Tradition, Spirit, Friendship & Adventure abound in this traditional summer camp setting, celebrating 77 years of happy campers! Over 35 water & land activities & exceptional camping & canoeing provide exciting & enriching days. 2, 3, 4, & 7 wk sessions; ages 7-17; Highly experienced staff, privately owned/operated, two lakes, 500 acres. Transportation available from Toronto.
Tradition is important. It provides a window onto a wider world, and a chance to tap into something larger than ourselves. That kind of tradition provides a basis for the offering at Bil-O-Wood. Founded in 1946 and run by four generations of the same family, it remains consistent with its roots, offering a chance to really engage with the foundation of camping in Canada. Kids perhaps don't really care, at least not in an intellectual way, and that's fine. What they do appreciate, whether or not they express it, is the opportunity to step outside the bustle of their lives, to spend a bit of time in nature, and to live for a time through a different set of priorities. For many families, that, very rightly, is what camp is all about.
Trisha & Paul Ludwig, Executive Directors Master's in Nursing and Education
Hello. We are Paul and Trisha Ludwig, the 3rd generation of Camp directors and owners of Camp Bil-O-Wood. Together, we have over 50 years of summer camp experience. We choose to spend our summers here because we believe summer camp offers something that the real world does not.
The number one question we get from parents is why summer camp for my child? The simplest answer to that question is: the summer camp experience is something that cannot be duplicated at home.
Camp Bil-O-Wood teaches life skills such as self-concept, independence and interdependence. The community living environment, away from home, allows for a unique experience where children can grow and develop under their own direction and amongst their peers.
Because, at camp, we live together with people of all ages from young children to young adults, we learn to be both leaders and followers. We learn to rely on our own decision-making abilities and decide which actions help us to become the people we want to become. As the parents of three young children ourselves, we know that kids grow and develop leaps and bounds when they are surrounded by the positive influence of their peers.
At Camp Bil-O-Wood, we carefully design our program and choose our staff to support the healthy, positive, and upward growth of our campers. We do this by offering a variety of programs such as athletics, aquatics, the arts, and wilderness exploration, but most importantly through encouraging laughter, fun, and friendship.
If you ask any of our campers why they return year after year, they will tell you it is because of their friends. In no other place, can our kids spend day after day experiencing the joys of life amongst their friends. It is this incredibly safe and supportive environment that makes camp the unique experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
And this is why we believe the Bil-O-Wood experience is right for children.
When I stepped off the bus at Camp Bil-O-Wood in 1995 I was an athletic and energetic young boy unsure of his decision to spend the summer away from home. As eager as I was to start the season I lacked some confidence and social skills that many kids are wanting of early in life. The first weeks were tough but Uncle Carl Wahl’s leadership and the new friendships I formed in my cabin had me hooked for summers to come. The confidence and socialization I experienced at Bil-O-Wood were unmatched by any other environment at home. I built life long friendships and, more importantly, I learned how to thrive in a team environment. The canoe trips and wilderness experiences offered at camp taught commitment, selflessness, social skills, and mental toughness.
When I entered the service in 2010 I began a rigorous curriculum of training, which lasted almost two years. Attending US Army Ranger School and Airborne School, among others, it became apparent to me how much summer camp had profoundly influenced my leadership potential. Traits such as integrity, communication, fortitude, selflessness, and creativity were immediately more accessible because of the experiences at Bil-O-Wood that shaped my development. The lessons and adventures that broadened my horizons at camp helped prepare me to lead others in much more severe situations. In November of 2012 I deployed to Eastern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a Platoon Leader. Now, as a Captain, I continue to lead Soldiers and shoulder greater responsibilities. Not a day goes by that I don’t reflect fondly on my summers at Bil-O-Wood. Camp was where I was given the opportunity to experience the outdoors, build relationships with a diverse group people, and realize my full potential.
Uncle Sy Spinelli is currently serving as a Captain in the United States Army Infantry in the 101st Airborne Division. He lives outside Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Aunt Alisa (Wilcox) Spinelli and their dog Tucker. They are expecting their first child, a baby boy, towards the end of March.
From an innocent and happy six year old boy to an independent, self-confident, decisive and caring 17 year old young man... The values of Bil-O-wood go beyond words. It is the best gift and experience I could have given David, my son. The life-long friendships, communication skills and the personal growth that have been a result of David's 12 years as part of the Bil-O-Wood family. The pride he exemplifies as he talks about the tripping adventures he has participated in, and the tripping skills he has developed (he loves to compare his achievements to his uncles , my brothers, who are also previous Bil-O-Wood campers) further displays the strength he has gained as he grows into a strong young adult. He is so happy as talks all winter about returning each summer to camp and maintains friendships with fellow campers over the winters, even states away from each other. The Bil-O-Wood friends, families and memories will be a part of David's life forever and has helped him become the wonderful, hard working, compassionate son I am so proud of. Thank you Bil-O-Wood and Ludwigs for your commitment to our kids!!! Kathryn Zagel (David Huggins)
I spent 17 years as a camper and counselor at camp Bil-O-Wood, and now my children are beginning their experience as young BOW campers. I firmly believe there is no better place for them to spend their developing years then enjoying what Bil-O-Wood has to offer. I would recommend this camp to anyone who wants their children to build confidence, foster friendships, and learn how to be comfortable in the outdoors. The family oriented atmosphere and spirited energy that pervades the camp is uplifting in every way. I am so grateful for the dedication of the Bil-O-Wood family now and into the future. Your child is sure to have a successful, happy experience at camp Bil-O-Wood!
Camp Bil-O-Wood is a family owned camp that is slowly being passed from generation to generation. Because of this unique ownership, the camp is run with loads of commitment and enthusiasm. Some of my childhood memories from Bil-O-Wood are: camping in the Canadian wilderness under the beautiful star-filled sky, canoeing crystal clear lakes and white-water rivers, playing all camp activities on Sunday afternoons like Capture The Flag, waterskiing, Saturday night themed dances, playing and developing my skills in a huge variety of sports, and unbelievable friendships that are still strong today. But now, as an adult, and a Parent of a Bil-O-Wood camper, I realize the values and life-long lessons that Bil-O Wood provides. The camp includes everything children love, and so much more. Children learn to grow and gain self esteem, make their own decisions and become independent. They also have endless opportunities to become engaged in group activities that enhance the skills of working as a team and developing leadership qualities. I highly recommend Camp Bil-O-Wood and want to thank the Ludwig family for their traditions and dedication. Sincerely, Michele R.
My children have been at Bil-o-Wood for 6 years now and it was the best thing my husband and I could have done for them. The experiences they have there is forever memorable and lasting. The friendships they have made with other campers will be with them forever. The whole atmosphere at camp is like one big family. I can't say enough about the owners, the counselors and everyone that runs Bil-O-Wood. My son has experienced canoe tripping at a whole new level. He has seen things in the wilderness that only 1% of what most children will see in a life time. I do recommend this camp to everyone I talk to. Thank you Camp Bil-O-Wood for giving my children a wonderful experience. Karen Aldridge Drummond Island, MI
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