Summer Camp: Return Lost Lake

In addition to the reasons explained by Dr. Carter, one is tempted to ascribe the return of summer camp to Lost Lake in 1982 to Professor John Moser’s pining for northwoods’ morels and ramps. The latter are leeks for those of you deprived of adequate exposure to the mountains of West Virginia. John was a West Virginia University graduate and worked in the state for several years. What’s more, however, the faculty missed being able to conduct exercises in a BIG woods. The faculty has always held to the belief that no one should graduate from FNR sans the opportunity to get truly lost in a forest. The find-the-flag exercise is simply much more exciting on the Nicolet National Forest. The cool-clear lakes with real fish, not cat fish, were also dearly missed. So, Professor O’Leary had to head north on a scouting mission to see what had become of the Lost Lake camp since 1976. The condition of the cabins was not good, but deemed to be adequate. Professor O’Leary had to set about again to find cooks, food vendors, and sources of other supplies.

Again, the best way to judge how the students felt about Lost Lake is to read or sing their song. The composer was Steve Stachowiak, who gave special thanks to Scooter, Connie, Brett, Leaky Waters. Steve dedicated the song to the Class of 1983.

(sung to the tune of “Paradise")
NOTE: Could be one of several songs with this title

When I as a student my class it did travel
Up to northern Wisconsin where the cold weather lies
They sent us there to lean of the woodland
And they give us a grade if we all survive.

Charlie, won’t you take me back to Tipler, Wisconsin
Down by the Pine River where Big Howie’s lies
We’ll pick off the ticks and club the porkies
And swim in the bog lands and never be dry

The first week all the trees were counted and measured
We had to find out if they were still these
We heard all we cared about “ramps” and about “morels”
Then they tested our knowledge and found mothering there.

The second week put us in clearcuts and lowlands
But Howie came through with pitchers of beer
And Parker hustled pool ‘till he couldn’t see the table
While our TA’s slept in ice sheets fresh from the freezer.

The third week we got to go out and play doctor
We wrote out prescriptions for all of the trees
Then we went to the nursery and learned about Rock Elm
And toured every clearcut in the entire county.

The fourth week we went out and counted the deer scat
And heard all we cared about salt and fungi
The mornings were spent out counting the critters
The afternoons were spent watching Weeks learn to drive

The fifth week was filled with learning and pleasure
As we worked on our tans down by Riley Lake
And we learned to interpret while feeling hung over
From the free beers at Howie’s that made our heads ache.

Now our time is gone but it won’t be forgotten
But all you fine people with memories to share
And as life spreads us out all over this country
Let’s meet in our memories the good times are there.

Reminiscences of Summer Camp at Lost Lake
Anon. 1983. “1982 Forestry Summer Camp.” 1983 Purdue Log. p. 27-33.

Goodwin, Steve (Snail) and Tony (Blueberry) Grossman. 1984. “1983 Forestry Summer Camp.” 1984 Purdue Log, p. 30-35.

Shafer, Anne. 1985. “1984 Forestry Summer Camp.” Purdue Log 1985. P. 26-37.