Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Anokijig's 2010 Tube-A-Thon is Coming!

In honor of our camp motto, “WE SERVE”, we are inviting you to spend a fun-filled weekend at Anokijig, to kick off our annual fundraiser for the ANOKIJIG CAMPERSHIP FUND on January 8-10, 2010. The goal is to raise $20,000 to help send less fortunate children to camp, while having outrageous fun. To accomplish this, we need you to gather pledges of money from family, friends, neighbors, or anyone willing. All donations from this program go directly toward sending less fortunate children to a week of summer camp in 2010. Last year, this program helped send over 200 children to a week of summer camp.

This is one of our largest goals ever so we are counting on all of our Anokijig friends and supporters to take this chance to spread the word to as many people as possible about the Campership Fund drive and all the good that Camp does for kids. This is a chance to make a difference in a child’s life and have loads of fun doing it.

Funds raised for Tube-A-Thon may be turned in the weekend of the event or after, but only pledges that are in by 11:00 AM, January 10, 2010 will be counted toward the great prize competition. In the past, we've had some difficulty collecting the donations that were promised. Please make every effort to collect all donations and send them to Camp Anokijig by Jan 30, 2010. Remember Prizes will only be available to those whom have turned in their pledges and this money is for a very good cause. If it doesn't arrive at Camp, fewer kids can be helped.

2009 participants who have not returned their 2009 pledges may not participate.

In the past, several people have chosen to use this event solely as a reunion, without making any effort to help less fortunate campers. Although we always enjoy seeing and visiting with all of our Anokijig friends, this event is for the benefit of kids. It is not fair to those who are making the effort to raise pledges for deserving children, to allow those to attend, who have made little or no effort at all. Therefore, only participants with a minimum of $150 in pledges are allowed to participate in 2010. Please help to make this a positive event by only attending if you are collecting the minimum amount of pledges.

If you are able to join us, please fill out this form and submit it PRIOR TO January 4, 2010- http://www.anokijig.com/2010%20tube-a-thon.htm If you are unable to attend, you may still help by raising pledges or sending a donation. We hope you are able to join us and look forward to seeing you in 2010!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Gift Ideas?

Are you still searching for that perfect Christmas present? How about an Anokijig present for that special someone? We're at that time of the year, where we need to make room for all of our 2010 inventory in the trading post. That means we have a lot of items on sale right now, that would make great stocking stuffers and you can save up to 50% on some items! Visit our online trading post for some great gift ideas- http://www.anokijig.com/tradingpost

Parents, Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles should consider giving the gift of a week at Anokijig to some lucky camper. 2010 summer registration is open and a week at Anokijig is sure to brighten any child's Christmas morning- https://www.anokijig.com/registration.aspx

We hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Holidays from Anokijig!

It’s the beginning of December and Anokijig is all battened down for the arrival of our first snow of the season. What better time to think SUMMER 2010!

You can see all of the news, new schedules, and programs at www.anokijig.com

Online Registration for 2010 is now open at https://www.anokijig.com/registration.aspx

A new camper fundraising option is available for all campers or Anokijig Supporters. Beat the economic downturn with Online Magazine and Gift sales with the profits going to camper accounts or the campership fund. The Store is open and active NOW.

See the fundraising details for: Campers at: http://www.anokijig.com/online%20fundraise.htm

Camper Family and Friends at: http://www.anokijig.com/online%20fundraising%20directions.htm

Camp Supporters in general at: http://www.anokijig.com/online%20fundraising%20supporter%20directions.htm

SHOP WITH A PURPOSE this holiday season at the online fundraising store.

Candy Sales will begin January, 11th 2010 and run through June 3, 2010. Call the camp office at 1-800-741-6931 for all the details or see http://www.anokijig.com/scholar.htm#candy .

Check out the Holiday specials and sales at the Anokijig Trading post starting Friday November 27th, 2009 at: http://www.anokijig.com/tradingpost/. No need to fight the crowds, get all of your holiday shopping done at the Tradingpost! (Remember, Anokijig gift certificates make a great gift!)

For those of you in South Eastern Wisconsin or Northern Illinois save February 13, 2010 for another great Anokijig Benefit; the Racine Founders Rotary Casino Night. Come join in as a player or volunteer as a dealer or helper. See http://www.anokijig.com/Racine%20Casino%20Night%20Benefit.htm for details.

The alumni newsletter will be heading out in the mail and email soon, with all the camp news and 2010 registration information for you to hold in your hand. Email us at anokijig@excel.net if you would like to get just a link by email instead of the printed copy.

The Annual Staff and Alumni Tube-a-thon date is set for January 8-10, 2010. If you are 14 or older and would like to help send some kids to camp for 2010 check out the details of this annual Fun-draising weekend at Anokijig. It’s an incredibly fun weekend of events plus tons of prizes. Start raising funds now to send a kid to camp. See the details at: http://www.anokijig.com/2010%20tube-a-thon.htm

Recruiting for 2010 Anokijig Senior and Junior Staff has now begun. If you know of a great person who would be an excellent staff member have them visit http://www.anokijig.com/staff.htm for all of the details and applications.

For frequent updates to interesting Anokijig events and activities check out the Anokijig Insider Blog at www.anokijig.com.

Have a great holiday season. We look forward to seeing you all at Anokijig sometime in 2010!

Take Care,

Darin Holden
Program Director
Camp Anokijig
Anokijig Changes Lives!

Friday, November 20, 2009

2010 Registration is Open!

Did you know registration for Camp Anokijig's 2010 summer sessions are now open? Families have been requesting earlier registration dates for several years now and we've tried to accomodate them, by opening registration sooner in each of the past few years and this is our earliest registration opening ever!

Early registration allows parents (and grandparents) to make a week at Anokijig a special Christmas gift for their child (or grandchild) and families can begin to figure out their summer calendar and plan for other trips, knowing when their kids will be at Anokijig. Early registration will also be helpful for many of our campers who visit us from abroad, allowing them extra time to plan their trips and find the best airfare.

Several of our weeks sell out every summer, so while you may not feel the need to register this early, please keep in mind that because we are opening registration earlier for 2010, they may fill up sooner than they have in past years. If you'd like to register online today, just follow this link- http://anokijig.com/forms.htm

We look forward to seeing you in 2010!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Funny Way to Raise Money

Hello from Anokijig,

We would like everyone to know about this great fund raising event coming up this month here in Plymouth.

For Tickets Call 920-893-0782.

Call soon, tickets are already going fast. Join us for a great evening of comedy for adults and help benefit a great cause. We hope to see you all there!

Take Care,

Darin Holden

Program Director

Camp Anokijig


"Anokijig Changes Lives"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thank You Zeta Chi of Lakeland College!

Normally, when someone sees a fraternity mentioned in reference to beer, it's for all the wrong reasons. That's not the case this time. Anokijig has had an outstanding relationship with Lakeland College throughout the years and we hope they feel the same way. They frequently send busloads of students to do volunteer projects at Camp and many of our former staffers have chosen Lakeland to continue their education.

One of our Anokijig Alumni, Markus Savaglio, happens to be both a Lakeland College student and a member of the Zeta Chi fraternity. For the second year in a row, his fraternity is running a Micro Brew beer-tasting event to raise money for Anokijig. The event will be held at the David & Valarie Black room in the Laun Center at Lakeland College on Saturday, November 7th, from 7PM to 10PM.

