1. Did you know we have a Better Authentic Recipe™ for becoming a Worthwhile Man developed over 116 consecutive years of running camp?

    Hanging behind my desk is a rough, hand-typed quote by Theodore Roosevelt that I’ve never noticed. Until this year after Andy and I watched Brené Brown’s “The Call to Courage” special on Netflix where this quote is a keystone to her presentation. Andy pointed out that Roosevelt’s words have been watching over me for years. It reads:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    There are many things I love about this quote as it applies to a summer at Highlands. Heck, it even uses the phrase “who spends himself in a worthy cause.” As a place that puts supreme value on being “Worthwhile,” this quote radiates the Highlands Way. 

    At camp, boys are challenged at every stage. From the time they’re tearfully dropped off, to nervously waitering their first meal, to unsteadily playing basketball for the first time, boys are tested. They are inherent “doers of deeds, large and small.” 

    The successes and failures of your boys at Highlands are their’s alone. He repelled blindfolded at the low-ropes course. That’s Tyler’s achievement. He shot a bullseye at archery and built a really cool shelf in the wood shop. Those are Leo’s wins alone. But the triumphs are easy. 

    What about he “who errs, who comes short again and again”? When John drops the football during a scrimmage? Or Jacob loses his temper with his cabinmate and says something he’s not proud of? That’s all their defeat, too.

    I’m guilty of it. Making life easy for my kids. I advocate for them, I attend all the things (well, mostly), I proofread vocabulary at 10:30 the night before it’s due (shakes fist at sky). But that’s what makes camp so important. You. Aren’t. Here. To. Help. Them. 

    Boys and young men are desperate for ways to differentiate themselves, especially during adolescence. Individuation is critical to developing into a healthy adult. That’s why teenagers do all kinds of ill-advised things – they just want to prove they are NOT their parents. They’re looking for a unique community and for validation, but in order for it to work it has to be authentic. Enter all today’s ills: drugs, recklessness and the underbelly of the internet. Ugh.

    But at Highlands, we’ve got a Better Authentic Recipe. Our counseling staff (of whom exactly 100% are returning this year!) are expert facilitators of the ol’ individuation process, although, I doubt that’s what they’d call it. They allow your boys the space and opportunity to “fail while daring greatly” in the words of Roosevelt. And it’s not just by learning skills in baseball or canoeing. The real impact comes after persevering through tough days on the trail, overcoming homesickness, making new friends and being a little bit uncomfortable on a cold afternoon. When the days and activity credits (ACs) are counted up at the end of the season, your boys are a better, more worthwhile version of themselves.

    Highlands Better Authentic Recipe™

    1 part self-reliance
    1 part courage
    1 part willingness
    1 part screen-free, pristine, north woods environment 

    Mix together in a 116-year-old vessel lined with support, experience and leadership. Add a dash of a loon’s call. Dip in Plum Lake 2-3 times. Repeat.

    Moms, dads and all the caregivers out there – don’t kid yourselves. You’re also daring greatly by letting your boys come to camp. It’s not easy to let them go for 3, 4 or even 7 weeks. But you do. And we thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the process on their path to manhood. 

  2. First Day Fun, Food and Friends

    We asked our Cub head counselor, Kent Overbey to do a rain ceremony to keep the weather at bay, and it worked. Yesterday’s predicted thunderstorms held off and today’s forecasted rainy drear has been replaced with a damp, warm, overcast day. 

    The morning started off with our safety talks and general getting-to-know-you tours around camp, but by mid-morning, the boys were at their activities. We’ve already started snapping photos and are posting some goodies on our Instagram Story (grab your favorite millennial to help you if you don’t know what this means).

    The first couple of days of camp are transitional – even for boys who have been here for years, they can be tricky – new friends, old friends, getting back into the swing of things. Lois makes this a little easier on all of us by stacking the deck when it comes to meals. Today’s menu consisted of pancakes for breakfast, chicken tenders for lunch and supper will be homemade turkey soup and sandwiches. Did you know Lois has cooked for us for more than 30 years? She’s in charge of all the meal planning this year and helping her out in the kitchen are Car, Becky, Becca and Caroline. We are so thankful for this team! 

