Be Amazing from Camp Deerhorn on Vimeo.


The bus leaves at 9 am on the first day of camp. Please be at the bus by 8:30am so we can get the bus loaded. On the last day of camp, the bus will arrive at around 4:00pm, but that varies with traffic. You’ll need to complete his travel form to sign up for the bus. The bus pick up and drop off location is 2727 Lake Ave. in Wilmette, IL. All luggage can go with him on the bus. There is no need to ship anything separately. If your son is riding the bus TO camp, you’ll need to pack him a nut free lunch and a closable drink. On the way home from camp, lunches are provided.

On the first day of camp, you are welcome to drop your son off between 9am and 11am, or between 12:30-3pm.  Please do not arrive around noon, when we have lunch. All boys should arrive by 3pm on opening day so that they can get settled in, take their swim test, and attend the staff intro meeting. We will have activities running all day. Parents are welcome to walk around camp with their son and help him get set up in his koogee, but we are unfortunately unable to accommodate families for lunch. We will also have people giving tours. The buses arrive around 2:30pm, so we strongly suggest arriving earlier in the day to beat the busses.


On the last day of camp, please arrive between 8:30am & 11:30am. We will eat breakfast at 8am, and parents are welcome to join us in the lodge for the awards part of the breakfast that starts around 8:30 or 8:45am.   All of his gear will be under the gazebo in the parking lot for kids going home by car. Parents are welcome to have their son show them around camp during the morning, until 11:30am.

We have partnered with Ship Camps to make shipping baggage to and from camp easy! To sign up for Ship Camps and schedule baggage to be shipped, you can click here. You can ship his baggage to camp either by FedEx, UPS, or Ship Camps. If you’d rather use UPS or FedEx to ship your son’s stuff to camp, we suggest having it arrive at least a week before the session starts. If you want to ship baggage home from camp, you will need to schedule it through Ship Camps. If your son is taking the bus to or from camp, all of his luggage can go on the bus, so there is no need to ship anything.

A complete suggested clothing and linens list is available under Forms and Documents in your camp account.  You can also find it HERE. You might want to bring your own baseball glove, tennis racquet, or fishing pole, but it’s not necessary, as we also have them at camp. Please do not bring any electronics to camp, and cell phones are absolutely not permitted.

You should be prepared for cool nights and potentially hot days. The temperature can fluctuate a lot!

*warm sleeping bag or twin sizes sheets and blankets (if you are flying into camp, Deerhorn can provide a linen bin if you contact us ahead of time and let us know you need it)
*shorts, swim trunks, t-shirts, sweatshirts, long pants
*lightweight warm jacket
*flashlight, rain gear, towels, sandals, sneakers
*toiletries, medicines, sunscreen, bug spray
*your own tennis racquet and baseball glove are totally optional. We have plenty at camp for you to use!


PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY NUTS OR GUNS TO CAMP. We have lots of severe nut allergies at camp.

Please mark everything you bring to camp with your name.


If your son is only staying one session, we STRONGLY recommend you do not visit him at camp, especially if it is his first year. We have had kids who were doing great and settling in well, and then parents come to visit and he wanted to go home with him. Our sessions are short and it is a real gift to him to give him the time and space to settle into camp and make it his own experience.

If your son is staying more than one session, we do not have special visiting days for parents, as you are welcome to come visit anytime. It is best to call first to make sure your son will not be out of camp on a trip. While we welcome visitors, we unfortunately cannot accommodate parents and siblings for meals, in koogees, or in activities. Also, if you come visit us at camp, please DO NOT BRING YOUR DOG. When you get to camp, please come to the office to sign in and if your son wants to leave camp for awhile with you, please remember to sign him out. Here is our complete visitors policy: CDH Visitors Policy

On opening day of Father Son Camp, you are welcome to arrive anytime after 9am. Many of our Father Son Camp families spend the night in Rhinelander the night before, so that they can get a full day of activities in on that first day! If you aren’t able to arrive until later, we just ask that you arrive by dinnertime (6pm) so that you are there for the intro meeting after. On the final day of Father Son Camp, we will have breakfast at 8am, and we ask that you are packed up and moved out of your koogees by 9am. However, we will still have activities going until 11am, at which point Father Son Camp has concluded. If you are attending Father Son 2 (FS2), and your son is staying for A session, you are welcome to stay and do activities with him for the morning until 11, or you can leave after breakfast. We will have fun activities planned for him the rest of the day, to ease the transition into staying for a camper-only session. Boys staying for A session will also have a laundry day at the beginning of that session. If you are attending FS3, in August, and your son is attending the E session prior to FS3, you will need to pick him up on the last day of E session, and stay overnight and come back the following day for Father Son Camp. We have a lot to do between sessions to get everything cleaned and ready to go, so everything is ready for our next group!

We have a few boys each session who fly into the Rhinelander airport. Yes, we definitely provide transportation from the Rhinelander airport to and from camp. Please ensure your travel form is completed so we have his flight details. Please note, Rhinelander airport (RIA) is the only airport for which we provide transportation. We do not provide transportation from any others, including Mid-Wisconsin airport in Wausau.

Our camp store is full of Deerhorn clothing and other items. He will start each session with $50 in his store account. If you want him to be able to purchase clothing,  you will set the limit on how much he can spend when you fill out the permission slip.  All purchases must be made and picked up at camp.  A list of store clothing prices can be found in your Deerhorn account under “Forms and Documents,” and can also be found HERE.  Clothing purchases during Father Son camp are at the discretion of dad!

