Just over a year ago, I spent a weekend in Elkhorn, Wisconsin on a story assignment writing about the newly open-to- the-public Camp Wandawega. It not only proved to be one of the most idyllic vacation spots I’ve been to just an hour and a half outside of Chicago, it was also an amazing hotbed of creative energy.
It was that weekend that Emily Fiffer and I met our talented photographer Nathan Michael and had our first adventure with the husband-and-wife camp owners Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez. Since then, Wandawega has held a special place in my heart, so it couldn’t be more perfect that Camp Wandawega is coming to Dose this Sunday to help us celebrate our one-year anniversary.
So what is Camp Wandawega? Dating back to the twenties, the camp has changed hands a number of times (from Latvian retreat to a brothel, among other things), but today, the couple has restored the property to resemble its original state, with a few creative additions. Every teepee, treehouse, Boy Scout tent, cabin and “hotel” room bears a theme played out with vintage Americana that Surratt collects thanks to her habitual thrifting and flea market trips. A first visit to Wandawega promises complete sensory overload: Choose between flying from a rope swing into the lake, testing your precision in the archery range, plowing through the 20 acres of woods on the RV, lounging in the hammock or perfecting the art of s’more-making at the bonfire pit.
It’s the kind of place you want to take something home with you as memorabilia, which is why I was thrilled to learn that Surratt was opening a souvenir store last month. Which brings us back to Dose. If you’re so lucky to make it to Wandawega for a visit, you can browse the selection in person; everyone else can shop online. This Sunday, however, the Wandawega Camp Store comes to life at Dose with vintage-style canteens, local syrup, compasses, percolators, whistles, arrows, even charm necklaces.
As if this wasn’t enough American charm for one market, the shop is sharing a booth with Buckshot Sonny’s Sporting Goods, where you’ll find everything from beautiful handmade baseballs and Nakona gloves to denim ball caps, Horween leather watch bands, army green tanks (ladies, they put your favorite American Apparel tank to shame) and made-to-order linen dress shirts for the fellas. Perfectly timed, BSSG is also debuting its limited edition Kamp Kit, a classic waxed canvas dopp kitt made in collaboration with Winter Session, who will be selling their own wares right across the aisle.
So tie on your friendship bracelet and pack your bag for Camp Dose.