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We are proud to be accredited by the ACA. Find out what that means for you, click here.

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Birmingham Magazine 2012/2013 Parent's Choice Awards: Best Overnight Camp. Click here to read!

Open House dates: Come tour camp!

Sunday, April 2nd

Sunday, May 7th

Photo Tour: Take a scenic tour around camp.

FAQ: Some of the most frequent questions about summer camp.

Forms: Need the camper check out form or supplemental food form?

Our Heritage

 Interesting infomation for alumni, parents and campers. Discover Winnataska's 96 year history, and learn how to volunteer. Click here.


Make new friends, but keep the old

We are going to welcome over 1,000 friends to Camp Winnataska this summer, and we are nearing 1,100 each day!  Some have been coming to camp for years; we have older campers who have been a camper for 10 years.  And many are new to Winnataska. I met several very excited first-grade boys during the last Open House who could not wait for summer to get here so they could swim in the creek and get some canteen. Their enthusiasm was absolutely contagious!

As you might have seen in a previous blog post, one of our newest "friends" this summer is our swimming pool.  Now that all the concrete has been taken away and a new deck has been poured, the crew is beginning to work on the final touches. Pictured below is the Maltese Cross in the middle of the well, opposite the diving board. 

Another one of our old "friends" has been repurposed in a very clever way.  Many of you remember playing on the wooden playground outside of Stockham gym.  Three of our very dedicated volunteers, who also happen to be old friends, spent a weekend removing the wooden playground. The wood received new life in the form of a covered wooden bridge.  What a great place for a photo opportunity! They didn't want any recognition or their photo posted, but as camp blogger, it is my responsibility! :) So here is a picture of the new bridge by the Craft Hut.

"Old friends," we have a way for you to re-connect with Winnataska.  Fill out an online form, and your interests will be cataloged in our volunteer database.  We are always in need of willing volunteers! Go to  Heritage pages > Volunteer.

As our camp staff finish up their exams in college, as our campers have field day and end of the year activities at school, as the days get warmer and the nights get shorter, as anticipation builds every day we get closer to camp, we are eager to welcome all old friends and new friends to Camp Winnataska!








Swimming, swimming, in the swimming hole!

Swimming, swimming in the swimming hole,

The days are hot, the nights are cold,

In the swimming hole!

Singing that song to myself today as I think about all the exciting things going on this spring at Camp Winnataska.  First of all, our registrations are up significantly from this time last year. We are excited to welcome so many new and returning campers! (Also a reminder that one should register quickly if planning to come to camp this summer.) 

Second, we have a construction project at camp that the kids are going to be so excited about...We are getting a new swimming pool! You might not have realized that the swimming pool was close to 50 years old.  She made it almost half a century.  That's pretty amazing for a pool, and we are grateful that she lasted so long.  However, she was getting a little tempermental in her old age, and the staff is looking forward to maintaining a new pool, complete with Maltese cross in the middle.

As you can imagine, a pool is a very large investment, and the Board of Directors and the board of Friends of Winnataska, Inc. are thankful for the parents and alumni who continue to support camp so that we can make needed improvements.  Many volunteers have worked tirelessly over the past couple of years to make this happen...I think they are almost as excited as the campers will be!

While I don't want to spoil the moment that you first lay eyes on the new pool, I do want to give you a few glimpses. (There are a few surprises in store!) Pictured below are snapshots of construction.

The first order of business was removing the deck around the pool.This is the most recent picture from last week as crews prepare the ground for the new deck. 


Let's Hear It for Mr. B!

This week I'd like to highlight one of Camp Winnataska's treasures.  And no, I don't mean the waterfall! I'm talking about Camp's jack-of-all-trades, there-when-you-need-him caretaker: Mark Buerhaus.

Mark, known as "Mr. B" at camp, is someone that you have probably met before. He's always out greeting and directing traffic during the summer months.  Quick to smile and one who has never met a stranger,  Mr. B makes everyone feel welcome at Winnataska immediately. 

A sense of humor is mandatory if you work at Winnataska! Mr. B is a great sport!Mr. B worked as a leader and Blackfoot at Winnataska.  In the past, he has been employed as a youth pastor, firefighter, and an EMT.  Winnataska officially welcomed him back as the camp caretaker in 2009. Mark, his wife Sharon, and their three children: Bailey, Charlie, and Emily, reside year-around in the residence by the front gate known as Grayson Lodge.  In the off -season, he maintains the camp buildings and property and also works with the groups that come to Winnataska on weekends in the fall, winter, and spring.

Working at a summer camp means that one must be prepared for almost anything! Mr. B feels called by God to serve in any way that he can, and Camp Winnataska is a better place from his service and willing attitude.  He and Sharon are the very definition of "hospitality" and welcome camp staff and alumni with open arms. 

Winnataska has many treasured places, but truly its family members are the real treasure! On behalf of all the campers and staff members who rely on him in so many ways, I say, "Let's hear it for Mr. B!"





What do you want to be when you grow up?

Guest blogger Frances Allison has been a Comanche for the past two summers. She is a junior at Ole Miss, majoring in Journalism.  Here's Frances' take on what it is like to work at Winnataska.

When I was a Chico, it was a simple answer when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, "A Comanche." Being on staff at camp is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

As a third generation camper, it has always been clear where I wanted to spend my summers. In the big world we live in, camp is a place that you have to experience to understand. And once you experience it, you’re hooked for life. Camp introduces you to the most genuine people you will ever encounter. Getting to be your true self at such a wonderful place makes you so grateful.

Being on staff at a place like that is even better. The bond between staff members becomes even closer as camp comes to an end every summer. Being a role model in Christ to hundreds of kids every summer is more beneficial than most jobs one can have in his or her life. Camp teaches you more lessons, in my opinion, than any class ever could.

The Bible verse on the back of the staff shirt from this past summer was 1 Timothy: 4:12. It says: “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believer in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” This verse can be said for the campers and leaders as well. Camp teaches us to be positive, happy people. What’s better than that?


Candles and Carols

Seeing as we are a summer camp overflowing with tradition, it makes sense that the traditions should continue year-around.  Candles and Carols is held at camp before Christmas, and it is a newer tradition that camp folks look forward to every year.

Seeing your camp friends in hats, scarves, and coats is a little unnerving at first.  Unconsciously you know that something just isn't right.  You might not recognize them with hair styled, make-up on, and without the lovely odor of the horses!  But it only takes a big bear hug and sharing of laughter before you get that warm camp feeling again -- in winter!  That's why people say that Candles and Carols is just enough Winnatska to hold you over until the summer.

If you missed Candles and Carols this year, please be on the lookout next year for the date and time.  Here are a few pictures from the event.  You can see more pictures by clicking on the photo gallery under the Heritage section. Enjoy!

And Merry Christmas from the entire Camp Winnataska family!