Tomahawk Lake

Tomahawk Day Camp
Do you Remember this camp on Stephens State park rd in Mt Olive Township?
I am looking for any one who went there as a camper or worked there as a Counselor .
The Owner Operator was from Hackettstown
I worked there 1977 ,1976,1975,1974,1973.
So if you have a story to share or your looking to remember some good times please post in

I don’t Know do people still send there kids to camp to get out in the fresh safe air to play and learn with other kids .

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Apr '11

Caged Animal -

People still send their kids to camp to get out in the fresh air and to play and learn from other kids. There are tons of threads on this board on that subject alone - just search for summer camp and I am sure you will get lots of results.

However, I do feel that the compelling reason to send your kids to camp has changed a bit from when I was a kid. Now it is a lot about making sure your children have the appropriate childcare coverage during the time that school is not in session.

In addition to the standard day or overnight camps out there, there are a lot of children that attend sport specific camps or clinics as they are often called. These would run for less than a full day, but would concentrate on the skills related to a specific sport.

All good in my opinion.

I only had the chance to attend one 2 week session of day camp each Summer when I was a kid. I loved those 2 weeks and looked forward to all the outdoor and indoor activities that we had.

I am fortunate enough to be able to send my DD to camp each summer and will continue to do so as long as I can. I think it builds so many qualities and friendships and I want her to have the opportunity to experience that.

Get out and enjoy the fresh air... yesterday afternoon was sure a good one to do that!

Coralie Coralie
Apr '11

I went to the camp for a week and that is where i learned to swim. It was about 1966-67.It was just a small pond, but was a lot of fun in the hot summer.

BobR. BobR.
Apr '11

My son Jason went there. (Unfortunately, he has passed away in 2005). He was born in 1978 and I believe he went there in 1982 or 1983. I remember him having a fun time there!
I have a group picture of him here somewhere wearing his Tomahawk Camp tee-shirt. This has brought back so many memories. He was so a cutie!
Thank you for the memories.

joygail joygail
Apr '11

It was not only a job but it was teaching kids how to make new freinds and learn as well from the kids . The staff came from all parts of north jersey , we would hike down to the park and would fish in the river what great times ; Joygail I am very sorry for your loss and i am glad that you can see past pain to the good memories bless you

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Apr '11

my son went there in the early 1980s...every time he came home he was either missing a sock or a shirt or a the end of camp season...i inquired if they had any idea where the missing items were...they had a room full of socks shirts...and sneakers...etc...we recovered some of the lost items...when did that place close...i know my son had fun there...

oldman oldman
Apr '11

Hi there! I just found your post on Camp Tomahawk. If this is the same camp, it's the once that was up off of Rt 46 in Mt Olive,, like on a back road, around a sharp curve with a long white fence, and then down a long driveway....there was "The Grove", and a pond for swimming... and we had "Camper Of THe Week". A counselor would dress up as an Indian CHief, and all the campers would gather at the ballfield and chant "Chief! Chief! Cheif" and he'd magically appear, and give out the weekly awards. The groups, as least for the girls, were the Princesses, the Squahs, the Minnehahas, and....? LOL The director of the camp and his wife had all the campers call them Uncle ? and Aunt ?. I went there in the laste 70's early 80's. DAM thsoe were some fun times.

I drove past about a year ago, and saw that it's closed off, with a huge metal bar blocking the driveway. But I remember that there were one or two residential houses along that driveway down to the grove....?

Feel free to email me!

I worked there! It was only one year - probably 1977. We were all called aunt ... and uncle .... My group was 7-9 year old girls. I also helped out with swimming. I can picture it very clearly (I think!) with picnic tables set up on a covered pavilion type area and the beach and fishing areas down the hill from there. The counselors picked up kids from their homes and drove them to camp on their way to work and then back home again. I doubt if that would happen today! I am sure I have a few pictures somewhere!

kscaf kscaf
Feb '12

the drive way to the camp was dirt and on the left was the owners new house thento the right the field were we parked the cars , down the road to the left was the grove and the pond and the water front to the right was the mobile home that the owner lived in and rented out then the camp building with the locker rooms and cold water showers chilly and the main room man i rembers showing cartoons on rain soaked days there was open space and a ball field that was slanted trails and more ,
it was up to the guys and gal counselers to make it all work Uncle Ray was the owner I my self have not been up there since they closed the park road up to there there were not many homes back there

Hi Dori
Caged Animal = Uncle Claude when i worked there and I also was a camper befor that

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Feb '12

I went there, back in 1968 or so. The camp was in Andover at that time. Lots of fun! We were the Shawnees.