The event is open to anyone 21 years or older and tickets can be purchased at the door for $10. If you have questions about this event, you can contact Markus directly at savagliom@lakeland.edu of by calling 920-207-4910. Good luck Zeta Chi and we hope everyone who participates in this event does so responsibly!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Camp Anokijig- Life Skills Factory

The environment at Anokijig offers these teens and young adults a unique experience that may be as close to parenting as many of them will get, until they decide to have their own children. Many young people may work as babysitters or in youth programs in their home towns, but very few get the opportunity to spend extended periods of time with younger children.

It's one thing to spend one evening with a child who misses their parents or even an entire workday. It's something entirely different when our staff are put in a position where they spend a week or even longer around a large group of younger children. When they are at Anokijig, our staff essentially lives with these children.

There is no timeclock here and for the time these campers are at Anokijig, our staff serves as the closest thing to parents that these children will have, on-call day and night. That gives them a unique perspective few of their peers are able to experience. They teach, lead, encourage, console, discipline, mediate, guide and mentor these kids. In turn, our campers teach our staff important life lessons in patience, dedication, persistence, honor, altruism, integrity, and a host of other parenting skills.

What does this mean in the long-run? Feedback from our former staff indicates they left Anokijig with a much greater appreciation for what it means to be a parent and be responsible for another human life. That's never a bad thing.

If you have a high school-aged son or daughter, that you think might be interested in volunteering at Anokijig and learning these valuable life skills, call Camp today at 920-893-0782.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anokijig's Little Elkhart Lake Named One of Wisconsin's Top Lakes

Milwaukee Magazine recently ran an extensive article on Wisconsin's 15,081 lakes. It was a very comprehensive article, which focused on the health of Wisconsin's lakes and efforts made over the years to combat invasive species and other threats to these waters. It also discussed the rapid rise in popularity of Wisconsin's lakes in the early-20th Century.

The article really reminds us of how lucky we were to have people like Ray Vance and Uncle Adolph Gillund, who founded Anokijig and were responsible for locating our current site on Little Elkhart. The two men started the first summer of camping at Anokijig in 1926 and the Milwaukee Magazine article states that by 1932, so many people from Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities were vacationing in Wisconsin, that Vilas and Oneida counties had 221 resorts, 3,995 summer homes and 73 camps or clubs.

If people at that time were willing to drive that far for a getaway, the shoreline on Little Elkhart would've certainly gotten caught up in the rush, had those two men not secured it for Anokiig's use years earlier. The article also talks about the gradual near-extinction of the middle-class lakefront property owner in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Jeffrey Thornton is the principal environmental planner for the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and he was quoted extensively thoughout the story. One of his most eye-opening quotes talked about the lakefront real estate boom of the 1990s, where cottages fell three at a time to make room for massive year-round homes for the wealthiest Midwesterners. "With the lakes' water quality improved, property values soared. Vacant lots in Waukesha County with 100 feet of frontage on 90-acre lakes started selling for $1 million.

Little Elkhart is not quite that large or convenient to Chicago, but Anokijig's water frontage on Little Elkhart measures in the thousands of feet. One can imagine what plans developers had in mind when Anokijig was put up for sale in 2005.

The story also talks about the threat posed to lakes by residents who think they are cleaning up their shorelines, by removing fallen trees and anything else that "looks messy." The article claims these efforts directly impact blue gills and largemouth bass, who grow three times slower in lakes without woody habitats. Anokijig's shoreline is chock-full of this habitat, which might help explain why we have such a vibrant fishing program.

The article also lists Wisconsin's top lakes in several different categories. Given Anokijig's presence on Little Elkhart, it should come as no surprise that a panel of Wisconsin DNR lake experts rated our lake as one of Wisconsin's healthiest. Nearby Elkhart Lake and Crystal Lake were also named the best swimming lakes in Sheboygan County. We know Little Elkhart was left off this list, because we have no public beach access. However, Anokijig has the biggest and best beach on Little Elkhart and we know it to be every bit as good for swimming as the public beach areas on our neighboring lakes.

In short, we can't overstate how fortunate we are to have such a tremendous natural resource in Little Elkhart Lake. If you'd like to read this article in it's entirety, you can follow this link- http://www.milwaukeemagazine.com/currentIssue/full_feature_story.asp?newmessageid=24752

If you find a story that would be of interest to us, please drop us a line at anokijig@excel.net.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Wonderful Wedding Gift

Some of our long-time readers may remember a post we made almost a year ago, discussing the current state of some of Anokijig's boats and the need for some upgrades- The Anokijig Insider: A Need Indeed

We're happy to report that our call to action has been answered. Mike McGrath of Minocqua, Wisconsin heard of our need for a newer pontoon boat and he happened to have a boat he was considering selling. The boat is a beautiful, 24-foot Manitou Limited pontoon boat and it is just what Anokijig desperately needed.

Two of Mike's good friends were married this past summer and he knew of their affinity for Camp Anokijig. As a very generous wedding present, Mike offered to donate his pontoon boat to Anokijig, in honor of their union.

Even though the boat is 14 years old, the Manitou Pontoon Boat company makes a high-quality boat, as this one looks nearly-new and is in great shape! It features comfortable seating for up to 12 passengers and a 90-horsepower Honda four-stroke outboard motor. That's great news for camp, as this motor is far more efficient (and quieter) than the motor on our other pontoon boat.

What will become of our other pontoon boat? Our waterfront director, Don Hill, has spent countless hours over the last several winters, reparing and welding that other pontoon boat back together. It no longer has any fixed seating, but he thinks it could still make an excellent boat for our fishing program. In order to make this happen, we would need to upgrade the outboard motor that is currently on the boat. It is simply too costly to operate and seems to burn as much oil as gasoline.

Ideally, we would like to replace it with a smaller outboard in the range of 20-25 horsepower, since it would only be used for moving campers to all the prime fishing spots on Little Elkhart. If you know of someone who might be able to help us find such a motor, please have them call Camp Anokijig at 920-893-0782.

Thank you again Mike McGrath for your wonderful gift to Camp Anokijig! Check out this video of her maiden voyage-

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alumni Day is Coming!

Anokijig's summer sessions are behind us for 2009, but Camp is still in full-swing with school groups during the week and Indian Guides and other groups coming in on the weekends. Our final family camping weekend of the year is coming up on the weekend of October 10th, when we welcome campers for Anokijig's Fall Colors Weekend.

Fall Colors is one of the most-beautiful weekends to be at Anokijig. The colors on the trees are a dozen different shades of red, yellow and brown, while the crisp, autumn air is cut by the warm, crackling of a campfire.

Fall Colors weekend also coincides with Anokijig's annual Alumni Day, which takes place on Sunday, October 11th. If you are a former camper or counselor, we welcome you to stop in and visit with your old friends from 11AM until 2:30PM. Admission is always free, but we would appreciate it if you signed up in advance, so our cooks will know how many to expect for lunch.

If you're planning on attending Alumni Day, you can RSVP online at this link- http://anokijig.com/alumni%20day.htm of you can always call Anokijig at 920-893-0782 and let them know you'll be coming. We hope to see you there!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fallapalooza at Anokijig!

It's going to be a busy weekend at Anokijig. In addition to our Laughter in the Woods event on Saturday night, we are also hosting our annual Fallapalooza open house on Sunday, September 20th. Fallapalooza is a great chance for folks to come out and see what Anokijig is all about.

Some of our scheduled activities include fishing, arts & crafts, an archery contest, voyageur canoe rides, an arrowhead dig, carnival games and an all-you-can-eat bunch a brunch. Kids horse rides will also be available for $5.

