Camp Life

  • Q Are there special end-of-term events?

    A

    We host a Picnic and Banquet on the final Friday of each term. This is a great time for parents, grandparents and friends to come check out Camp. The Water Carnival starts after rest hour at 3 p.m., followed by some time to shop at the camp store, meet your son’s counselor, supper is at 6 p.m., followed by the banquet which wraps up around 8:30 p.m. or so. The cost is $12 per person for dinner (5 and under are free) which we add to your final balance. Please RSVP to the banquet (so we know just how much cheesy potatoes to make), the form is on your Parent Log-In page.

  • Q What’s the weather like?

    A

    Check our website regularly, we have the weather report right there! Northern Wisconsin is a magical place in the summer. It can be 80˚F (26˚C) during the day and get down into the 50’s (10˚ C) at night. We are prepared to work and have fun in all kinds of weather. That is another amazing thing about living in the elements as we do – you learn to make the most of every situation – whether that means slathering on sunscreen three times a day or throwing on a hoodie!

  • Q What is the food like?

    A

    Amazing! Lois Craig has been our head chef for over 20 years, and Sharon Bachmann knows how to make menus that boys love. Every breakfast offers hot and cold cereal and a main course, like pancakes, French toast or sausage and muffins. Dinner is our noon meal, and is packed with the protein and carbs we need to keep fueled after a day at Highlands. We’re talking about homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes, chicken tenders and wild rice, and of course, Sunday turkey dinner, with all the fixings. Supper is always lighter fare and Taco Night and Pizza Night are wildly popular. The food is plentiful, healthy, lovingly prepared and delicious!

  • Q What is Sunday Night Sing?

    A

    Sunday Night Sing is possibly the greatest event on the planet. Every Sunday night, we project the words to great camp songs up onto a screen where we all hoot and holler, sing and bellow through some great tunes. What’s amazing is that our lantern slide projector is almost as old as camp is, and the slides we use are the same ones camper’s fathers and grandfathers used! It truly is a unique Highlands experience, and if you are anywhere in the area, it is one you should come experience for yourself.

  • Q What does a “Worthwhile Man” mean?

    A

    A Worthwhile Man is the prayer we recite together at every Sunday Morning Assembly. The basic philosophy behind it is that a worthwhile man is one who stands up for what’s right, who cultivates self-confidence and the courage to try new things. A worthwhile man is one who judges others on the content of their character, and who strives to be honest, just and thoughtful. The Worthwhile man philosophy is the soul of the Highlands experience.

For Parents

  • Q Are there nearby girls camps?

    A

    You bet! There are a number of outstanding girls camps in the area. We have sisters at Red Pine, Clearwater Camp, Camp Nicolet and others. Contact us for more information.

  • Q If I get a homesick letter, can I call my son?

    A

    Homesickness is a tough thing. We take it very seriously. And we have gotten very good at dealing with it. We spend a great deal of time training our staff on how to handle homesick situations.

    It is not uncommon for campers to take a little time to adjust to the schedule of camp. What with the safety talks and swim tests, it can a stressful first few days. But we have found that once campers get into the rhythm of camp, they excel. Unfortunately, a call from Dad or a premature visit can backfire on us. Andy is an excellent judge of how a boy is doing at camp, is able to judge the best course of action (both for parent and camper!). An important thing to remember is that a quickly scribbled postcard about how upset your son is might have more to do with whether his team won or lost at baseball, and now the distractions of Tower Three or the Adventure Course have quickly turned that frown upside down.

    Regardless, we will work diligently with you to make sure that YOU are informed and that your son is having the best time possible.

  • Q I’d really like my son to be unplugged, but I know his friends will be bringing their gadgets with them. What do you recommend?

