A Place Apart
Camp Balsams is a church-owned camp in the northwoods of Wisconsin. It is a place set apart for rest and renewal, for enjoying fellowship and the grandeur of God’s creation. It is a place for families to gather and renew their bonds and for individuals to renew their spirits. It is truly our “Jewel of the Northwoods”!
The six-acre property was given to MCC in the 1950s by the Chase family, members of the church, who had formerly operated the camp as a resort. It is at the east end of Bass Lake, five miles east of Eagle River.
There are five cabins on the property. Three cabins are along the lakeshore with two, three, and four bedrooms, respectively. There is a one-bedroom cabin (the “honey-moon” cabin) located a short distance from the lake. The fifth cabin is used for storage.
Bass Lake is a 266-acre spring-fed lake. It is used for fishing and boating by the lake residents and their guests. Bass, pike, panfish, and musky can be found in the lake. There is much wildlife in the area, with regular sightings of loons, ducks, eagles, and deer. Every now and then, a bear is seen as well!
Canoes, paddle boats, kayaks and row boats are available for use by camp users. Boat motors may be rented in the area. There is a swimming area with a swimming raft.
The cabins, though rustic, are fully furnished. Each cabin has its own indoor bathroom and shower. The kitchens are fully supplied with dishes, pots and pans, utensils, a gas range, refrigerator, microwave, and small appliances. Each cabin also has a fireplace and gas heater for cool nights. Two cabins have screen porches for warm evenings.
New in 2015! MCC is please to announce the opening of Charlie’s Cabin. This brand new cabin offers a year-round handicapped accessible retreat experience. The cabin has three bedrooms, central heating, air-conditioning, a gas fireplace, a three season screened in porch, and a fully equipped modern kitchen. Rental is $100 a night, or $600 a week. There is a $50 non-refundable deposit due at registration.
There are no telephones or televisions in the cabins. Most people are able to get a cell phone signal. Each cabin has a radio.
There is a fire pit for the common use of Balsams users. There are nightly vespers services at the fire pit. Vespers booklets are provided in each cabin.
Your Week at the Balsams
Sign-up for the summer season begins in February or March with a lottery sign-up after Sunday worship. For the first two weeks, each family may sign up for one cabin for one week. During the next two weeks, families may sign up for one additional week. After that, there is no limit to the number of weeks and cabins you may sign up for. A $50 non-refund-able deposit is required at sign-up.
The rental week begins and ends at noon on Sunday. Cabin users should bring their own bedding, towels, food, and personal items. The cabins are stocked with cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, and kitchen towels. Any of these items that are used should be laundered or replaced. Cabin renters are expected to leave the cabins clean at the end of their rental week. Rents are reasonable and depend on the size of the cabin.
In addition to the rent, camp users are asked to provide “sweat equity” in the form of painting, repair, and maintenance of the camp. In lieu of “sweat equity,” camp users may purchase items on the “wish list” inside each cabin.
During the spring and fall, the camp is used for a variety of retreats and church events. See the MCC newsletter, The Communicator, for information about these events.
Eagle River is a short distance to the west, providing quick access to groceries, laundry, shopping, sou-venirs, movies, and other amusements. The Nicolet National Forest is a short distance to the east with a wide variety of activities for day use.
For information about rentals, directions, what to bring, and other details, contact the church office firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-831-4694.