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About Us


We exist to foster growth and responsibility in our campers, so that they may return to their communities as leaders.

We do this by providing:


A safe, natural environment removed from urban life


Adult role models who exhibit and instruct these values


A positive atmosphere in which campers can be themselves


A little piece of land; a whole world to explore.


The Settlement has been offering camping experiences to Chicago youth since 1897, but it wasn't until 1910 and the founding of House In The Wood that the camping program really took off. What began with a scout troop pushing a wagon out into a pasture evolved over time to become one of the longest running programs in the Settlement's history.


After a few changes in location, House In The Wood was moved in 1951 to its current site on the shores of Lake Delavan in southern Wisconsin. On its twenty-three acres, children are able to explore wooded, aquatic, marsh and prairie habitats - unfamiliar scenery for most of the campers from the city.


Along with inspiring a meaningful relationship with nature, House In The Wood has always been in the business of fostering cooperation, creativity, generosity, responsibility and kindness in our campers, so that they may enrich their lives and the communities to which they return.

Northwestern Settlement

Opening Doors of Opportunity

House In The Wood is a program of Northwestern Settlment, which was founded in 1891 amid the settlement house movement in Chicago and other major cities. The concept was simple but innovative and powerful. Those of means would settle in impoverished neighborhoods, often comprised of immigrant, minority and other disadvantaged populations. These social reformists would then set about the much needed work of empowering and inspiring the neighbors around them.

Northwestern Settlement is one of few remaining settlement houses in the country, and is the oldest continually operating settlement house in Chicago. The Settlement offers a wide variety of programs and services for young and old including educational opportunities, emergency services, live theater, family events and, of course, outdoor programs at House In The Wood. You can learn more about the Settlement's rich history and find ways to get involved at



Valerie Wright
Executive Director

Lynne Biebel
Operations Manager

John Deschner
Maintenance & Grounds Manager

Donna Johnson
Head Cook

Tami Kasken
Recruiting Manager

Neal Prokop
Program Director

Terry Fowler
Food Service Coordinator

Sherry Rhodes

Heidi Vasel
Outdoor Education Director

Ryan Dwyer
Program Coordinator

Saili Sinapoa

Location & Maps


House In The Wood
3300 Bay Road
Delavan, WI 53115

American Camp Association

House In The Wood is accredited by the American Camp Association, which has guidelines for best practices that cover all aspects of camp operations. We work hard to meet the standards that keep campers safe. In addition, the ACA is a great resource for guidance and support from a network of camp experts.