Historic Will Rogers Sign Restored at Wonderland Camp

It took over 110 hours, but thanks to Lt. Colonels Marvin and Bodil Dahl, the Will Rogers entrance sign has been restored and mounted in the Wonderland Camp’s Shagbark Dining Room for all to enjoy.


The Salvation Army’s Wonderland Camp began in 1903 as a “Fresh Air Camp” which provided a pleasant retreat for low income mothers and their children that allowed them to escape the stresses of inner city life and to experience the scents and sights of the outdoors.

The camp officially opened on July 4, 1924 and has continued to transform from its humble beginnings. In 1934 the Shagbark section of camp was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) with the help of a generous donation from American Humorist, Actor and Philanthropist, Will Rogers.

Today, Wonderland Camp serves many at risk children every summer. Their lives are enriched physically, personally and spiritually through healthy outdoor activities in a safe and caring environment in which the children can learn and grow. The Salvation Army Wonderland Camp is one of the largest camp and conference centers in the Midwest, and is available year-round with over 700 lodging accommodations.

To book a retreat or to learn more visit www.wonderlandcamp.com.

Seniors Prove Camp Isn’t Just For Kids

Salvation Army Wonderland Campers and new friends, Pattie Wynder and Bonnie McKirnan, visit after lunch.
Campers and new friends, Pattie Wynder and Bonnie McKirnan, visit after lunch.

Summer camp days are full of sunshine, swimming, arts and crafts and blossoming friendships. This is true for campers of all ages — including those in The Salvation Army’s Senior Camp program. Every June the Army’s Wonderland Camp in Wisconsin welcomes more than 260 older adults for four days of camping fun. Campers can be as busy or relaxed as they choose, and select from a variety of activities. “I look forward to coming here,” Pattie Wynder, 79, of Roseland, said. “I love going for walks along the pathways and seeing the beautiful flowers. And I feel safe here.” A typical Senior Camp day includes worship services along with opportunities for boat rides, archery, nature hikes, bingo and other activities. Continue reading “Seniors Prove Camp Isn’t Just For Kids”

Summer Camp is the Best!

Story-1-MAIN-Summer-Camp-200x200pxBefore long, summer vacation will be here. And thanks to you, that means two very important words for many Chicago-area children: SUMMER CAMP!

Just ask Brianna (11), Arianna (9), and Jayden (8), who had the time of their lives last summer at The Salvation Army’s Wonderland Camp.

As soon as they boarded the bus in their gritty Englewood neighborhood for the two-hour ride to camp, all three were giddy with excitement.

“The first night we had a campfire,” says Brianna. “I made s’mores for the first time!”  Continue reading “Summer Camp is the Best!”

Senior Camper Experience at The Salvation Army Wonderland Camp

Recently this letter was received in our office from one of our Wonderland campers.  We wanted to share her experience with you…

Hello, I was just at Senior Camp the fourth time. What a wonderful time we had!  The Lord was surely watching over all of us.

In 1963 my children and I first experienced camp.  A wonderful nurse from Infant Welfare came to visit me and she asked if I would like to come to camp with my four children, age one, three, five and six.  Away we went.  We traveled with our brown shopping bags.  Our first vacation!  What a surprise when we arrived in that yellow school bus. The beauty was all around us.  The cabin was to us as nice as a Holiday Inn, with its ten cots. The air conditioner was the windows, the heat was when I closed the windows.  I thought this was great.  My children could run and play.  Along came the counselors.  They took the six and five year olds, then they took the three year old.  Wow, I only had to take care of the one year old. Continue reading “Senior Camper Experience at The Salvation Army Wonderland Camp”

Calling All Campers

With violence and gunfire plaguing many Chicago neighborhoods, parents looking for a safe haven for their children need look no further than the local Salvation Army Corps Community Center’s Summer Day Camp. There, under the watchful eye of adult leaders, children ages 5-13 participate in a variety of educational and recreational activities such as studying music, playing team sports, taking arts and crafts classes, studying the Bible and more. To find out about Summer Day Camp activities at a Salvation Army Corps Community Center near you, visit our Locations webpage to find services by entering your local zip code or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).For a different type of camping experience – this one away from home – there’s The Salvation Army Wonderland Camp in Camp Lake, Wisconsin. Supervised activities awaiting campers at Wonderland Camp this summer include swimming, archery, field games, boating, tennis, basketball and much more. For information about all that Wonderland Camp has to offer – including a Summer Music Camp – and to download application forms, please visit www.wonderlandcamp.com.