Only two hours outside of Chicago and Camp Wandawega feels like a world away. With a trip there, you’ll trade skyscrapers for a sprawling 25 acres of land. You’ll swap the enormous Lake Michigan for Lake Wandawega, equipped with a fishing dock, swimming dock and rope swing.
“We hope people visit to to revisit the simple pleasures of a simpler time,” owner Tereasa Surratt told us.
“We like to remind folks that we are not new, and not improved,” Tereasa explained of the camp, “This is the same place in almost every way that is was back during prohibition.” Low maintenance folks tend to have the best time—it’s best to embrace that you’re essentially camping indoors. Plus, the doors are never locked and racoons know no boundaries.
She and her husband David purchased the property nearly a decade ago. “It was David’s childhood Latvian summer camp,” Tereasa told us. “It became abandoned so we decided to buy it and rescue it.”
And while it was rescued, not much was changed. Many of the items that make up the decor (canoe paddles, vintage thermoses and lamps) were there to begin with. In the years of owning it, Tereasa and David have continually uncovered new treasures, and built upon every little collection with thrift store finds.
Their aesthetic, Tereasa says, is like “a more authentic Moonrise Kingdom.” It’s how most people sum it up, even though they opened the camp about eight years prior to the movie.
Her favorite piece of decor? A chandelier that they cobbled together using antler sheds found on their 25 acres of land and fixing wire.
Tereasa is wearing the Marshall in Rum Cherry
Photos by Collin Hughes