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About Camp Lakotah

Camp Lakotah is an intimate camp where children spend their summer days in an encouraging environment of play, learning, companionship, and fresh air. A Camp Lakotah experience is uniquely poised to provide your child with the sense of wonder and excitement so essential to their growth and development. Participation in a Summer Camp program has been shown to improve student achievement across core subject areas and increase engagement in learning. In addition, getting kids outside and active promotes a healthy lifestyle. Camp Lakotah is a camp where every camper knows every other camper and counselor. We are a summer family.

Lakotah enjoys a beautiful, private setting nestled in the majestic pines of Little Hills Lake near Wautoma, Wisconsin. Located on a smaller lake allows our campers the opportunity to take a refreshing dip by day and lie on the beach enjoying views of the Milky Way and the eerie call of the Barred Owl by night.

At Lakotah, we are committed to the well-rounded camper. Although we encourage campers to excel at what they already know, we love to see them try new activities, challenge themselves, and look back and celebrate their success every day.

Letter from Owners

Dear Parents,

Welcome to all new campers and families to the Camp Lakotah family!  Our family has nearly 40 years of experience in camp and camp-related youth development programs, and we know that promoting the camp experience lays the foundation for building happy and productive lives and a better world for all of us!

Every day at Camp Lakotah children and adults are building healthy relationships and participating in activities that promote fitness and well-being, and an appreciation for the natural environment.  These three pillars; healthy relationships, fitness and well-being, and appreciating the natural environment, construct the essential values of the camp experience.  Values that resonate with parents, youth and children as they learn, play, laugh, and reflect in a value-enriched environment,

Camp Lakotah leads the way in providing challenging and interesting experiences to hundreds of campers each year in an environment committed to safety and fun.  We support our staff in delivering programs that teach children and adults life skills; leadership, independence, cooperation, and teamwork.  Our programs provide a supervised, fun, and nurturing environment that is key to the developmental process.

Again, welcome to Camp Lakotah… A place where making friends and changing lives through camping is our mission and our passion.

Sandy & Cliff

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Meet the Owners

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Sandy Bartel

Sandy has a wide variety of past experiences and continues to utilize those skills in various areas throughout Camp Lakotah.  She is a graduate of UW Madison with an Elementary Education degree but also has extensive work in program licensing and administration, food and beverage industry and business operations.  Sandy began her early career three years as a teacher and then transitioned to stay home and work several side jobs while raising her family.  Those jobs varied from merchandising, bartending, waitressing, babysitting and volunteering at church and school.  Upon re-entering the job market, she chose a career in Camping and has performed as Administrator and Operations Director.

Sandy has served on the Wautoma Area Chamber of Commerce Board and is a Visitor for the American Camp Association accreditation program.

As the mom of four daughters and grandchildren, Sandy has the ability to relate to and address parents’ concerns and apprehensions with first-hand experience.  Sandy is an avid sports enthusiast and enjoys following the Badgers, Packers & Brewers.  She also enjoys traveling, camping, crafting, shopping, boating and spending time with her family.  She lives in Colgate.

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Clifford Clauer

Cliff started his camping career as a 4-H summer camper at age 9 and has attended summer camp every year but one ever since.  After graduating from UW-Stevens Point in Environmental Education/Camp Management/Resource Management, Cliff was hired as a Camp Executive for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.  For 12 years he and his team improved and expanded the camping program, created their environmental education program, and created a national environmental education curriculum for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  For the next 10 years Cliff worked as a Camp Executive for the YMCA of Metro Milwaukee where his focus was on facility and program improvements. 

As a true Camp professional, Cliff lives by the 4-H motto “To Make the Best Better”, he is constantly working to make Camp Lakotah a better place to learn and grow for the campers and staff.  Through his involvement in the American Camp Association, he has mentored several camp professionals and continues to be a trainer and lead visitor in the accreditation program.

When not at camp, Cliff enjoys being in the out of doors, caring for his family’s chickens, goats, alpacas, honey bees, and gardening.  Other hobbies include fishing, maple syruping, and woodworking.  He is the father of twin teens and lives with his family in Rubicon.

Meet the Staff

One of the most distinctive qualities of the Camp Lakotah program is our staff.  We are proud of the dedicated, professional  and positive role models that work with our campers and guests each year.  Each counselor is a minimum of 18 years of age and is hand chosen from literally hundreds of candidates for their skills, attitudes, and personal qualities.  Each year we are fortunate to have several returning staff members that bring experience and expertise along with a crop of highly motivated new staffers that bring enthusiasm and a fresh set of ideas!

Our staff is a balanced mixture of home grown college students and international leaders that have been interviewed and extensively trained at Camp Lakotah.  We become the summer home and lifetime friends to counselors from all over the world – places like England, Scotland, Ireland Australia, and New Zealand.  The international staff element enriches the campers experience by introducing new cultures and customs and promotes inclusion and understanding in all! staff

In addition, our Leadership Training Program also gives past campers that want to give back by becoming a counselor themselves one day, the chance to participate in our 3 year program that prepares them in child development, skill development and leadership skills.  The LLT’s as they are known, play an integral part in assisting both counselors and campers in day to day operations at camp.

All staff are certified in First Aid and CPR and Lifeguarding.  We have an onsite Nurse who functions as the health officer in distributing all medications and monitoring the health and well- being of all campers.