Thursday, December 30, 2010
The last five years have been very interesting at Anokijig. We've made many new friends and welcomed thousands of campers from literally, all over the world. While the economic times we are living in have been a challenge, Anokijig has found a way to weather the storm (as well as the occasional storms that Mother Nature sends down Anokijig Lane). In fact, 2008 was a record year for us in terms of summer attendance. While 2009 and 2010 did not match the attendance in '08, those years were also very strong for us and our outlook for 2011 is very positive.
It appears as if even though many folks have tightened their belts, they still have made an Anokijig experience a priority for their children and families and we are grateful for their dedication. Anokijig continues to be very successful in all aspects operationally and we are steadily making progress on eliminating the $5.5 million in loans secured to save Anokijig from developers. We were very pleased to make our final payment to the Racine YMCA this month and we are always looking for creative financing options that will help us to continue to reduce our debt, which currently stands at about $4 million.
We know many of you made pledges to support Anokijig in the initial days of our independent operation and we can never fully express our gratitude for your support. Without that initial support, we simply would not have been able to save Anokijig from development. If you have fulfilled your pledge commitment, we thank you for your support. If you are considering year-end donations to charities, we hope you keep us in mind. You can make a new commitment or renew an old one by clicking on this link. We wish everyone peace and prosperity in 2011 and hope to see you at Anokijig!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
As the beauty of Anokijg Winter arrives we always like to look back at the past year and remember all of the things about Anokijig that we're thankful for.
To help you to do the same take a few moments to check out the 2010 Anokijg Arrowhead - our annual newsletter highlighting the past year and kicking off the next!
In addition we all know that each year Anokijig produces millions of memories, click HERE to check out this year's trivia video and see what you know about Anokijig; and of course enjoy some great Anokijig images. Enjoy the views and make your own plans to visit Anokijig soon!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
We've all watched the amazing technique of Irish dancers flying through jigs and reels and now Anokijig is bringing Irish Dancing to Camp for the summer of 2011! Speed, precision, and style are all hallmarks of this exciting, traditional style of folk dance. Here is your chance to give it a try!
Irish dance campers will spend their mornings with an experienced Irish dancer, learning basic techniques and skills. The finale will be a demonstration dance at the Friday night campfire. When not dancing, campers can still enjoy all of the great activities of Anokijig's resident camp.
Irish dance camp is open to campers of all ages, but space is limited, so we encourage everyone to sign up early. Irish dance camp will be held during Week Two at Anokijig, which begins on June 19th and ends on June 25th. We hope to see you there!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Thanks to the continued support of the Racine Founders Rotary Club, our digital photo program was in full-swing, allowing budding photographers to create literally thousands of amazing images. To honor these efforts, we are announcing our first all-camp photo contest. If you have a great Anokijig photo, send it to email@example.com before February 15, 2011. The person with the best overall photo will win one free week of residence camp during Sessions 1, 2, 3 or 4 of 2011. Good luck!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Yoga Camp is coming to Anokijig in the summer of 2011! Yoga is a great way to create balance in the body through strength and flexibility, by integrating breath, movement and body awareness. This is all accompanied by great music and lots of heart and humor. Participants will challenge themselves and build confidence and self-esteem through a fun, energetic experience.
Yoga will be taught by an experienced, registered Yoga Teacher. Yoga Camp will provide an opportunity for kids to explore the common thread of breath, body & spirit, in a happy, healthy environment. When not practicing Yoga, campers can still enjoy all of the great recreational activities of Resident Camp. Yoga Camp will take place during Week 5 at Anokijig, which is July 10th to the 16th and it is open to all ages.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Registration for Camp Anokijig's 2011 Summer Camp sessions is now open. We say it every year, but it seems as if we can never say it often enough- Once registration opens, it is never too early to sign up! Many of our sessions sell out and dozens of kids end up on a waiting list, missing out on the time of their lives.
A week at Anokijig just happens to make a fantastic Christmas present too! You can sign up at this link and please be sure to let your friends and family know that registration is now open. We look forward to seeing you at Anokijig in 2011!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Hello from Anokijig.
Hopefully, your Thanksgiving went well. We just wanted to let you know that if you haven’t gotten your tickets for Camp Anokijig’s Annual John McGivern Comedy Benefit there are still great seats available. Tickets for the show and raffle will both be available tonight at the show. Doors set to open at 6:30pm show starts at 7:30pm. It’s a great way to end up this holiday weekend. If you already have tickets we look forward to seeing you there. If you don’t have tickets yet, please consider joining us. Details below:
Tickets are now on sale for:
"A Funny Way to Raise Money" - An Evening with John McGivern.
Proceeds will Benefit Camp Anokijig’s Scholarship Program to help send less fortunate kids to a week of summer camp in 2011. .
Fresh from receiving two Emmy Nominations, John is putting together a great show once again. Come and join us for the stories, humor, and escapades of John McGivern (this year you may even hear a song or two). John has won critical acclaim all over the country for his work in comedy, theater, and cinema. His Midwest humor has made him a hometown celebrity here in Wisconsin. He may even have an Emmy in hand by the time of the show.
This is John’s only show in this area for the season. Don’t miss your only chance to laugh until you cry at John’s hilarious stories.
Date: November 27, 2010
Where: Plymouth High School Auditorium
Premium Seats - $22
Lower Auditorium - $18
Upper Balcony - $12
PLUS: Thanks to a generous donation we are offering a raffle to win:
A Sheboygan Getaway Package!
One lucky raffle ticket will allow the holder to enjoy a night in a one-bedroom suite at the new Sheboygan GrandStay Suites Hotel
including Gourmet Express Breakfast, and a $100 gift card to experience the irresistible cuisine of the Margaux Bistro and Wine Bar!
A $250.00 Value!
Raffle Tickets for the Getaway Package:
1 Ticket for $2.00
3 Tickets for $5.00
For sale at the door.
Join us for a great event to help send kids to camp in 2011.
"Anokijig Changes Lives"
Friday, November 26, 2010
Hey Camp Fans!
