mimanagish has been a very special part of life for my family since the 1980’s when my children were old enough to attend youth camp. It was a lifelong love affair from the very first experience. As a parent, I loved watching the excitement and anticipation with which the girls looked forward to camp each year. I love that it was a safe space where the girls were accepted for themselves and loved for who they were. I loved watching the lifelong friendships that grew, and I loved watching their faith blossom.  Camp Mimanagish became a family mission in the 1990’s when I began over ten years of directing youth camps and having my daughters serve as counselors. Now I look forward each summer to directing Grandparents and Me Camp with my grandchildren attending with me. This is a special place for all generations.  Each year, as a memorial to my daughter, Carlee Downer a camper and counselor at Mimanagish, I work in my Church and in the Conference to help send campers to Camp Mimanagish. This is my service of love: to give the gift of an experience where youth can discover God and his love in a safe space. I thank God for this place and for the people who keep it going for future generations.


Name of the Organization:

Camp Mimanagish – Montana-Northern Wyoming Conference, United Church of Christ

Contact Name:

Trudie Downer – Committee on Outdoor Ministries, Chair/ Leslie Roche 

Contact Email:,

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Organization Address:

2016 Alderson Avenue

City, State, Zip

Billings, Montana  59102

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