Camp Wandawega

Every summer from age 10 to 21 I spent a couple weeks on Lake Okoboji going to the most wonderful camp. I looked forward to the friends I would meet, the freedom to do what I wanted, and to try something new I couldn't find at home.  So when we got an invite to Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn Wisconsin I couldn't say yes fast enough.  I had been there for a wedding a year before and knew what an amazing property it was.  Jerimiah hadn't been before but he is usually game for most anything and knew the area well since that is where he does some of his ice riding.

We had left Chicago in a mad dash and made it to the North Suburbs to finish a few things on the Frolic and see some friends and family one last time before we set off on our journey.  Making us that much closer to the camp which made for an easy drive.  We hadn't had the Frolic on the road since the day we bought it and never towed it with our new van so taking the two-lane highways from Palatine, Illinois to Elkhorn, Wisconsin felt like the right idea.  We took Hwy 12  all the way to the camp and were the first to arrive Friday afternoon.  I love being the first to camp.  You get the lay of the land and to check out all the fun things they have for you to do before everyone gets there.  The property manager Joe greeted us and got us a sweet spot to park between the archery and axe throwing targets, all which got moved about 20 paces over when we parked.   As everyone started to arrive we got the camper unpacked and did some, what realized quickly would be daily maintenance on the Frolic.

We knew we had been invited to an event sponsored by Urual Motorcycles.  Urual had made the camp their very own sidecar and this would be the first time anyone would see it, even the camp owners Theresa and David. We had very little idea of what would happen beyond that.

Friday night was chill, we just sat around tasting beer from Chicago's Metropolitan Brewery and meeting the invited guest who were a selection of photographers, writers and small business owners from all over.   Drinks were had and everyone gathered in the kitchen like most parties and swapped stories of adventures they have had.  The Frolic was adorned with some new outdoor lights later that night and we got out the record player and a bottle of Whiskey and hosted some of our new friends in our new 14 ft home.  Gradually everyone found a bed, some in teepees some in old hotel and we tucked ourselves in for our first peaceful night's sleep in the Frolic.

The next morning we were called to breakfast and got our daily itinerary. Urual Motorcycle had brought in an instructor to the camp and he would teach us in small groups all about riding a sidecar. Until it was your time to ride you could explore the camp and enjoy all it had to offer. We took a canoe out on the lake till it was our time.  Let me preface this next part by saying this was my first time on a motorcycle and first time driving anything that needed to shift.  So that being said they allowed me and even encouraged me to get on one. They said it's easier for people who had never ridden a motorcycle before, and that it was. After I putted around and got the basics Jerimiah took the reigns and we tore through the woods with a couple of other people. We ended the second night with a great local fish fry and more amazing Metropolitan beer.

Sunday morning brought a delicious breakfast by our friends at Longman and Eagle in Chicago and after some more riding the end of camp for most.  We stuck around till Monday afternoon and gave the Frolic a little more love. Joe the property manager came to the rescue one more time making sure we were ready to hit the road. He also wanted to make sure we blessed the van saying that in his firefighting days it was tradition to spray all the new vehicles with the firetruck and seeing that the camp had their very own vintage firetruck that was for sure happening before we left.

As we pulled out and headed west we knew this first weekend would be hard to top.