We would like to formally invite you to Tube-a-thon 2011! Our yearly weekend of winter fun and fundraising for a great cause. Snow tubing, snow football, a night at the water park, and much more while helping kids come to Camp. Read on for more details and look for the links to help get the tools you need to participate and raise the money you need to join us!
Why Should You Raise Money for Tube-a-thon?
Tube-a-thon is a great event! It’s great to see your Camp friends after not seeing them since last fall or even last summer. Tube-a-thon is a weekend filled with tubing, laughing, Blue Harbor Water Park, hanging out, snow football, and prizes. But who is it really intended for? Who benefits?
· Tube-a-thon raises money to help send less privileged kids to a week of camp.
· Our goal is to get as many kids as possible to Camp.
· Lack of the financial means to pay for Camp should not stop a kid from having all the great experiences you have had at Camp.
· All money raised goes directly to the Campership Fund
· The Campership Fund is used to help families send their children to Camp even if they can’t afford the whole fee or any of it.
· Last year, Camp Anokijig gave out 219 camperships. That’s 219 kids who otherwise would not have had to the opportunity to have that Camp experience.
· Don’t forget that even if you can’t physically make it to the event you can still raise pledges and support the effort.
· YOU are helping make a difference!
How Do I Raise The Money?
Not long ago, it was common to go door-to-door in your neighborhood and ask for donations. Times have changed and people are often more wary of people asking for money. You have to use some tools to your advantage.
· Ask people you know, like friends, teachers, neighbors, relatives, your parents friends, etc... Since you know them, they are much more likely to be receptive to your request.
· Arm yourself with information. To be a good salesperson, which is what you really are at this point, you must know your product.
o Be able to answer these questions
o What is Tube-a-thon?
o Why are you raising money for it? (see above)
o Who gets the money? (see above)
o How much are you trying to raise?
· Set a goal for yourself. Often everyone goes for the minimum. Instead of raising just enough to come for the weekend, why not try to raise enough for one kid to come to Camp? $540
· Challenge Yourself!
Tools to Help You Reach Your Goal
Follow the links to these additional documents to get you on your way.
· Tube-a-thon Flyer and Registration Form (Online form)
o Our basic information sheet about the event
o To tally up the money you raise
o This is a general fundraising letter to get you started. Just cut, paste, and personalize it, and be on your way.
o Here’s a plan to keep you focused
o Help organize who you are going to ask to help
Be diligent. The only way you will attain your goal is by working at it.
· Be bold. If you believe in what you are doing it comes through in what you say.
· Be creative. Bake sales, putting a collection jar at your parents work, challenging another participant to a fundraising challenge, etc. Your imagination is the only thing limiting you.
· Challenge yourself. Make a goal and go for it. Ask for help. The Camp staff are here as resources. We will be glad to help you in your efforts or to bounce ideas off of. We want to see you succeed! Feel free to message, e-mail or call us. We hope to see you in January!!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
We'd like to get some fresh voices for the Anokijig Insider and you can help. No one knows Anokijig better than those who have been there and we'd like you to share your Anokijig stories and memories with us.
We're looking for a wide range of stories, including such topics as-
- What program area did you work in?
- What was your favorite skill?
- Who was your favorite counselor or staff member?
- How has Anokijig changed your life?
- Where is your favorite place at Anokijig?
- What was your best summer memory?
- What was your best family camping or other weekend memory?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Camp Anokijig congratulates the Racine YMCA on the announcement of the new facility that will be constructed in Mount Pleasant. Anokijig supporters will remember five years ago, when Camp Anokijig was sold to the Friends of Camp Anokijig, for $5.5 million dollars, with the intent at that time for the proceeds to retire the YMCA's $2 million of debt on their downtown facility, while providing funding for a new facility in Racine.
We understand the economy has been difficult these past few years and things don't always go as planned, but we're happy to see the Racine YMCA making progress on achieving their goals. We're also happy to report that we're on schedule to reduce the outstanding debt from our purchase of Anokijig to $4 million by January 1, 2011.
We hope the new YMCA facility brings renewed energy to that organization and their programs. The Racine YMCA has a rich history of helping the Racine community and providing much-needed programs and services. We hope one of the programs that sees a comeback in Racine is the Y-Guide program, which is known to many of our alumni as "Indian Guides." These groups have historically been our largest weekend groups at Anokijig and we'd love to welcome back participants from the Racine community.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Are you ready for some Laughter in the Woods? No, not that "Woods!" Camp Anokijig's annual Laughter in the Woods dinner/fundraiser takes place this weekend at beautiful Western Lodge. This event is always entertaining event is a great way to help send deserving kids to Anokijig and we hope you can join us. Good seats are still available, so give the Camp office a call and make your reservations today- 920-893-0782
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The rules are very clear on what must be done in these instances and even though he's only 14 years old and could have elected to simply not mention this oversight to anyone, Zach did the right thing, reported this violation and gave up his victory. While he may not have won that tournament, he scored a big win in life by doing the right thing and we're very proud of him. We know this story may not be salacious or controversial enough for Deadspin.com, but it is perfect for the Anokijig Insider. You can read the full story here- http://www.jsonline.com/sports/golf/101941838.html
Monday, August 23, 2010
While there are many people who have played a part in creating Anokijig and transitioning it into an independent camp, the contributions of the Binks family cannot go unrecognized. In fact, it could easily be said that Anokijig would not be here today, were it not for the Binks family. Given their strong connection to Anokijig and our deep appreciation for their efforts, we always look forward to a visit from any of the Binks clan, as they roll through our neighborhood and last weekend was no exception.
Dan brought his family with him (as he often does) and we gave them the grand tour at Anokijig. We also spent some time with Dan at Road America, which is always an amazing experience. It is clear to us that Dan shares our passion for Anokijig and the programs and services we offer for children and families and he is always advocating on our behalf. A few months ago, he mentioned that one of his friends in the racing community might be interested in helping us and asked what our significant needs might be in the near future.
