History

 

 

Camp Long Lake was purchased in 1945 by the Potawatomi Area Council. During 1946, its first summer of operation, 308 boys camped over a period of six weeks. The camp season eventually expanded to eight weeks by 1965 and served 1701 boys in 1970 or 1971.

M. H. "Uncle Bud" Smith served as Camp Ranger from 1957-1979 and as Camp Director from 1972-1979. He was responsible for much of the program development that still affects camp today. Cary Kazcik served as Ranger from 1980-1987 and also as director from 1981-1986. Jim Greicar then became the Ranger in 1987 to 2002. He also served as Camp Director from 1995-1997. Mike "Shorty" Zindars was hired as Ranger in 2003. The camp season was shortened to five weeks in 1994, but was expanded back to six weeks in 2001. In 2005, the camp week was further expanded to seven weeks due to attendance of 1103 Scouts in the 2004 season. As of now Camp Long Lake sets an annual goal of achieving 1,000 Scouts per summer.


Fred Pabst donated the original funds to construct the Dining Hall in 1950. The Dining Hall has since become a central area of camp which brings back many fond memories to Scouts and Scouters alike. Adult and Junior Leader Training courses have their patrol flags proudly hung from the rafters along with National Jamboree flags dating back to the 1950s. The Dining Hall underwent a major renovation completed in 1991.

Order of the Arrow Wag-O-Shag Lodge has been active in promoting and serving camp virtually since its beginning. The lodge donated funds for what is now the Nature Cabin in 1953. It later raised part of the funds for its 2003 renovation into the OA/Nature Cabin.


Camp Long Lake has grown and kept changing with the times. Traditional merit badge offerings were augmented with a Project First Class program in 1991 after changes in Boy Scout advancement requirements that challenged boys to complete their First Class rank in a year. A Climbing Tower was built to challenge Scouts 14 years of age and older in 1998.

The Trail to Eagle program was added in 2002 to answer that call of many Star and Life Scouts needing assistance in obtaining the difficult required merit badges. Golfing merit badge was also added that year due to the increasing popularity of the sport. In 2004 a whitewater outpost was added for Scouts who are at least 13 years of age. In 2005, photography merit badge was added to the program.

Safari Club International funded a renovation to the shooting sports facilities in 2010.  This included rifle/BB-gun/pistol ranges and a five stand shotgun range in addition to a regular shotgun range.  The Project First Class area was moved to the old archery range to allow for more space for this important program.  New piers were donated for the Aqualand and Boating areas in memory of past Camp Director Andy “Axe” Paradowski in 2011.  A zip line was added in 2013 to provide for more adventurous programming.  In 2014, the camp schedule has been redesigned to focus on advancement opportunities in the morning sessions and adventure in the afternoon sessions.

 


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