Camp Winnebagoe continues to be an escape from reality, an opportunity for fun and great experiences, a chance to grow up and mature with others. We’re very fortunate to have had a special time in our lives, those important years of making ends meet, in a beautiful setting and under the guidance of qualified people. It’s a home away from home – and it doesn’t get any better than this!
– Ari, Marissa and Yonit Grossman (Campers and staff since 1988)
Living together for 8 week s in a truly magical place…Camp Winnebagoe, without parents or material possessions has had an amazing impact on my life. I have shared many experiences and have developed lifelong friendships at camp. Getting up on skis for the first time, canoe trips and getting my first white tag as a camper was an opportunity for me to explore and find out what I was capable of.
I was the shy, not-too-sure of herself kid, but my counsellors were always able to make everyone feel welcome and included. In the short space of a few weeks, everyone became best friends. Now I am the Inter unit head helping boys and girls learn new skills, discover who they are and make lifelong friendships. My two years and counting as a unit head were the highlight of my years at Winnebagoe because I can now pass on to the new campers how special camp is and make them feel just as comfortable as I did when I was 8.
I hope through a wonderful camp experience, all the boys and girls in my unit find the confidence and independence that they need to interact without their parents.
– Elyssa Pivnick (1996 – and still counting)
Camp Winnebagoe is my home for two months each summer, but it remains in my mind and heart each year for the ten months that follow. It is the place where I can show the kind of person that I really am in the total comfort of being with true and trusted friends, my bunk mates, the counsellors and all the camp staff. Winnebagoe is about shared experiences with lifelong friends, learning and achieving.
My camp has so many amazing activities that allow me to connect with not only the girls in my cabin, but all the kids, younger or older, throughout the camp and expand my range of friends. I can’t even begin to imagine how different I would be, had I not spent the past four summers at Winnebagoe. There is no place that I would rather spend my summer vacation.
– Jen Kestenberg (2006 to present)
Camp Winnebgaoe is my life. I look at the countdown as soon as possible and always keep in touch with all my best friends from camp. I love them all and we have created the best memories at camp. Winnebagoe has amazing activities, fun staff and kind and caring directors. I have the greatest time and am unbelievably sad when the summer ends. My parents love Winnebagoe because it is a small “family camp,” much like a second family to me. For me, my sister and my brother, green and grey are in our blood. How many days until camp?
– Jamie Albert (2007 to present)
Camp Winnebagoe to me is my second home. I look forward every year to spending an exciting summer with my friends and to know that I will be doing all the activities I love. I know that all my camp memories will last a lifetime and my friends and I will cherish these memories for a long time. This is why Camp Winnebagoe is so important to me!
– Taylor Milne (2007 to present)
To me, Camp Winnebagoe reigns supreme. It’s definitely my favourite camp. It’s a small camp, which I like, there’s not too much travel time and you can be friends with everyone. The counsellors make me feel at home. The activity staff are always helping and are very kind. There’s always something to do at camp. Winnebagoe is a very spirited camp: from inter plays to green and grey. I always go back because every year it’s a new year and you never know what fun things will happen. Overall Camp Winnebagoe is my first choice in all camps.
– Jack Wunder (2007 to present)
When I walk into Camp Winnebagoe it makes me want to say “I’m home!” because Camp Winnebagoe is like a second home to me! I love always knowing that the girls in my cabin are always there for me if I ever need them. They are like my sisters. I can tell them anything. I love that at Winnebagoe you can meet people who are completely different ages than you. You can make friends with whoever you want. Everyone knows everyone and it feels so nice to have so many good people around your day-to-day schedule.
In first month you have an All Day Program, where there is a theme and you get put on three different teams. There is also in second month, Green vs. Grey, where you get put on a team and play games against each other. All around I can’t get enough of Winnebagoe! The summer just flies by and you never want it to end. I look at the camp countdown every day to see when camp will start again, not soon enough for me!! I wish camp was nine months and school was two. It is so hard to fit that much fun into two months yet Winnebagoe does that!! I love Camp Winnebagoe and I love coming back summer after summer!!
– Emmy Gnat (2007 to present)
I’ve been going to Camp Winnebagoe since I was 9 and I love it there. Camp keeps me busy from morning to night. Whether I’m at swimming, canoeing or playing basketball I’m always busy and having the time of my life. I also love the all-day programs and I wait all year for Green and Grey. One of the best things about camp for me is having my brothers there. They also started camp when they were 9 and now they are staff. Over the years I made many great friends and am now friendly with the whole camp. Being at camp is like being with family and that’s why I love it so much. I LOVE WINNY!
– Lucas Gold (2006 to present)
When my daughter was 7 years old, we sent her on the mini Winny. I will never forget the words she said to me late that night on the car ride home. “Mom, I felt so comfortable there, I felt like I was at home!” It was a no brainer after that! We sent her the following year for two weeks. She had the best time. She went for a month last year and has been counting down the days since last August to return again this summer. Winnebagoe is a very special place!
Our 7 year old son went on the mini Winny last summer and came home asking to go directly back to camp! He has been waiting all year and even packed his carry on bag for the bus at the beginning of May! He truly cannot wait!!
Winnebagoe has given my eldest a summer home. It has helped boost her self-confidence and helped her mature and grow. She has tried things she never thought she would try and loved every single thing! It has helped her learn to navigate social situations and her counsellors have been there to help every step of the way. We feel so lucky to be at the beginning of our relationship with Winnebagoe and we look forward to years to come!
