Your Group’s Stay at Okontoe

Okontoe is a family campground and a Christian Retreat Center. We love to host groups of all kinds.

a group of people eat at two long tables inside Okontoe's Dining Hall
A group shares a meal in our Dining Hall at the Retreat Center

Youth groups, church small groups, families, friend groups, groups looking for volunteer services opportunities—all are welcome! We provide a couple of different lodging options and have a wide variety of area activities to choose from.

Is your group looking for a woodsy, out-of-the-way destination for valuable time together? Maybe for a prayer retreat or intentional fellowship time?

Are you looking for a unique spot for a family reunion that’s great for young kids?

Maybe your group is looking for a base camp location so you can take advantage of the many hiking, fishing and canoeing opportunities here in the Gunflint Trail region.

We can provide your group with any number of options for a meaningful get-away, whether it’s mainly for rest and time with the Lord, or mainly for active outdoor pursuits. Or maybe a combo of both.

During your stay we invite you to join us on Saturday evenings for our Community Campfires and our inter-denominational worship services on Sunday mornings in the Chapel.

Rustic Cabins or Campsites

When we say “group camping” it can mean a stay in our rustic Retreat Cabins or in one of our four beautiful group campsites.

Our Retreat Center (RC) on the south end of camp is set up for groups of up to 20 people in four cabins. If you need additional space, one more cabin is close by with the option to pitch tents.

Retreat Center cabins
Our rustic Retreat Cabins can sleep 20 adults altogether

The cabins include small equipped kitchens, sleeping bunks and beds (bring your own bedding) and seating areas.

Your group can reserve one or more cabins or even the entire RC, which includes all four cabins plus our beautiful Dining Hall with a full-sized kitchen and seating for everyone.

Vault toilets are nearby (both cabins and group campsites) and the Shower House with hot showers is a 5-minute stroll or quick drive up the campground road.

You can learn more about the Retreat Center and Retreat Cabins here. The cabins can be booked online. If you’d like to reserve the entire RC, please call 218-388-2285 or email

Learn more about our campsites here.

Group Retreats

Our remote wilderness setting appeals to many groups who love the idea of leaving media and other modern distractions behind for a few days.

While “rustic” means no indoor plumbing for your stay, you still get electricity and heat, and the conveniences of a small kitchen with coffee maker.

For groups that use the Retreat Center (RC), the Dining Hall provides an ideal gathering place for meals, fellowship and meetings.

For groups that choose one of our group campsites, your fire ring and picnic tables provide that gathering place.

Your group members can spend their free time swimming at Bow Lake’s beach, fishing or paddling any of the three lakes in our chain, or walking our lovely campground road and (coming in 2024) on-site hiking trails.

group worshiping together in Okontoe's Dining Hall
The Dining Hall makes a great gathering place for your group

Or if you’d like to venture off-site, there are loads of great hikes within a half-hour of our driveway.

Types of groups we’ve hosted in the past include: youth groups, kids groups (3rd-6th grade), men’s retreats, recovery groups and even wilderness horse workshops.

Family Reunions

Okontoe provides an ideal environment for family gatherings with kids.

The RC boasts a large central area that’s perfect for ultimate frisbee or soccer games. Every cabin has a covered porch for those who prefer to relax on their camp chairs and watch, chat or read.

The swimming beach is a short drive up the campground road, and our canoes (free) and kayaks (rentable for just $5/hour) are a perfect way to enjoy Bow Lake. Our little lake is small enough for even young kids to tool around in the kayaks (with adult supervision, of course!).

Well-behaved dogs are welcome as long as you follow our common-sense guidelines (found on the Retreat Cabins and Campsites pages…will link below).

There’s plenty to do if you’d like to venture out of camp, too—hiking, canoe outfitters nearby for Boundary Waters day trips, shopping in Grand Marais and more.

Volunteer Work Retreats

Is your group looking for a service project combined with a fun northwoodsy getaway? Give us a call! We can come up with a great plan that will be a win-win for both of us.

Some groups have come specifically to work on brush clearing, firewood chopping and stacking, picnic table staining or outhouse building. Others come to meet together in the mornings and help with service projects around camp in the afternoons.

It could be a youth group, family camp, church small group—we can find projects for any and all.

several people hauling cut firewood at Okontoe
A volunteer crew handles several cords of firewood over a weekend

Occasionally we’re in need of skilled help for specific projects. If your group would love to volunteer some time, be sure to contact us to talk about it.

Base Camp for Local Recreation

Maybe you’re part of a group of adventurers looking for a base camp for hiking, fishing or canoeing in the area. We can offer a great setup for you whether in the cabins or group campsites.

You can take advantage of all the Gunflint Trail region has to offer, then be back at camp in the evenings for a campfire and s’mores.

Please Note: Our canoes and kayaks are for use only on our chain of three lakes. If you don’t have your own boat and want to fish or paddle outside of camp, there are several great local outfitters that can get you set up.

Group FAQs

For more details about our Retreat Cabins and group campsites, along with all our guidelines for our guests, see our Retreat Cabins page or our Campsites page.

Will you cook for us?

Unfortunately, no! Not at this time. We’ve done retreats in the past when we’ve provided three hearty meals a day, but our staff size is too small for this currently.

We offer plenty of cooking facilities in the Retreat Cabins, though, and large group meals can easily be prepared and served in the Dining Hall.

You’re responsible to bring your food, prepare it, thoroughly clean up afterwards, and bring any leftover food home with you. Many groups will bring along a volunteer to oversee the kitchen while they’re here.

Can I make an online reservation to book the Retreat Center?

No, we’d like to talk about your needs with you. Please call us at 218-388-2285 or send us an email at We’ll get you booked and ready to go!

Can I make an online reservation to book a Group Campsite?

Yes! We have four campsites designated for groups of 7-12 people: 21, 23, 24 and 32 (site 32 is also an ideal spot for overflow if you have more than 20 people for the cabins).

See our Campsite Availability & Reservation page.

Okontoe group campsite with two picnic tables next to Bow Lake
Okontoe has four beautiful campsites designated for groups of 7-12

What’s your cancellation policy?

We are a small, remote Christian ministry with a small staff. In order to streamline our reservations as much as possible, we request 100% payment at the time of your booking.

Cancellations affect us greatly, so we’ve put the following Cancellation Policy in place:

  • 30% of your payment is a non-refundable deposit.
  • If you cancel your reservation at least 4 weeks before your cabin arrival date or 2 weeks before your campsite arrival date, we’re happy to refund the remaining 70% of your payment.
  • If your cancellation is less than 4 weeks prior for a cabin or 2 weeks prior for a campsite, you may reschedule your booking dates to an available cabin or campsite within the same season.

We do not offer refunds for early departure.

Here’s more…

We have several articles about activities and opportunities at Okontoe and in our area: