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Camp Menominee is a boys' summer camp in Eagle River, Wisconsin, founded in 1928. The camp is focused primarily on sporting activities, although other options are available to campers. The camp's primary philosophy is to free campers from social pressures while emphasizing positive sportsmanship and other life skills. Camp Menominee is represented by the colors green and white, and is owned by Steve and Bari Kanefsky. The camp is certified by the American Camp Association's Wisconsin division.
The "Menominee Way" places emphasis on attitude, determination, heart, leadership, spirit, and sportsmanship.
Founding and history
In 1928, Nate and Edna Wasserman originally founded what would become Camp Menominee in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Previously, the Wassermans had directed a camp with Al Schwartz, who would later found Camp Ojibwa. After a small start in Rhinelander during the Great Depression, the Wassermans sought out new campgrounds for a larger Camp Menominee and a new girls' camp, later Camp Marimeta.
Menominee's current site was once the property of Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, and the green and white pillars that currently lie on the camp's perimeter originally came from the original Comiskey Park. The current Rec Hall, Wasserman Hall, is an original building from the property. Other original buildings include a chicken coop which became cabins 16 and 17, and the camp's lodge. Additional buildings were erected as cabins, based on a similar design used by then sister camp, Marimeta.
Al and Elaine Wasserman later took over ownership of both Menominee and Marimeta.
Glenn and Dawn Klein purchased Menominee in 1983. They were both long-time participants in Camp Menominee's tradition. The Kleins added to Menominee with the addition of Fantasy Camp and expansion of Post Camp. The Kleins introduced the Associate Director position and the tradition of the Nate Wasserman Award, and adjusted the program length and focus.
Former camper, counselor, and Associate Director Steve Kanefsky purchased Camp Menominee from the Kleins during the 1997 season, although many prior staff stayed on since the transition. Program lengths were adjusted, and activities such as the MCAA leagues and Big Ten Activities were added. Steve's ownership also saw a number of improvements to the current camp grounds and facilities. Steve married Bari Freed in 2005; Bari now directs the camp with Steve.
The camp is located in Wisconsin's Northwoods and has one of the largest land areas of summer camps in the state. Bordered by County Road D, two sand slides, and Sand Lake, Camp Menominee also features numerous fields, courts, and buildings. The camp features a waterfront with a ski dock, trampoline, waterslide, sailboats, Ski Nautiques, and other watercraft. The camp's "Cabin Compound" contains the majority of camper cabins along with paddle-ball courts, tetherball poles, and volleyball courts.
The camp also has a Lodge which contains the camp's administration, a mess hall, a gully which is the location of camp traditions such as Capture the Flag and Midnight Manhunt, and numerous sports facilities for tennis, basketball, hockey, climbing, soccer, golf, softball, and frisbee golf.
- Final Four Activities: Menominee's "traditional" activity program, with four rotational periods in which the campers choose activities.
- "MCAA" Leagues: Camp sports leagues take place over all camp sessions, including basketball, football, hockey, and baseball leagues as well as tennis, water sports, ping-pong, shuffle-board, and others.
- British vs. American: A traditional first session competition that involves events such as the All Camp Squirt Gun Fight, British Bull-Dog, Creatively Acquire the Energy Source, and Message to Garcia.
- Trip Week: features trips for a variety of age groups, including Copper Falls, canoe trips, the Wisconsin Dells, Minneapolis, and white water rafting.
- Twi-Light League
- Ojibwa, Timberlane, Chi, and other inter-camp competitions by age group.
- Kawaga Competition: A first and second session competition in a variety of sports.
- Green and White: Menominee's largest intra-camp competition with numerous traditional events and a final Relay
- Camper-Counselor Swap Day: elected Senior Cabin members serve as director and assistant director and other campers serve as counselors
- Fourth of July: Events include a traditional banquet and social with former sister camp Marimeta
- Last Day Brunch/Final Banquet: A traditional breakfast, Twilight League playoffs, and Final Banquet
- Camp Menominee's Official Website
- Camp Menominee Alumni Page
- An article about the camp by the Sports Camp Federation