Camp Onaway is a 6.5 acre island located on the Chain O' Lakes near Waupaca, Wisconsin. Since 1908, the Boys’ & Girls’ Brigade has offered camps at Onaway Island as an extension of the Building Leaders program at Brigade. Today, camps are available June-August for boys and girls who have completed grades 6-12 the previous school year. Camp Onaway currently hosts four girls camps, three boys camps, Onaway Adventure Camp (OAC), and Leadership Training Conference (LTC). In addition, we offer a a weekend Boys' Anchor Camp and a Girls' Anchor Camp for youth who have just completed 5th grade. Several day camps are also available for youth who have just completed 4th or 5th grade.
Discovered in 1908 and purchased by Mr. S.F. Shattuck in 1910, Onaway has long been a favorite place for boys to spend a week during the summer. In 1973, the first Brigade Girls' camp was held and a new era of camping began. The success of the Girls' Camps ultimately led to the formation of the Girls' Brigade program in 1979.
The objectives remain similar to those of almost 100 years ago, but over the years the program at Onaway has changed and evolved with the needs of our youth in the community.
When Brigade first used Onaway, the camping experience was almost entirely devoted to “roughing it." Getting to the island, pitching tents, providing drinking water, firewood, cooking food, etc. consumed much of the camper’s time. Over the years, Onaway has changed as structures were built and much of the top of the island was cleared.
With these improvements, the time demand for survival activities dropped, and with more open land topside new activities could be added. A rich heritage in many forms of competition, music, and team building developed along with exciting features like a challenging high and low ropes course, waterfront activities and more.