    Other things going on around camp:

    • We have two resident eagles that are stalking a family of merganser ducks
      in the boating bay – stay strong mama and baby ducks!
    • We’ll pass out shirts to the boys tonight so they’ll be ready for Sunday Assembly 
    • Trips are already going out – hiking in the Porkies and more coming right up
    • Wednesday afternoon is Division Day and we’ve cooked up some new things for this summer, stay tuned for updates on that stuff

    I 💚CH,

    Tracy B.


  3. Opportunity to Live Third

    It is mid-spring, and I am sitting in a coffee shop attempting to get organized for the week. Everything is great, besides the fact that I am incredibly camp-sick. Camp-sick is the phrase that I use to describe my longing for the summer- to be in the Northwoods of Wisconsin again with my best friends on the planet. I use this camp-sick phrase most often when talking through homesickness with some of the young, Cub Division campers. I make it very clear to them that while they are definitely going to miss their parents while they are away from home, these are completely normal feelings, its emotional toll pales in comparison to waiting 300 days each year for camp to return. A day does not go by where I am not thinking about Camp Highlands for Boys. Sometimes I feel bad for my non-camp friends who are with me when I start laughing to myself about camp happenings. It is impossible to accurately portray how important and deeply rooted my passion for Camp Highlands is.

    I am going to attempt to explain why Camp Highlands’ message is so important to me, and why I feel it is an important message that all young people should have the opportunity to hear; why it ‘works’. While it’s impossible to isolate just one reason why Camp Highlands’ message is so important. It is simple, with opportunities for application at all hours of every day. In short, Camp Highlands’ message to me is about living and embodying the best version of oneself, to be someone who knows the difference between right and wrong and is firm in their steadfast commitment to doing the right thing even if no one will catch you doing the wrong thing. It is about putting others before yourself because you cannot go through life alone. The “I’m Third” motto is the base, but for many years it was too difficult a concept for me to understand in terms of what it actually means to ‘Live Third.’ You need people to live into the slogan for others to be able to understand how it truly looks. I am inspired by the examples that the men and women of Highlands have consistently displayed, from my childhood through the present.

    It is very easy to be angry at the world–it can be an incredibly unfair place with nowhere for you to place your emotions, with no one to blame for your situation. This is an uncomfortable position to be in, and often one people are not sure how to navigate; no one practices handling uncomfortable/unfortunate situations. But, when you interact with people on a daily basis who are committed to living differently, who are committed to the growth of someone’s character, it is inspiring.
    Each person adds their own ‘flare’ to what it means to be a Highlands Man/Woman–to live Third–and I am constantly developing my personal definition as well. Consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: until you feel truly safe and secure in your situation, you are not able to step out of your comfort zone to make a mistake. This is the environment that Highlands is passionate about creating for its campers from the second that their parents leave them, whether that is at the camp bus stop, or on the stoop of their cabin. The Camp Highlands staff is committed to helping you navigate the difficult situations that you will inevitably confront as a young man via structured, safe, situations, as the boys are learning how to manage their independence for the first time. What will you do when there are high winds and you turtle your Sunfish sailboat? How will you choose to continue the hiking trip when you are hungry and you have blisters on both of your feet? These situations translate directly to real life where there is not one solution. There is something tangible about the energy at Camp Highlands- the vibe if you will. It is contagious, and a great lens to look at life through.

    I am near the end of my first year as a teacher. I became a teacher because I wanted to be like my counselors at Camp, many of whom were teachers. I want to continue to come back to camp because there is nowhere else in the world where you can have an awe-inspiring conversation with a guy no older than 8 years old, and then immediately follow that with a story that has you on the ground laughing, told to you by a guy who is somewhere between 70 and 80 (but you are not quite sure because he has never answered you straight-up about it and you have been asking for 14 years). I digress.
    One day, I had a police officer come speak in my classroom with my students, and one thing that he pointed out that made a ton of sense to me was that in today’s world, it is possible to find/see things on social media that anger you from the start of your day until you go to sleep. For example, you check Instagram and you see a picture that upsets you, then later in the day you follow a Twitter thread that makes you impossibly frustrated, you think Facebook may have something nice but since they were stealing your data it is just more of the same things that upset you earlier that day, and then at the end you check Snapchat only to see that the person you wanted to Snap you back opened your Snap 4 hours ago and did not respond. Sleep, Repeat. This is the reality of the current social media era that we are in. I know this because I see this with my 7th graders every day.

