Monthly Archives:June 2014

Dear Blog…….Are you out there??

Enjoy the humorous writings of Jerry Abney.  Win Oaks Farms has been exclusively furnishing the horses for Towering Pines in 1946 and Camp Woodland starting in 1970.

Dear Blog,

Although we have never met, Lee Albrecht Biear seems insistent I should drop you a quick note on the riding program and the start of camp.  I don’t recall you as a camper. I was here from 59-64 and with a name like “Blog”- I’d surely remember you.  Funny, Dad (Win) doesn’t recall you either.  Did you ride??


Regardless, after the longest coldest winter I can recall, summer is in full bloom with the opening of camp and the passing of the solstice.  There have been quite a few changes in the horse line up.  At Woodland, Jake has retired due to the “Arthritis” – he’s at home loafing with this friends and a tall saddle-bred named “Big Red” has filled his stall.  The younger girls are really enjoying the new smaller horse, Little Buck!


Things are running well at Woodland, which is a real tribute to our counselors (Bobby B and Grace W) running the program – I am pleased and impressed by all their hard work.  With 2 full days of riding behind us, it’s shaping up to be another excellent year at Woodland – but that’s not a new thing here!

Well Blog, I’ll sign off and hope you can get up for a fun visit or the end of the summer horse show – I’d be really curious to meet you!  It seems everyone knows you except me!  Do you know any of the Bartells? They were here after me.  Just curious!!


Best wishes,

Jerry Abney
Retired Elementary School Principal
Win Oaks Farms of Crandon, WI

Home Is Where The Camp Is…..

I know, I know, the real saying is “Home is where the heart is!”,  but for me my heart/2nd home will always belong to Camp Woodland for Girls.  Hi, My name is Lee Albrecht Biear.  Some of you may know me because I started working at camp in 2012 as the Marketing Director.  But a lot of you don’t know that I got my start with the Jordan family in 1996 when I was about 17 years old.

I will tell you from my humble beginning that there is no place like it.  I thought 6 week camps only existed in the movies like on Parent Trap.  I had no idea that most of my life I lived just 2 hours from one of the most magical places.

I now live in Virginia and people ask me what is so magical about this camp?  I tell them it is where so many young people got their start.  Because of the Jordan family we learned not only the definition, but the value of so many of the following life lessons:

Persistence: I was not selected for a college study abroad program in Costa Rica. I didn’t give up, so I started my own study abroad program while still in college. It is now a nationally recognized program in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua.


Lee designing water pumps with Latin American Farmers

Leadership:  Planning all of those evening programs paid off for me.  I was fearless in building project teams on the “fly” for the National Environmental Protection Agency, and received many accolades for my efforts in Climate Change projects.


Lee running US EPA National Conference

Determination:  Ran over 6 marathons! I thought I never could run more than 6 miles at once.   Camp taught me to be determined, never give up, and go after your dreams at any age!


Lee running 200 mile relay race

Making Friends for Life: I grew up in a small town where friends were made in kindergarten, and the art of making friends was lost until stumbling into college.  I learned how to make friends at camp that I will never lose.  I still talk to most of my camp friends and lean on them as a support system during life’s struggles.


Lee with fellow Alum Alice!

So just when you think your daughter’s learning a new activity this summer–sit back and wait, because they are learning so much more!!!

Lee Albrecht Biear
Camp Woodland For Girls 1996-2003 & 2012-2014
Master of Public Health
Camp Woodland Marketing Director
All Things Camp Director
Staff Mentor
Camp Mom




First Days of Camp…..

Our rock star counselor, Sarah D, wrote this great post about returning to camp!


Sarah D – Middle

There’s a very distinct feeling that you get when you arrive home after a busy day or a vacation, and it can be described as being in that uniquely comfortable and all too familiar atmosphere. I was struck with this feeling two times over the past month. First, when I moved back home from my dorm after finishing up my freshman year of college, and then again when I turned onto the Woodland Road just three days ago. Last summer, I made the choice to take a pass on coming to Woodland after five consecutive years to instead travel England for a month. I justified that hard decision by telling myself that traveling would broaden my horizon with new experiences and culture, but not a day went by that Camp Woodland did not cross my mind. By the time September rolled around and I was heading off to start college, I found myself regretting my summer plans, and I am here to tell you just how important summers at Woodland are.


Being at Camp Woodland is extremely healthy, both physically and emotionally. There are a very limited amount of places that can provide such a perfect blend of an active lifestyle, friends as close as family, and the beautiful North Woods. Spending six weeks in such an encouraging atmosphere every summer has never failed to refresh me from the amount of technology that is relied on now a day to begin the next school year with a clear head, a positive outlook, and a strong foundation with nature.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMissing camp last summer made me realize just how much I need to be appreciating Camp Woodland and all of its many qualities, as they mean more to us than we could ever imagine. Without camp, the year feels incomplete. I was always told that you never really know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and as cliché as it is, it is so important to value every opportunity there is. At Woodland, we learn to be better versions of ourselves, and we have every aspect of our experiences to thank for that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have only been at pre-camp for a few days now, but it seems as though I had never left. From the second I turned onto the Woodland Road on Sunday morning; my chest was pounding with excitement, my smile was stretched ear to ear, and my lungs were breathing in as much of the familiar air as they possibly could. I knew that I had come home again.


Welcome Home to All of Our Campers!!


Dare to Explore Camp Activities!

Camp is the place where girls can try new things, meet new friends, and do what we love. If you have never ridden a horse, shot a rifle, or even played tennis, camp is the perfect place to try it. When I first came to camp in 2009, I hadn’t tried half of the activities available to me. I was a little intimidated so I signed up for activities that I was familiar and comfortable with. Later, I decided to try something new: horseback riding and archery (even though horses terrified me). The cool thing about camp is that no matter what you do, there are people there to ensure that everything is fun and worthwhile. If I had the option or time to do every single activity everyday, I would do it in a heartbeat. Although I’m not the master of farm zoo or arts and crafts, the mere act of doing something new is what’s amazing about camp for me.


Elena’s cabin – first summer

Living in a cabin with strangers is also intimidating. My first year, I knew no one but my sister who was in a different cabin. Shying away from everyone was my first instinct. The idea of making new friends was scary, but eventually, I formed the strongest friendships I had ever made that are still strong today. After that first year of camp, I realized that it wasn’t different activities or strangers that was intimidating, but it was the endless opportunities to try new activities, meet new people and find a home away from home. “Dare to Explore” for this year’s theme simply means that once you take the leap to try new things and make friendships, you’ll find the heart of camp that makes girls like my sister and I come back year after year.


Elena’s cabin 2013

Author: Elena K
Camp Woodland Camper
Rising Freshman, New Trier High school

Mid Week Pre-camp Round Up!


The Counselors are here and training hard to make sure your campers have the best camp experience possible!


These counselors make hard work and dedication to their activity areas look easy….We are so proud to have them as our Camp Woodland Team!


The horses are here, the boats are in, and we can’t wait for your daughter to Dare to Explore  new activities with our fun staff!


We hope you share this post with your camper(s)! It is always fun for them to figure out who their counselors could be this summer…..


 ****Stay Tuned…..We will be introducing our awesome kitchen staff and nurses shortly!******