Anokijig's doors will swing open at 9:30AM and the event will run until 3PM. As usual, this event is a very affordable way for a family to spend a Sunday. Admission is just $9 for ages 13 and older, $6 for children ages 4-12 and as always, kids under three are free! If you can't make it to Laughter in the Woods, we hope you'll join us for Fallapalooza!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Laughter in The Woods is Coming Soon!

Greetings from Anokijig:

Just a friendly reminder that there are still seats available for this year’s comedy extravaganza: “Laughter In The Woods”-Comedy Dinner Theater and Auction; but we expect them to be going fast!

The McMann & Tate Comedy Group has put together a great original show to keep you laughing, the steaks and crab cakes are ready for cooking and the beer & wine cellar is being stocked. It is bound to be a theatrical and epicurean experience to remember.

Doors open at 6:00 pm next Saturday September 19th with the show beginning at 6:30pm

A featured part of the evening will be our annual silent and (for the first time) Live auction. The lodge will be filled an array with items to bid on like:

· A one-weeks stay at a northern Wisconsin lake Cottage

· 2 brand new kayaks

· Trolling Motor

· Fish Finder

· Home theater

· Spa Package

· plus much much more!!

Reservations are required so call soon. Limited overnight accommodations are available, just call for the details.

Call 1-800-741-6931

Cost is only a $35 Fee & $40 Deductible Donation and all the proceeds go to benefit the ANOKIJIG SHEBOYGAN COUNTY KIDS SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Reserve a table for 8 and bring your friends or business associates.



Questions? See our website at www.anokijig.com or call our office at 1-800-741-6931. We hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thank You Marquette University!

We often talk about the massive amount of volunteer support Anokijig receives each year (more than 50,000 hours per year). We don't do this to brag, although we are very proud of the generosity of our supporters. We do this to thank our supporters and remind people that we need their help to make this place successful.

When people ask us how a "private camp" like Anokijig can afford to charge half of what most private camps charge, the answer is simple- volunteers. Our legion of volunteers helps keep Anokijig affordable for summer campers, family campers and groups.

Today we welcomed a group of 32 volunteers from Marquette University, led by Dr. Toby Peters. Almost all of these volunteers were students and many of them will soon participate in another volunteer outreach program Marquette sponsors, which provides medical care to people in Honduras.

These volunteers jumped right into action at Anokijig, cutting burdock out of the pasture around Victory Hill, setting up a canopy for our upcoming Fallapalooza event and splitting wood down at the Supply Shed. The work was physically demanding, but these great volunteers were up to the task. The consensus from our staff is that they are welcome back to help out anytime.

Thank you Marquette University for all your hard work at Camp Anokijig! If you have a group that would like to come volunteer at Anokijig for a half or full day, please give our camp office a call at 920-893-0782

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thank You Snap-on!

The wide variety of tools, equipment and supplies Anokijig needs and uses on a daily basis is truly an amazing and varied list. Everything from ping pong balls, bratwurst and life jackets to saddle soap, laptop computers and log splitters. Virtually everything under the sun seems to find a use or purpose at Anokijig.

One of our most-dedicated (and appreciated) donors over the past few years has been Snap-on Incorporated of Kenosha. Snap-on manufactures and sells a wide array of tools and equipment, most of which we can find a use for at Anokijig. However, when we have a dozen different projects going on at the same time, with at least as many staff members involved in those projects, keeping track of tools can be a challenge.

Fortunately for us, Snap-on Industrial, which is a division of Snap-on Incorporated, sent us two beautiful Williams-branded tool boxes this past summer. Many of the donated Snap-on tools we have previously received have already found a home in these boxes. Thank you Snap-on Incorporated!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Family Camping

Its Sunday afternoon and we're in the midst of another fantastic Labor Day Family Camping Weekend. Beach tunes are playing over the PA system and many of the 230+ family campers have found their way down to the waterfront area for the same beach party fun that our campers enjoy every week during summer camp. Little Elkhart is still as warm as a bathtub and volleyball games and face-painting are camper favorites.

These family weekends are a great (and affordable) opportunity for families to connect, reunite and unplug from their everyday lives. Best of all, we still have one family camping weekend to go this year and there's still time to sign up, although space is limited.

Camp Anokijig's Fall Colors camping weekend is October 9th to the 11th. Campers begin arriving Friday night and are treated to three delicious meals on Saturday and two more on Sunday. There are also plenty of special activities that are unique to Fall Colors weekend, like our annual pumpkin-carving contest. If you'd like more information on Fall Colors Family camping, call Camp Anokijig today at 920-893-0782.

We hope to see you at Anokijig soon!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Come See Laughter in the Woods!

It's getting to be that time of year again, when Camp Anokijig hosts their annual Laughter in the Woods dinner theater and auction. This year, we are welcoming Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren as our special guests, although we don't expect either one to attend. This year's event will take place on Saturday, September 19th, with the doors at Western Lodge swinging open promptly at 6 PM.

The McMann & Tate comedy group will once again be entertaining our guests with their hilarious antics and madcap skits and all guests will enjoy a delicious steak and seafood dinner. Tickets are $75 each and all proceeds will go to Camp Anokijig's Campership fund for Sheboygan County youth.

For more information or to book your reservations today, please call Camp Anokijig at 920-893-0782.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bring the Whole Family To Camp Anokijig!

Camp Anokijig's 2009 Summer Camping Season has ended, but Anokijig's 2009 Camping Season is far from over! If your child is still raving about their experience at Anokijig this summer and begging for more, there are still plenty of chances to come back in 2009.

Camp Anokijig is offering several family camping weekends this year and there's still space available in all of them. Family Camping weekends allows families to do all the fun stuff that the Anokijig summer campers did all summer long, from horseback riding to archery and all the cool boats at the waterfront. There are also some special family activities on these weekends that are not available during summer camp, like pumpkin carving contests and hayrides.

Our August Getaway Weekend runs from the evening of the 28th through the 30th and we have a couple of rooms available in the Health Lodge, one of the Thunderbird bunkhouses and several tents left. Our Labor Day weekend is nearly full, with only one room (two people) available in the Health Lodge and Fall Colors is also close to being full with only platform tents remaining.

These weekends are all great opportunities for families to enjoy Anokijig together, without the hassles of packing up a tent and cooking meals over an open fire. Your accomodations will be waiting for you and all your meals are included. Best of all, the price is more affordable than you might realize.

An average family of four can enjoy our Fall Colors weekend for about $325, which includes two nights stay, five all-you-can-eat meals in Western Lodge and unlimited access to all of our program areas (horseback rides and some arts & crafts projects do have additional fees). As always, children under four years of age are always free on all of our family weekends.

If you would like more information on our Family Weekends, please visit this link- http://anokijig.com/09family.htm

Don't delay though, because space is limited and it's filling up fast!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thank You Johnson Controls!

Did you know Camp Anokijig benefits from over 50,000 volunteer hours each year? That staggering number happens for several reasons. We have an outstanding core group of adult volunteers, who seem to spend nearly every free moment they have at Anokijig. We also have a fantastic group of junior staff, many of whom volunteer countless weekends at Anokijig in the Spring and Fall months.

Another group of people that help us tremendously are companies and service organizations, who organize work days at Anokijig. Today, ten employees and executives from Johnson Controls and their Optima Batteries Division spent the day doing various work projects at Anokijig.

The weather didn't look good in the morning, but this group showed up early, worked hard and stayed late. Our staff is used to the rigors of working at Anokijig and they don't impress easily, but they were surprised at the effort put forth by the folks from JCI.

This was Johnson Control's first work day at Anokijig and sometimes we schedule easier tasks for first-time groups, but that wasn't the case today. In the morning, half the group cleaned saddles down at the corral, while the other group split logs down by the supply shed.