    If you are never shown another way, if you never have a role model who lives their life different from this, anger may be the most common emotion that you experience (self-doubt, self-loathing, confusion, etc.). I was very angry as a child. That is why Camp Highlands is important now more than ever. All of the 7th graders in my school could benefit from having Shaun Trenholm (ST) remind them that the difference between doing a good and great job at something is about 10 minutes. All of the parents in the world would benefit from watching the most senior counselor at camp hang out with the youngest campers at camp without any technology (for the last 25+ years) and continue to work to relate to them, to be stern when appropriate, but to provide each camper with the opportunity to make their own mistakes even when society tells us that these children are too young to truly know the impact of their personal decision-making.

    Even though I hate that stinking pot that Kent bangs at 5:55 am on the Thursday mornings after a Division Day Cubbie overnight, we have 7-year-olds taking down tents and being responsible for ensuring that we leave our space better than we found it. These opportunities are authentic, and they are crucial to a young person’s growth and development, especially in adolescence. Even though I was struggling with Calculus during my senior year of high school, it was a challenge that I chose to take on because I had the personal confidence of having completed a 7-day, 100+ mile hiking trip in Isle Royale through Camp Highlands the previous summer. I was given a safe opportunity to experience some of the purest, strongest, most difficult emotions that I had ever felt to that point. I also learned the power of perseverance, and how far I was able to push myself mentally to achieve what I set out to; there was no other choice.

    Here’s Seth decked out for Highland’s 115th birthday. He’s full of pep, one of our favorite Honor Camper Qualities.

    Thus, in a world where it is so easy to be angry and to remain angry, to see people who choose to live in opposition of this negativity is why I feel that Camp Highlands’ message is so important, and why it is so important to me. Without the examples that the Highlands men before me displayed, I am not sure where I would be today… who would I look up to? Who would be my group of friends that I would go to first when my parents got divorced? I do not know, but I am glad that this is just hypothetical. In truth, I became a teacher so that I could continue to work at Camp Highlands.

    I am so grateful for the opportunities that my parents gave to me being a camper for 8 years and beyond, and I am so thankful that people like the Bachmanns, Kent Overby, Craig Erickson, and Lois Craig prioritize character development over anything.

    Trust the process. I’m Third.

    Seth Fox (this is my 14th summer at Camp, I am from Wilmette, IL, and my favorite activity is footsketball).

  4. A Better Man

    One of the first times I heard someone at Highlands talk about, “being a better man,” was at the very un-glamorous hour of morning dip. I was a camper at the time, but many of us would file down to the Towers for a quick dip in the morning before breakfast.

    This was a particularly chilly morning. I remember, I for one, was not thrilled at the prospect of jumping into the brisk waters this northern Wisconsin dawn. But it was just one of those things that we did. And I think we did it because all our counselors did it. And if they were doing something a little wacky, a little out of the ordinary, a little challenging then I wanted to be part of it, too. Because, to me, these guys were the coolest of the cool. They were my role models in life. In attitude and approach to life, too. I wanted to be like them.

    I believe it was Luke Hoyne who was particularly vocal about not feelin’ the morning dip on this particular morning. And I still remember Scott Jensen’s response to his trepidation.

    “It makes you a better man.”

    Luke (and I, and many others) ended up jumping in on that frosty morning.

    Camp Highlands is a place where we are invited to participate in the change in our very own natures; to challenge our assumptions and attitudes about things that might be “too cold,” too daunting or too difficult, and digging a little deeper into our souls, knowing that whatever challenges we may face, we come out on the other side. We know we will be better men for having tried. At first, we often surprise ourselves with our own success. But success breeds success, and the next thing you know, making the hard or difficult choices (other people might naturally want to shy away from) become easy choices for us. We do it because we know we will be better for it; and when we’re lucky, the world will be a better place, too.

    So how about it, men of Highlands? What experience did you have at Camp Highlands where you learned a valuable life lesson about how to be a better man?

