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Camp Bird
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History of Camp Bird

Sand Lake and the land surrounding it was owned by Isaac Stephenson from 1875 to 1920. He used the site as a private hunting and fishing camp. His hunting cabin was on the site of the present dining hall. In 1920 the land was sold to the Skidmore Land Company. In 1929 Marinette County became the owner of Sand Lake for $82.75 in unpaid back taxes.

In 1936, after the tax title matured, three people encouraged the development of a youth camp at Sand Lake. They were L. E. Ness, Chairman of Marinette County Board, Dr. Maurice Bird, County Health Officer and Mr. Charles Drewry, County Agriculture Agent for the University of Wisconsin Extension. On May 3, 1939 a resolution was brought before the County Board and was approved to make Sand Lake into a youth camp. The plans were drawn up and submitted, and the camp to be built as a Federal Works Administration (WPA) Project. The final plan was developed in 1940 by John Saemann, Assistant County Extension Agent and given to the WPA. The construction of the camp was started by the WPA and finished by the Marinette County Forestry crew in 1942. On May 5, 1942, a County Board Resolution named the camp as Maurice D. Bird Youth Center for the doctor who was instrumental in the camps conception.

Usage of the Camp


Camp Bird opened in 1943 and since that time has been used by various youth group such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Marinette County 4-H youth, schools, social service agencies, and religious organizations. In 2006, Camp Bird was opened up to adult groups such as family reunions/weddings or corporate groups. Camp Bird is available for rentals from the first week of April through the end of November. For reservations or further information regarding Camp Bird, please contact the Marinette County Parks Office at 715-732-7530 or the UW-Extension 4-H Agent at 715-732-7517.