After lunch, the group enjoyed a tour around Little Elkhart on the Allegheney, before returning to work. The first order of business was upgrading all of the batteries in our fleet of vehicles to Optimas.

As that task finished up, one group headed out to tear out old fence line, while the other made much-needed repairs to our horse shelters. We also had folks doing filing for us in the office, which will make Carol very happy when she returns from her vacation next week.

Volunteer work like this is the lifeblood of Anokijig and its what keeps us accessible and affordable for so many children and families. Thank you Johnson Controls and Optima Batteries for all your hard work and generosity!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Are You LinkedIn to Anokijig?

It's amazing to think of how we gathered information just 20 years ago. The public library, encyclopedias and word of mouth were common sources of information that many Americans used to rely on. The emergence of the Internet has changed all of that.

As the Internet continues to grow and evolve, new uses emerge. One site growing in popularity is LinkedIn.com. This site allows users to post their resume online and connect with other people, whom they have worked with in some capacity. If MySpace is the club and Facebook is the backyard, LinkedIn is the boardroom.

Networking groups have emerged on LinkedIn and unlike social networking sites, these groups generally focus on professional or educational-based networks. Camp Anokijig Staff and Alumni both have the opportunity to join LinkedIn groups, by searching LinkedIn's groups for "Anokijig."

If you are an Anokijig Staff alumni (either paid or volunteer) or a former camper in good standing, we welcome you to join our groups. If you have a job opening at your company and you're looking for the kind of people that Anokijig produces, these groups would be a good place to start- http://www.linkedin.com/groupsDirectory?results=&sik=1250804837421&pplSearchOrigin=GLHD&keywords=anokijig

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thank You Anokijig Campers!

The sun has now set on another fantastic summer camp season at Anokijig. In typical Anokijig fashion, thousands of children had the time of their lives, with lasting memories that will stretch well beyond the upcoming winter months.
As in years past, Anokijig welcomed campers this year from all corners of the world, including Singapore, Russia, Spain and Germany. We also hosted campers from 24 different states, but more than 90% of our campers still come from Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.
One trend that did change dramatically from 2008, was the number of campers who received campership assistance. Since 1926, Camp Anokijig has never denied a child the opportunity to go camping on the shores of Little Elkhart, due to a lack of financial resources. In 2009, 240 campers received more than $100,000 worth of assistance.
While it is amazing to think of the incredible fun and personal growth these children experienced during their time at Anokijig, it's even more impressive to think of the generosity of our donors and supporters, that made this all possible. Without your help and support, many of these children simply would not have been able to come to Anokijig.
We say it often, but maybe not often enough- For many campers who visit Anokijig, the experience is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Their first campfire, their first night away from home, their first fish caught, their first night away from their parents, their first horseback ride and the list goes on. It may be hard for some people to believe, but we meet campers every year, who have never swam in water without chlorine, before visiting Anokijig!
A big "RIC TIC" also needs to go out to our hard-working staff, dedicated volunteers and all the other donors and supporters who make Anokijig one of the best places on earth. We appreciate your unwavering commitment to camping excellence!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Camp is Selling a Camaro!

Some of you may remember a previous post regarding the generosity of an individual, who donated a Camaro to Camp Anokijig. Well, we've finally listed it on ebay. You can check out the listing here- http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120457038434

If you know anyone, who might be interested in buying this car, please alert them to this listing. Thanks!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In addition to nine weeks of traditional youth summer camp, Camp Anokijig also offers a wide variety of specialty programs. This video is from our Adventure Challenge program, a free specialty program open to all campers entering eighth grade or older. The Adventure Challenge is Anokijig's version of the popular reality show contests and our campers love the experience.

Unfortunately, we only have one week of summer camp remaining and our Adventure Challenge is not available in Week 9. However, we do have several other exciting options for campers coming to Anokijig next week (7th grade and older).

There are two spots remaining in our Rock Climbing adventure, where campers will learn the latest climbing techniques at one of Wisconsin's finest facilities. There are also two spots remaining in our Paintball Challenge.

If you would like more information on these or other programs at Camp Anokijig, please call our camp office at 1-800-741-6931 or visit our website- http://anokijig.com/SUMMER%20CAMP%20page.HTM

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer is Almost Over!

Greetings from Anokijig
We’re deep into summer camp 2009 and everyone is having a great time with the first days of session 8. The weather is wonderful the lake is perfect, and Western Day is coming up tomorrow. 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 send this note 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 2009.
We’ve made it incredibly easy to get yourself a spot for next week; choose your method:
· Easy online registration at https://www.anokijig.com/2009%20web%20registration%20form.htm
· Download a printable form for fax at http://www.anokijig.com/2009registration%20form%20updated.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:
· A great canoe fishing trip to the Sylvania Wilderness
· Reality day (all sorts of great “survivor type” events)
· 50 horses to ride
· Tons of Sailboats and Windsurfs to sail
· Ukulele band
· Woodworking
· Crafts
· Trail crafts
· Fishing
· Nature
· Drama
· Dance
· Land games
· Field riots
· Archery
· Pellet gun
· Aquatics
· Campfires
· Talent show
· Day trips to Noahs Ark waterpark, paintball, rock climbing, and golf,
· Beach Party
· The last camp dance of 2009!
· 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!
Take Care,
Darin Holden
Program Director
Camp Anokijig
"Anokijig Changes Lives"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Anokijig International

When we think about all the great opportunities Camp Anokijig provides, we normally don't think of it as an environment for children to be immersed in the English language. After all, the vast majority of our campers are from Wisconsin and Illinois.

Even though most of our campers are local, we do host campers from dozens of different states. In fact, last year, Camp Anokijig hosted campers from 23 different states. We know all of these campers keep coming back to Anokijig because of their previous positive experiences here. But we also know some of their parents are also saving money, by flying their children to Wisconsin and sending them to Anokijig, instead of paying for a $1,000+/week camp near their home.

In addition to all of those campers, we routinely host campers from several foreign countries. Last year, children from Croatia, France, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Spain spent time at Camp Anokijig. Many of these children come to Camp Anokijig to work on their English and Anokijig just happens to be the perfect environment for a child to immerse themselves in the English language.

In 2007, we also hosted campers from seven foreign countries, including 29 campers from South Korea, who all came to the States specifically to work on their grasp of the English language. Time spent at Camp Anokijig is a powerful and enriching experience for these campers, but it also has a similar impact on the kids who live within a few hours of Anokijig.

Monday, July 27, 2009

When we posted a video from our Fishing Expedition Program a few weeks back, we thought some folks might suspect the fish caught in that video was the exception and not the rule. We decided to post a second video (above), to put to rest any question as to whether campers in our Fishing Expedition Programs do reel in the big ones.

We could continue posting such videos, which each subsequent trip (and we might), but nothing quite speaks for the success of this program as testimonials from our own campers. Shortly after we posted this second video, a camper posted a comment, claiming he caught a 23-lb. salmon on the trip last week.

If your child enjoys fishing, they would absolutely love our fishing programs. Unfortunately, our 2009 Fishing Expedition Programs are finished for the season. However, we do still have space in our Sylvania Backcountry Canoe Fishing Trip during Week 9.

Campers on this trip will go after smallmouth bass and northern pike in the Sylvania Wilderness Area, as well as fishing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. We will provide the canoes, gear and all the equipment needed, Mother Nature will provide the fish. If your child is entering 7th grade this fall and would like to experience some amazing fishing, you can register here- http://anokijig.com/2009%20web%20registration%20form.aspx

If your child is already signed up to come to Camp Anokijig during week 9 and would like to go on the Sylvania Backcountry Canoe Fishing Trip, just call the camp office at 1-800-741-6931 to reserve a spot.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thank You Kolar Arms!

