Camp of Approval

By The Editors
May 29, 2012 9:00 am

Summer camp evokes memories from youth — back when fireflies brightened quiet nights, ice cream was made with rock salt, and cabins were stocked with wood, morning and otherwise.

Get back there with Camp Wandawega, a lakeside, camp-style getaway in Wisconsin, and its nostalgia-inducing online store, both open now.

Camp Wandawega

The camp itself is pure throwback: originally a bootlegger’s brothel in the ’20s before morphing into a Polish (and then Latvian) summer camp, Wandawega’s grounds have been largely unchanged for 86 years.

The rustically comfortable main lodge, and the assorted cabins, are Dirty Dancing meets Moonrise Kingdom: crossed wooden skis on wood panel walls, antler chandeliers looming over stone hearths, and closets chockablock with board games.

Camp Wandawega

The sloped, verdant grounds include a rope swing-equipped lake, communal fire pits, a tennis court, and vintage equipment for hiking, fishing, and more.

Online-wise, Wandawega’s store offers all the equipage of yesteryear: old school camping supplies (the Scoutmaster Axe, the Camp Dessert canteen), vintage playing gear (bicycle cribbage board, camp archery set, the Wandawega Sureshot slingshot), and classic reads, e.g., The Field and Forest Handybook, and The Best of Boys’ Life Circa 1911.

Camp Wandawega

All these retro trappings can’t bring you back in time, but they just might bring some of that time back to you.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.