    Share your reflections here. We promise you’ll be a better man for it.

    Since I’ve become the Director at Camp Highlands, I end almost all of my Sunday Assembly’s and all of my End of Term Banquets with our most commonly held belief at Camp Highlands. That we are all striving to be Better Men, learning to be more Worthwhile Men, and that makes us Highlands men in the end.

    My Grandfather, Snow, was well known for his common refrain, “How lucky we are,” and I couldn’t agree more. We are so very lucky to have Camp Highlands in our lives. We hope you feel the same way about having it in yours.


  5. We’re cooking up good stuff for 2019!

    We’re zooming into 2019! Here are some things you can look forward on the ol’ internet….. 1. A new website….soon! You’ll be able to more easily access the information you need, but you’ll still have access to the great stuff you’ve grown accustomed to – photos, online registration, etc. 2. We scored big with a special delivery from our 1964 camp photographer, Robert Esposito. Dozens of beautiful, previously unseen photos will delight you on our social media. Make sure you follow us on Instagram to keep up. 3. Keep your eyes peeled for lots of new videos on the Camp Highlands YouTube page. We can’t wait for our 116th camping season, which is less than 150 days away on this cold January 28 afternoon. Stay warm out there, folks!
  6. Welcome Second Term

    Camp Highlands is more than a camp. It’s an institution. It was founded in 1904 by a University of Chicago lab-school principal charged with giving boys a “real wilderness experience.” For more than a century we have had the honor of watching boys grow and learn, struggle and persevere, play and explore.

    Boys throw balls on the same fields as Heisman trophy winners Jay Berwanger and Nile Kinnick. They paddle the same waters as Senator William Proxmire and Ambassador George Kennan. They perform on the same stage as playwright Archibold MacLeish and actor Bruce Dern. While we celebrate those great men of the past, we believe that every Highlands camper is capable of greatness.

    Camp Highlands is more than a camp. It’s an institution. It was founded in 1904 by a University of Chicago lab-school principal charged with giving boys a “real wilderness experience.” For more than a century we have had the honor of watching boys grow and learn, struggle and persevere, play and explore.

    Boys throw balls on the same fields as Heisman trophy winners Jay Berwanger and Nile Kinnick. They paddle the same waters as Senator William Proxmire and Ambassador George Kennan. They perform on the same stage as playwright Archibold MacLeish and actor Bruce Dern. While we celebrate those great men of the past, we believe that every Highlands camper is capable of greatness.

    Camp Highlands is more than a camp. It’s an institution. It was founded in 1904 by a University of Chicago lab-school principal charged with giving boys a “real wilderness experience.” For more than a century we have had the honor of watching boys grow and learn, struggle and persevere, play and explore.

    Boys throw balls on the same fields as Heisman trophy winners Jay Berwanger and Nile Kinnick. They paddle the same waters as Senator William Proxmire and Ambassador George Kennan. They perform on the same stage as playwright Archibold MacLeish and actor Bruce Dern. While we celebrate those great men of the past, we believe that every Highlands camper is capable of greatness.

  7. Dear Camp Highlands Families,

    Sharon has been at camp since she was 3 years old. She’s the mastermind behind the delicious homemade food at Highlands.

    Once Mike and I turned the pages of our December calendars, camp was almost always on our minds.
    We wrote about, made calls about, and constantly thought about every detail of the coming summer. Who will be able to return? Who won’t be able to return? (Oh, shoot!) Possible new campers, and campers referred to us by our camp families were always so appreciated! Andy and Tracy are the ones that have camp on their minds. How lucky all we Bachmanns feel, to have camp be such an important part of our daily lives.
    One of my jobs at camp is planning the menu and ordering the food for our meals. A favorite meal for everyone is our Sunday Dinner following our Sunday Morning Assembly. Turkey and all the trimmings are a tradition every Sunday at camp. Yum…!! It makes me hungry just to think about that! Most days, when you walk to the middle of Junior Hill, you can catch a whiff of the mouth-watering smell of turkey and freshly baked yeast rolls. That has everybody ready for the bugle to blow, and Lodge bell to ring for dinner.
    People often ask me how many turkeys I order each week for that Sunday meal?
    The answer is 8, 21 to 24-pound turkeys. The cooks put the turkeys in the ovens very late Saturday night. The next morning the Lodge family arrive at 9:00 AM, ready to pull the meat off the bones. Those turkeys are put in a warming oven and then separated into piles of white meat and dark meat and the broth is poured over the meat to keep it moist. Oh my….it is so good! We always make a little extra so that we can use the turkey in one of the other camp favorites…

