We just posted some news for the summer on our email newsletter. Click the link below to view it.
If you would like to subscribe to our email newsletter, click the link below
May 12, 2018
Dear 2018 Work Weekenders,
‘Twas a spring weekend noted for a energetic, hard-working crew and the thick ice remaining on Burntside. Thank you to you all for cheering us on so warmly that the ice finally melted today. You are the best: Casey, Steve and crew, Barb and David, Melissa and Melinda, Bill, Pat, Garrett, Jacque, Dave, Trudi and Carol, Marnie and Liz, Gary and Mike, Olivia and Josh, Dan and Maddie, Elise and Hannah.
You weathered the cool mornings and a sprinkle of rain to accomplish a month’s worth of chores. You split a mountain of wood and a shed full of kindling to keep us toasty all spring, summer and fall. You blew leaves to oblivion off paths, roofs and gutters. Tons of leaves were also raked and hauled. Blankets were inventoried and trekked to cabins. The squirrel-flinging bird feeder, gnome world and grill were expertly assembled. Windows are now so sparkly that from inside we feel like we can reach and touch the trees. And the curtains were hung by the windows with care. Drawers are sporting fresh new paper. Cabin #8’s kitchen is on its way to perfection. Benches were repaired and tee-shirt quilts were hung in cabins. Dishes were washed and the kitchen left in dandy shape.
You fed us elegantly with cake (eat dessert first), cookies and Tobie’s pastry. We enjoyed breakfast meatloaf and oatmeal bake, summer sausage, brats, potatoes and coleslaw. Don’t forget lentil soup and beef and mushrooms over pasta. Ham sandwiches and chips with dip.
Hearing where everyone had adventured in the last six months-or-so charged our imaginations and wanderlust. Saturday night massage…..mmmmmm. I got to tell a joke (Can you sell me a grape yet?) and we had before and after photos taken. Be sure to check them out (attached).
Thank you for a terrific start to the 2018 season. Your wood splitting efforts are still helping us heal from the July 2016 storm. All you have accomplished throughout Camp will be appreciated and enjoyed by our guests this summer. Please share this note with folks in your group who may not have left us an email address.
If you want to mark your calendar for fall and pack your sleeping bags, we’d love to see you again. Think October 5-7.
DETOUR starting August 7
Starting Monday August 7 the bridge on the west end of Hwy 88 will be closed. You will need to detour on your way to Camp Van Vac. Drive east out of Ely past the International Wolf Center and turn left on Hwy 88. Follow the road around Shagawa Lake, past Burntside Lodge, and turn right onto Van Vac Road. In a half-mile you'll see Camp Van Vac's sign on the right.
For more information, please read the press release from St. Louis County here:
We just posted some news for the summer on our email newsletter. You can view it here: http://mailchi.mp/030c6bc657b2/camp-van-vac-newsletter?e=2e49929d81
If you would like to subscribe to our email newsletter, click here: http://www.campvanvac.com/news/get-our-newsletter.html
March 2012. Spring of 2012 is headed for the weather history books. The northland’s heat wave has frogs peeping, robins returning, and pussy willows popping. Daytime temperatures in March hit 75 degrees twice, with many days in the 45-65 degree range. We are short on rainfall though, so send us wishes for a few downpours to fill up Burntside and area lakes and rivers.
Pat Conzemius caught a lovely walleye at Camp. His sister Kate Conzemius and her friend Derek Van De Velde had another kind of Camp Van Vac adventure. Here's her letter to Nancy:
I did not get a chance to see you this year up at the lake, Derek and I were only there visiting for a couple days. I am sure you hear this all the time, but traveling up to CVV every year is like coming home. I have had so many of my favorite childhood memories at CVV, over the last thirty plus years my family has been visiting.
This year had even more special meaning for me. My whole family, all 11 adults, seven kids, and three dogs had gathered on June 30th at Cabin 25 for dinner. We enjoyed sitting near the lakeside sharing food, jokes and lots of laughter. After dinner, everyone piled onto a couple boats and set off on a sunset cruise. My boyfriend of four years, Derek, had caught a huge walleye fishing with my brother Pat earlier in the day. He said he "had the fever" and wanted to go fishing instead of going on the boat with the others.
