Camp Family

Welcome all campers and families to the Camp Lakotah family!  Our family has nearly 40 years of experience in camp and camp-related youth development programs, and we know that a quality camp experience lays the foundation for building happy and productive kids and a better world for all of us!

Every day at Camp Lakotah, children and adults are building healthy relationships and participating in activities that promote fitness and well-being, as well as an appreciation for the natural environment.  These three pillars; healthy relationships, fitness and well-being, and appreciating the natural environment, construct the values of our camp experience.  Values that resonate with parents, youth and children as they learn, play, laugh, and reflect in a value-enriched environment!

Camp Lakotah leads the way in providing challenging and interesting experiences to hundreds of campers each year in an environment committed to safety and fun.  We support our staff in delivering programs that teach children and adults life skills; leadership, independence, cooperation, and teamwork.  Our programs provide a supervised, fun, and nurturing environment that is key to the developmental process.

Again, welcome to Camp Lakotah… A place where making friends and changing lives through camping is our mission and our passion.

Sandy & Cliff




Meet the Owners


Sandy Bartel

Sandy has a wide variety of past experiences and continues to utilize those skills in various areas throughout Camp Lakotah.  She is a graduate of UW Madison with a degree in both Elementary and Special Education.  Sandy also has extensive work in program licensing and administration, food and beverage industry and business operations.  Sandy began her early career three years as a teacher and then transitioned to stay home and work several side jobs while raising her family.  Those jobs varied from merchandising, bartending, waitressing, babysitting and volunteering at church and school.  Upon re-entering the job market, she chose a career in Camping and has performed roles as Administrator and Operations Director.

Sandy has served on the Waushara Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a Lead Visitor for the American Camp Association accreditation program.

As the mom of four grown daughters and five grandchildren, Sandy has the ability to relate to parent’s concerns and apprehensions with first-hand experience.

Sandy is an avid sports enthusiast and enjoys following the Badgers, Brewers & Packers.  She also enjoys traveling, camping, crafting, shopping, boating, golfing and spending time with her family & friends.  She lives in Colgate with her husband Kurt and their two dogs, Leinie & Gertie.


Clifford Clauer

Cliff started his camping career as a 4-H summer camper at age 9 and has attended summer camp every year but one ever since.  After graduating from UW-Stevens Point in Environmental Education/Camp Management/Resource Management, Cliff was hired as a Camp Executive for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.  For 12 years he and his team improved and expanded the camping program, created their environmental education program, and created a national environmental education curriculum for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  For the next 10 years Cliff worked as a Camp Executive for the YMCA of Metro Milwaukee where his focus was on facility and program improvements.

As a true Camp professional, Cliff lives by the 4-H motto “To Make the Best Better”, he is constantly working to make Camp Lakotah a better place to learn and grow for the campers and staff.  Through his involvement in the American Camp Association, he has mentored several camp professionals and continues to be a trainer and lead visitor in the accreditation program.

When not at camp, Cliff enjoys being in the out of doors, caring for his family’s chickens, goats, alpacas, honey bees, and gardening.  Other hobbies include fishing, maple syruping, and woodworking.  He is the father of two adult children (twins) and lives with his wife and dog Hazel in Rubicon.


Meet the Staff

One of the most distinctive qualities of the Camp Lakotah program is our staff.  We are proud of the dedicated, professional  and positive role models that work with our campers and guests each year.  Each counselor is a minimum of 18 years of age and is hand chosen from literally hundreds of candidates for their skills, attitudes, and personal qualities.  Each year we are fortunate to have several returning staff members that bring experience and expertise along with a crop of highly motivated new staffers that bring enthusiasm and a fresh set of ideas!  Our staff know that when they give 100% of themselves to the children, they receive 200% back, making the summers they spend at Lakotah some of the best in their life.

Our staff is a balanced mixture of home grown and international college students that have been personally interviewed by the owners and then extensively trained onsite at Camp Lakotah.  We become the summer home and lifetime friends to counselors from all over the world – places like England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey & Mexico.  The international staff element enriches the campers experience by introducing new cultures and customs and promotes inclusion and understanding in all!

Selecting staff is one thing. Training them is another. Our eleven-day mandatory staff training is intense. We cover everything from leadership development skills to health and safety issues to how to handle homesickness and manage personality conflicts.  We use teaching tools from our insurance company risk management resources, local health department, physicians, child development professionals and camp industry experts to ensure our counselors are ready for any situation.  We role play, rehearse emergency drills and review every policy and procedure in depth. ALL staff are 1st Aid & CPR certified and MOST are also Lifeguard certified.  And we instill in every staff member the importance of safety, both physically and emotionally! But we don’t stop there at Lakotah! We keep training all summer long with in-service refreshers and reviews to make sure the learning is on-going.  We feel training does not stop until the final day of camp each year, and then we begin preparing for the next summer the very next day!  

In addition, our Leadership Training Program also gives past campers that want to give back by becoming a counselor themselves one day, the chance to participate in our 3 year program that prepares them in child development, skill development and leadership skills.  The LLT’s as they are known, play an integral part in assisting both counselors and campers in day to day operations at camp.


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