Camp Wandawega Lets You Relive Your Summer Camp Memories

Photos by Bob Coscarelli Photography

It's a known fact that being a grown-up bites the big one. For starters, you have to pay taxes. But there's also no more summer camp. Thankfully, there's a place that lets you relive your best childhood memories — Camp Wandawega, an idyllic lakeside property in Wisconsin filled with teepees, felt pendants and yes, even an archery range.

Co-founded by husband and wife team Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez, Wandawega is a nostalgic collaboration that draws on Hernandez's memories of attending camp on the very same property as a kid and Surratt's experience as a designer. The assortment of cabins and bunkhouses (bookable via Airbnb) have that vintage, rustic feeling ("Our 'no-frills' vibe is part of our charm, but it's not for everyone," the site warns), but Surratt has approached each space with a thoughtful, curated eye. "My sourcing is really as local as I can make it," she says. "Flea markets, barn sales, and thrift stores."

Hill House, the camp's newest addition, does take things up a notch, though. "It breaks the mold of everything we've done before," explains Surratt. The spacious, colonial-esque home boasts espresso and metal finishes, subway tiling, and contemporary lighting. "It's a modern look," Surratt says.

kitchen
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credit: Nathan Michael

The kitchen in the new Hill House is outfitted with Fireclay tile, Kohler fixtures, and custom-designed decor from Milwaukee's La Lune Collection, plus Rejuvenation lighting.

dining
credit: Nathan Michael

Lucite amber chairs, crisp white walls, and Edison-bulb pendants in the Hill House's dining area reflects Surratt's eclectic decorating style.

bath
credit: Nathan Michael

There's a whimsical yet preppy vibe to this bath, with a vintage landscape painting (featuring a cute cow) as well as cornflower-blue shiplap and espresso-black shower tiles. A tree-motif shower curtain completes the look.

bedroom
credit: Nathan Michael

Minimal decor in the bedroom results in a calming aesthetic with white sheets and a headboard that evokes Asia's tropical climate.

Homer Laughlin
credit: Nathan Michael

"It's almost like a national-park green," says Surratt, about the green accent on plates Homer Laughlin China Company created for Camp Wandawega.

Cedar Cabin
credit: Bob Coscarelli Photography

At one of Camp Wandawega's original accommodations, objects like colorful metal lanterns, striped wool blankets, and a gallery of art and found objects (including a wooden paddle) drive home the campy vibe.

breakfast room
credit: Bob Coscarelli Photography

Cheery and bright, the breakfast room features sunny yellow chairs, a stack of colorful vintage lunch boxes atop an old dresser, and open shelving flaunting plates and other dinnerware in midcentury hues like rose and aqua.

Cedar Cabin
credit: Bob Coscarelli

One of Camp Wandawega's original buildings is closely tied to the vision its owners still abide by today, which is a timeless camp setting on the water, including this forest-green paint trim and nautical decor (life preserver and wooden paddles).

camper
credit: Bob Coscarelli

This teeny tiny camper has been repurposed as a chill hangout spot for guests at Camp Wandawega, complete with an awning that's strung with lights, accented by two retro folding aluminum chairs.

treehouse exterior
credit: Bob Coscarelli

Serving as a common area for guests, Camp Wandawega's childlike (but artfully designed for grown-ups) treehouse is a sweet spot to simply chill, especially on cool and rainy days.

treehouse interior
credit: Bob Coscarelli

A wood-burning stove, a chandelier crafted from antlers, and a wooden ladder leading to a loft are part of the simple decor inside this whimsical treehouse, leaving the bones of the design to shine.

tipi
credit: Bob Coscarelli

Guests of all ages like to hang out in the property's two teepees. Another popular camp amenity? An archery range.