While the debt incurred to save Anokijig is shrinking, it still looms over us as a strong reminder of how close we came to losing this very special place. Dan understands as well as we do, that eliminating that debt once and for all is always our top priority. However, we also know "debt reduction" isn't the most-attractive option for potential donors, so we came up with a suggestion that was very much a concern of ours and definitely needed attention- Anokijig's green Suburban.
This 1997 Suburban has been a tremendous vehicle for us and has been with us for nearly ten years now. Even though it had over 100,000 miles on it when it was donated, it still served us very well and we've subsequently managed to put nearly 300,000 on the odometer! Like any vehicle with that kind of mileage, the Suburban is starting to show it's age. The 3/4-ton chassis has been a blessing for towing heavy loads, like the Allegheny (pictured) and our horse trailers and the four-wheel drive has carried us through many winters.
This truck has also been used to take Anokijig campers on countless adventure trips as far away as Canada, so reliability is even more of a concern in that regard. Our board and staff have been talking for quite some time about finding a replacement for it, but like any other significant expense, they try to prioritize and see if more economical alternatives exist.
It occurred to us that finding a replacement for this Suburban might be a great way for someone to help us in a significant and meaningful way. We began talking to our friends in the automotive world and gathered wholesale and retail prices on used, 3/4-ton Suburbans with four-wheel drive, since those were our two key concerns. Colors and other options were not a concern, but we needed something that could tow heavy loads and handle Wisconsin winters. We found a used Suburban locally at Van Horn Chevrolet and Teresa Van Horn was willing to offer us a significant discount on that vehicle, so it seemed like the perfect fit for our needs.
One of the PR folks at Pratt&Miller put together a mock-up of a similar Suburban with Anokijig logos on it, as well as the logos of the company Dan Binks' friend owns, similar to what we've done recently with other donated vehicles. Dan presented the idea of the Suburban to his friend, Greg Pickett, the owner of Muscle Milk, and Mr. Pickett agreed to help us, with one condition- if he was going to do this, the truck had to be brand-new!
Dan was absolutely floored by Mr. Pickett's generosity, as we all were. We surely cannot thank him enough and greatly appreciate his gift. We try not to overburden Anokijig supporters with tasks and requests, but we felt in this situation, it might be appropriate to mention something to all of you. One of the most-coveted awards in the American Le Mans Series is the "Most Popular Driver" award, which is voted on by the fans. Mr. Pickett happens to be one of the drivers eligible and if you feel so compelled, you can vote for him at this link- http://www.americanlemans.com/primary1.php?cat=poll
Thank you Dan Binks!
Thank you Greg Pickett!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Greetings from Anokijig!
We’re deep into summer camp 2010 and everyone is having a great time with the first days of session 8. The weather is warm the lake is perfect, and yesterday was Western Day. We’ve already competed 7 wonderful weeks with thousands of campers getting the chance to experience the wonder that is Anokijig. With one more session yet to begin this upcoming Sunday, we wanted to let you know that if you know of a camper or are a camper that would still like to have a great experience at camp; session 9 has just a few openings left. This is your last chance to get in on the fun for 2010.
We’ve made it incredibly easy to get a spot for next week; choose your method:
· Easy online registration at https://www.anokijig.com/registration.aspx
· Download a printable form for fax at http://www.anokijig.com/2010%20Registration%20Form.pdf
· Or call our office direct at 1-800-741-6931 (920-893-0782) and we’ll gladly have a real live person ready to help you.
· All of the camp forms that you’ll need are available for download at http://www.anokijig.com/forms.htm
· All late fees are waived and as always we’ll do everything we can to make sure your registration process is as easy as possible.
For details on all of our programs offerings and happenings see www.anokijig.com
So pass the word, during Session 9 Anokijig has in store:
· Pirate day
· 50 horses to ride
· Tons of Sailboats and Windsurfs to sail
· Ukulele band
· Trail crafts
· Land games
· Field riots
· Pellet gun
· Talent show
· Day trips to Noahs Ark waterpark, paintball, rock climbing, and Fondy Sports Park.
· Beach Party
· The last camp dance of 2010!
· and much much more.
If you are one of the many that have already secured your place in session 9, we can’t wait to see you! Also remember if you recruit a new friend to come to camp you get a discount, recruit 5 new friends and your week is FREE.
If you’re not signed up, don’t miss your chance for another week of Outrageous fun, New friends, Old friends, and Incredible experiences at Camp Anokijig!
See you soon!
"Anokijig Changes Lives"
Sunday, July 25, 2010
We recently noticed that someone from St. Charles, Illinois did a Google search, to find the list of items that should accompany a camper on a trip to Anokijig. Their search sent them here, but we didn't have the information posted here, just a combination of keywords that pushed us to the top of the list. We do supply all this information to all campers with their registration information, but we know how things can get misplaced in a house full of kids.
That's why we also post the information on our main website. We know it's there, because we're the ones who put it there. However, we tried to search the website as we thought a person would, who is not that familiar with Anokijig or our site and we found that it might be a little tricky to locate this specific information on our main site.
We are adding that to a long list of changes that will be made to http://www.anokijig.com/ in the near future, but we won't be able to begin overhauling the website until the summer camping season has ended. Until that happens, we'll provide a direct link here, which should pop up on Google and other search engines in a relatively short amount of time.
So, if you are searching for the packing list for Camp Anokijig, just click on that link and it will provide that information for you, plus a whole lot more. We can't wait to see you!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
As week four of Anokijig's summer camping season draws to a close, we're faced with a familiar dilemma for weeks five through eight- we're sold out! No matter how many times we encourage parents to register early on the Anokijig Insider or our Facebook page, we always seem to run into this same situation.
Kids come to Anokijig in the early weeks and have a blast. They end up wanting to return for another week later in the summer and those campers, combined with late registrations fill up the latter portion of our camping season, leaving hundreds of campers on waiting lists.
