1970s: Hitting the Big Time

Camp Voyageur Through the Decades

Everything about Camp Voyageur got bigger in the 1970s. The rosters ballooned to over 90 campers. The canoe trips ventured farther into Canada and “stayed out” longer. A set of 10-day routes tested older campers. Even the reach of camp recruitment broadened, as Helen Jane Wertz recruited a Greyhound bus full of campers from Cincinnati. Mim and Charlie eventually shortened the season to one, 5-1/2 week session to avoid the change of personnel. Counselor Dave Casey acquired a 25-foot-long Old Town “war canoe” from the College of William and Mary. With a fresh coat of bright yellow paint, it became a Voyageur icon known by a new name, The Big Banana.

Sigurd Olson visits Camp

The famed environmental advocate and writer chats with campers at the Fire Circle in the late 1970s.

1970s Photo Gallery

Click here to check it out and download pictures!

Program Director Gene Behnke built Cabins 8 and 9, along with smaller buildings on camp property. The pouring of concrete for a new tennis court in 1972 allowed Voyageur to tap into the booming sport. The 1970s were the final era that saw Charlie and Mim Erdmann heading up the operation. As the decade came to a close, so too did Camp Voyageur—for 5 years, as David McCracken and Dick Lyons rented camp, employing hold-over counselors from Charlie’s era.

Help Us Preserve Our Mission

We are looking for Trailblazers to help us contact Voyageur alumni, asking for their support in our Covid Relief Campaign. Click here to print a PDF of 1970s campers.