Walking to Four Winds Island in the Winter


I’ve always wondered what it might be like to live on Four Winds Island in the winter? Of course you’d have to lay in a lot of supplies. Then again are wires strung out to the island for electricity or do they have their own generator? I think it would be great to own your own island.

And whereas the mainland Camp Martin Johnson is almost all but lost the same can’t be held true on Four Winds Island where history is still present. Several of the cabins, with graffiti, are still there for the looking. I can almost imagine former campers going out there with memories rolling in high gear. At least some of CMJ is still preserved on Four Winds Island.

24 thoughts on “Walking to Four Winds Island in the Winter

  1. When it was owned by the camp I don’t think it was used on the winter. I do not know if they even had electricity on the island at the time the camp had it. Fortunately we do now via an underwater cable. Most if not all of the graffiti is on the insides of the cabins. Alot of campers wrote their names and the years they visited the island. That cottage in the picture above used to be the mess hall. Its been modified since. The lifeguard chair is also original, and the campers used to call it “Buddy Bell” or something like that. I don’t know if this has been talked about, but this camp was used a lot by the Chicago YMCA, also before the last couple years of it being run by the camp it was strictly for counselors. Later they allowed campers. Again this is all from word of mouth. I am certain on one fact though: one of the most notable campers to visit in the ’70s was Natalie Cole, the singer.

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  2. The camp was used by the girls for a while until visiting boaters became a problem If you want to know more about the camp, check out Camp Martin Johnson on our category section on the sidebar

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  3. I was a camper at Camp Martin Johnson for two summers and absolutely loved it. The last summer I was a camper, I had the honor of staying on Four Winds and have a lot of wonderful memories. Taking a canoe back and forth to the mainland was one of them. I was there the summers of 1963 and 1964. Referring to the above, my bunkmate was Natalie Cole, and her sister, Cookie, was a counselor at the camp, too. Unfortunately, Natalie was very sad at the time due to the loss of her father. Natalie would never sing at the camp, but her sister did and she had a beautiful voice.

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  4. OMG, Does Four Winds really still exist? I was there in ’96 or ’97 and found what I “thought” were the last vestiges of CMJ, the buddy board, the tack room, remnants of the tennis courts, the dining hall & the infirmary (now summer homes for the new folks), Martin Johnson’s grave, and his house (moved to Irons).

    Btw, several adventurous (crazy) campers have been to Four Winds in winter, making the foot trek across the lake while attending ski camp. Kids, what can you say…

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  5. I was a camper on Four Winds Island, too, with Natalie Wical (Pepi) and Natalie Cole (Sweetie) and my cousin Leslie (Cricket) and others, maybe about 16 total in 1964. We had two big bunkhouses; ours had three 3-bunk beds and several much smaller ones. It was a wonderful time that I will always remember, and I often think about the camp as a special, place of beautiful memories;.

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  6. I was at CMJ for several years. My father was the caretaker/handyman for those years and we lived near MJ’s home. I too shared a cabin with Natalie Cole on the main campus.I also was on Four Winds later. I remember Cookie as well.

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  7. I was a camper at CMJ for many years. My father was the caretaker/ handyman and we lived on property . I was a camper in one of the main campus cabins with Natalie Cole one year. I remember Cookie as well. I stayed on Four Winds my last year there. I have a few photos I will dig out to share.

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  8. I’m related to the current owners of the island, if any former campers have any questions about what it’s currently like, I’d be glad to answer them.

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  9. Wow, I think about that island and CMJ a lot. It was the best part of my teenage years. I would like to know what the owners do with it and what it looks like now. Is it a place for summer camping or what?

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  10. Hi Linda! I also think of CMJ a lot. I have such fond memories of my years there. I always wanted to be a CIT. Would have been fun.

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  11. You go to the section called categories which is way before the Ducks. If you will find a category called Four Winds Island and all the articles on that island with pictures are there

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