Many of you will remember our previous blog post, which talked about Camp Anokijig's new pellet gun range, which was partially-funded by the NRA Foundation. Having the new pellet gun range has truly been a blessing, as it is in a much safer (and environmentally-safer) and convenient location for our campers.

With the pellet gun range now very closely situated to Arts & Crafts, Archery, Digital Photography, and Woodworking, many more campers are taking advantage of this tremendous program. Some camps charge their campers fees for using their rifle ranges, but we prefer to keep camper costs to a minimum. You can imagine the results, when you tell an 11-year old that they are allowed to shoot pellet guns for a seemingly unlimited amount of time.

Since Camp Anokijig started our Pellet Gun program, we have made numerous attempts to purchase our .177 flat-nose pellets in bulk, to save money. Unfortunately, these previous attempts were not successful and with the increasing popularity of this program, we were struggling simply to find enough pellets at local retailers.

That's where employees from Kolar Arms came into the picture. When they heard of our plight, Kolar Arms was not only able to find a bulk quantity of pellets for us (about 100,000), they purchased and donated the pellets directly to Camp Anokijig. Thank you Kolar Arms!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer is Slipping Away!

It's hard to believe, but the Summer of 2009 is rapidly disappearing. Camp Anokijig is currently in the midst of our sixth week out of nine and space for the rest of the summer is becoming scarce.

Week 7 has about a dozen spots left, so if your son or daughter is at Anokijig now and calls home to ask to stay through next week, start thinking now about whether you'd like them to stay next week, as those remaining spots might disappear quickly.

Week 8 is completely sold out, so if your son or daughter does not sign up for Week 7, their only remaining option is Week 9.

If your child is already coming to Anokijig and is considering one of our specialty programs, like Rock Climbing or Caving, there is still space available in those programs. However, our Ranch Program is approaching capacity in some remaining weeks, so if they would like to spend more time around our horses than a horse ride or two, call the Camp Office today, to sign them up for Ranch Camp at 1-800-741-6931.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Camp Anokijig Score a Perfect 100 on ACA Inspection!

The American Camp Association (ACA) is a community of camp professionals who, for nearly 100 years, have joined together to share their collective knowledge and experience to ensure the quality of camp programs. Part of this quality assurance is an accreditation program, which requires that accredited camps meet more than 300 standards for health, safety and program quality. This is a very rigorous and thorough process that each accredited camp must go through every three years.

While accredited camps must score at least an "80" on their inspections, we're happy to report that Camp Anokijig score a perfect "100" on our 2009 inspection. This is important news for parents, because the ACA inspection covers some very important policies, including those regarding staff screening and criminal background checks for all staff who will have responsibility for or access to campers.

The ACA also checks for written documentation that every lifeguard has demonstrated skill in rescue and emergency procedures specific to the aquatic area and activities guarded. These are all mandatory standards that have been missed by dozens of camps every year. In fact, the most commonly-missed standard in the past two years is the one requiring all resident campers and seasonal staff members to have a doctor-signed health exam within the last 24 months. 146 camps missed this standard in 2008 and 109 missed it in 2007.

This is a particularly important standard, given the current concerns surrounding the H1N1 virus and one that Camp Anokijig takes very seriously. While some summer camps have elected to cancel sessions in 2009 as a precautionary measure, we would like to remind parents that those camps primarly cater to children who already have compromised immune systems. Camp Anokijig's continued efforts to adhere to strict ACA health and safety standards helps us ensure the safest and most enjoyable experience for all of our campers.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Refrigerators! How Cool Is That?!?

The Hussmann Refrigerator at Western Lodge is original equipment to this building and has been here since the lodge was dedicated in back in 1949. While we've had to replace some parts on it over the years, it's served us very well.

Unfortunately, our Hussmann has gotten so old, that some replacement parts (like gaskets) were getting very hard to find. We're also guessing refrigerators built after the creation of NASA are probably more efficient than our World War II-era model.

This is where Harry Schildkraut came into the picture. Mr. Schildkraut and his company, s2o Consultants, have been instrumental in upgrading many of the appliances in Western Lodge's kitchen. When he learned of our refrigerator situation, he began talking to his connections in the food service industry, to see if anyone might be able to help us upgrade our refrigerator.

Before too long, Mitch Cohen of Victory Refrigeration heard of our situation and offered two brand-new units-

Not only are these units larger, but they feature more shelf space and are undoubtedly less expensive to operate than the unit they replace. Every little bit makes a difference, especially when our annual electric bill is typically somewhere north of $17,000! Thank you Mitch Cohen, Victory Refrigeration, Harry Schildkraut and s2o Consultants!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Camp Anokijig's Fishing Expedition Program

Someone once said, "The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of that which is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." As you can see from this video, Camp Anokijig's Fishing Expedition Program tends to make his pursuit more attainable than most of us are accustomed to experiencing.

When campers come to Anokijig to fish, we make sure they not only catch some fish and have a good time, but learn a little bit about fishing and themselves. Camp Anokijig's Fishing Expedition Program covers everything from cane poles with bobbers to fly reels and salmon fishing on Lake Michigan.

We offer Fishing Expedition as a specialty program during several of our summer camp weeks, for just an additional $80 over their resident camping fees. Most Lake Michigan charter boats won't even start their engines for that price, but campers in our Expedition Fishing Program will have all their bait, boats and equipment supplied, including a chartered fishing excursion on Lake Michigan (weather permitting).

While many of the campers in this program have some previous fishing experience, almost everyone learns something new or experiences fishing in a way they never had before. This program is also designed to accomodate the first-time angler, so if your son or daughter would like to give fishing a try, this might be the perfect introduction for them.

We have already successfully completed three weeks of Fishing Expedition and the campers in this program have really enjoyed themselves. Next week is our final Fishing Expedition program for 2009, so if your child is signed up for Resident Camp and would like to experience an exciting week of fishing, give us a call at 1-800-741-6931 today!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bus-Free Horse Rides

Does this bus look like a horse? We don't think so either. Yet, when some kids go to summer camp, they spend as much time riding on buses as they do horses. Camp Anokijig is one of those rare camps, which actually has a horse program located entirely on-site. That means when our campers are offered a horse ride, that's exactly what they get.

Camp Anokijig's Ranch program has a herd of more than 50 horses, which means there are always plenty of opportunities for our campers to go on a ride if they'd like to do so. Camp Anokijig offers several horse rides each day, which are open to all campers and riders of all skill levels.

When we say horse ride, we should explain exactly what that entails, because not all horse rides are the same. Camp Anokijig sits on nearly 400 acres of land in the Kettle Moraine area of Wisconsin. This allows us to offer more than 20 miles of private riding trails, through forest land, rolling hills, meadows and lakeshore areas along Little Elkhart Lake.

We believe there is something about the outside of a horse that is great for the inside of child. We believe our campers deserve the best experience we can offer them around our horses and we don't believe that translates into a glorified version of a fairground pony ride. Campers on Anokijig horse rides get out on our extensive private trail system and go somewhere. Camp Anokijig's trail system is expansive enough, that even a 30-45 minute horse ride can feel like an adventure into a wilderness area.

Perhaps the best part of Camp Anokijig's horse program is our price. Campers entering into 7th grade or older can spend an entire week in Camp Anokijig's Ranch Program for just $57 over the price of our Resident Camp. Campers entering into 4-6th grades can spend an entire week in our Circle A Rider program for the same price.