We do still have room in Week nine, which runs from August 8th to the 14th, but outside of that week, we're packed solid. If you weren't able to send your child to Anokijig this summer or weren't able to send them back for another week, there's still an opportunity to join us on one of our three remaining family camping weekends. These weekends are tremendous values have become an annual tradition for many of our families. For more information on our family camping weekends, please visit this link- http://www.anokijig.com/10family.htm
Friday, July 2, 2010
We now have waiting lists for Weeks Five through Eight. If we find we are able to accommodate children on waiting lists during one of those weeks, we'll certainly do our best to fit them in. Week Nine still has plenty of space available, but don't delay or it may fill up on you as well and summer will be over! For more information, call Camp today at 1-800-741-6931
Monday, June 28, 2010
The July 4th holiday has left plenty of room at Anokijig next week, but that's certainly not the case in the weeks following. Weeks Five and Six at Anokijig are already sold out and Weeks Seven and Eight only has a few spots remaining.
Our Stamper program is also at or close to capacity for the rest of the summer, so if you are interested in participating, call Camp today! Our Fishing Expedition programs are always popular and this year is no exception. Fishing Expeditions II in Week 5 is very close to capacity, but there is still plenty of space in that program during Week 8.
Our Mini Camp program is at capacity for Week 8, but there is still space available in other weeks. Ranch Camp only has a few spots remaining in Weeks 5 & 6, so if your child would like to learn more about horses, don't wait too long to sign up.
Our day trips to Noah's Ark in the Wisconsin Dells have been so popular, we've made them available in Weeks 5-9, but Week 5 is already full. This is a very popular day trip, so if your son or daughter would like to sign up, now is the time. Our Paint Ball day trip is offered every week this summer, but it is filling up fast in Weeks 5-8. There is still space available in each of those weeks, but don't wait too long to sign up!
For up to the minute details on available programs and activities, you can call the Camp office at 1-800-741-6931.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Anyone who has ever visited Anokijig can tell you our terrain can be very hilly and some of our roads can be quite rocky. The golf carts we have now do an admirable job of handling that terrain, but many times they are just not up to the task. Our golf carts have tires that were designed not to tear up well-manicured grass, not scramble over a rocky hillside on the way to a tent section. Bottoming out on rocks and flat tires at Anokijig are not uncommon.
Our golf carts are also limited in their seating capacity at four, while this cart has three rows of seating. This is especially important when families are at Anokijig. We frequently shuttle families to and from sections on check-in day and we're often limited in what we can carry. Sometimes there's only enough room for mom, dad and some luggage. There is also a big need on family weekends, when larger families need help moving around camp or from remote parking during our special events.
We don't expect someone will read this blog today and we'll have a new golf cart at our doorstep tomorrow, but we at least want to put the information out there, so folks know there is a need. Someone may know a person who has one of these carts, but rarely uses it and might be interested in making a tax-deductible donation. We suspect this cart might be similar to the RTV that was donated by Ken and Melody Cavan a few years ago. We never had an RTV before, so we didn't recognize the specific need for it. Now that we have one, we don't know how we ever survived without it.
If you know someone who has one of these carts or a dealer or manufacturer, please tell them about Anokijig and help us better serve the children and families who visit us!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Did you know Camp Anokijig offers a comprehensive leadership training program free of charge? It's true and it's one of our most valuable, but least-talked about program areas. Many camps charge a fee for this training, but we have always believed this life skill is too important to restrict only to those who can afford it.
Many of the staff members who go through our program move on to careers in fields involving education and mentoring youth and Anokijig's leadership program and the experiences they have here are often the catalyst for that career path. We once lived in a world (and country), where military service was required of our young people. While we are thankful for the sacrifices made by previous generations, we still acknowledge that the leadership skills and training those generations learned through military service to our country are still needed today. That's not to say we put our participants through boot camp, but they do learn many valuable lessons and skills that many of today's young people simply are not exposed to at all.
Our senior staff is already at Camp and we're just wrapping up our lifeguard training. We can't thank our wonderful donors and supporters enough for making these programs available to all who are interested. If you'd like to learn more about our leadership training and staff opportunties, please visit this link- http://www.anokijig.com/staff_benefits.htm
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
There is less than a month to go before the start of Camp Anokijig's 2010 summer camping season and we are already seeing registrations ahead of last year's pace in some of our weeks. There is still room available in all of our weeks, however, some programs are already reaching capacity.
Our Stamper program had already filled up for Week 3. Weeks 4-7 and 9 are also filling up quickly, so if your child is interested in our Stamper program, don't delay in signing up!
The following programs are also nearing capacity, so be sure to register soon, to ensure your first choice-
- Week 4 Whitewater Adventure Trip
- Week 4 Competitive Swim Camp
- Week 5 Fishing Expedition II
- Week 5 Noah's Ark Trip
- Week 6 Paintball
Friday, May 21, 2010
The leaves are all on the trees, the rain has stopped falling and final preparations are being made for Camp Anokijig's Taste of the Outdoors weekend. Our doors will swing wide open at 9:30 AM on May 22nd & 23rd for an all-you-can eat lumberjack breakfast.
We'll also be offering lumberjack games, including a tomahawk throw, cross-cut saw contest and frying pan toss. We'll also have many of our familiar program areas open, including archery, the waterfront area, including all kinds of boats, canoes and kayaks. We'll also be offering majestic boat rides around Little Elkhart Lake and races in our massive Voyageur canoes. Our nature center will also be open, along with face-painting, and thanks to the hard work of our Camp Director, Jim Scherer, we'll also be offering cane pole fishing for any aspiring anglers.
Admission is just $9 for kids 12 and over, 4-11 are $5 and anyone under four gets in free! Best of all, the proceeds from this event will go to benefit the Anokijig Scholarship Fund, which helps send deserving kids to Anokijig. We hope you'll join us for this wonderful weekend. We've looked at the forecast and it's going to be a great weekend to be at Anokijig!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Is your daughter so interested in horses, that she would like you to buy one for her? You're not alone. We always want to provide wonderful learning opportunities for our children, but from an ownership perspective, how much does it cost to own a horse?
