Volunteers on our 2018 Forest Lodge project proudly pose in front of the campus’ historic boat house. Photographed by volunteer Willie Gorham.

Forest Lodge, WI 2020

A stupendous project for eight years running! Join us at this fine Great Camp in the north woods.

PROJECT PARTNERS: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps,and Great Lakes Conservation Corps

VOLUNTEER SESSION DATES:  August 2-7   |  Please plan to arrive no earlier than 6pm and no later than 8pm.

PROJECT DIFFICULTY:   

SITE INFORMATION:      Tent camping onlyshowers availableSite is RV/trailer accessible

*note: there is limited space for small RVs/trailers.

LOCATION:  Sweeping lakefront views and forests welcome volunteers to this stupendous location in northern Wisconsin. The nearest town is Cable, WI.

HistoriCorps does not charge for its volunteering projects. The majority of project costs are covered by our project partners and grants, but as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, HistoriCorps relies on donations to continue engaging volunteers to save significant historical sites across America for generations to come. Your donation of any amount will make an incredible difference! Increase your impact – make a generous gift today.

Project Site Description & History

Forest Lodge was built in the early 1900s by the Livingston family of St. Paul, MN, as a private getaway. The Adirondack-style camp boasts several buildings, many of which are in need of rehabilitation. Each year for the past seven, HistoriCorps has been invited to be a workforce for saving this place – and ensuring it can continue to serve generations to come. Tireless work by countless individuals has permitted this site to become an unmatched site for environmental education, preservation studies and experiences, and community gatherings. Forest Lodge holds a special place in many HistoriCorps volunteers’ hearts.

Northland College recently became the steward of the Forest Lodge campus. Learn more about Northland College’s educational and other programs at Forest Lodge here.

Project Supervisor Denis Moran, who has led the work at Forest Lodge for the past seven years, has this advice for volunteers: “Things to bring- eagerness to work together, acceptance of mosquitoes, a good appetite, sense of humor and a bathing suit.”

Scope of Work

This year, volunteers and members of the Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps and Great Lakes Conservation Corps (a program of Superior Watershed Partnership) will work alongside expert field staff to restore several buildings at Forest Lodge. Volunteers will learn the skills and techniques necessary to take on these projects:

  • Repair wooden building elements on the Pumphouse (25%)
  • Repoint stone masonry on a walkway (25%)
  • Restore and reglaze several windows in the Boathouse and Gatehouse (25%)
  • Re-roof a small cedar shake roof on the main house porch (25%)

Volunteering Safely During COVID-19

MASKS All volunteers are required to bring at least six reusable, washable face masks. Volunteers will wear two masks each day (one for camp, one for the jobsite). They will be washed once throughout the project. Masks are required for when working less than 6 feet apart, or in an enclosed environment.
GLOVES All volunteers are required to bring their own work gloves.
HEALTHY ARRIVAL Volunteers will only join projects if they are not experiencing any symptoms of illness, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, or other symptoms of COVID-19 as identified by the CDC. Volunteers will not plan to travel to or through areas highly impacted by COVID-19, nor outside of the US, within 14 days before their project begins. Volunteers will affirm that they do not believe they have been exposed to a person with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, are not waiting to be cleared as noncontagious following a diagnosis, and have been following all recommended guidelines as much as possible by practicing social distancing and taking other precautions. Volunteers will travel to the jobsite alone, or with someone they live with (such as a family member) who has also shown no signs or symptoms of illness.
IN CASE OF INFECTION Any volunteer or staff member that developes COVID-19 symptoms must immediately self-isolate and leave the jobsite. If the individual is physically unable to do so, staff will follow Wilderness First Aid guidelines for medevac.
FOLLOWING HISTORICORPS PROTOCOLS All volunteers are required to abide by and practice the health and safety protocols that HistoriCorps staff are implementing.
CREW SIZE CAP All volunteer crews will be “capped” at a maximum of six volunteers.

Volunteer Logistics, Policies, and Advice


If you’re new to our community, review the Volunteer FAQ first! Please note the following logistics and policies:

  • Volunteering with HistoriCorps is free! We will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite or shared indoor lodging. Dinner is not provided on the first night.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own gear including 6+ cloth face masks and work gloves, sturdy work clothes and boots, and appropriate sleeping equipment. Check the average temperatures before you start packing – the nights and mornings may be colder than you anticipate! Then, read this advice about how to stay warm when tent camping in colder places.
  • Campsite accessibility varies by project. Some projects can accommodate tents only; others can accommodate medium-large RVs. Please review the project site description above for more information, and if you’re still not sure, email volunteer@historicorps.org for help.
  • If this project does not offer showers, you might want to consider bringing a solar shower or research other methods to clean up after the work day
  • Volunteer crew sizes for 2020 are capped at 6 volunteers, plus two HistoriCorps staff that lead and train volunteers in the work.
  • Volunteers are asked to arrive no earlier than 6pm and before 8pm on the first day of their session. If you would like to request special permission to arrive early, please email volunteer@historicorps.org.
  • Safety is one of HistoriCorps’ top priorities, and volunteers can contribute to a safe working environment by ensuring their physical fitness is adequate for the work. See above for this project’s scope of work and difficulty level. Please, call us if you are not quite sure if a project is a good fit for your skills or fitness level. We may be able to suggest a project more suitable and enjoyable for you.
  • Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans to jobsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). However: HistoriCorps also follows the rules and regulations of our project partner. If the project partner does not permit dogs onsite, then HistoriCorps is no exception. Please ask HistoriCorps or the project partner directly if you have any questions about whether Fido is welcome.

Can’t imagine a much better view from the “office!”

One of several grand buildings at Forest Lodge, photographed by volunteer Willie Gorham

There’s always work to be done – indoors and outdoors!

This inviting walkway down to the lake was restored by HistoriCorps volunteers in 2018

Unobstructed views of Lake Namakegon

Sign Up!

We’re glad this project has inspired you to volunteer! All project sessions are capped at a maximum of 6 volunteers.