This page will highlight areas of Union League Boys and Girls Club Camp, located in Salem, Wisconsin, by way of its physical facility. Individual stories of the camp can be found on the sidebar in our Category section as to when I was a counselor at Tent City in 1969 and even later tales when my Hoffman Estates Boys Club as permitted to use the camp in both the offseason and summer months by then Camp Director Al Mackin (1978-79). Each section will be dated and new material added over the next couple of weeks and months.


The Administrative Office appears to be a former cottage of the camp that has been transformed into an office building. I wonder if it is used year round and is heated? Is this where the Camp Director stays during the summer and just where might this building be located at camp?

How many people make up the summer administrative staff? What about the off-season staff? Does the Camp Director now have a permanent home t ULBC Camp? When did this cottage begin its function?




In 1969, this was Camp Director Jim’s (Twiggy) place of residence. I can’t recall his last name as we always referred to him as “Twiggy”. Even in 1978-79, while at the Hoffman Estates Boys Club, Al Mackin, the then Camp Director, seemed to operate within this building. I wonder when the switch over was to the new administration office and also what cabin it took the place of?

Also, if there is a new camp administration office now, what has become of Twiggy’s place? What function does it serve presently?


This refitted cottage is now the arts and crafts center. I wonder what regular cottage it once was? I think it is good to have a separate cottage for arts and crafts so that even in foul weather the kids have something to do. How long has this cottage been designated the Arts and Crafts Center?

Is the reason for an administrative cabin and arts and crafts center due to dwindling enrollment at the camp?


The camp chapel was located in a valley and was close in proximity to both the infirmary and the nature cabin. There were some great church services there with much singing. Plus, in my year at camp (1969) there was my puppet shows along with Gary Hubbard’ magic shows. I even had a puppet by the name of Mysto the Mystic who used to desire to make Hubbard’s magic show disappear!


The camp infirmary hosted me for a night following a wind storm that had struck Tent City where I contracted strep throat.  The cots there did not suit my 6’10” frame very well so I was in a rather big hurry to get out of there and back to Tent City.  The nurse, though, was professional and insisted I take my medication to get me back to active duty  Any other thoughts about the camp infirmary?  By the way, it was the farthest building away from Tent City.


This was a typical cottage at ULBC Camp.  When I was there in 1969 the floors of the cottages were cement but now they seem more modern.  The boys stayed in their own section each with their own bed.  The counselors, on the other hand, had the privacy of their own room.  This was in contrast to another camp where I was a counselor where the counselors slept in the same room as the kids.  I prefer the ULBC model.  Even at Tent City, where I was stationed, the counselors had their own tent.


This is the nature cabin and during my summer at ULBC Camp,  I was probably only in there one time since I was a tent counselor.  Perhaps others could describe their experiences at the Nature Cabin?


This is where the youngest campers at ULBC stayed and this is a front and back view of their cottage which overlooked the waterfront and League Lake.  Some seemed like mere infants.  Is this cottage still used at camp for the same purpose?


This was the main lodge where kids would come during summer to spend money at canteen.  While I was with the Hoffman Estates Boys Club in the late 1970’s, we used this facility to sleep in during our off-season trips.  It was a heated building.  In the back there was a deck of sorts that was cement and overlooked both the lake and lagoon.


Remember the great meals at the ULBC Dining Hall?  How about the kitchen boys who assisted the cooks?  This was probably the most important place at camp and the breakfasts there were the best meal of the day!  Any other thoughts about the dining hall?  If so please leave us a comment.


Next to the Dining Room and Tent City, the ULBC Pool was my favorite place to be.  It was great for a refreshing swim unlike League Lake which always made me feel more dirty than when I had went in there.  The pool was only about four feet deep at the deepest but made for great fun for counselors and campers alike.  Thoughts?


This is the ULBC Camp Waterfront and everything is in view with the exception of the swimming pool which you can view in the previous post.  The boathouse is where the boats are stored in the offseason and where the oars and life jackets are found in season.  The shower area is just to the right of the stairs and includes dressing areas as well for either the lake or the pool.

Also in view is the main dock.  A new dock for canoes and paddle boats is to its left and out of the picture.  That area was not there when I was at camp in 1969.


One of my favorite excursions was down the lagoon just off of League Lake with a rowboat.  Then again, was I safe?  After all this is the legendary home of Swamp Man.  Now how many stories do you have of Swamp Man over the years at ULBC Camp and does this rogue still make an appearance or two yet today?  Let us know by way of a comment.


Tent City was located about a quarter of a mile behind the Dining Room and we had the counselors kids on their days off.  Each cabin group spent two days at Tent City where three counselors gave them a true camping experience within the camp program.  They learned how to use a hatchet, start fires, and cooking skills.  They also learned how to read a compass.  To my knowledge, Tent City is not being used at camp currently.


For 2011, ULBC Camp has added a beach!  Last years picture showed grass where this sand is now located.  In the background you can observe both the pool and the bath house.  Perhaps they even added some sand to the murky Fox Lake in the swimming area??  And, the pool looks empty?  What is going on?


Here we have a counselor “go-cart” that displays the entire parade field with the centerpiece being the Dining Hall at the far end.  Behind me is a hill that leads to the Nature Cabin, infirmary, and Chapel.


It would be remiss of me not to mention the off-season usage of the camp as in all off-season months the camp is used by the Union League Boys Clubs of Chicago.  They stay in the heated main lodge in bunk beds.  When I was Executive Director of the Hoffman Estates Boys Club, our club was also afforded the opportunity to use the camp in the offseason plus the summer months.


I would like to draw your attention to the two speakers  atop the main lodge.  Remember the sounds of reveille followed by patriotic music to wake us up each morning at camp?  I remember hearing it loud and clear at Tent City so I wonder how it sounded to the cottage closest to the main lodge? 


Another ULBC Camp institution was Jim Marino (Lower Left) who was the waterfront director when I was at camp (1970) and hasn’t changed a bit.  Here he is at the 2011 Alumni Day at camp.  Question:  When did Jim retire from active camp participation?