We can start with the purchase price. Although some horses can cost tens of thousands of dollars, for a first-time rider/owner, a good horse can probably be found for well under $1,000. Let's conservatively say you can find one for $600.
The next expense will come in stabling fees. If you happen to live on a 10-acre parcel of land, you might be able to save a significant amount of money on boarding, by keeping the horse on your property (if your community zoning laws allow it). If not, monthly boarding fees can run anywhere from $200-500 per month. Let's again suppose you can find a very affordable place to keep your horse, which is also a short drive from your home and it only costs $200/month. With the cost of the horse, that puts us at $3,000.
As it turns out, the board was so cheap, because it didn't include feed. An average horse can eat about 20 lbs. of hay per day (1/2 bale). That can also vary, based on how much a horse grazes, but if we calculate 183 bales of hay at about $2.50/bale, that adds a approximately $450 more in just the first year, bringing our grand total up to $3,450. Most horses should also get some grain, so we can conservatively add another $150 a year, bringing our total so far to $3,600.
Some boarding fees include bedding, which can run about $200/year, so we'll again be conservative and assume that's included in the $200/month boarding fee. We'll also assume that bargain of a boarding fee includes mucking of the stalls (stall cleaning), so we wont tack any additional expense onto that.
Your horse will need to get shots twice a year, so do plan on paying a veterinarian about $300 per year, bringing our total up to $3,900 per year. You'll also need to pay a farrier to keep your horses' hooves properly-trimmed. That can sometimes get expensive, if an animal needs shoes (just like kids, huh?), but we'll assume it's healthy in that regard and you'll only spend another $100 a year, bringing your total up to $4,000. You're almost ready to go. All you need now is another $500 for tack, which includes a helmet, saddle, blanket, bridle and other riding equipment. If your daughter has little or no experience on a horse, you'll probably want to make sure she gets good instruction, so add another $1,000 per year onto our total and when it's all added up our the first year of horse ownership will run you at least $5,500.
This assumes you don't want mortality insurance on your horse and your daughter doesn't have expensive tastes in horses, stables, clothes or riding lessons. The good news is, that initial $5,500 investment drops by at least $1,000 in year two, because you won't need to buy a new horse and tack every year (at least in theory). In subsequent years, spending $4,000 per year on a horse can be done, provided the horse stays healthy and you don't end up buying a horse trailer, so your daughter can go riding in other places. Some horses can live for 20 years or more, so assuming your daughter will never let you sell "Blacky" or whatever your horses' name is, this purchase could approach nearly $100,000 over the life of the horse.
Why do we lay all this information out for you? Because Camp Anokijig offers a reasonable alternative to buying a horse- use one of ours! We have more than 50 horses at Anokijig, many of them formerly owned by parents just like you. We also have dozens of miles of riding trails, all the tack, hay, safety equipment and proper riding instruction that any youngster needs. All this can be had for just $580 per week and that includes food, lodging and all the other fun activities at Anokijig! If you would like more information on our Ranch program, follow this link.
$5,500 vs. $580 The math makes the choice look simple, but we know kids always do their best to complicate things. Even if your daughter insists on her own horse, why not encourage her to spend some time learning her way around them at Anokijig, before buying one of her own? She might fall in love with one of our horses and decide she doesn't want one of her own or she could just decide horses weren't her cup of tea. Either outcome could end up saving you thousands of dollars and countless headaches.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
We need to enter at least one foursome in the tournament, but wouldn’t it be great to have tons of Anokijig supporters enjoying a day on the links together? Besides a fun, four-person scramble format, you will have a chance to win bunches of fantastic hole and raffle prizes, even a BRAND NEW CAR!
Entry fee includes greens fees, golf cart, lunch, 2010 Golf Days souvenir and a golfer goodie bag. For more information, visit the Jaycees site- http://www.sheboyganjaycees.com/index.php?section=15
Can anyone say FORE!!?!!? Or make that four– rustle up four of your friends to join us on June 11th at the Town and Country Golf Course- W1945 County J in Sheboygan.
Please note, entries must be postmarked by May 22nd. Since June 11th is a Friday and some of you live a distance away, lodging will be available at Camp Thursday and Friday night. Please contact Darin at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
If you are not a golfer, but would still like to help Anokijig, we are in need of volunteers to help on the course on the day of the event. Please contact Mary Krahn at email@example.com to sign up. We look forward to seeing you on the links!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
If you like Dancing with the Stars and think we need to do more for less fortunate kids, you will love the Movers and Shaker Gala to benefit local charities, which includes sending kids to Camp Anokijig.
Susan Bemis of Bemis Manufacturing will dance the night away at the Movers and Shakers Gala at Lakeland College on May 22nd. All the participants are donating their time and talent to raise funds for non-profit organizations and Susan has generously chosen Camp Anokijig to be her selected benefactor.
Susan is one of a group of area “celebrities” showing off their best dance moves as a part of the Movers and Shakers Gala at Lakeland College. On Saturday, May 22, the Todd Wehr Center at Lakeland will be transformed into an elegant ballroom, complete with beautiful decorations and huge video screens to provide the who’s who with a lush stage to showcase their best moves.
The celebrities have been paired with a professional dancer and are in the midst of training, before they compete to win the support of three professional judges, one guest judge, plus votes from friends and fans.
Your vote counts! You don’t have to attend the event to help support Camp Anokijig. Votes are $20 each and for every vote that Susan receives, dollars will be presented to the Camp Anokijig Scholarship Fund for less fortunate children. Anyone can purchase votes prior to the event at http://www.moversandshakersgala.org/ The deadline for voting is 9:00 p.m. on May 22nd so please vote early and often!
Thanks for being a part of all that Anokijig does for kids.