Even if a child doesn't want to spend the entire week in Ranch Camp or Circle A Riders, children in Camp Anokijig's Resident camp program can still ride the same horses on the same trails for about $10-$12 per ride.

Camp Anokijig's Ranch Program is such a tremendous value, because we do everything in-house. We don't spend extra money on transportation costs to shuttle our campers to and from an outside facility. We don't pay fees to outside contractors. We don't spend extra money buying all of our feed, because we grow most of it ourselves. We don't spend extra money leasing out pasture and farmland, because we have our own.

That all translates into an incredibly comprehensive horse experience at a fraction of the cost found elsewhere. Come see for yourself!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beware of Hidden Costs at Summer Camps!

Even though we're in the midst of the summer camping season, we realize parents are still looking for the best camping opportunities for their children. Some are still planning for this year, while others may be planning already for 2010.

If we could give one piece of advice to cost-conscious parents about selecting a summer camp, it would be to make sure they understand all the expenses involved in sending their child off to camp. The fee to send a child to camp can literally, be just the tip of the iceberg. At Anokijig, the current rate for our Resident Camp Program is $510 per week.

The hidden costs parents may encounter with resident camp fees at some camps include mandatory multi-week commitments. Some camps require that campers attend a minimum of anywhere from three to eight weeks (Anokijig has no multi-week requirements). That's a big commitment for a parent to make, especially if their child has never been to an overnight camp before, which brings us to the next potential hidden expense for parents.

What if your son or daughter gets very homesick and decides they want to leave? What if a family's schedule has changed and sending a child to camp is no longer possible? How much of your deposit is refundable, especially if you've committed thousands of dollars to a multi-week camp? That's an important question to ask before making such a huge commitment, because any number of situations could arise, which would prevent a child from staying at camp (or even getting there in the first place). Anokijig's $100/week deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable, but the balance of the fees are fully-refundable.

Whether you are taking your child to camp or sending them on a bus, make sure you factor in travel expenses in your decision. Travel expenses alone can often result in hundreds of dollars worth of savings (or added expense). How far away is the camp from your home? If you're trying to save a few dollars and one camp's fees are $40 cheaper than another's, will you really be saving that much if you have to drive an extra 100 miles each way to drop your child off and pick them up?

If you choose to send you child to camp on a bus, how much will it cost? Camp Anokijig's bus service runs to ten different locations in Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. We offer one-way service for prices varying from $26-$47 and roundtrip service from $52-$94, based on location. Last year, Anokijig hosted campers from 23 different states. Some of those families have found the total cost of flying their child to Wisconsin and sending them to Anokijig is actually less, than sending them to a camp in their home state!

What activity fees are not included? At Anokijig, the only resident camp programs that have additional fees are some of our Arts & Crafts projects (typically 50 cents up to $3) and our Ranch program, which offers trail rides for anywhere from $10-$12. Our trading post sells some snack items and keepsakes, so most families will send an extra $25-$50 per week for their children, depending on how much horseback riding they plan on doing.

Are there any costs incurred before arriving at camp? For health and safety reasons, Anokijig requires that all campers coming to camp must have a recent physical exam. All ACA-accredited camps have this requirement, but the time and expense involved in getting the exam done before coming to camp needs to be considered.

Finally, will your child be required to purchase special clothing for their trip to camp? While Anokijig maintains a modest and appropriate dress code for our campers and staff, we do not require special uniforms for attending our camp.

We hope these tips have been helpful in your search to find the best camp for your child!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Send Your Kid to Camp Today!

If you haven't had a chance to send your child to Camp yet this year, there is still some space available in some weeks, but it's going fast. If your child camp to Anokijig earlier this summer and would really like to spend some more time here, consider bringing them back up soon.

  • As of this morning, Anokijig's availability looks like this-
    Week 6 has just nine spaces left for resident camp. If your child is thinking about coming that week or is currently at Anokijig and thinking about staying an extra week, you should call today to reserve a spot for Week 6.
  • If you would like your child to go on the Paintball Day Trip in Week 6, but have not yet signed up, do so today. That activity is nearly at capacity.
    Circle A Riders is at capacity for Week 6, so anyone interested in signing up for that program will be wait-listed.
  • Mini Camp is sold out for Week 6. However, if your child would like to give Anokijig a try, there is still space available for this three-day program in Weeks 7-9, although Week 8 is near capacity.
  • Ranch Camp is sold out for Week 8, so if your child would like to participate in Anokijig's Ranch Program, they can still sign up for Weeks 6, 7 or 9.
  • If you would like to register your child for Camp Anokijig, you can call us toll free at 1-800-741-6921 or follow this link to our secure online registration form- http://anokijig.com/2009%20web%20registration%20form.aspx

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Hidden Side of Anokijig

When campers come to Anokijig, they expect to have the time of their life and most do, but it's not as simple as people just showing up and the great times turning on like a light switch. There always seems to be a constant flurry of activity going on behind the scenes, making everything at Anokijig function as it should.

One of the biggest tasks that campers rarely see is the process involved in feeding our herd of more than 50 horses. It is a massive undertaking, which used to require a tremendous amount of time and manpower. While the growing, cutting and baling of hay is still a long process, the generosity of the Case IH corporation has made it far less labor-intensive.

Almost every piece of farm of farm equipment at Anokijig has been donated from Case IH and last year, they recognized the need we had to replace our aging mower and baler. It wasn't a gift that many donors would consider "glamorous" or "high-profile," but the new mower and baler are absolutely essential to the successful operation of our ranch program.

The average camper may not give a second thought to the sight of our tractor cutting fresh hay and effortlessly tossing it into the air, but to our staff, it's a thing of beauty. Once the hay is sufficiently dry, our facilities manager, Scott Stewart, will head back out with our new baler and produce the massive "round" bales in a fraction of the time it once took for us to put the hay in traditional "square" bales.

Although these round bales are much larger and heavier than square bales, moving them around takes fewer people, because heavy equipment is involved in the entire process. In the past, baling hay involved dozens of staff members throwing bales onto trailers, hauling them to a barn and stacking them.

Just as our farm equipment is not on the radar of most campers, neither are the fields from which we farm our hay. Anokijig farms about 80 acres of hay, but not all of those hayfields belong to us. The picture in this post was taken about a mile North of Anokijig, along Highway E and the land is owned by two very generous supporters of Camp Anokijig, Brock & Lynn Brownrigg.

The Brownriggs have been very generous to Anokijig over the years and have been regularly donating their hay crops to us. Their generosity and the generosity of many other donors, including Case IH help us keep Anokijig and our Ranch Program affordable for our campers and we greatly appreciate their support!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Paying for Camp

Jenny Wolkowitz recently wrote a story for Tips on Trips and Camps on paying for summer camp. You can read the entire piece here- http://www.tipsontripsandcamps.com/payingforcamp.html

We'd like to take a look at some of the points she raised in her story and how Camp Anokijig fits into the picture she paints. First, she points out that for parents, who went to a camp as children, the idea of sending their own kids to camp makes a lot of sense. It is an amazing experience and one that many former Anokijig campers will claim is well worth it. However, as Wolkowitz points out, finding the "right fit" is very important.

As much as we'd like to say Camp Anokijig is the best summer camp for every child, that probably isn't the case. While we have a broad range of offerings, there are many camps that offer activities that we do not. As a general rule of thumb, we like to say that anything you can do at home, you probably can't do at Anokijig and anything you do at Anokijig, you probably can't do at home. That means kids who want to play a lot of traditional sports at camp, like soccer, baseball, football or basketball would probably have more fun at a sports-specific camp that offers those activities. However, if a child would like to try windsurfing, horseback riding or archery, Anokijig is probably a good choice.

