While COVID-19 has had an effect on many summer events, camping is one tradition that is still being observed by many. It’s no different in Shawano County, where in the town of Wescott, in an area known as the “Mooseyard,” sits Fawn Lake Campground.
On the northwest side of Shawano Lake, Fawn Lake features 65 acres of natural beauty with tall, mature trees, walking trails and water to swim or fish in. Additionally, it features a sand beach, playground, and volleyball courts.
Owners Rick and Kathy Russell have owned the campground for 22 years. Typically, they host a number of summer events and social gatherings for those enjoying the park, but this year those won't happen. Kathy said she hopes people can enjoy more of the natural amenities Fawn Lake offers.
“We focus on keeping Fawn Lake a campground and RV park that’s family-oriented, relaxing and fun,” Kathy said. “The park is so peaceful and serene.”
The “Mooseyard” name originated from an old story re-told throughout the years by the local residents. The story states that many years ago a farmer owned a mule named Moose that liked to jump out of his pen at night and roam the yards of Wescott looking for neighboring gardens to feast in. Residents took this problem to the Town Board in the hopes of saving their crops. After further investigation by the Town Board, they found that Moose was indeed guilty of the charges and ordered the farmer to keep the animal locked in the barn at night to avoid further thefts. The nickname “Mooseyard” has been associated with Wescott ever since.
The campground dates back to the 1950s when it began with just six sites. The Russells purchased the campground in 1998, then known as Brown’s Country Campsites, from Henry and Marlene Brown. At that time, it featured 41 sites on 37 acres of land. The Russells purchased another 28 acres to make the campground 65 acres and have since expanded to 110 sites. A log cabin from the original campground still stands today.
Many improvements have been made over the years, including new bathroom and shower facilities, new electrical service, along with municipal sewer and water.
Fawn Lake offers seasonal sites, monthly sites and sites by the week or day. They can handle anything from a pup tent to a 45-foot RV, with a mix of full-service sites and primitive sites.
“We try to provide a relaxing environment for all ages,” Rick said.
Most recently, the Russells completed a 1,920-square-foot store, laundry and office building in 2018. They actually started the process in 2013 with making their own lumber with trees located on the campground. Along with volunteers, Rick completed the work without having to hire anything out.
In addition to the amenities, the park also features the Mooseyard R/C Raceway — an offroad practice track started by a group of campers looking for a fun hobby. It’s a clay track mainly for 1/10th-scale remote control buggies and short course trucks.
Judy Theys of Two Rivers has been a seasonal camper for 30 years. She said she enjoys the friendships she's made throughout the years.
“I look forward to being here every year,” she said. “I like how friendly all the people are.”
Ken and Bonnie Clark of Krakow have enjoyed a seasonal site since 2006. Although their regular home is less than 10 miles away, the campground serves as their summer home.
“When I first came, I helped out with all the weekly activities, kids' games and art classes. We would also host Saturday bingo and ice cream socials,” Bonnie said.
In addition, Bonnie's children and grandchildren would help with events, too. She said she enjoys the beautiful views of nature just outside her door.
We focus on keeping Fawn Lake a campground and RV park that’s family-oriented, relaxing and fun. The park is so peaceful and serene.
— Kathy Russell,
co-owner of FawnLake Campground,
“I fell in love with the site. I still am now — it’s so quiet and peaceful,” she said. “I like the people the most and have been very fortunate to have great neighbors.”
Future plans for the campground include bathroom fixture and lighting upgrades, new signage and a new pavilion.
Kathy said while being a campground owner means being a “multi-tasker.” It’s also a very rewarding position.
“I truly enjoy meeting new people and being part of a big family,” she said.