    Tracy, has asked that I share one of our favorite Camp Highlands recipes. This one is great for chicken or turkey that maybe you have leftover in your refrigerator or freezer. This recipe was given to me years ago by my dear Western Springs friend, Ann Shay. Her children and grandchildren came as campers and their family came for more than 13 years for Friends and Family camp. During camp, the campers and staff members when passing me on the path will say, “Sharon, when are we having turkey tetrazzini?” It is so good!
    Easy Turkey Tetrazzini
    I put this recipe in a 9 x13 pan, but you could also use a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
    When I make this at home, I purchase a roasted chicken at the grocery store and put all the meat in my casserole. Bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until it is bubbly. It will serve 8 to 10 people.

    8 oz. thin spaghetti, broken in half
    Chicken broth
    1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
    1 c. of milk
    2/3 c. of mayonnaise
    1/2 c. of celery diced small (optional)
    2 c. of cooked chopped turkey or chicken
    1 can diced mushrooms drained
    2 T. of pimento (optional, for color)
    2/3 c. of Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, divided
    Cook the spaghetti in chicken broth. ( I add some water)Drain well. Mix the mushroom soup, milk and mayonnaise until well blended. Add celery, turkey or chicken, mushrooms, pimento and half of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Put the rest of the cheese over the top toward the end of the baking time.
    Valentine’s Day is coming. Mmmm…this would be a great dish to try! I hope you will enjoy this. If you do, we’d love hearing from you on how it turns out.
    I hope that your summer calendar includes a visit to Camp Highlands this summer. Maybe you will be driving your son to camp? Maybe you will be able to get away at the end of camp to come for the Family Picnic and the Program that follows. Maybe, you will come and stay at the Highlands Lodge during the camping season, or at the beginning or end of camp? Maybe your family will stay after camp is ending for a few days or a week of Friends and Family camp? Whatever you and your family can arrange…I hope Camp Highlands will be on your minds for your son, and your extended family and friends. I believe more than ever, a summer, or part of a summer at Camp Highlands is a wonderful place for a boy to be. I hope this day finds you and your family well and enjoying this unusually cold winter. I’m glad that I can be in Gainesville, FL for four months. It has been very cool here too, but no complaints from me, I love hearing the birds chirping away outside my bedroom window in the early morning, and…..oh my, it is SO NICE to feel the warmth of the sun, even on a chilly day!
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your families!
    Sending love from Gainesville,
    Sharon Bachmann

  8. Getting our feet wet at 2017 F+F

    A note from Tim Bachmann:

    Did you know the Monilaw family hosted a scaled down version of Friends and Family in the 1930s and 40s? It was not promoted; it was just their friends and family, mainly from the Hyde Park and University of Chicago neighborhoods. This summer of 2017 Friends and Family was new and fresh. How fun, considering that this was the 50th F&F season (since 1968).

    Friends and Family has evolved, with alumni being the largest contingent. In fact, every boys’ camp cabin but three held an alumnus this summer. It was the largest ever showing and a harbinger of things to come. In addition to alumni, there were personal friends and ’perennials’. Several families with kids at an optimal age to get their “feet wet” in advance of boy’s camp or nearby girl’s camp joined in the fun.

    And boy did they get their feet wet, seeking out and holding in their curious young hands various snakes, frogs, toads, crawfish and salamanders. It was a fascinating phenomena, enhanced dearly by the generous and patient E.O. Wilson trained Harvard zoology major, and now wildlife painter, Brad Davis, an alumnus from the 1980/90s.

    Getting our feet wet!


    After some coaching from Dr. Brad on where to obtain a particular creature, the kids consistently came up miraculously full handed. Brad would then hold court as professor, teaching all children (and drawn in adults) everything notable: how to hold it, its formal name, behavioral patterns, special adaptations, diet, habitat, and so forth. Perhaps the largest ever bullfrog was briefly coddled (one assumes to the dismay of the animal). But, before any lasting harm was done, the fun-to-hold-being was released with great care.