Unfortunately, if we allowed every camper to call home even once, the phone would be tied up almost constantly. Calling home also almost always makes homesickness worse. You can correspond with your parents by mail. Parents are welcome to call or email a director if they have concerns about their son.  No electronics or cell phones are allowed at camp.

Deerhorn has a laundry service  that will pick up our laundry once per session and return it to us within a day or two.

Being homesick is totally normal.  It just means you are lucky enough to have a home worth missing! Most of our staff members each summer are former Deerhorn campers. We have a very positive support group to help any campers who feel homesick as they adjust to camp life. You will be so busy doing new and fun things that you won’t really have time to get homesick! Most campers who feel a little homesick the first couple days are the same ones who don’t want to go home at the end of the session!

You are responsible for attending all of your activities. Participation in those activities is WAY more fun than sitting on the bench. In almost every case, you end up really having fun in the things you thought you wouldn’t like! Some activities are split, like biking and arts & crafts. You will also decide if you want to go to horseback riding or golf.

Competition is definitely here for the boys who thrive on it, but it is not something that is forced on any of our campers. While we do offer most team sports, such as baseball, basketball, roller hockey, and soccer, the facts remains that Deerhorn places greater emphasis on lifetime sports such as tennis, water skiing, sailing, archery, golf, and riding. Nearly all of our awards presented the last day of each session are based upon improvement. You do not have to be a great athlete to enjoy Deerhorn!

To say camp will be fun is a huge understatement. We have always felt that if you are ready to participate and give Deerhorn a try, then yes, you will probably have the best time of your life. You can enjoy a myriad of activities while enjoying the Great Outdoors and making lifelong friendships with people of all ages. It is almost impossible to not like Deerhorn. That being said, if you’re not having fun, or have a concern, please tell a counselor or director so we can help make things better. We want every camper to have an amazing time at Deerhorn!

Ideally, the maximum height should be less than or equal to 15 inches. Length and width are not as important. However, if your trunk is higher than 15 inches, there’s no need to buy a new one. It just won’t be able to be stored under the bunk beds. Footlockers are not required. Some kids just like bringing their stuff in duffel bags. If you would like to invest in a good trunk, the one we recommend can be found here.

Yes. Any emails for campers should be sent to Please put the camper’s full name name in the subject line. The cost is $1 per email, and can be taken out of your son’s spending account money. Campers are able to receive text emails only, no pictures or attachments.  They will receive their emails at dinner with the rest of the mail. Campers will not be able to email you back.

Campers do not need cash while they are at camp, so please do not send any. We set up spending accounts for each boy at camp, and each camper starts with $50 per session. This can be spent on needed items from the store, out of camp trips, etc. If they would like to buy clothing, parents set a limit on the permission slip and give permission for their credit card on file to be charged.

Packages are allowed only for boys staying more than one session, but you are welcome to send him mail! If you do send a package,  please do NOT send any food. Any packages with food will be given to charity. We manage many allergies every summer.  Please use UPS or FedEx for fastest service to camp.  The Postal Service will not deliver packages directly to camp and might result in a delay of your package arriving.

While we love to have former campers visit camp, unfortunately, we do not have space in the dining room for visitors to eat with us. Visitors are also not allowed to stay overnight at camp while visiting, including in tents or koogees. This includes former campers. See below for recommendations of places to stay in town. Here is a copy of our visitor’s policy: CDH Visitors Policy

The food is terrific!  We hire an incredible group of professional chefs to cook healthy, delicious meals from scratch. You’ll have juice, hot and cold cereal, fruit and yogurt bar, and a hot item like eggs, pancakes, or french toast for breakfast. For lunch, you’ll enjoy a salad bar, and things like tacos, pizza bagels, sloppy Joes, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. For dinner you might have roast beef, baked chicken, spaghetti, burritos, etc. You will have ice cream, cookies, fresh fruit, apple crisp, chocolate cake, and other delicious things for dessert.

We definitely celebrate birthdays here at camp. We sing to him during one of the meals and later he and his koogee will enjoy cake at milkline. You can also call him on his birthday! We ask that you call during rest hour, between 12:45 and 2pm CT.

Quality Inn (668 W. Kemp St, two miles west of town)- 715-369-3600

Comfort Inn (1490 Lincoln St) 715-803-6745

Holiday Acres(about 5 miles east of town on Lake Thompson) 715-369-1500

AmericInn 715-804-0588

The Waters of Minocqua (about 40 minutes from camp, great indoor waterpark and hotel) 715-358-4000

Holiday INN Express and Suites(New in 2023) 715-420-2201

Take business 8 east through town, past Wal-Mart, and take a left at the intersection with County C (also 17 north). Go through one stoplight and take a right at the ice rink. Follow county C 7 miles until you come to the Deerhorn sign on the right side of the road. Take a right and follow the road 2 miles into camp. The road into camp is well-marked with a BIG sign and is paved. If you find yourself on a dirt road, you have turned too soon off the highway and need to go a little farther.

We only allow campers to talk to their parents if it is an emergency, or if it is a special occasion, such as his birthday. You can correspond with your son by letters or emails.

When you arrive at Camp, you will be placed in one of 12 activity groups, with boys your age. You will have an activity schedule to follow where you will go to each activity every other day. See our typical camp schedule HERE. Each session will also have a Special Day. We will sleep in an hour later. There will be activities available in the morning, a special team event in the afternoon,  koogee time after dinner, and a campfire at the end of the day.