Executive Director, Camp Anokijig
P.S. Why not forward this message to all your friends and ask them to support our efforts to send less fortunate kids to Camp Anokijig? It will make them feel good too!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
We like to talk about the fact that anything you can do at Anokijig, you probably can't do at home and anything you can do at home, you probably can't do at Anokijig. As we hear news reports of Boy Scouts earning awards for video game proficiency and schools teaching texting abbreviations as part of their spelling curriculum, we're glad Anokijig hasn't changed too much. Anokijig is a video game-free and text-free zone. For many of our campers, the last week they spend at Anokijig may be the last week they ever spend "disconnected" from the modern technology that surrrounds and permeates every facet of our lives.
Our campers communicate with each other through words and actions, not e-mails, texts and tweets. Their parents mail them letters, that they will read over and over again and some of the kids will even send a letter or postcard home. For many of our campers, Anokijig is an oasis of simplicity in a very complex world and that's just the way we like it.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Some of her key points for selecting the best camp for your child include the following-
While Rowley knows there are some great new camps out there, she knows some experts and families believe that camps that have been operating for decades, especially with the same staff, has significant meaning. Camp Anokijig has been in operating since 1926 and our core group of staff members- Jim Scherer, Darin Holden, Don Hill & Scott Stewart all grew up as campers at Anokijig and have more than 100 combined years of adult working experience at Anokijig. Rowley states that in today's world, a camp simply couldn't stay in business for generations if it were unsafe or suffered from poor leadership and management.
Rowley thinks it's important to know the philosophy of a camp before sending your child there and she's absolutely correct! If you are looking for a camp that focuses on sports, there are hundreds to choose from, but Anokijig isn't one of them. The week many children spend at Anokijig will be the most active week of their year, but it won't be spent on our soccer field or baseball diamond, because we don't have either. We do play earthball and no one plays scatterball like we do, but they aren't the focal point of our activities. We like to tell folks anything your child can do at Anokijig, they probably can't do at home and anything they can do at home, they probably can't do at Anokijig.
An Emphasis on Creating a Community
Rowley believes good camps think about how they place kids together to create the most inclusive experience for all. Anokijig has more than a dozen different tent sections and cabins, which allows us plenty of flexibility for assigning bunk space for campers. Three years may not seem like a long time to adults, but we know it is an eternity for kids. The social experience of camping is important and we know the differences between nine year old campers and 12 year old campers, because we see them every year. While there are plenty of opportunities for all campers to interact, we do our very best to make sure kids are comfortable with the bunkmates in their sections and part of that is grouping kids appropriately by age. Our size still allows us the flexibility to accomodate many requests for bunkmates.
A Well-Trained Staff
Rowley feels it is important for camps to be adequately-staffed and we couldn't agree more. She suggests low ratios of 10 to 1 for kids ages 8 to 14. Even during Anokijig's busiest weeks, our capacity is about 315 campers. If we were at Rowley's low ratio, we'd only have about 32 staff members to monitor all those children. Our actual ratio is far better than Rowley's, as our cooks feed more than 400 people during our busy weeks. Rowley also feels it's important for staff to be background-checked and have plenty of references as well. As an ACA-accredited camp, we follow all of those procedures for staffing and have known many of our current staff members, since they were campers at Anokijig. We also run two weeks of staff training before the first summer camper even arrives at Anokijig.
An Element of Choice
One of the great things about a summer camp experience, is that a child is free from their daily, pre-set schedules. When they arrive at Anokijig, we evaluate their swimming ability and then ask them to select two skills, from a wide variety of program areas. Examples could include archery, arts & crafts, woodworking, fishing, trail crafts, and sailing. Anokijig campers will devote time each day to their two choices, but we also leave plenty of unstructured free time, allowing campers the opportunity to try out other program areas as well. Rowley believes this structure (or lack thereof) will help your child to feel more independent, especially if they are making the choices for which activities they participate in.
A Communications Plan
Rowley believes a consistent policy on camper phone use is important, as well as making sure there are procedures in place for contacting parents about upcoming events or if their child becomes sick or injured. Safety comes first at Anokijig and a good portion of our camper orientation focuses on safety and emergency procedures. Although cell phones are not allowed at Anokijig (and most don't work anyway), we always have staff on duty at all hours of the day and always have the ability to contact parents whenever needed. We do encourage our parents and campers to write letters to each other throughout the week, but we know that frequent phone conversations can actually make it harder for both parents and children to be away from each other.
A High Standard of Accreditation
Rowley encourages parents to ask camps if they are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), which conducts on-site visits and reviews programs, facilities, and hiring and safety policies. Rowley claims only the most professionally run camps qualify and we're proud to tell parents we scored a perfect 100 on our most recent ACA inspection.
Choosing the right camp can be a challenge for parents, but the experiences their children will have can last a lifetime and are well worth the effort. If you'd like to read Rowley's entire article, you can find it here- http://is.gd/bER5o
Sunday, April 18, 2010
In the mid-1920s, the Racine YMCA decided they wanted a summer camp for the boys in Racine and they gave two men the task of finding a suitable location, within a reasonable drive of Racine, Wisconsin. The ideal location would be a large parcel of land, located on a body of water that had not been over-run with development. Wisconsin was a popular weekend destination for the Chicagoland area in the 1920s, so this was no easy task.
The two men searched the 1920s version of Google (the real estate listings in local papers) and set out to find the perfect spot for a camp. As they continued to fan out from Racine, they stopped for lunch one day about 70 miles north of Racine, in a town called Plymouth. They were having trouble locating a lake and shared their story with the locals at the restaurant. Upon hearing their story, it was recommended that they take a look at Little Elkhart Lake, a body of water so hidden, many locals didn't even know how to find it, they just knew it was somewhere north of town.
The two men parked their vehicle and hiked through more than a half mile of Kettle Moraine forestland, before emerging on a shoreline and taking their first glimpse of Little Elkhart Lake. A local farmer was building a small cabin on the shoreline, but no other buildings were visible from their position and the water sparkled crystal-clear, with trees surrounding the shoreline and the only sounds coming from the birds in the area and the wind blowing through the trees.