    One such student of Dr. Davis, a young Luke Keeley, was so enchanted by the cornucopia of wildlife, that he was compelled to ditch his family entirely, joining the Davis clan at all hours  (except sleep) in constant pursuit of the ample fare! His parents both lamented and rejoiced in the abandonment as complete joy was found!

    For the rest of us more subdued nature lovers, there were record numbers of bald eagles, loons (six  on the east end of Plum Lake alone), owls, woodpeckers, white tailed deer, turtles, butterflies and meteors.

    Meanwhile, others engaged more vacation like camp pursuits. Star Creek was up, and offered a deeper paddle than ever, before running into the inevitable downed trees and beaver dams. There were more barefoot water skiers than ever (at age 46, and 51!). It smacked of a ‘Staff Ski!’ if Shane Overbey hadn’t just had shoulder surgery, he would certainly have entertained us with some backwards barefoot. Next year, Shane!

    Some lounged on the raft and hung out at the all new Senior Pier and towers. It was the place to be as always during the warmer days. Sailing, kayaking, canoeing, golfing at Plum Lake Golf Club, tennis, archery, adventure, crafts, softball, frisbee golf, and Capture the Flag were all enjoyed as always. And for the first time, a Camp Highlands four-mile wilderness loop along the gorgeous shores of Star Lake was tramped, starting and finishing behind Freeland Field. Thanks to Jim DiDomenico and Brian Boos for blazing and marking this wonderful new trail with lovely CH trail makers. This loop is going to be a great addition to CH forever and ever! Wow!

    Hiking the 4-mile loop around Star Lake and Back Bay.


    For cooks night off, many descended on the Sayner Pub for its jovial north woods setting and famous pizza. Word had gotten out to the alumni whose families own summer cottages in the area, and for a moment there it could have been 1989. The establishment was wall to wall Highlands! What a reunion, and what a blast!

    There were a few very tolerable if not enjoyable stretches of rain – one of them, peacefully, at night. The other led to the offering of a rain hike on the east side of Star Lake, an adventure that entails hopping in a camp van and driving around Razorback and the northwest side of Star to get to the trailhead. The soft rain soon cleared and the wet, green forests enchanted, with spots of sun here and there. A pit stop at Stillwaters was enjoyed on the way home. Talk about relaxing!

    It was remarked, “I didn’t realize how much I needed this.” I believe that the moment one enters the indoors, that optimal natural flow begins to wain. Yes, it is not simply being in the wilderness that makes us feel good. We enjoyed not flooding our eyes with the blue light of the screen, and getting away from the workaday pursuits modern life demands of us.

    Highlands is not the Peninsula Hotel (although, camp lies on a peninsula) but is more relaxing than the Peninsula Hotel. For, only in the quietude of the wilderness can the human body regain its natural flow, and not just for an hour or two a day. 24 hours is best. During sleep, the thinner the layer between you and the outdoors, the greater the impact. 

    Better than a hotel!

    So, we reveled in life as it should be. Immersed in the beauty of Plum Lake and Vilas County, we came down, fitfully at first. More and more each day, we napped and slept like buzzed out logs – not necessarily knowing who or where we were when we awoke! Yes, sleep can get very, very deep at camp. We turned our faces towards the sun and wind and water and woods and relaxed. Not at once, but gradually, those with the longest stays obtaining the deepest levels of revitalized health. Being in the lake itself, a refreshing curative. Am I sounding middle aged? I sure don’t feel like it when I’m swimming in Plum Lake!

    And so I found myself, after all had left Camp, still walking from Mom’s house down to Cabin 2 to sleep – like a wild dog. I had all of camp to myself. Eerie, you say? No, not at all. I love it. The cry of the loon; the black sky with a billion stars; the sound of the wind in the trees; and water lapping on the shore. These are the sights and sounds of eternity – something I’m not connected to as much anymore and that therefore are more valuable to me. I cherish them more than ever in this rapidly changing world.

