I spend my summer days on Big Wood Lake with my family on North Shore Drive. As a teenager, I started working at Luther Point Bible Camp and was a counselor there for five consecutive summers.
I remember one time when we snuck over to Wood Lake Bible Camp and tried to ring their bell in the middle of the night. We used their ropes course for training and they came for our grill outs on weekends. I say this because we had a great relationship each summer with their staff, and I will miss that camp greatly.
I am concerned about the increase in boat traffic that would come with the proposed Wood Lake Camp and RV. As a for-profit recreational campground, they are planning to rent out boats and pontoons. They will have to have them rented often to make money on them. Not to mention the people arriving and bringing their own boats.
What I don’t think has been put into good perspective is the risk to our Luther Point kids. The camps are directly across from one another. Yes, you can swim across to get to each other… I should know. Our campers at Luther Point use paddle boats, canoes, and paddleboards. Can you imagine being eight years old, just learning to canoe and having to contend with people renting boats for the first time?
That’s significant because I question the boaters’ safety knowledge, especially if they are just renting a boat. Are they aware that a wake within 100 feet of shoreline will damage it? Imagine going the wrong way around Jacobson’s Island as someone is driving the opposite direction. Do they know about the sand bar? What about the fishing on our lake? Would our lake be overfished? I have been scuba-diving in our lake - would my own safety be at risk? As my own two children grow up on this lake, will their safety be at risk?