We exist to foster growth and responsibility in our campers, so that they may return to their communities as leaders.
We do this by providing:
A safe, natural environment removed from urban life
Adult role models who exhibit and instruct these values
A positive atmosphere in which campers can be themselves
A little piece of land; a whole world to explore.
The Settlement has been offering camping experiences to Chicago youth since 1897, but it wasn't until 1910 and the founding of House In The Wood that the camping program really took off. What began with a scout troop pushing a wagon out into a pasture evolved over time to become one of the longest running programs in the Settlement's history.
After a few changes in location, House In The Wood was moved in 1951 to its current site on the shores of Lake Delavan in southern Wisconsin. On its twenty-three acres, children are able to explore wooded, aquatic, marsh and prairie habitats - unfamiliar scenery for most of the campers from the city.
Along with inspiring a meaningful relationship with nature, House In The Wood has always been in the business of fostering cooperation, creativity, generosity, responsibility and kindness in our campers, so that they may enrich their lives and the communities to which they return.
Opening Doors of Opportunity
House In The Wood is a program of Northwestern Settlment, which was founded in 1891 amid the settlement house movement in Chicago and other major cities. The concept was simple but innovative and powerful. Those of means would settle in impoverished neighborhoods, often comprised of immigrant, minority and other disadvantaged populations. These social reformists would then set about the much needed work of empowering and inspiring the neighbors around them.
Northwestern Settlement is one of few remaining settlement houses in the country, and is the oldest continually operating settlement house in Chicago. The Settlement offers a wide variety of programs and services for young and old including educational opportunities, emergency services, live theater, family events and, of course, outdoor programs at House In The Wood. You can learn more about the Settlement's rich history and find ways to get involved at northwesternsettlement.org.
Maintenance & Grounds Manager
Food Service Coordinator
Outdoor Education Director
Location & Maps
Grounds & Facilities
House In The Wood is located on twenty-three acres of land on the shores of Lake Delavan. We have several buildings on the campus, which are primarily grouped around the center of camp. But most of the land has been left in its natural state. This includes lush wooded areas, a marsh teeming with life and an always beautful and vibrant shoreline.
The facilities of House In The Wood provide a rustic yet comfortable setting for groups of all types. All of our facilities receive regular improvements and renovations - thanks to our generous volunteers and donors! In fact, we've just completed a major update that included construction of two new beautiful buildings!
A top priority for any group on an overnight stay is adequate lodgings. Guests of House In The Wood stay in comfortable cabins conveniently located around the center of the campus. They include the following amenities:
- Indoor restrooms with running water
- Heat and air conditioning
- Electric lights
- 16-22 beds each
- Showers or handy access to our new shower house
The newly renovated and expanded Elliott Lodge Dining Hall is a favorite place at House In The Wood - and not just for the great food! The expanded dining area can seat over a hundred guests with additional seating available on the screened in front porch.
Guests are served out of our restaurant-grade kitchen, which can be made available to groups to cook for themselves, or staffed by the wonderful cooks of House In The Wood.
House In The Wood offers a variety of indoor and outdoor meeting spaces. Indoor spaces include the large and open confines of Vittum Lodge, the cozy and comfortable Hickory House, and Elliott Lodge Dining Hall is also available for meeting. Outdoor spaces include three campfire sites, the logs, the pavilion and most places around the campus that seem like a good spot to circle up.
American Camp Association
House In The Wood is accredited by the American Camp Association, which has guidelines for best practices that cover all aspects of camp operations. We work hard to meet the standards that keep campers safe. In addition, the ACA is a great resource for guidance and support from a network of camp experts.