Camping means different things to different people of different ages, and Veterans’ Memorial Park at Jack Lake is trying to catering to them all.
This summer, the park is adding to its array of primitive locations—suitable for tents—and regular sites set up for the popular pull-behind campers and occasional recreational vehicle. With help from construction students at Elcho High School, Jack Lake now offers a cozy sleeping cabin, perfect for a family or group who does want to haul in their own camper, but who would still like a few amenities such as a lockable door, bunks and solid walls and roof.
“The whole idea is to have something available for people who just want to show up, with just their sleeping bags and coolers,” park caretaker Tom Lazers explained.
The 16 by 20 foot cabin, which fits the very definition of the word “cute,” is lightly furnished, with a front porch and Adirondack chairs, bunks with sleeping for five, and a table. Solar lights provide nighttime illumination.
Out back, there is a grill and fire pit. A outhouse is nearby and the campground’s modern restroom and shower facilities are just a few steps up the trail.
But even though it is near the heart of the very busy campground, the cabin site appears secluded, especially in the back around the fire pit.
Lazers said the structure is the first of four being constructed for the campground by the Elcho students. The county paid $14,000 for materials with the students, instructed by Travis Goeks, doing most of the construction work at the school and assembling the unit on site.
“We’re very pleased with the work Travis and his students did,” Lazers said, adding that the cooperative effort provides a valuable learning experience for students and a bargain for taxpayers.
Plans call for a cabin to be added annually for the next three years.
The facilities fill a critical void at Jack Lake, with many other campgrounds already venturing into offering sleeping cabins with a rustic, northwoods feel.
“Once people know we have it, I’m sure it will be very popular,” he said.
The cabin is available for $50 a night Sunday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday evenings must be reserved together at a cost of $150. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the campground at 715 623-6214.
“We want to keep it priced for families on a vacation,” Lazers said. “So far people love it.”