March 19, 2020
To Our Camp Wildbrook Families,
We are closely monitoring National and State of Ohio updates regarding the latest health recommendations surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic. The health and well-being of our campers and staff is of the utmost importance.
At this time, we are preparing for the camp season and hope to begin June 22nd as planned. Our goal is to provide our campers with an amazing, active, and healthy outdoor summer program and restore some “normalcy” for our camper families.
As this unprecedented situation continues to unfold, we will work with out camper families to make necessary adjustments to protect the health and safety of our campers. We will communicate changes as quickly as possible via our website and direct mailing. As always, we appreciate your wonderful cooperation and support. Our very best to you to remain safe and healthy!
Regarding March Mailing:
Current camper families should have received our March mailing which includes some important forms. Please pay attention to the deadlines. The second tuition payment along with the “first-come, first-served” Transportation Preference form, the Parental Waiver (both parent/guardians must sign), and the Campwear form for the free camp t-shirt size are all due April 1. The Health History and Medical Information form is due June 1st. This is to allow time to get a new updated physical if your current camper’s physical is out of date. If you have misplaced any of these forms, you can download them from our Camper Forms page. For security purposes, the password to access the forms is located on the back of the March newsletter or you can call the camp office.
The 2020 Camp Season will be June 22nd – July 31st. Please note that this is a week later than last year and we will continue to start the day after Father’s Day. Camp Wildbrook will be closed on Friday, July 3rd in honor of Independence Day.
Feel free to call our office with any questions at (513) 931-2196.
A Cincinnati Tradition
Written by – Dave Oeters
For more than 60 years, Camp Wildbrook has been a Cincinnati summer tradition for many families in the area. The key the camp’s success, explains Gayle Lucas, the Camp Director, is the strong support from the community of former and current campers and counselors and their families, and the dedication of the entire Kraushar family.
Bob and Flo Kraushar founded Camp Wildbrook in 1952. Both were former schoolteachers in Cincinnati Public Schools. They realized there was a need for a private summer camp in the area after speaking to parents while they managed a playground group run by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. They were also supported in the project by Dr. Albert Degarmo, a prominent local pediatrician. Camp Wildbrook quickly became popular with local families, offering fun activities for kids and recruiting the best counselors they could find. While Bob and Flo ran the camp during the summer, they continued to teach. In addition to the Camp, they have offered a swim club and rented space for events to community groups such as local fire departments and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Since that time, Camp Wildbrook has continued to offer quality programs based on the tradition started by Bob and Flo, but also fine-tuned and improved the experience for campers. For example, at one time the Camp offered horseback riding, but that program has been replaced with gymnastics and soccer in addition to old favorites like nature and camping, swimming, crafts, and drama and singing. Other traditions continue such as weekly Popsicle day for campers, and field trips for each of the groups.
“Many families have had three generations attend Camp Wildbrook,” explains Gayle. Parents who attended the camp look forward to sending their children. Many counselors were former campers. And former campers often call to ask about the camp and inquire where their children are on the waiting list. “Traditions are important, and parents want to share their experience with their kids.”
Just as Camp Wildbrook crosses generations with campers and counselors, it has crossed generations in the Kraushar family. All five of Bob and Flo’s children (Gayle, Karen, Scott, Dave, and Gary) have attended and worked at Camp Wildbrook. Gayle currently handles the day-to-day operations of the camp, and she worked for many years with her sister Karen as Co-Director of Wildbrook. Many of Bob and Flo’s grandchildren have worked at the camp in a variety of roles in the summer. Wives and husbands who marry into the family have also played roles at the camp. The dedication of the Kraushar family to Camp Wildbrook has made the camp experience truly unique.
Gayle explained that Camp Wildbrook has been an important part of so many lives in our area. Each summer is an exciting experience to see the tradition continue to grow. Gayle also credits the counselors and staff for the success of the camp. “We really do have the best counselors, and we couldn’t offer the programs and experience we do without them.”