The ULBC Dining Hall

The Union League Boys Club Camp had a wonderful dining hall with all the atmosphere of a great camp. It was the finest of any I’ve seen. This camp had memories for me not only as a counselor but also many years later as an Executive Director of a club in Illinois. By the way, their breakfasts were fantastic and their apple raisin pie superb.

I had went to a boys club regional meeting and happened across JA Markle, then the Executive Director of the Union Leauge Boys Club. I sought him out and inquired as to the possiblity of using that camp for our local club and he not only remembered me from years before as a counselor at that camp but agreed to let us use the camp.

I contacted Al Mackin the year round camp director and immediately our local club was allowed to use the camp on a monthly basis in the off season and also to send our kids to that summer camp. Our monthly off season trips were great and the kids really enjoyed the woods, lake, and other acitivities afforded them during their stay there. One time in particular some of our kids opted to sleep out in the snow by a warm campfire.

We played hound and the hare many times where the kids would chase both Al and me after a headstart of about five minutes. Thus, this camp was utilized by me both as a counselor and many years later as an asset to my local club.

27 thoughts on “The ULBC Dining Hall

  1. I remember Mr. Markle as a child. I attended the camp from 1960 to 1970 and remember seeing him there on occasion during the summers. He used to stay at the guest cottage behind the mess hall. Don’t know if it’s still there or not.

  2. I was a counselor there at the big wall tents someways behind the dining hall. I was 6’10” and took my boys around the lake prior to every breakfast. Later I again took my Hoffman Estates Boys Club to the camp when Al Mackin was director in the late 1970’s.

  3. So excited to see these mentions of my dad J A Markle, and camp. I spent many summer days there and those times are probably the highlight of my childhood in the 60s through mid 70s. I am happy to report that my dad and mom are happy and healthy living is Sedona, AZ. They are 83 and 81 respectively. I am also happy to report that my youngest daughter is a member of the Sands Boys and Girls Club in NW Phoenix, AZ.

    Thanks for the memories,


  4. Your father was instrumental in getting my boys club in Hoffman Estates to be able to use the same camp I once was a counselor at in 1968. My club used the camp monthly in 1978-79 and even some of our kids were summer campers there under Camp Director Al Mackin.

  5. I remember Al and his wife Rita and little boy Sean. I hear Al passed away several years ago. I saw mention of Twiggy and Lurch. I remember those names well, and even remember what Twiggy looked like. I also remember his wife, but her name escapes me. I also see mention of Jim Marino. What a memorable guy. My mom still corresponds with Diane and Lisa.

  6. Al passed away in the early 1990’s. Lurch was me, Dave Norris, being 6’10” and my job was at the wall tents. I took my guys around the lake each morning before breakfast and even did puppet shows at the chapel.

  7. Oh My! I only remember you by that name, but the name has stuck with me. I’ll bet I’ve seen a puppet show at the chapel. That sounds so familiar. I can still smell the chapel if I think hard enough about it…as well as the Nature Center. Fantastic memories. Dreaming of a visit one day.

  8. My picture is on this site under the Joplin Boys Club tag or the category physical and then find the Joplin Boys Club superstars

  9. Well, I”ve searched all over the site and can’t find your picture but would love to see it. I called my mom and dad and told them about the website and about chatting with you. They couldn’t be more excited and I will show them the website when they come to visit me in the coming weeks. Do you remember Dominic Costabil (I’m sure I have the spelling wrong) or Jim Peterson?

  10. I do recall Dominic and also Jim Peterson. I was in the tents with Gordie Payne and Bob Reiser. Tomorrow evening there will be a post on the Swamp Monster at camp.

  11. Dominic has visited my parents pretty recently. And sadly, Jim passed away within the past year I believe. He too visited my folks in Sedona in recent years. I remember Swamp Man…creepy (but fun!) stuff when you’re a kid!

  12. Beth,
    I just stumbled on this site a yesterday. I had a long lost cousin contact me and it got me interested in doing some research of the old camp etc. I was so excited to find stories that included my dad. The descriptions brought me right back to those days in the 70’s taggin’ along on the trips to camp. I too look forward to returning one day to see the camp again. I tried contacting them at Union League a few years ago to get some pictures etc., with no luck. Say hi to your parents for me. They may not remember me, but I remember them.

    Keep the posts coming, the more I read the more I remember. I was pretty little then so it takes a bit to jog the memory.


