Camp Ojibwa was founded in 1928 by Al Schwartz. The original site was near Three Lakes Wisconsin on Seven Mile Lake in Nicolet National Forest. Al leased part of the New England Resort and had 17 campers there for for eight weeks. Travel was by train from Chicago to Rhinelander which took 14-16 hours.
Not satisfied with the Three Lakes site Al, in 1929, leased a resort property on Little St. Germain Lake and 27 boys attended that summer.
Al wanted to find a camp site that had as much lake frontage as possible. In 1930, he purchased the current Camp Ojibwa site. The camp was originally a summer home owned by the Niederlander family and was sold and financed at a bank in St. Louis.
The present Counselor’s Lodge served as the Mess Hall, kitchen, and staff quarters. In addition there was the old garage, an ice house, and a boat house near the big rock. 36 campers attended in 1930. Bathing was in the lake near Eagle Point.
Dynamite was used to clear areas now known as the campus and middle fields. The far field was once a potato farm.
Camp was design by Al with the help of two friends Morrie Bien and George Dubbin, both famous architects. Patterned after another famous ex-camp Camp Strongheart, Camp Ojibwa was now a reality.
Camp was developed as follows:
The caretaker’s home was erected by one man in the 1930’s.
In the early 1940’s the Infirmary and the Maintenance Men’s quarters were built.
The piers were made permanent in the early 1950’s.
The cabins were converted to their present shape starting in the 1950’s, with Cabin One being the last one reconstructed in 1960.
The Lake Courts where camp’s first basketball courts followed by the Trail and Warrior Court which used to be a rifle range.
The largest growth in camper enrollment occurred during World War II when people feared bombing of major cities, and during the polio epidemic scares of the late 1940’s.