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*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Wildwood Lodge Club

Club Wildwood

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Becoming a member of the Friswold family also made me an instant member of their vacation home association, Wildwood Lodge Club. It is an awesome amplification of everything precious about the Friswolds. It’s as if the things that make them a special family is taken to the 7th degree by six amazing other like-minded families that join together with a common zest for loving life and other people.

Located in the beautiful northern Wisconsin woods, spending time at Wildwood is inherently enthralling. There is always something to do, even if it is simply sitting quietly and soaking up what nature has to offer. But that doesn’t hold a candle to the energy and love shared among the people who truly make Wildwood what it is.

In a way, traveling the roughly 3-hour drive from home to be at WWLC was the first version of Friswold family trips. That is why I am featuring it near the beginning of this little series highlighting our travels with Cyndie’s family.

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There are often community games spontaneously forming –basketball, soccer, boot hockey, tennis, card games, night games– and shared meals are a common occurrence. For some years, there was a progressive dinner to each family’s “cabin” on New Year’s Eve.

There are often themes devised for Wildwood events, such as “paint your own t-shirt” for Independence day (seen above) or “make your own holiday hat” (below).

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Wildwood Lodge Club could be seen as my gateway into the next level of travel adventures I would continue to experience after becoming a member of the Friswold Family.

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Written by johnwhays

December 24, 2017 at 7:00 am

Spectacular Weekend

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I’m back at work today, but I expect my mind will be flooded all day long with thoughts of the spectacular weekend we just enjoyed. The weather was divine and complimented everything that was planned to honor the 50-year anniversary of Wildwood Lodge Club in Hayward, WI, on the Independence Day holiday weekend.

DSCN4934eSunday we held our traditional games such as water balloon toss, shoe kick, 3-legged race, and watermelon eating contest. A typical number of rules were circumnavigated in pursuit of victories, but that never lessens the laughter and frivolity enjoyed by all.

In the evening, after a catered dinner, one member from each family ever holding a membership participated in a game of Wildwood Jeopardy. When that was over, dancing to live music carried on into the wee hours of Monday morning.

Despite the late hours, I woke up early enough the next morning to sneak out on another beautiful bike ride with Cyndie’s brother, Ben.

DSCN4905eThen it was back in the water for one last swim before it was time to pack and leave for home. Leaving the beach before the day is done is always one of the hardest things to do. It gets me begging for science-fiction to hurry up and become science-fact, in terms of a transporter ala-Star Trek to eliminate the travel time needed to get home.

Pushing myself to leave the lake during the best part of the day becomes a much more difficult thing to do when the weekend is as spectacular as this last one just was.

I feel like I deserve a medal for making it back to work today.

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Written by johnwhays

July 5, 2016 at 6:00 am

Fifty Years

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Coinciding with our usual 4th of July celebrations up at our lake place this year is a gala weekend recognizing the 50th anniversary of the community we call Wildwood Lodge Club. It’s like taking the most awesome event of the year and turning it up to eleven. No, make that twelve.

The brief history is that in 1966, one man spearheaded an effort to enlist a group to chip in and buy an old fishing lodge. The membership has changed a little bit over the years, with Cyndie’s family joining in 1969. The current 7 families decided to celebrate this year’s milestone by inviting everyone they could find who had ever been a member to come up for this holiday weekend.

DSCN4899eIt was a brilliant idea and the last two days have been more fun that we imagined possible.

I enjoyed a little milestone of my own at the start of the day by getting back on my bike just a week after the Tour of Minnesota. Last year after the ride, I hung my bike on a hook in the shop and didn’t get around to riding it again for the rest of the summer.

Cyndie’s brother, Ben, enticed me to bring my road bike up this year so we could get out for a ride together. It was a gorgeous morning and we made the most of it with an easy breeze through some of the beautiful lakes and woods of northern Wisconsin.

DSCN4903eBack at Wildwood, we cooled off with a dip in the lake before the rest of the families and guests started their big day at the beach. For this special weekend, some extra floatation toys were added. They were well-used all day long.

 In the evening, we gathered at the lodge for a brat and corn feast highlighted by a slide show and videos that overflowed with memories of the last 50 years.

It was informative and confirming for me to hear from some of the past members who spoke about what this place means to them still, long after their families moved on from the association.

DSCN4908eAs beautiful as this lake property is, it is the people of the member families, and the community they have created, that truly set this apart as a spectacularly incredible thing. I have always known it was special, but it is possible to take it for granted over time.

Celebrating a milestone like a 50th anniversary serves to remind and reorient me to the magic I fell into when I became a part of Cyndie’s amazing family and this special place.

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Written by johnwhays

July 3, 2016 at 8:40 am