Monthly Archives: September, 2014

A Lasting Legacy

September 09, 2014

  1. Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 11.27.20 AM

    Mike believed in the power of camp. Through the Mike Bachmann Campership Fund, his legacy will continue for generations to come.

    In Mike’s honor, we are proud to announce that Camp Highlands has partnered with the Illinois chapter of the American Camping Association to establish the Mike Bachmann Campership Fund.
    Mike believed in the power of camp –­ he was a living example of how much it can shape a person’s life. Our hope is that through this fund, any child that wants to, may experience the power of camp. Through this fund our hope is that Mike’s impact will continue for generations to come.
    Donations can be made to the American Camping Association of Illinois, c/o the Mike Bachmann Campership Fund, 5 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 1406, Chicago, IL 60603-3104. All donations are tax deductible.
    We can’t thank you enough for the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received. While we are terribly sad, we are also incredibly proud of the life and impact that he has had on all of you. What an amazing life.
    Mike Bachmann, 1940-2014 as printed in the Chicago Tribune
    The world is a better place because of the contributions of Mike Bachmann.
    Born in Salem, Illinois on July 17, 1940, Mike died suddenly of a heart attack in Montreal, Canada on September 7, 2014.
    Mike figured he was destined to run the family furniture store. But his summers at Camp Highlands for Boys in Sayner, Wisconsin changed all that. Starting when he was 10 years old, Mike attended Camp Highlands every summer for the rest of his life. When he was a student at Grinnell College, he decided that he wanted a life of camp – so he became a teacher, which would afford him his summers off, which would allow him to pursue his dream of running Camp Highlands.
    It was at Highlands that he met the love of his life, Sharon Nothdurft, who was at camp because her father was a counselor there. They were married June 14, 1964 and just this past summer celebrated their 50th anniversary.
    Together they lived in Western Springs, where Mike went on to work at a number of fantastic schools; Ideal Elementary, Spring Avenue, Avery-Coonley, and finally the College of DuPage, where he was chair of the education department.
    Mike was an active leader at the Theater of Western Springs and the First Congregational Church of Western Springs.
    He and Sharon have three children, who now have children of their own. Tim and Carol Bachmann live in San Anselmo, California with their son, Lukas; Laura and Jose Cubillos live in Park City, Utah with their children, Mateo and Esperanza; and Andy and Tracy Bachmann live in Gainesville, Florida with their children, Judah, Stella and Remy. He was an incredible father and outstanding grandfather, never one to deny a chocolate chip cookie or a motorboat ride. Mike also has a brother, John Bachmann, who lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
    Mike’s lasting legacy though his directorship of Camp Highlands is an incredible thing to behold. Loving tributes from Highlands friends around the world have strewn in, declaring Mike Bachmann to being one of the most influential, considerate, generous and worthwhile men the world has ever known – just what he was.
    We are deeply saddened that he took the left turn to heaven instead of the right to Nova Scotia. He will always be loved and missed, and his spirit will live on through others and Camp Highlands for Boys.
    We have established a campership fund in his name so that any kid who wants to can experience the magic of camp. Donations can be made to the American Camping Association of Illinois, c/o the Mike Bachmann Campership Fund, 5 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 1406, Chicago, IL 60603-3104. All donations are tax deductible.
    A memorial service and reception will be held this Saturday, September 13th at 1 p.m., at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs, Illinois: 1106 Chestnut Street, Western Springs, IL.

  2. A note from Andy

    God, make of me a worthwhile man.
    Give me the strength to stand for right,
    When other folks have left the fight.
    Give me the courage of the man who knows that
    If he will, he can.
    Teach me to see, in every face the good,
    The kind, and not the base.
    Make me sincere in word and deed.
    Blot out from me all shame and greed.
    Help me to guard my troubled soul
    By constant, active self control.
    Clean up my thoughts, my speech, my play
    And keep me pure from day to day.
    Oh make of me a worthwhile man.
    My dad first came to Camp Highlands in 1950. And it was at Camp Highlands where he returned every summer of his life – save one – when an untimely illness kept him away.
    He always knew that Camp Highlands was where he wanted to be.
    That’s why in 1963 he convinced some of the owners of Camp Highlands to sell him shares. He became the youngest member of the board of directors (at 23 years old) and over time he became the majority shareholder, and primary owner and director of camp. Camp has been his life vision and dream; and he has lived the dream like none other. You will not find a finer, more worthwhile man than Mike Bachmann.
    His marriage to my mother was a match made in heaven (if you, like I, understand heaven to be a place on Plum lake). Thanks to my grandfather’s desire to be a staff man at Highlands, his daughters all ended up coming along for the ride as well. My mother has been at Highlands since she was three. She, too, has always found the magic in the place. Together they ran Camp Highlands and oversaw all operations, until he brought me on as his assistant director back in 1999. Over time he passed more and more of the decision-making and leadership of camp over to me and Tracy. He was always there to guide any decisions we made – but his advice always came after he would ask me, “Well, what would you do?”
    He has been our strong foundation and the one to whom we all looked to see what an ideal example of a Highlands man could be.
    It was my father who brought our Worthwhile Man prayer to camp; and it is my father who I think of as the perfect example of the man outlined in that beautiful prayer.
    He has been not just a wonderful father and grandfather to our family; he has been one to many of yours as well. And he will be missed.
    It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I share the sad news that our Highlands Man has passed away. Mike Bachmann, the most worthwhile Highlands man I know has left this earthly plain and now resides in the star-lit skies, smiling down on us from heaven.
    The earth is a lesser place for his passing.
    He died quickly of a heart attack yesterday, September 7, 2014. He and my mother were en route to yet another great adventure.
    There will be a memorial service at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs, Illinois at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 13th, with a reception to follow. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers during this sad time.


    Mike at the helm. We miss you already.

  3. Sad News

    With much sadness in our hearts, we would like to share the news that Camp Highlands Director, Mike Bachmann, passed away today, September 7, 2014.
    We appreciate all of your love and support at this time as we try and wrap our minds around this loss. He affected the lives of so many – as a husband, father, grandfather, teacher, camp director and friend. He will be so missed.
    A memorial service will likely be Saturday, September 13, at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs, however, we are still working out the details and will update this post as we know more.
    How lucky we all were to have known Mike. Truly a Worthwhile man.