The two men struck a deal with the farmer to lease both the cabin and 40 acres along the shoreline for $50 per year and Camp Anokijig was born. The idea of camping took hold in Racine and the first 40 acres was soon purchased and Anokijig's home was made permanent. In the subsequent years, more land was added and Anokijig's total acreage now approaches 400, including 3/4 of the water frontage on Little Elkhart Lake.
Camp Anokijig hasn't just grown in size. Our summer camp program now operates in nine one-week sessions and we welcome more than 2,000 summer campers (boys & girls) every year from more than 20 different states and seven foreign countries.
Why is Camp Anokijig still appealing after more than 80 years? Because kids are still kids and as much as the rest of the world has changed, much of Anokijig still remains the same. We've added quite a few cabins over the years, but many of our campers still sleep in platform tents. Our ranch program now has more than 50 horses, but it's still all located on our property and ranch campers still earn scarves in our Ranch Program.
We don't have any ipods, computers or cable TV for campers to use, but they can still shoot arrows, paddle a canoe or learn how to catch a fish. In short, anything a kid can do at home, they probably can't do at Anokijig and anything they do while they're at Anokijig, they probably can't do at home. Amazingly enough, even in the digital era we live in now, there's something very appealing about that to kids.
Getting back to the Anokijig story, Anokijig was struggling in the late-1970s and early-1980s. The Racine YMCA was even considering selling the camp at that time, but a former camper and staff member, Jim Scherer, stepped forward and offered to try and turn things around. No previous Camp Director had ever lived at Anokijig year-round, but Scherer felt that being here all the time was the only way to make the camp successful. Scherer was soon joined by other former campers and part-time staffers, Darin Holden, Scott Stewart, and Don Hill. Together they turned Anokijig around in a relatively-short amount of time and soon had it operating in the black.
The Racine YMCA continued to own Camp Anokijig until 2005. At that point, Anokijig had been operationally-profitable for more than 20 years, but the Racine YMCA found themselves in between a rock and a hard place and decided Anokijig had to be sold. Once again, Scherer and his staff rallied camp supporters and a grass roots effort was formed to save Anokijig from development.
A non-profit corporation was formed, financing was secured and the Friends of Camp Anokijig placed a successful bid to purchase Anokijig from the Racine YMCA. 2010 marks the fifth season of operation as an independent, non-profit youth and family camp, but the camping experience is very much the same as it has been for the last eight decades. Anokijig offers a wonderful environment, with a staff dedicated to maximizing the camping experience for all of our visitors.
There are plenty of great stories about Anokijig on this blog, but we'd encourage you to visit Anokijig in person, as there really is no substitute for the real thing. Thanks for stopping by and catching a bit of the Anokijig spirit!
Vice President, Camp Anokijig
Friday, April 16, 2010
"Hey Jim, why is that www.savecamp.com decal still on your truck, I thought camp was saved already?" That's a question I get quite often and the simple answer is that Anokijig isn't saved just yet. While Anokijig's future looks a lot better than it did five years ago, we still have a long way to go.
One of the problems we face is that it's difficult to keep banging on the drum and sustain an ongoing sense of urgency to retire the debt incurred back in 2005 to "save" Camp Anokijig. Many of the pledges made by our fantastic supporters have now been satisfied, while other well-meaning folks just haven't been able to come through on their commitments for a variety of reasons, including the downturn in the economy.
As time continues to pass, the bullet Anokijig dodged begins to look larger and larger. When camp was originally put up for sale, the economy had not yet hit the skids. Contractors, developers and architects were all still eyeing up every piece of lakefront property they could find, whether it was currently for sale or not. Camps like Singing Hills seemed to be falling like dominoes and I've often wondered what fate would have befallen Anokijig, had the Friends of Anokijig not secured the loans necessary to outbid those developers? The best I can come up with is that the hilly terrain would've made it unsuitable for a traditional development and it probably would've ended up as a golf course.
With the way the economy headed south shortly after our sale was finalized, a developer probably would've had just enough money to tear down all our key buildings and build three holes of a golf course and a model home or condo, before going belly-up. That would've left the property available for a camp again, but no infrastructure to support it. The logs of Western Lodge and our other beautiful cabins would've been sold off. Large tracts of our woodland areas would've been clearcut for fairways. The boathouse would've been dismantled to make room for a putting green overlooking the lake. All the fencing for the horses would've been yanked out and the land re-surveyed for a project that would've never been completed.
Even if Anokijig were put up for sale one or two years later than it was, the financial climate during that span changed so much, it's possible we wouldn't have been able to secure the loans necessary to purchase Camp.
It's scary to even think about those possibilities and while they may seem like they are a million miles away from us today, we're not out of the woods yet. While I'm happy to report that Camp Anokijig's future looks strong and robust, there is no telling what the future will bring. Will the economy rebound or will it take another downturn? Will the financial crisis that hit the home housing market soon hit the commericial real estate market and affect Anokijig's loans? The future can be difficult to predict, but I know as good as we all feel about Anokijig's future, we'll all feel a lot better once our debt is finally retired for good. Only then will Anokijig's destiny truly be in our own hands and not tied to the success or failure of financial institutions or parent organizations.
Our staff is certainly doing their best to eliminate our debt by finding additional revenue streams (new campers) and new donors. In fact, we've hired a fantastic woman named Mary Krahn, who has done a wonderful job of reaching out to folks in the area and helping them learn all about the fantastic benefits Anokijig provides for thousands of children and families each year. Even though Anokijig's history goes all the way back to Ray Vance in 1926, most of that history didn't involve Anokijig asking anyone for help. Doing so now is a relatively-new concept for a camp that has been operationally-profitable for more than two decades in a row, but we are making progress.
In the past few years, Anokijig has for the first time received grants and donations from many fantastic organizations and companies, who had no previous history of giving (many of them are listed on the right-hand side of this blog). Their generosity has helped fill the financial gap created by expiring or unfufilled pledges. We've also witnessed an increase in our group rentals and several of our summer camp weeks still sell out and have waiting lists.
