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-

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-

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-

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-

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-
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-
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-

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-