Jim P Jim P
May '12

Remember the lollipop trees that had Tootsie Pops tied to them?

Mike Hansen Mike Hansen
Jun '12

I attended in the eighties with Aunt Faye, Aunt Diane and who could forget Uncle Tim? It was a great ime and I wished I could have spent the full eight weeks. Rainy day of singing My Grandfather's Clock with the owner, his daughter taught me to swim. It really was the best time. Who can forget Aunt Arlene at craft time?

1happymomma 1happymomma
Jun '12

I and my 6 siblings went there in (I'm Guessing) 1972-1977 or thereabouts.
I vividly remember (and still joke about it with one of my brothers) that they
routinely handed out those frozen ice-pops at the end of the day....there wasnt
a problem that a kid could have back then that couldnt be solved with an Ice-pop!
I also remember firing a .22 and didnt know what "cease-fire" meant back then,
but after not being allowed to shoot for 2 days I wasnt about to ever forget it again.
I also hung out with the owners (Ray) daughter Terry who was, I guess, my first
girlfriend. I still recall that she reminded me of "Becky Thatcher" and that their last
name was something like "Wiszelowski" or so.
THOSE were THE Days!......................................Adam.
(PS...I think the Camp Road or Trail connected to Stephens State Park, Right??)

Adam I also went to Camp Tomahawk around 1971- 1973. I was a squaw I think. Yes there is road straight across from the bridge at the park- up and to the left that would go back there by the camp. They have that road closed off now.

I remember the swimming.. Vicki D'Amato taught it I think? We did synchronized swimming, all wore black body suits with a colored sash around our waist and we even wore makeup ! woo hoo!

I ended up on the synchronized swim team in college also.. and later I taught a group of girls synchronized swimming while lifeguarding at Panther Valley, we put on show for their parents. I paid it forward,, maybe they did too. Camp has a bigger influence than we can measure, I made sure both my kids went.

hktownie hktownie
Dec '12

YES Adam you got the roads right way back in the days you talk about I worked there in the summer for Ray i find it hard not to call him Uncle ray to this day , Terry was a plast and fun girl with a big smile most of the time the Ice pops were the end of the day treat and could get the inside of my car sticky as i drove my kids home . every once and now and thern i run in to one of the campers even to this day . the best was the down hill ball field .

yes it was .. Vicki D'Amato I see her from time to last was at the library in town last year
i remembe the swiming thing you are talkig about
they were all fun days back then rainy day movies in th big hall sing a longs sleep overs and more

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Dec '12

Wow! Camp Tomahawk!! I was a counselor for a couple of summers in the late 70's. I remember The Grove, the Lake, The Hall, The Hailer (the thing Uncle Ray used as a microphone), the staff, the kids, and The Over-Nights. We all made some friends,and I must admit that I am still in touch with some of the other counselors. I do not remember how to get to the camp property from Route 46, but I do remember picking up "Campers" on my way to work. I think Uncle Ray's last name was Wasilewski.

Feel free to send me a note if you can through this site.

Uncle Stan

Uncle Stan Uncle Stan
Feb '14

Does anyone remember the nursery school teachers/workers in 1978-79....
Janet Jereb, Denise Cook, Wahneta Wasilewski and Ray?

our son has earned a Ph.D. and would love to pass on how they encouraged him at age 5......thanks for any information.
Proud Mom in NJ

Suzanne Brownlee Suzanne Brownlee
May '14

This is so cool. I worked there as a camp counselor - I had an assistant named Teddy and I had to watch 16 six year old boys! They wanted to try a girl/boy combination during my years bc some of the kids came from broken homes. I wonder if they remember - they would be in their early 30s now. Wow! One name that outshown was David Young. He was so shy and had blonde hair if I remember. I do think it went by Stephens Park and it was a long windy road. Thx for the memories :)

Miss Kim Miss Kim
Jul '14

I found this site by mistake. I was co-director, Aunt Wahneta, of the camp and nursery school. Reading these comments sure brought back memories. I have run into a few campers and counselors over the years. It is great to see them and how they have grown. Since running Tomahawk, I remarried, have had a few other jobs and am now retired still living in Landing, NJ. I also have another child and a few grandchildren. Feel free to contact me.

