By Theresa “Resa” Leppert

This past Halloween weekend 2022, a bunch of us ladies got together for a just camping event at Mirror Lake State Park, near Baraboo, Wisconsin!

Swag Table

The event didn’t start officially until Friday, but a few of us were there a day early – arriving at Mirror Lake on Thursday, October 27th.  Thursday evening, Claudia was nice enough to host our campfire after the rest of us had gotten set up.  She had been there all week and scoped everything out.  Sadly, most of the leaves had already fallen due to high winds the weekend before.  Still, it was a lovely time to be camping!  I love fall camping!

Back on the trail!

My knee was still a bit of an issue from my fall a couple weeks before, but I was able to go for a 2-1/2 mile hike with Georgie.  It felt good to get back on the trail!

Friday is when most everybody else came in throughout the day.  Friday night, Sherry and I provided dinner – Minestrone soup, ham/cheese and turkey/cheese slider sandwiches on Hawaiian buns, and a yummy apple cobbler in the crock pot for dessert!

Dinner and campfire!

The swag table was all set up, and we were prepared for the cold with Hot Hands hand warmers galore.  We were also ready for the early darkfall with LED flashlights.  Of course there was a custom commemorative pin like I do for all my events!  I also did something different – gave away net dunk bags.  After meals, I set up a wash station and everyone did their dishes and we hung the bags on a gear line so they were available for the next meal!

Boy, those hand warmers came in handy Friday night!  We had a big old campfire after dinner.  We got to know new friends and reconnected with old ones. 

Kirsti Watercolor of Mirror Lake, viewed from her campsite.
Painted by Kirsti Johanson. Mirror Lake SP, WI.

Check out this watercolor artwork!

One of our GCs is an amazing artist – check out this beautiful watercolor she painted of Mirror Lake from her campsite!  She gifted this to me before she left.  Thank you, Kirsti – I will treasure this.

On Saturday, groups scattered to the winds to take advantage of all the different things to do around Baraboo and The Dells.  Some folks went to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo.  What an amazing organization!  Definitely check it out the next time you are in Baraboo!

Upper Dells Boat Tour & Witch’s Gulch

Another group went to an Escape Room.  Some of the rest of us went out for Brunch at Bella Goose and then on an Upper Dells Boat Tour.  It was a 2 hour tour!  (You sang that in your head, didn’t you?)  Along the way, we stopped to hike the Witch’s Gulch slot canyon.  What an experience!  Check out these pics!  Have you ever seen anything so cool?

The second stop was at Stand Rock, where we got to watch a re-creation of a famous picture.  This pic is an example of the very first stop-motion photo.  Keep in mind that at the time this was taken in 1865, the old way of taking a photo was having the subject sit very still, remove the lens cap for a long period of time (up to 4 minutes!) and then replace the cap.  There was no such thing as shutter-stop photography back then.  Henry Bennet, who lived in Baraboo, developed the precursor to what we use today to take pictures of people in motion.  He took this photograph of his son Ashley jumping across to Stand Rock. 

If you think you’ve heard of Bella Goose and Stand Rock before, you’d be right.  Last summer, I wrote about both of these in a Girl Camper Magazine article on the Wisconsin Dells!

Saturday Potluck and Campfire

Saturday evening was Potluck, and we had an 8-ft long table filled to groaning point with food.  So. Much. GOOD. Food.  Even better:  there was so little for me to clean up before bed!  Everyone cleaned up and removed their leftovers.  I just had to bag up the garbage and take it to the dumpster before bed.  Dishes were done and hung on the gear line – and another campfire was on the agenda.  Another cold evening, but fire and camaraderie made it all worthwhile.

Sadly, Sunday morning always comes, and that means it’s time to pack up and head down the road.  I truly enjoyed meeting every single one of you ladies, and I know I’ll see you in the spring, because many of you have already signed up for our Spring Fling!  Have an awesome winter, and see y’all soon.

Connect with me!

Theresa “Resa” Leppert

Guide Manager

Guide, Iowa & Wisconsin


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