For the second year in a row, supporters of the Mankato Family YMCA Summer Camp program will be taking an icy plunge into Lake Washington. The Penguin Plunge will take place on Saturday, February 11th at the Westwood Marina in Kasota at 11:00am. Registration is currently open for teams of two who want to help raise funds for the Summer Camp program. 


Current teams are comprised of YMCA summer camp counselors, full and part-time staff at the Y and other Y program supporters. Teams will take turns jumping into Lake Washington on February 11th after being encouraged to raise at least $200. 


“We started the plunge a year ago,” said Dustin Slaughter, School-Age Camp Director at the Y. “When the idea was first brought to me, I immediately thought ‘no way’. But after thinking about the opportunities and lives that could be changed for a simple jump in the lake, I knew we had to do it.” 


Last year the plunge raised just over $10,000. This year’s goal is to reach $15,000. The funds help support the Summer Camp program as well as provides scholarship opportunities to families in need. The more funds that are raised, the more families the Y will be able to support with scholarships. 


Bernard Boateng has been a YMCA camp counselor for four years. This will be his first year plunging. “Camp is a great way for kids to have new experiences,” Boateng explained. “I’m plunging so others can share in the fun and learn more about themselves!” 


“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from our staff and parents this year. We currently have over 30 people jumping into Lake Washington and I’m excited to witness it all,” said Slaughter. “Westwood Marina continues to be a huge supporter and sponsor of the plunge as well.” 


The Penguin Plunge event is open to the public and members of the community are welcome to attend. The plunge will start at 11am. New to the event this year is a silent auction to help raise funds which also kicks off at 11am. Lunch will be available by Westwood Marina and will include a soup bar and breadsticks, with proceeds going towards the camp program. “Rockin’ in Chacos”, a musical group of camp counselors, will also be at the event to provide entertainment and share camp music to all who attend. 

Registration is open until January 28th for those who want to plunge and help raise money. Registration is available online at If you are interested in donating towards the event, you give online at If you want to give to a specific plunger, make sure to select their name from the Campaigner dropdown.