“I still go on day hikes, organize overnight trips and meet up to get a meal with Winnebago alumni. The other day I ran into someone I went to camp with on the bus. Being a part of the Winnebago family makes the world feel like a smaller place and I deeply cherish the bond I share with Winnebago alumnus” -Winnebago alumnus
This summer marks the 100th Summer of Camp Winnebago, a century of boys meeting on the shores of Echo Lake experiencing life changing events and forming lifelong bonds. Generations of campers, counselors, administration, kitchen staffs, grounds crews and families have driven through the gates of our beloved camp and thousands of voices have sung “Cheer Winnebago”, “March on Brown and Green”, and “Goodnight Winnebago” every evening for the past 99 summers.
The Camp Winnebago community has grown throughout the 20th and into the 21st century. Each summer alumni of all ages return to walk the grounds of camp and reminisce about summer’s past. They sit in the lodge, search for their names scrawled in the bunks and take a cleansing and glorious plunge in Echo Lake. Inevitably a sound is heard or a familiar smell of pine or fresh baked rolls wafts through the air and a specific memory is triggered that reminds them of the life changing bonds they formed, or an event is recalled that seems just like yesterday such as a key moment in a baseball game or times spent lazing in the bunk talking with friends. They speak of relationships which have lasted over the years and how they still maintain relationships with old friends begun at camp. As they walk around camp they are moved by how little has changed and how their time spent at Camp Winnebago were foundational to their personal development.
This summer’s 100 Year Anniversary is an opportunity for Winnebegans to reconnect and reflect on how experiences at Winnebago made a lifelong impact. Our goal is to use the 100th anniversary as a way to celebrate camp and the community that we love. It is another opportunity for Camp Winnebago to do what it does best, to create long lasting connections which enrich the lives of our community and make this world a better place.