Camp Wabansi History

 

Camp Wabansi has been serving youth and families through the Greater Green Bay YMCA for over 60 years.  Our 35-acre property was purchased by the YMCA in 1945 and day camp began in 1949.  Sorry gals, back then camp was just for the guys!


Today, Camp Wabansi is proud of its long history and celebrates it in many ways.  The walls and ceiling tiles in the arts & crafts building (the old kitchen) commemorate members of the camp staff from decades past.  Campers enjoy traditions each summer like Tie-Dye Tuesdays and Weenie-Roast Wednesdays, and each Thursday night, campers enjoy hearing fun camp legends around the campfire.  As you hear the traditional stories told and retold each summer, one can only imagine how the Wabansi story has been shaped by many voices across generations of campers and staff.

 

About the name 'Wabansi'

Nah-ke-ses was born into the Potawatomi tribe in the midwest in the mid-1700's.  He became a famous hunter at a young age.  After his reputation arose for surprising the enemy in the early and pale light of day, he was renamed Waabaansii (spelled 'Wabansi' in the contemporary Potawatomi language), roughly translated as meaning "a new dawn."  He later became Chief of the Potawatomi tribe and had a major role in several battles and peace treaties as a friend of the United States.  His death around 1845 was a sad day for the Potawatomi nation.  Today, many places in the U.S. are named in his honor including a county in Kansas, a state park in Iowa, a high school in Illinois, and a YMCA camp in Door County, Wisconsin!