Campo Fiesta began as a dream of Warren and Phoebe Kirby, a couple who wanted to share the beauty of the Northland with others. For several summers they brought small groups of girls to Trout Lake, so they could have the experience of camping. When an old logging site on the lake was put up for sale, the Kirby's decided to start a permanent camp. It was in 1938. Campo Fiesta opened on the shores of North Trout Lake with one building, a handful of campers, and many visitors.
"Campo Fiesta" is generously translated from the Spanish as "Holiday in the Woods." The Kirbys had guided many vacation groups to Spain and Mexico and chose the Mexican theme with spanish names, serapes, Fiestaware and the Mexican Christmas celebration. These with brilliant Mexican colors indeed makes ours a bright and happy place...a Holiday in the Woods.
As Fiesta grew, the Kirby's built fifteen buildings and began activity programs: Swimming, sailing, canoeing, aqua planing, synchronized swimming, and spring board diving, tennis, archery, riflery, arts and crafts and drama. Later they added ballet and dance, skiing and riding. Camp had a capacity of fifty campers in 1965 when Betina y Pablo became Fiesta's owners.
The Frisbies expanded sailing and skiing. English riding, gymnastics, scuba, tripping and board sailing programs were among their innovations. These along with additional buildings and Fiesta's unique emphasis on people are a result of their guidance.
Many young people have grown up in Fiesta. Here they have learned to care for themselves - and others. Some share their last Fiesta summers as staff members. All leave with fond memories of camp: The wind through the pines, the loons, the campfires on the lake shore, the songs, the full moon reflecting on Trout Lake, the "Birch Grove", the friendships, personal achievements, fun-filled Special Days, cozy cabins on cold August or stormy nights. Year after year each camper expands her horizons and leaves with her special memories.
You will find the long history of Campo Fiesta reflects a program and staff dedicated to the task of adapting to the changing interests and needs of a dynamic society - yet programming instruction for life skills.
All this in the beautiful and peaceful atmosphere of the Wisconsin Northwoods.
We welcome you to become a part of Fiesta's story.
The above was adapted from "The Campo Fiesta Story", written by Pablo Frisbie.