  13. Hi Beth,
    Do you remember me??? I spent many summers up there in the 60’s and 70’s. I’m acutally going up to the camp this weekend to walk around. There is a reunion on July 11 at the camp. I’ll send you the info if you’d like.


  14. Hi,

    I’m so excited to see some old names. I’m going up to the camp this weekend for a little visit. I spoke with the camp director Angle and he is letting Mr Fox’s nephew Don know that i’m coming up for a visit. I do remember “Tent city’. I was a kicthen boy (diswasher man) for the summers of 1976 and 77 and sleept behind the mess hall. There is a reunion up at the camp on July 11 from 11:00 Am until 1:00 PM. Let me know if you need any more info.


  15. Hi Sean,,
    I remember you even though you were very young. I’m very sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. How is your mom?? I was very good friends with your mom’s niecis Kathy and Chris Roberts. Are you or your mom still in contact with them?? I’d love to here from them.


  16. Jim-
    I was also involved at the camp in 1978-79 with Al Mackin when I was the Executive Director of the Hoffman Estates Boys Club. Both Jay Markle and Al allowed our kids to use the camp monthly in the off season and also for the summer. We send about five boys to the camp. Al and I became good friends and he started a Woodcraft Rangers program at our club. Union League also came to our club for a track meet and then invited us into Chicago for a softball game and swim.

  17. Sean: I’m only seeing this now and hoping you check this site now and again. You were just a little squirt when I knew you! I would love to hear how you’re doing. I live in AZ and have 4 daughters. I have gret memories of your dad doing the Indian ceremonies in the rec hall, and remember your mom as being a sweet woman.

  18. Al Mackin also performed his Woodcraft Rangers ceremony program at my Hoffman Estates Boys Club twice for our members who began getting interested in that program.

  19. I was looking up Salem, Wisconsin and ULBC Camp for nostalgic reasons and came upon your site.

    I attended the ULBC Camp in the mid to late 1950s -lucky to have had many two-week stints at The Cave, The Farm, The Ranch and The Village. I recall when they first put up a large tent (wooden floors) behind the Mess Hall – I stayed there the first time it was used.

    FYI, In 1959 Connie Francis had a hit song called “Lipstick on Your Collar” which we campers changed the words to “Seaweed on Your Rafters” … Swamp Man is gonna get you …

    Does anyone remember how “Cow Pie” Joe Posazinski (sp?) got his name? Whatever happened to Camp Heartthrob, SHIRLEY FOX? Do you remember The BB gun and archery range ? How about BACKWARD DAY and the all important, MUMBLEYPEG TOURNAMENT?

    Would love to hear from my fellow campers. But, PLEASE don’t make me sing for my mail. Thanks –

    Cliff Krainik – Warrenton, Virginia

  20. Cliff, FYI there is an entire category of ULBC Camp on the sidebar with about 27 posts currently and more to come

  21. HI,

    I was also a woodcraft ranger for a couple of years. Mr. Mackin would pick me up from the house is Oak Park along with the other kids and off we’d go. I remember spending a night sleeping in a tent with my cousin with snow on the ground. I’ll be up at camp next weekend for the reunion along with Beth Markle who is flying in from AZ for the weekend. Hope to see some of you!!

  22. Oak Park? My home church was at Lake and Kenlworth. I grew up in Forest Park through sixth grade. I sent you a email a few moments ago.

  23. I wish I could make it up there for the reunion. Is this something they have done before? I would like to plan a trip there with my kids at some point. We actually did some internet surfing for Chicago Landmarks including the Clubs. We did a map quest of Barreto. I was blown away. I did not recognize it. They have done a great job fixing it all up.

    It’s funny I have been doing some stuff with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club by where I work near East LA. I had flashbacks when I walked in. The smell was probably the most amazing trigger. Not sure what it is exactly but it reminded me of all the Clubs back home.

    Reminds me of hanging out there with my Dad.

  24. I remember Jim Peterson, I also remember your father very well. I attended the camp as a camper from 1960 to 1969. I worked in the kitchen as a waiter in 1970.

  25. Vito, I was a tent counselor in 1969 and was 6’10” tall, hard to forget. I later returned to camp in 1978-79 as the director of the Hoffman Estates Boys Club as our club was allowed winter and summer uses of the camp through the graces of J A Markle and Al Mackin.

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