The future looks very bright for Anokijig, but not without your continued support. If you are able to renew a pledge or make a tax-deductible donation, please do so- https://www.anokijig.com/pledge.htm Even if you cannot share treasure with us, we still value you your time and talent. If you can volunteer at Anokijig or one of our off-site events, let us know- http://www.anokijig.com/volunteer.htm
Lastly, if you haven't been to Anokijig in a while, please come back and visit us. We'd love to catch up with you, show you how much Anokijig has changed and how much has stayed just the way you remembered it, whether you're 30 years old or a camper from the 1930s.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
What we don't often talk about is how Little Elkhart Lake is one of the world's best lakes for camping. Unlike the previous rating, this one isn't done by an impartial judge, but we have visited other camps and we know a good body of water when we see one.
Little Elkhart is about 60 acres in size and while that may not seem very big, it's nearly the size of an ocean in the minds of some of our campers. Little Elkhart also has a great shape to it, with lots of little nooks and crannies for fishing and several distinct bays. It's also one of those rare inland lakes that has an island (Optimist Island) and we own it! This unique shape also limits personal watercraft traffic and promotes camper safety, because there's only a small area of the lake that is further than 150 feet from shoreline. It's big enough for campers to go out in a boat and feel like they've gone on an adventure, but not so big, that we can't keep a good eye on them at all times.
While Little Elkhart has areas where the water can get as deep as 30 feet or so, most of the lake water is only about four to eight feet deep. That means it warms up quickly in the summer time, while other larger lakes take longer to get comfortable for swimming. Our beach is also the best spot for enjoying the lake, because the sun sets on the far side of the lake, keeping our campers comfortably warm well into the late afternoon hours.
The surrounding lakes around Little Elkhart also make our lake ideal for a summer camp. Elkhart Lake and Crystal Lake are both just a few minutes away and both lakes are much larger. That's great news for us, because that means most of the pleasure boaters will choose those lakes before they come to ours and that keeps our lake traffic to a minimum. Some camps are on lakes so big, they have to restrict the movement of their campers on the water, due to safety concerns. That's not an issue for us on Little Elkhart.
Even if a pleasure boater decides to come to Little Elkhart, when we let 50 campers loose in canoes, kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, sailboards and paddleboats, we pretty much decide what activites take place on the lake. Locals know this and as a result, when boats do come to Little Elkhart, they are usually just fishermen, looking for a quiet place to drop a line and catch a few largemouth bass.
Just having a lake is an important feature for a summer camp and we're fortunate to have such a great one, especially given the fact that some camps can only offer a swimming pool. One of the most important life skills a child can acquire on a visit to Anokijig is a level of comfort and confidence in water. It still surprises us to meet kids every summer who have never swam in non-chlorinated water! To those children, a freshwater lake can be a very intimidating environment.
Even though our lake is exceptionally-clean and crystal-clear, some children have a fear of the unknown and they are concerned about what lurks beneath the surface. That fear can turn a competent pool swimmer into a panic-stricken young child, but it often disappears when they see dozens of other children having the time of their lives in Little Elkhart.
Every camper that comes to Anokijig is given a swim test and those that cannot swim are given free lessons. By the end of the week, most of these campers can swim and the few who cannot are at least much more comfortable in the water, which is also important. We can't emphasize enough the importance of children getting comfortable in the water, because this could someday save their lives! We teach a lot of great life lessons and skills at Anokijig, but one that can actually save a life is hard to trump!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
"We offered Levitation in Week 5 last summer and had a great response," says Holden. "We had an issue with one...maybe two campers, who had a little trouble controlling their levitation and ended up over in Appleton. It's a good thing the winds weren't blowing out of the West that day, or they might have ended up in Lake Michigan. Other than those isolated instances, we think it was a success and expect it to be very popular in 2010."
Space is expected to be limited, given the popularity of this new program, so campers are encouraged to register today- https://www.anokijig.com/Registration.aspx
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
As Anokijig ramps up for the summer season, we have quite a few opportunities for folks to come up and pitch in with set-up, as well as weekend groups and special events. If you'd like to lend a hand, please fill out this form and we'll take it from there- Anokijig's Online Volunteer Sign Up form
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Anokijig now has it's very own fan page on Facebook! You can become a fan of Anokijig on Facebook by following this link- http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Camp-Anokijig/112799212069046?ref=ts
We will continue adding content to the Anokijig Insider as we always have, but will also be adding pictures and updates on Facebook as well, as we know a lot of our campers and staff frequent that site. For those of you who are fans of Twitter, you can find us there as well- http://twitter.com/anokijig
Friday, March 26, 2010
All the hard work is paying off, as we just set records for registrations in a single week and a single day! All of our summer sessions still have availability, but we do have weeks that sell out every year, so be sure to register early- https://www.anokijig.com/Registration.aspx
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It's that time of year again- SHOW TIME! As parents and families try to map out their summer plans, one of their activities often includes time at a sleepaway summer camp. We like to think Anokijig isn't just one of the best summer camps in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, but the entire country! So, we send Darin out on the road to tell our story.
Starting Wednesday, Darin will be at the Camp Anokijig booth at the Milwaukee Sports Show at the Wisconsin Expo Center at State Fair Park. We encourage you to stop on by and pay him a visit, find out what's new at Anokijig for 2010 and plan a trip to Anokijig for yourself or a loved one. We hope to see you at the show!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
It's that time of year again! The Racine Founders Rotary Club is holding their annual Vegas Night event on Saturday, February 13th from 7-10PM at Festival Hall in downtown Racine.
Some of the proceeds from this event will help Camp Anokijig, so if you can attend, we encourage you to do so. Table games include black jack, craps roulette and the money wheel. There will also be a Texas Hold 'Em tournament.
Admission is just five dollars and includes a chance to win several hundred dollars or a trip to Las Vegas! There may also be a special appearance by The King himself!-
Anokijig will be providing volunteers for this event, so if you'd like to help, it's not too late to call Mary Krahn at 920-893-0782. We hope to see you there!