Is it possible to use bootcamp to make bootable linux drives for you, or is there a similar boot manager for linux?
Yes you can. Use Boot Camp Assistant normally to create the partition, then boot into your Linux install media and select the new BOOTCAMP partition as the destination for the install.
This will set the default boot disk as the Linux partition, forcing you to alt-boot to boot into OS X. To reverse this, change your startup disk in System Preferences.