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Nestled on the shores of Lake Washington in southern Minnesota, Kiwanis Camp Patterson annually hosts more than 2,600 children during the three-month camping season. With 165 beds spread among 14 cabins, Kiwanis Camp Patterson has been serving four generations of youth campers since 1927 thanks to the hard work of volunteers from the Mankato Kiwanis Club and other area organizations.  Youth camps such as Celebrate Me WeekMankato YMCA, Camp OZ, Royal Family Kids and Blue Earth County 4-H rent Kiwanis Camp Patterson's facilities and provide their own staff, programming and meals.  

Embrace the Past

It all started with a charitable
donation of land on Lake Washington by H. A. Patterson to the Mankato Kiwanis Club in 1927. From there, generous community members and dedicated volunteers have managed care for and expand Kiwanis Camp Patterson into a 19.2 acre lakeside camp that has served four generations of youth in the Mankato community. Campers today participate in many of the same activities their grandparents did decades ago - canoeing, archery, swimming, singing and skits by the campfire. Kiwanis Camp Patterson was featured in the Blue Earth County Historical Society Summer 2021 Newsletter.

Experience the Present

A summer retreat and home away from home, Kiwanis Camp Patterson offers youth the chance to experience the great outdoors, make new friends, and enjoy some quality and wholesome fun. Rather than focusing on a screen or smartphone, campers have the opportunity to spend time creating memories and exploring new interests or hobbies, as the camp offers a broad range of activities that are designed to spark conversation and encourage face-to-face interaction. Swimming, kayaking, canoeing, archery, volleyball, Gaga Ball and other activities are all part of the experience at Kiwanis Camp Patterson.  In addition, each organization that rents the facility provides their own programming and additional activities.

Explore the Future

Kiwanis Camp Patterson has operated for close to a century as a traditional summer camp away from technology and distractions. A special focus has always been on serving at-risk and under-privileged youth.  Now more than ever, parents and guardians are seeking the opportunity to provide their children with a summer experience that embraces simplicity and the wonder of nature.  But space is extremely limited and ADA updates as well as additional restroom, dining and cabin facilities are needed to meet the demand. Tax-deductible donations by community members and organizations and in-kind services by area businesses have been key to improving and maintaining the camp.


Softball/baseball field

Archery range

Sand volleyball court

Basketball court

Sand beachfront with swimming area and floating rafts



Gaga Pit

Flush toilet/shower facilities

Sleeping cabins

Dining hall/commercial kitchen/storm shelter

Recreation center/boathouse

Wooded hiking area

Campfire ring w/bench seating



Together with your support, we can ensure that Kiwanis Camp Patterson has the resources and capacity to continue its mission of providing a traditional summer camp experience to regional youth for generations to come.  The NEXT GENERATION CHAMPION capital campaign was kicked-off in early 2020 and includes plans to make much-needed improvements to the camp over the next several years.


Your contributions will ensure a quality camp experience for children at an affordable price! 

 Fundraising Goals  


  • Kitchen improvements: flooring, walls and ceiling; new six-burner stove/oven $30,000

  • LED Lighting Upgrades $8,500

  • Updated Restroom and Shower Facility​ $700,000

  • Future Maintenance and Preservation funding

  • In-kind donations from area businesses are always needed and appreciated!


GOAL ACHIEVED! $20,000 raised through a Mankato Area Foundation donor advised fund 

Removal of 10 old trees & purchase and installation of 10 new trees.


GOAL ACHIEVED! $20,000 raised through a $10,000 Matching Donation Challenge in Spring, 2022!

Funding toward indoor & outdoor speaker and microphone system and dining hall A/V capabilities. Funding to supplement a grant received for ADA sidewalks in front of 10 cabins.



Construction completed June, 2022

Dining Hall Expansion, Insulation & A/C    

Excessive heat has become a danger for campers! By insulating and air conditioning the dining hall we can provide a space for respite from the heat.  An addition to the dining hall will also enable us to accommodate all of our campers and staff at once.

GOAL ACHIEVED!  $140,000 RAISED in 2020-21!

 Much-needed upgrades were made to camp structures and grounds in the absence of campers in 2020 due to COVID-19.  The camp looks great!



May exterior.jpg

Dining Hall Expansion Progress May, 2022

Donations by check can be mailed to:

Camp Patterson, Inc    P.O. Box 4334, Mankato, MN  56002

Camp Patterson, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization 





Year Established
Children Attend Each Summer
Generations Served




Kiwanis Camp Patterson is a lakeside camp facility that is owned and maintained by the Mankato Kiwanis Club and is rented to a variety of southern Minnesota nonprofit youth organizations for youth summer camps.  To inquire about renting the camp facility for your youth organization, contact Shannon Sinning. 

Individual camper registrations must be made directly through the organizations running each camp. Our largest users are Mankato Family YMCA and Celebrate Me Week.

Camp Superintendents

Nathan and Melissa Starke 

Oliver, Charlotte and Theodore

Mailing Address for Donations

Camp Patterson, Inc.

P.O. Box 4334

Mankato, MN  56002

Volunteer Leadership

Camp Patterson, Inc. Board Members:

(Camp Ownership)

Shannon Gullickson, President 

Matt Norland, Vice-President

John Kind, Secretary/Treasurer

Randy Berkland

Ed Waltman

Laura Stevens

Camp Patterson Committee Members:

(Camp Operations)

Shannon Sinning, Co-Chair 

Matt Kearney, Co-Chair

Clarissa Meissner, Co-Chair

Nathan Starke

Melissa Starke

Al Starke

Shannon Gullickson 

Lori Benike

Randy Berkland

Stan Bruss

Jim Buseth

Tom Rekstein

Phil Slingsby

Laura Stevens

John Swenson

Chad Witte

Mary Hokanson

Brett Prescher

Pat Anderson

Bonnie Danberry

All Board and Committee members are members of the Mankato Kiwanis Club

Physical Camp Address

5050 Patterson Road, Madison Lake, MN  56063

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