– Penny Sherman
Only those who go to Winnebagoe can say that they have experienced the unique magic that this camp brings to each one of the campers and staff members lives. After being at Camp Winnebagoe for 14 summers, I can truly say that it has changed my life. Apart from the fact that camp taught me how to sail a boat, ride a horse, and introduced me to games like Duffle Shuffle, and Block & Bucket, being at camp allowed me to learn invaluable life skills that have contributed to my growth as a person.
Spending my summers in a cabin of thirteen girls, promoted cooperation, communication and the development of trust, where I came to view my cabin mates as not only my friends, but my summer sisters. Participating in plays and talent shows instilled confidence, to stand in front of the camp and belt out popular broadway songs wearing feathers, poodle skirts, and painted faces with pride. Being a part of an all-day leadership program team generated spirit, enthusiasm, creativity, athleticism, and strong commitment to teamwork.
Perhaps one of the best skills that camp lends to its members, is the ability to promote friendship. The lasting bonds that are created not only within cabin mates, but between an Inter and a CIT, camper and their counsellor, a camper and their unit head, counsellors and the head staff, is a quality of Winnebagoe that cannot be replicated. The tight-knit community that exists in Winnebagoe is one that both myself and my family will forever be proud to be a part of. Thank you Winnebagoe!
– Emma Fogel
I never was the kid that liked to be away from home. As a kid I cried before sleepovers with friends, day camp overnights and rushed home after school to see my mom. This was the case until a found my second home which is Camp Winnebagoe. Before Winnebagoe I couldn’t even last a night away from home little did I know I could be away for a full two months with a smile on my face the whole time. Yes, the first few days being there I was a little homesick but that changed as soon as I realized how amazing of a place camp is. Camp not only helped me become more independent, It also taught me several leadership skills and gave me confidence to do whatever I put my mind to. Not to mention the friendships I made that are going to last forever. I could confidently say that without camp I would not be the person I am today. Not only is camp my home away from home, the people at camp are my extended family.
– Madison Bongard
I started my Camp Winnebagoe journey in June of 2009. I came at an older age than my peers, as it is my second camp experience. As a result, I was walking into an already formed cabin of teenage girls. A cabin that already had their own social dynamics in place and great knowledge of Camp Winnebagoe life. As daunting as the situation had the potential to be, I had no doubt that I would feel at home and went with quite unrealistic expectations of how perfect and magical camp would be. Six summers later, I can honestly say that my unrealistic, perfect and magical expectations were met and exceeded.
My camp friends are my best friends. They are whom I have shared my most cherished memories with, hold my utmost trust and who I turn to for advice. The people I have met at camp are the most interesting and special people and have taught me so much. My camp friendships are my most honest, intimate and unique.
The small warm atmosphere created at Camp Winnebagoe is what allows everyone at camp to feel a part of the camp family. Whether it’s the feeling between cabin-mates, counselor and campers or teammates during a program, Camp Winnebagoe provides the feeling of family to all campers and staff that I believe can last a lifetime.
The past two summers at camp I have been a counselor for the youngest unit at camp. The feeling of being a counselor at such a special place is extraordinary. It is more than just simply providing campers with the same guidance, excitement and love that I received. As a counselor, I feel as though I am given the opportunity to get to know, teach and grow with new and excited campers while making memories I know are special for all of us.
I cannot wait to return to the place and people that have been there for me for so many summers, yet continues to grow with me, challenge me, provide me with irreplaceable experiences and of course, magically exceed my expectations.
– Hannah Walsh
Since I can remember, I have been waiting 10 months for two. Getting off the bus at Camp Winnebagoe each summer, I had a smile on my face that did not leave until my departure at the end of August. Camp has been the place where I have been able to truly be myself, where I have never felt out of place, where magic, moments and memories are created, and where enthusiasm is always cool. Because of Winnebagoe, my parents were able to fall in love, my sister and I were able to spend our summers at our second home, and I was able to develop unforgettable memories and friendships. I owe it to Winnebagoe for making me the person I am today #GreatCamp.
– Dave Miller
What is special about Winnebagoe is the warm and comfortable environment. A tight knit community is created because of the small population and family involvement. Our aunt, uncle, mom and cousins attended Winnebagoe – so we were always eager for our turn. Over our past 12 summers at Winnebagoe we have built long lasting friendships, performed in unit plays, canoed through Algonquin park and made countless unforgettable memories.
Camp has become our summer home; a place we look forward to being every year and where we have grown up. As campers, we learned problem solving skills and sportsmanship. As staff, we have developed compassion, teamwork, and leadership. Camp is not only our favourite place to be, but has helped us grow into the people we are today. We will forever cherish the memories and relationships we have formed at camp. We love Winny!
– Jessie and Amanda Singer
I look back with great fondness on the summers that i spent at camp winnebagoe… The friendships formed and memories made there are lasting and treasured. The lustig family fostered an environment where kids were encouraged to grow and challenge themselves, but always in a safe and supportive setting. Under their watch, i learned to be a community-minded, compassionate person. Though i still will not engage with anyone who was on the green team. I am grateful for the many years of warmth and welcome that i enjoyed at camp winnebagoe.
– Robbie Roth
My many summers spent at Camp Winnebagoe have shaped my character, fed my imagination, and gifted me with lifelong friendships and a lifetime of memories. This singular special place allowed me to discover and develop new skills, and it fueled and enabled me in fulfilling creative yearnings. The Lustigs have the all-too-rare ability to individuate and to foster a positive sense of self for each of their campers, allowing for achievement and social growth in this amazing and unique environment. I am eternally grateful for the summers spent on Fox Lake, and I am so glad that as a father, I can give the gift of Winnebagoe summers to my boys.
– Jordan Solmon