Wolkowitz also points out that there are two types of camps- agency camps and private camps. She also claims there is a pretty big price differential between the two, with camps subsidized by organizations like the YMCA or JCC being far more affordable than private camps. Anokijig may be unique in this regard. Although we were once a YMCA-affiliated camp, we are now what Wolkowitz would consider a "private camp."

Wolkowitz claims that campers at private camps must pay for all the costs of running a camp. That means most campers can expect to pay between $750-$1,000 per week for a a private camp in the Midwest, while agency camps in this part of the country typically charge between $500-$650 per week. Fortunately for our campers, Anokijig is at the low end of Wolkowitz's cost scale for subsidized camps at just $510 per week.

She also points out that camps in Missouri and Southern Illinois might be a little cheaper than those in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, because they don't offer extensive water sports, like sailing and waterskiing. While we no longer offer waterskiing at Anokijig, we offer just about everything else on the water, from fishing, kayaking and canoeing to sailing and windsurfing. She also points out that camps in the Midwest are traditionally less-expensive, than East or West Coast camps. Based on her description of these camps, it sounds like Anokijig offers the best of both worlds- the ammenities and offerings of a typical private camp, for the price of a subsidized, agency camp.

Extra/hidden costs were another point of emphasis in this article that is worth mentioning. The only fee-based activities for Anokijig campers are horseback rides and some arts & crafts projects. None of our waterfront activities carry any additional fees, nor do our pellet gun or archery range or any other program areas. We do offer day trips and adventure trips for an additional fee, but if a child just wants to hang out at Anokijig all week (and most do), they can take a horseback ride or two, make some cool arts & crafts projects, grab a few snacks at the trading post and mom and dad will still not spend more than $550 for the entire experience.

Finally, Wolkowitz talks about scholarships (we call them camperships) and other ways to make a camping experience more affordable. Like many other camps, Anokijig offers a variety of options for families looking to make the Anokijig camping experience even more affordable. You can read more about those opportunities by following this link- http://anokijig.com/scholar.htm#finanacial

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What Makes Anokijig So Affordable?

We realize parents consider many factors when selecting summer activities and summer camps for their children. Given the current state of our economy, cost is at the top of the list for many parents who choose Anokijig. As a result, Anokijig has not only built a reputation as one of the most affordable summer camps in Wisconsin, but in the entire Midwest and beyond! That might be part of the reason why campers from 23 different states and seven foreign countries chose Anokijig last year.

There are many reasons why we have been able to keep our costs down, but the biggest is the tremendous support we receive from our volunteers. Last year, volunteers at Anokijig spent more than 52,000 hours helping us keep things runnning smoothly. That's the equivalent of approximately 25 full-time employees! These volunteers range from teenaged- junior staff members, to service organizations and adult volunteers and alumni.

Anokijig has been around since 1926, but we also draw on the extensive camping experience of our current staff. Our Executive Director, Program Director & Waterfront Director have more than 100 combined years of experience in camping! That vast experience helps us avoid costly mistakes and focus on what's really important in camping. These are not seasonal jobs either. Anokijig has nine full-time employees, whose only jobs are to create the best possible camping experience.

ABC news recently ran a story about summer camps being a recession-proof industry. We're not sure if that's entirely accurate, but we do know many camps that once required minimum stays of four weeks or longer are now offering shorter sessions. We've known for years that the summer months can be a challenging time of year for families to schedule activities. As a result, we've been offering flexible, three-day Mini Camp options for our campers for several years now and at just $320, that price is tough to beat.

One of the best bargains at Anokijig might be our Ranch Program. At just $565, this program is just $55 more than our regular Resident Camp program. The reason we're able to offer this program at such a reasonable price, is because the entire program is on-site. Our herd numbers between 50-60 horses and we farm approximately 80 acres of hay, producing about 7,750 bales per year. We're blessed to have the land and facilties that allow us to keep our ranch costs low, but having an on-site ranch program means more than just a short walk from Western Lodge for our campers. It means campers can spend more time on and around our horses.

Even though Anokijig feels like it is a world away from our everyday life, it is actually a very convenient drive for most of our campers. We're just 2.5 hours from Chicago, 1.5 hours from Madison and one hour from Milwaukee and Green Bay. That means many families taking their children to Anokijig aren't spending a full day's drive and a couple of tanks of gas just to get to Anokijig and back. We also offer a very reasonably-priced bus service to ten different locations around Wisconsin and Illinois.

We've done our best to provide an outstanding camping experience at a very affordable price, but we know many families need additional help and we have several different programs available to help those families. You can read more about them by following this link- http://anokijig.com/scholar.htm#finanacial

While Anokijig is physically larger than many other camps in terms of the size of our facility and our enrollment, we match that size with our full-time and seasonal staff, which keeps our camper to staff ratio at less than 4:1. Anokijig may seem like the perfect combination of a quality camping experience at an affordable price, but this hasn't all happened overnight. We've been working at perfecting the summer camp experience for more than 80 years and we're not done yet!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

All Weeks Still Open, But Not For Long!

As Week 2 comes to a close, enrollment at Anokijig continues to rise. All remaining weeks still have openings, however, three of those weeks are nearing capacity.
As of Friday, Week Four's Whitewater Rafting Day Trip and Adventure Trip are both close to closing. Week Four's Mini Camp is also near capacity and Competitive Swim Camp is at capacity.
There are also only a few spots remaining for Ranch Camp in Week Five and Resident Camp in that week only has about 16 spots left.
For Week Six, the Paintball Day Trip is near capacity, Circle A Riders are at capacity, Mini Camp is full and Resident Camp only has about 20 spots remaining.
Week Seven still has some space left in all areas (except Stampers), but Week Eight has just five spots remaining for Resident Camp. If you'd like to get your child into Anokijig for the week beginning on August 2nd, you should register today. The Ranch Program is nearly full for that week and the Mini Camp is already at capacity.
As we mentioned previously, our Stamper program is completely sold out for the entire summer. It's shaping up to be another wonderful summer at Anokijig. We hope your children can be a part of it!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Anokijig's Fishing Expeditions

The fishing programs at Camp Anokijig are frequently mentioned in our literature and on our web site, but the pictures really tell a much better story than any description we could write.

Campers in this week's Fishing Expedition program had the opportunity to night fish on Little Elkhart Lake, fly fish at an area trout pond and reel in the big ones on Lake Michigan.

This photo is from our fly fishing trip and each camper had a limit of three fish. Some campers really had their fishing down and caught their limit so quickly, that they spent the rest of their morning helping net the fish of their fellow campers. Our total haul for the trip exceeded 50 fish!

That's in addition to the dozen or so salmon the group caught on Lake Michigan the day before. Our Friday Beach Party starts in about 10 minutes and these campers will be feasting on some of the very fish they spent the week catching.

The fishing program at Anokijig goes well beyond a worm, bobber and cane pole and our campers couldn't be happier. They're learning new skills, trying new activities, meeting new people and generally having the time of their lives!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Still Not Too Late to Jump Into Anokijig This Summer!

Even though we're in the midst of Anokijig's second week of summer camp, it's still not too late to sign your kids up for some fun on Little Elkhart Lake this summer! Thanks to our comprehensive expansion program in 2008, we now have additional capacity, which has helped us significantly reduce the waiting lists so many parents have encountered in previous years.