    It’s September 7th, 2017: the 3rd anniversary of Dad’s passing. It seems hard to believe. We miss him so much. On the last day of boy’s camp, right before Banquet, Andy dedicated ‘Reflection Point’ as a place to remember him by. It is so nice there now – behind the clubhouse overlooking the lake – atop the hill. What a view. It was his favorite place to reflect on life – and what a life it was. The new swings and boulders and landscaping. It turned out so well. How pleased and grateful we are to have this place. It is directly connected to the Clubhouse and the fire pit below, the place where Harry Gillet first set foot on the property back in 1904. What a spot to be connected to the place so many have loved over the past 114 years and love today.

    The new Mike Bachmann reflection area is a great place to consider what it means to be a Worthwhile person.

    Hope to see you next summer! Mom, Andy, Carol, Lukas, and I will be waiting for you! 

    Save your Spot
    You can save your spot now by filling out our online enrollment form. Please note that because of popular demand, we’ve created two sessions – first session (Saturday – Wednesday) and second session (Wednesday – Saturday) or join us for the full week!
    We took several great photos of you and your families. You can access those photos by going to the Camp Highlands Gallery and entering in the password: camphighlands – enjoy! A big thanks to Tim Bachmann for taking the helm as resident photographer!

    A special thanks to our wonderful staff. It was a beautiful contingent. The men and women that raise their hands to stay on for F&F are always, always THE BEST. This summer was no exception, with David Kuesel, Shaun Trenholm, Johnny Zokovitch, Seth Fox, Tucker Nienhaus, Madi Kugler, Charlie Yokom, Ethan Williams, Matt Stepanich, and Phillip Seubert staying on to share the old place with us, and help us enjoy ourselves. Not cooking for a week! Because: Chef Lois Craig  was joined by Carly Notorangelo, Natalie Trujillo, and Lex Smith. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!

    All-star staff!

  9. This Matters

    Friendship, unplugged, fun, outside of our comfort zones, nature, becoming our best selves. This matters.

    I was recently talking with a father of one of our campers. He shared how his son was receiving a LOT of pressure to attend the summer clinics of his chosen sport. The coaches were holding out starting position offers like bait, and head-shaking shame if this boy chose a path different from the one they were suggesting. Fortunately for us, the boy (and family) didn’t take the bait.
    We have staff here who still remember when Division I athletes would come to Highlands. Our program director remembers how during free time, these athletes would pull out every heavy object at camp to haul around Senior Row. Meanwhile, they were also leading trips through the wilderness of the north woods; teaching boys the importance of hard work and perseverance in achieving one’s goals; and modeling for them the honor dignity of being a well-rounded human being. Not just an all-star athlete.
    This father I was speaking with said the decision for their family was an easy one. “My son is not going to be a professional athlete. So skipping the summer sessions should not feel like he’s sacrificing a career. Five, ten years from now, none of that stuff will matter. THIS matters.”
    I couldn’t agree more.
    Better, Worthwhile, Highlands,

  10. Welcome Second Term

    And just like that, second term has started! Drop off was a bit damp, but you’ll be happy to know that today the skies are clear, the lake is gorgeous and the boys have a great northern Wisconsin day ahead of them. Today’s schedule includes safety talks in the various areas of camp and swim tests. After that’s complete, the guys will get to it with activities.

    The Instagram Story is a great way to get a quick taste of what’s going on around camp. But keep up! The clips disappear after 24 hours!

    We’ll start uploading photos to the gallery this evening, but in the meantime, don’t forget to check out the Instagram Story – it’s where we’re doing a lot of posting this year. You’ll love it.
    As a side note, Andy and I will be living out your reality, as we drop our middle daughter off at her camp this morning. I’m full of jitters – a mix of excitement and heartache – you guys might know a thing or two about that! Even after five years of going to camp, she gets excitedsadnervoussuperhappy on drop off day. This is one of those profound concepts that Michael Thompson talks about in his book, Homesick and Happy – the idea that we can have simultaneous conflicting emotions. You can be completely thrilled to be having an amazing time at camp AND also feel really sad missing your family. Can you tell I’m trying to talk myself into having the right attitude about today’s excitedsadnervoussuperhappy drop off?
    And on that note…
    I ♥ CH,
    Tracy B.