Wahneta Bears Wahneta Bears
May '15

Greetings Aunt Wahneta
It is so nice to hear from you , How are you . the days at camp stick with you for just about forever and I my self have nothing but good thoughts of those day , as a camper and working there , you would know me as Uncle Claude . I two have run into others from those days some who live in your area at this time
A Blessing to all those who took the time out of there lifes to make a child have a good summer at camp and to you Wahneta and Ray where ever his spirit may be thank you for making it possible
Blessed Be to all

Caged Animal Caged Animal
May '15

I also worked there as a Counselor in the late 70s. I'm trying to remember one of the songs: "T-O-M-A-H-A-W-K Tomahawk! That's the way we spell our name", ????
Any helpers out there?
Fun times were had by all. Thanks for the memories!

this is great reading these stories about a time long gone but not forgotten, thanks guys

BrotherDog BrotherDog
May '15

No idea why I was thinking of Camp Tomahawk at work the other day. Pulled up Google and this conversation is literally the only result! I was a camper there in '85 & '86 I believe i was 9 & 10. I was trying to even locate it on a map and couldn't recall where in Hacekettstown it was, but finally found it. I had such a great time there. I remember being scared to death to swim out to that old wooden raft in the middle of the pond. We had swimming first thing in the morning and it was always freezing. I learned to shoot a rifle there because they had that awesome rifle range out in the field. Archery behind the main building was always fun. I wish I could remember some of the names of friends and counselors there, but it's a stretch. TOTALLY forgot about the Chief coming out of the woods! That was so awesome! I loved hiking down the road into the state park to the river and have picnics, etc. There was always a story that a kid fell in once and was never found, like he was lodged under a rock or something. I think the counselors made it up over the years to scare us from going near the edge!

Thanks for the memories!

Matt S Matt S
Oct '15

I have also been searching for anything on camp tomahawk and finally found this discussion! I was a camper there in the late 70's-82. I started as a Princess then a Squah but I think we moved away before I could be a Minnehaha. The little kids were papooses but I forgot what the boy groups were called. I loved that place and have some great memories, some that I forgot until reading this thread. Like the chief and camper of the week, Aunt Faye and Aunt Diane and of course Uncle Ray. I also think about picking the raspberries alongside the dirt road at the entrance, putting on some kind of performances for the rest of the camp, huge bullfrogs at the pond, going on the rowboats to fish in the pond, diving down to the bottom of the pond and bringing up a handful of slimy muck, field days (I think that's what they were called when everyone got to compete in a bunch of games and sports out on the field), loved arts and crafts and archery. So grateful for my time there and my memories of it.
Nov '15

Thank You to every one who has posted some good days at the camp and the friends we made and the fun new things we did we would do the best we could on a rain day sing songs watch a movie and not on DVD I had to run the pro jector so to all when your happy and you know it clap your hands

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Nov '15

I drove for Jeff Lakes Day camp for 10 years..we used to take kids to Tomahawk Lake the only lake known under that name was in Byram and Sparta line..

Diane palen Diane palen
Nov '15

Re: Tomahawk Lake

Lots of great memories!

I remember the owners German Shepherds I used to bring them dog biscuits everyday

Jan '18

Went there in the late 70's my father was friends,with the owner or care taker,love it there

Jan '18

Wow. I haven't thought about this place in a long time. I went in 1976 and 1977. I must have put most of it out of my mind since I was picked on a lot while there. I was kinda nerdy and not athletic or outdoorsy at all, so you can see why. I'm not going to be a complete downer about it though. I did have some friends, and I did like swimming.I remember my counselor picking us up from home every morning in an older Grand Prix. I always wondered what happened to the place.

Fred C Fred C
Jan '18

Went a couple of times, late '60's or early 70's. Remember Uncle Ray and Uncle Bob. Hiking. Swimming. Pow wow with stone fire. Almost stepped on a copperhead. Singing. Listening to the radio and stopping for a Fanta orange soda or a purple passion on the way home. Simple times. (Pond was pretty gross though).

Eileen Eileen
May '18

I do remember tomahawk summer day camp.i had so much fun there.the lake was nice clean counselors were nice the atmosphere was very nice.and i met some of very nice people there..i do remember arts crafts there kickball games we had there.just in generial sitting around talking with people..i do remember the teepee there....i did learn a lot from there.when i was kid....i use be flirt there the with all girls and woman there......i do think that was best camp ever that i ever went i live pittsburgh pa and i have two boys and im gonna take them there show them there how much fun i had there.hopeing its still there........if i can can someone send me pict of camp if they.thankyou.......

