Author: Jordan Shiner
Date: 07-31-03 16:57
As I began writing my thoughts to the Horseshoe Nation, I am sitting on a dock looking out at the water and pine trees on a beautiful lake in the Northwoods. I could not be in a more perfect setting.
Camp Horseshoe was such a special place for so many of us. Our futures were shaped by people like Doc and Mrs. H, Gordy and Josie Morrison, Bob and Mike Mercier, Don Cohen and Scottie Morrison. Letís not forget Frankie Demyan, Harry Prendergast and the countless other counselors and campers that are part of Camp Horseshoe. They instilled in me a love for camp, appreciation of the great outdoors and a longing for the Northwoods. During my Cabin 14 year in 1979, I remember having a conversation with Bobby Mitchell that one day we should try and run Camp Horseshoe. My dream has become a reality.
My wife Fran and I along with our 3 children (Max 8, Nikki 6 and Sarah 3) spent 10 wonderful years as Directors of Camp Kawaga. We were lucky to have many Camp Horseshoe Alumnus boys join us at camp. I modeled the camp after my own experiences at Horseshoe, 1975-1979 (brother Stu 1972-1974). The All-Night Treasure Hunt, Super Relay (of course water boil), Get Lost, Green-Brown, Message to Garcia, Boundary Waters/Canadian for the 14ers, Ranger Sailing Trip on Lake Superior, Porkies, Flambeau, Namekagon canoe trips, Lower Brule for the best canoers were all part of my program. I even called Merc to find out about how they pulled off the Chief Namekagon visits (Iíve been sworn to secrecy). It still wasnít Horseshoe!
18 months ago, we began a search to find a spot for the reopening of Camp Horseshoe. I visited camps in Maine, looked at properties in Wisconsin and Michigan, from Ghost Lake (no motor boats allowed) to the North Eastern part of the state. I also called every existing camp, at least twice, in Northern Wisconsin. I even had Danny Gould talk to an older women whose family owned property near Horseshoe. None of them fit for numerous reasons. I recently read that Doc H searched for months and months (checking lakes for sand when the ice broke) until finally settling in Minong. So after our 18-month search, we have found an incredible property just outside of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. It was a former camp with 140 acres surrounded by woods, a beautiful sand bottom lake (a little larger than Little Horseshoe), over 3000í of lake frontage and has a creek running through the back of the property.
Camp Horseshoe and all the wonderful traditions we grew up with will re-open in 2004!
Horseshoe was a unique camp for many reasons. The property was definitely one reason but not the most important one. The values started by Doc H, the love for the outdoors passed down to us, the spirit, the friendships, the balance of sports and camping, the traditions, were all special aspects of Horseshoe. These are the reason I wanted to make camping my life.
We hope you will share the excitement with us and as Horseshoe alumni, you will become part of the next chapter of the great Horseshoe Legacy. We look forward to sharing memories, creating new ones together and hearing from all of you.
Hail to the Forest!
P.S. We are beginning to build our web site at www.camphorseshoe.com We are going to be devoting a section to Horseshoe Alumni. We would love to scan any old photos or camp memorabilia you may have. We will return anything we are given. Thanks.