How Camp Wandawega Came to Be

Post by Tereasa of Camp Wandawega

One day we woke up and decided to rescue my husband’s Childhood summer camp.

How Camp Wandawega Came to Be

It was originally a 20’s-era speakeasy that had concurrently lived lives as a modest Midwestern vacation resort, and later church camp for refugee Latvians. David had grown up dreaming of making it his ‘home’, and had asked the managing priest to let him know if he ever decided to sell. Flash forward 35 years – we got the call that ‘it was time’… and there was no time to waste. Within days, we became the proud new owners of a near-condemned summer camp.

How Camp Wandawega Came to Be

It had been colossally neglected by the time we started the resurrection (picture Camp Crystal Lake meets Blair Witch). Throwing all rationale thought to the wind, we began the biggest undertaking we could never have imagined.  A short 6 months after buying camp, we would get married in the old chapel between the pines. It rained all day, (to the cheers of a ‘woodstock-esque’ group of friends, I wore my yellow rubber wellies down the muddy aisle, tying a wet knot destined to be bound for a lifetime).

How Camp Wandawega Came to Be

Then the real work began.

We would spend the next dozen years of our lives joyfully researching and resurrecting every possible historic detail. We would scavenge every barn sale, yard sale, flea market and tag sale within 50 miles of camp. All in an effort to bring back the summer camp of our (and our grandparent’s) childhood. Room by room, building by building it started to take shape – proof positive that nothing is ever too far gone.

How Camp Wandawega Came to Be

But what happened next was a gift that could only have come to be by the power and will of a creative community. Quite organically, Camp Wandawega would draw more artists, makers and nature lovers. Chefs would collaborate with furniture builders. Jewelry makers with florists. And photographers and filmmakers would capture it all, rebuilding a new generation of unlikely camp-goers. The culmination is a current-day creative retreat for young and old.

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The end result is not the end, it will continue to be a labor of love until our four year old Charlie is in retirement herself, and hopefully beyond. If all goes as planned, it will be a place for new friends to come create, share and let their inner creative child streak with wild abandoned.

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We like to say that we aren’t the owners of this place, just the current caregivers in a long and strange line of innkeepers – all who had one timeless thing in common; To reconnect by disconnecting on a little summer-camp on a tiny lake called Wandawega.

How Camp Wandawega Came to Be - Pool Hall

In June of 2015, The United States Department of the Interior placed Camp Wandawega on the list of National historic Places. An honor we are dedicated to live up to with 100% of our hearts.

On weekends, Tereasa Surratt is the proprietor of Camp Wandawega  – during the week- she is a SVP/Creative Director at ad agency, Ogilvy.  In her spare time, she’s a contributing stylist to a handful of lifestyle mags, just signed her third book with Random House – and lives in Chicago with her husband, 4 year old daughter Charlie and mutt Frankie.

Nod Celebrates the Holidays

Post written by Rachel, our PR & Social Media Lead

This holiday season, we created a winter wonderland at our offices. We held a cube decorating contest (Frozen won), hung snowflakes everywhere and held a holiday party for 100 kids – Nod employee kiddos and little ones from Englewood, a community in Chicago that we’ve partnered with for a number of years.

We turned our office into a winter wonderland and are having a holiday party for our Nod family kiddos and children in need. Follow along as we celebrate with cookie decorating, holiday carols and more!IMG_6840IMG_6938 We decorated cookies, made sock snowmen and were treated to a performance by Emerald City Theatre and a sing-a-long from Lauren Hubert.

IMG_6959IMG_6946IMG_7026All the kiddos were able to take a picture with Santa and then each received a present to take home with them. Best of all, we presented a $15,000 check to a church in the community to help them fund their childhood programs.

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Happy holidays from Nod!

Ever wonder who’s behind The Land of Nod social media accounts? That’s Rachel! When she’s not telling anyone who will listen that she’s not meant to live in cold, snowy Chicago, you will  probably find Rachel binge-watching Netflix, reading blogs or in her kitchen making guacamole. Or starting crafting projects that never get finished.

An Honestly Glam Mother’s Room

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Anyone who’s been a nursing-working mom knows that pumping at the office is hardly a glamorous affair. In fact, from my experience, it’s generally one of the most extremely unglamorous things you’ll ever do. So, when I had the chance to collaborate with The Honest Company on the design of the mother’s room at their corporate office, my main goal was to make it a place that moms might actually want to hang out. (BTW – if you don’t know about Honest check them out. They have an incredible line of baby and home products. And are seriously a very cool group of folks doing some fantastic things.)

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Anyway, back to the mother’s room. Honest had some amazing things already in the works for their corporate office, so it was easy to be inspired. Their color palette is mostly aqua with lots of grey. So, that was my starting point. The showpiece of the room is our Sleeper Sofa in a great teal puzzle patterned fabric. The mother’s room was intended not only for nursing moms, but also for moms that might bring their young kiddos into the office for a visit. And, hey, they might need a place to nap. So, the sofa doubles as a place to sit and a place to nap, with a twin fold out bed.  A great small space solution.

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­­­From there I added in some basics like our white changing table, a perfect place to change baby’s diaper with tons of storage for all the essentials. And then I dusted it all with a bit of metallic…gold dot changer pad cover, metallic pillows, gold dot decals. It was so fun to add these all to Pinterest and have Jessica Alba (yes, you read that right) Jessica Alba comment, like and add to the board. Jessica’s one of the founders of Honest and was actively involved in the design.

In the end I think the room is functional, modern and decidedly feminine. I hope all the ladies who visit it feel at home and just a touch pampered.

By Danielle Kurtz

Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet, but all her supplies have a layer of dust on them about 7-years-thick, wonder if it's just a coincidence that her oldest kiddo is 7 years old?

Store Window Display by Studio DIY

Kelly here from Studio DIY! I was so excited when The Land of Nod asked me to help design their spring windows for the South Coast Plaza store! I like to call these windows "A Sparkly Starry Night." I knew I didn't want to do a traditional "springy" window, and I wanted to incorporate some of the fuchsia and deep blue colors that would be used in the in-store displays. Taking a cue from this "I Love You to the Moon and Back" poster, a night sky seemed perfect! 

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It all started with a giant moon piñata, of course, which you can find the tutorial for right here! I purchased die-cut stars in various sizes from the party store and covered them in shades of glitter and confetti! Lots of gold was a must! We draped the walls in deep navy fabric, hung some mylar tassel garlands and strung up some gold disco balls as "planets" to add a little drama, too. Once everything was hung (Shout out to Mary who spent most of the day on a ladder helping hang stars before she took these gorgeous photos!), we styled it up with some of the new pillows and storage pieces, and pulled in some of my Land of Nod favorites too, like that geometric lamp and that confetti canopy, and of course a mini balloon animal, too!

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A huge thank you to The Land of Nod for having me. It was so fun adding a little bit of Studio DIY flair to those sparkly windows!

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Photography by Mary Costa Photography

Kelly Lanza is an east-coast transplant living in Los Angeles and has been a DIY-er since birth. Check out Studio DIY & you’ll find a whole lot of DIY projects, party tips and colorful ideas designed to help you inspire, create and celebrate.