Camp Sinawa:   A Brief History


Prior to 1920 a local group founded the Pigeon Lake Land Company which purchased a small piece of land on the west shore of Pigeon Lake.  This property named Camp Sinawa, initially was to provide a space for camping for Local Manitowoc County Youth Groups.  Many local chapters of Boy Scouts used this site.


In 1921 a large tool shed used during the war was moved to Camp Sinawa and became the kitchen and dining area.  This building was donated by C.C. West of Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company.


In 1922 the Earl O Vits Memorial Trust was formed.  This trust purchased the 280 acres of land on the west shore of Pigeon Lake, which is now known as Camp Sinawa.  This trust was established to promote and provide opportunities for youth of Manitowoc County to experience outdoor camping activities.  


The first time a local Girl Scout chapter used Camp Sinawa was in 1928.


In 1930 Tom Nix who was a famous Cowboy Movie Star visited Camp Sinawa.


In 1931 the local Girl Scouts conducted Fund Raisers to finance the remodeling of the kitchen facilities.


In 1934 the Sinawa Lodge Order of the Arrow was organized.


From 1934 to 1979 Camp Sinawa operations and maintenance costs were provided thru local Boy and Girl Scout Troop fundraisers.  


During the period of 1979 – 1982 the Manitowoc/Two Rivers YMCA sponsored the costs associated with Camp Sinawa .


From 1983 – 1987 the activities at Camp Sinawa came to a near standstill.  The facility was almost doomed.


In 1987 a local Pigeon Lake group was formed as a fundraiser for Camp Sinawa.  This group was called Friends of Sinawa and included local people as well as people from other states who had an interest in the Pigeon Lake facility.  This group soon grew to over 300 people.  The membership donations and monies received from Fundraisers, donors and other interested businesses and groups provide some of the funds needed to operate and improve the camp.  


In 1995 the present Floating Pier System was installed.


In 1997 the stairwell leading to the Pigeon Lake shoreline was constructed.


During 1987 thru the present the following buildings have been either contructed and or refurbished:

24 bed Dormitory, Fogle Lodge, 4-Plex Cabin, Shower House, Sugar Shack, and all remaining active cabins. The electrics to each of the cabins has been brought up to local codes.

The current activities at Sinawa include but are not limited to:  Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Fall Family Day, and Christmas At Sinawa.

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