Pat let us borrow his boat and we anchored off the Point at CVV, near the buoys. It was probably about 8 or so so the sun was sinking closer to the treeline across the lake. I was busy complaining about needing to change my set up to a jig and leech, so Derek started fixing my line while I cast a while. I told him to put something bright and shiny on, as it was getting late in the day and the water would be pretty dark. It was taking him forever, and he kept digging in his pocket and acting funny.
Finally, he asked me to grab a leech out of the bucket. When I turned around, there tied to my line, was not a jig as I requested, but a beautiful sparkling ring. With leech in hand, and Derek on his knee, we got engaged! My brother John came over in his boat asking if I caught any fish. I said nope, but got a keeper instead! The others came over and we had a little celebration on the pontoon, complete with "Welcome to the Jungle" played for Derek. The sunset was just as beautiful as ever that evening! I am so grateful to have such a special place to visit every year with the family, and even more grateful that we are beginning the next phase of our lives together while at Camp Van Vac. Thank you for all the energy you put into maintaining and creating a place for such amazing memories to be made.
See you next year!
Wow -- Congratulations, Kate and Derek!
Our long-time guest Bryan Stropes caught this beautiful northern, and would have let it go, but couldn't revive it. Click twice to see the larger versions of this mighty fish. Brian tells about his 2011 adventure:
Shelly and I were doing laundry in town. While the clothes were drying, I said, "Let's check out that bait store across the street." They had Super Shad Raps for a dollar or two less than usual. They had the perch color that I like so I bought one.
When we got back to Camp Van Vac, we decided to go fishing. We headed out to the mouth of the North Arm where I had a big one hooked the day before and it got away. On the way there I saw and remembered this spot where there is shallow water with very deep water close by, so in a split second decision, I cut the boat hard at full speed, did a U turn as I slowed down and cast out for trolling. Shelly cast out too. Within a minute I had the monster on my line! It fought hard for a long time and we didn't see it for a while. Lots of drag was peeling off my reel.
Shelly told me, "You've never looked as sexy as you do right now." I thought that was funny.
It was something when we did see the fish fighting in the water. It was so big! Towards the end, in a final attempt to get away, it did the alligator death roll. My line was wrapped around the fish! Gill plates can cut the line! I worked my rod to unwrap the line. With a few tries I was able to grab it by the gill and drag the fish in the boat. I came back full speed to Camp Van Vac where I tried to revive the fish to turn it loose after the picture taking. It wasn't going to come back to life. It was too far gone.
Nancy and Shelly suggested that I have it mounted. I thought it was a good idea. The taxidermist gave me two giant fillets and we ate them at the pot luck on the dock. Shelly brought the first tray of fish onto the dock on time. I finished frying the rest of the fish. Ten minutes later when I walked on the dock with the rest of the fish, everybody cheered! I felt so good. I didn't want to overcook the fish trying to cook it all the way through. The fillets were so thick. It turned out just right, not overcooked or undercooked. I thought a fish that size might be a little gamey or fishy but it wasn't! It was very good. There were 40 people at the pot luck and I think everybody had at least one piece of fish. There were only 2 pieces left over.
This fish was a gift from God.
This has been the Summer of Brer Fox at Camp. The population of adult foxes seemed high, and two young kits were also seen nearby. Guests enjoyed meeting the animals almost every week. They were quite habituated to being fed by neighbors, and we encouraged campers to not feed them. Still, the foxes strolled by regularly to check out the possibilities.
These photos are thanks to Beth Kirkegaard, whose other photos you can see here.
After we gave them a tow to Crab Lake portage, Memorial Day weekend found Joel Hendershot and his crew in the Boundary Waters. They enjoyed a serene view from their campsite at 5:45 A.M. And here they are celebrating the find of a moose antler. Photos by Joe Hendershot.