    A

    Electronics are not allowed at camp. They will be turned in as soon as your child arrives at camp and locked in the office for safekeeping to be returned when camp is over. We even let them charge them up for travel day!
    In years past we’ve been somewhat flexible about electronics in the cabin. We are officially “tech free.” That means NO: phones of any kind, Gameboys, e-readers, iPads, Kindle Fire, etc. Campers and staff can still listen to music – provided by our staff – during cabin chores. Basically, any device with a charging cord will be kept locked in the office for safekeeping. Our preference, of course, is that you not even send it to camp. We understand that gadgets can be a great comfort to your child, but we promise you, after two days of being screen free, they will not care. As one camper confessed, “It’s a relief when I turn my phone in. I miss it for a day, but I know that it’s so good for me.”

  • Q Some camps don’t allow packages. May I send my son some goodies?

    A

    You are welcome to send your son a package, but we ask that you please not send any food items. Chipmunks and other critters can make food packages pretty difficult to deal with. But comic books, the latest sports magazine, yo-yos for the whole cabin and other fun things (non-food items) can be a great addition to any mail-time experience.

  • Q My kid isn’t a great swimmer, will he still be allowed in the water? What are your water-safety policies?

    A

    Every camper must pass a swim test before they are allowed to swim. We have instructional swim every day, with a wide variety of swimmer levels.

    We take our water safety very seriously. Campers are not allowed on docks or in boats without staff members present, and we always have a certified lifeguard on duty for any water based activity or event. At our free-swim times of the day, we have 5 lifeguards posted, making sure the buddy system is being properly used and safety is a priority.

Travel/Packing/Lodging

  • Q Where should we stay when we come to Camp?

    A

    Of course we’d love to have you in the Highlands Lodge, but if we’re all booked, there are several places to stay in nearby towns of Minocqua, Boulder Junction and even Sayner has a few options.

  • Q How do we get all of Bobby’s gear to camp?

    A

    Some folks prefer to ship their trunks to camp, especially if they are traveling by air. We recommend UPS, should you chose do to this. Please be sure to keep all tracking numbers and please add Tracy  to the confirmation email section (tracy@camphighlands.com).

  • Q How do we get to Camp?

    A

    No matter where you are in the world, we try to make it as easy as possible to get to Highlands!

    By Car:
    You are welcome to drive up to Camp. Please arrive some time between 1:00 p.m and 3:00 p.m.

    Driving Directions from Chicago:

    Merge onto I-90 W toward ROCKFORD (Portions toll) (Crossing into WISCONSIN) (147.1 mi)
    Take the WI-78 S/I-39 N exit, EXIT 108A-B, toward MERRIMAC/US-51/PORTAGE/WAUSAU. (0.2 mi)
    Merge onto I-39 N via EXIT 108B toward US-51/PORTAGE/WAUSAU. (102.8 mi)
    Merge onto US-51 N. (71.9 mi)
    Turn RIGHT CR-M (3 mi)
    Turn RIGHT onto CR-N. (6.4 mi)
    Turn LEFT onto RAZORBACK RD. at the Corner Store (formerly McKay’s) (3.0 mi)
    Turn RIGHT onto CAMP HIGHLANDS RD. (1.5 mi)
    Once you enter Camp, you may park in the parking lot at the top of the hill.
    Once you enter Camp, you may park in the parking lot at the top of the hill.

    By Air:
    Our boys travel from all over the country and the world to get to camp. Boys will often fly into Chicago’s O’Hare airport to be picked up by assigned counselors and taken to our buses at the O’Hare Oasis. We try to make getting your son to camp as easy as possible. If you have any questions about travel, please contact us.

    International flights can be tricky to coordinate, but we have systems in place to facilitate logistics. Please contact us before making any fight reservations.

    We also can arrange pick-ups at the Central Wisconsin Airport, or the Rhinelander Airport.

    By Bus:
    If it is not convenient for you to drop your son off at Highlands, we offer a bus service from the Chicago-land area. We can also make pick-ups at the Rockford Clock Tower, or the Madison/DeForest exit, if that would be more convenient for you.

    For specific details on Summer 2014, please refer to our Highlands Handbook.