Colin halvey Colin halvey
Sep '18

Re: Tomahawk Lake

Somewhere around 1973-74

Hadn’t given much thought about Tomahawk in 40 years. So when i did over this past weekend I simply had to search google about it. Very cool finding this thread and reading everyone’s stories. From counselors names and ball field that was on a hill to the German shepherd all came back to me.
I went there from 78-81ish. My favorite memory I’ve never forgotten was the “skits” each group made and performed in the pavilion. Our group made a story about a boxing match with moving ropes and a super funny kid named Ted (one of the few campers I remember) was calling the fight pretending to be Howard Cosel (sounded just like him to) Between rounds my roll was to come around selling peanuts and a fight broke out in the stands over the peanuts.
Thanks for making this thread so I could relearn share some of my fond memories of those couple years I spent there.

Eric Applequist Eric Applequist
Sep '18

OMG the skits, I remember those!! We sang The Rainbow Connection, and had a little choreography to go along with it. For some reason I remember a camper girl named Stephanie Tischner (sp?) She was one of the "boss" campers lol

I remember them also doing a haunted house, and the boys changing room was used as part of it...had to reach in bowls of grapes and spaghetti, it was supposed to be brains and eyeballs hahaha!! Good times, I'll ever forget. :)

Oct '18

Re: Tomahawk Lake

I was both a camper there for several years and then a counselor. In addition my daughter was a camper there. I remember Ray and Waneda (sp) fondly.

Tim McGuire Tim McGuire
Nov '18

Re: Tomahawk Lake

Here is another picture of me and my group!

Tim McGuire Tim McGuire
Nov '18

Hello Tim your face flash right in to my mind yes ( Uncle Claude ) yes these were good times in our lives

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Nov '18

I went there as a camper in the 70s and to this day I still remember:"swimming, swimming, at camp Tomahawk, when days are hot, when days are cold, we're swimming around the clock, tick tock". Loved the long walks down into the state park!

Thanks bringing up your experience at Tomahawk in the 70s, but let's be more concerned if they will be open for summer, in the 20s:

While we are disappointed that we are unable to open on our scheduled date of May 23,2020, we are hoping to be back soon.
May '20

I think Gk's memories are nice and nothing to scoff at to be more 'concerned' about 20's. I used to love it, but looking back at memories is always nice, while also looking forward to the future - whenever that might be. Safety first. Splashing later. We'll get there!

May '20

I was a camper late 60’s early 70’s. My experience at camp remains extremely dear to my heart! I still know the song Swimming at camp Tomahawk.. here it goes!

Swimming swimming at camp tomahawk when day are hot when days are cold we’re swimming around the clock. Breast stroke, side stroke fancy diving too.. now don’t you wish you had nothing better to do then swimming swimming..!!! ❤️

Emily Disbrow Emily Disbrow
Jul '20

Re: Tomahawk Lake

I was a counselor there in 1972. I dressed up as the Indian Chief for one of the ceremonies.

Joe Acquaviva Joe Acquaviva
Nov '20

Yes - went there Summer of 77 for a 2 week session on a campership. I remember director "Uncle Ray" an excellent administrator, and all the counselors were all older people in their mid 20's to early 40's. Most were educators during the school year and all had college degrees. Unlike the YMCA camp I went to in 75 and 76 I remember there were no teens as counselors to speak of where that other camp had a few older people directing but mostly college kids as counselors. This camp was also modest with a baseball field, a medium sized grove attached to bathrooms and an administration and activities building. There was a medium sized pond used for swimming and fishing plus trails and Stephens State Park for hiking. And that was it. Still a well run camp and kids were well supervised. Kids were picked up by counselors as well as other staffers. Most were from all over Morris County. I was picked up at my mother's workplace being Iw as from Newton. I too was picked on a lot because I was geeky and thick glasses and not athletic either. I was there NYC Black Out Week and we had our overnight that Thursday Night. After that I went to Catholic BOys Camp at Don Bosco till I was 15. They only had brothers and we had a snack and lunch included for much lower price. Still I have some good memories about Camp Tomahawk.

Mark D Mark D
Aug '22

I went there for about 4 or 5 years in the early to mid 80s! Love, love, love that place!
I remember that place very fondly. I tell my son stories about that place, especially shooting and archery. I remember swimming around the entire lake/pond for I believe it was our lifeguard cert. We had to tread water for 15 mins fully clothed and the diving we had too off the dock. Omg, such fantastic memories. There was an Adam that went there when I was there.
Matt S. are you the same Matt I would bring a bag full of grape flavored Bubblicious for? Lol
Anyone's welcome to email me. I'd love to hear from you all.

Valerie B Valerie B
Jan '23

If you’re still reading this, does anybody know how to reach out to Terry Wasilewski? I’d love to reach out to her as I used to work with her. Thx.

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