Although we still have room left in Resident Camp for all of our remaining weeks, some of our specific programs are sold out-
  • Our Stamper Program is completely booked for the remainder of the summer
  • Our Competitive Swimming Program is at capacity for Week 4
  • Our Mini Camp Program is sold out in Week 6 (Resident Camp spaces are still available)
  • Our Circle A Riders Program is at capacity in Week 6
  • Our Mini Camp Program is at capacity for Week 8 (only 15 spaces left in Week 8 Resident Camp)

The rest of our programs do still have room, but some are very close to reaching capacity, so if you'd like to extend your child's stay at Anokijig or add in some additional activities, please keep in mind the following-

  • Mini Camp for Week 4 is nearing capacity
  • Ranch Camp for Week 5 is nearing capacity
  • Paintball for Week 6 is nearing capacity
  • Ranch Camp for Week 8 is nearing capacity

If your child has just returned home from Anokijig and they can't stop talking about the great times they've had, consider bringing them back for another week. We hope to see you soon!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Protecting Campers

Camper safety is our top priority at Anokijig and that includes protecting our campers and staff from swine flu. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently ran a story about steps being taken to protect the public against the spread of H1N1 influenza. You can read the entire story here- http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/48563372.html

When the JS interviewed Jim Scherer, what they found was that Anokijig had long ago implemented standard practices to help prevent the spread of contagious diseases. We weren't prompted to do so by any specific outbreak, but because we understand that thousands of families put their children in our care every year and it is our responsibility to look after them like they are our own.

Some of our standard practices include mandatory physicals for all campers and staff prior to arriving at camp, encouraging campers to wash their hands before every meal and requiring that they wipe their hands with Germ-X, prior to going through our food lines.

We also make sure campers don't sleep "head to head" in cabins and tents and suggest that when they need to sneeze, that they cover their mouths with the inside of their elbows, instead of their hands. We have other additional measures in place and realize that even with all of those precautions, there's still a chance that someone could pass something to someone else. That's just the world we live in and unless someone locks themselves in a sterile room, there will always be some inherent risk of interacting with our fellow man.

We do our best to implement reasonable practices that may not eliminate all risks, but will significantly reduce them, while allowing kids to have the time of their lives!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anokijig Alumni Wins at Le Mans!

The Corvette GT1 race team recently won the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France. While the drivers of these amazing race cars usually receive most of the credit and accolades, we are particularly proud of the Corvette team's Crew Chief, Dan Binks (pictured with hand over heart).

Dan is a former Anokijig camper and his children are third generation Anokijig campers. Dan's father, Phil, is also an Anokijig alumni and the entire Binks clan and Pratt & Miller Racing have been great supporters of Anokijig over the years.

We are very proud of Dan and his entire Compuware Corvette C6.R race team (can't forget to plug the sponsors). If you'd like to read more about the race, please follow this link- http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=332487&FS=ALMS-LEMANS

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Camp is Offically Underway!

Camp Anokijig's summer camping season is offically underway! As this is post is being typed, campers are whooping it up at the first of nine Wednesday night dances of the 2009 camping season.

Although our registration numbers have not kept pace with the record year we enjoyed in 2008, they are still very strong and some programs and weeks are either sold out or close to it.

If you haven't registered your child yet, there is still time to do so. In fact, you can click on this link to do just that- http://anokijig.com/2009%20web%20registration%20form.aspx

We hope to see you at Anokijig this summer!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Lake Country Rotary Club's Audacious Beer Celebration

Over the past several years, Camp Anokijig has benefitted from the generosity of many different service organizations, who recognize the great things Anokijig does for children and families from their communities. Many of these organizations put on fundraisers throughout the year, which allows them to support worthy causes such as ours.
Recent examples of such fundraisers include the Racine Rotary Founders' Club Casino Nite event and the Racine Kiwanis Pancake Day. One of the service organizations we've been meeting with recently is the Lake Country Rotary Club and we're hoping they will also get involved in supporting Camp Anokijig's wonderful programs.
On June 26th and 27th, the Lake Country Rotary Club will be hosting their third annual Audacious Beer Celebration, where participants (of legal drinking age) can experience 177 of the world's finest brews. You can find out more information on this event, by visiting this link- http://www.audaciousbeer.com/
We're hoping this event will be a great success for the Lake Country Rotary Club and will allow them to continue supporting many worthy causes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Congratulations Brandon Malacara!

Camp Anokijig is proud to announce that one of our favorite volunteers, Brandon Malacara has been named to ¡Aquí! Milwaukee's List of Top 10 Leaders Under 30. ¡Aquí! Milwaukee sees this elite group of bright and active Latinos as poised to be future leaders amongst Southeastern Wisconsin's Latino/Hispanic community. You can read the entire article here- http://www.aquimilwaukee.com/_content/coverstory/story_4639.aspx
Brandon has been a long-time volunteer at Anokijig and has been particularly invaluable in assisting me on several projects relating to Anokijig in the past few years. We're certainly proud to claim him as yet another outstanding product of Anokijig's youth leadership program.
This program helps young people develop a variety of skills that extend well beyond basic leadership. When Brandon's boss says he, "has the maturity of someone who is a seasoned professional and possesses the ability to learn and understand complex issues," we know that background comes in part, from his years spent at Anokijig. The challenge of managing a cabin full of children and the wide variety of issues they may contend with during a typical week at Anokijig helps prepare all our staff for the future challenges that lie ahead.
While many young professionals may go to seminars covering mediation and conflict resolution or take additional coursework on interpersonal relationships, Brandon has already had the benefit of years of hands-on experience in these areas at Anokijig. The best thing about Anokijig's Junior Leadership Program, is that we offer this invaluable program free of charge.
Many camps charge hundreds of dollars per week for similar programs, but Anokijig believes these life skills are too important to be limited to those who have the ability to pay a fee for them. After all, Anokijig's motto is, "We Serve" and we cherish the opportunity to help develop and influence future generations of leaders and people who are viewed as assets to the communities they live and work in.
We know Brandon isn't the only Anokijig alumni who is doing great things in their community. If you know of another alumni, whose accomplishments deserve recognition, drop me a line and let me know- jimmcilvaine@aol.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Anokijig is Starting To Fill Up!

The opening week of Anokijig's summer camping sessions is now just a few weeks away and Camp is buzzing with activity as summer staff begin to arrive and training sessions ramp up.
This is also the time of year, where many families make a mad dash to reserve spots at Anokijig, while there are still spots to be had. The good news is that there is still room left in Anokijig's resident camp, but it might not last much longer. The last six weeks of Anokijig's summer camp (July 5th-August 15th) have historically been very popular with summer campers and this year is no exception.
Weeks five and eight still have room, but that may not last much longer. There is only one spot left for Ranch Camp in Week 8 and Mini-Camp in week 8 is close to capacity as well. Mini-Camp is also filling up in weeks 4 & 6, but if you call Camp soon at 920-893-0782, you can still reserve a space. Circle A Riders Camp is also close to filling up in Week 6.
Our Competitive Swim camp in Week 4 is completely full and our Stamper program is completely sold out for the entire summer, with the exception of a few spaces in Week 1. If you wait too long, you may not get your first choice for weeks or programs, but there are still other camping options available.
Last weekend's Taste of the Outdoors event was a huge success and many families heard about Anokijig's new family camping weekend at the end of August. Our Memorial Day, Labor Day and Fall Colors weekends have many repeat campers, who book early, but our August Get-Away weekend is in it's first year, so there are plenty of spaces available. For more information on family camping, you can visit Anokijig's web site here- http://www.anokijig.com/09family.htm