The History of Camp Olson… began during the last ice age as the Laurentide Ice Sheet advanced and receded over the land shaping the hills and leaving behind the lakes and glacial stones which now line our fire pits and can be found throughout the property.
The Ojibwa people long lived within the rich ecology of the region. These peoples enjoyed prolific fish and game and made use of the various plant life for food and medicine. The Ojibwe are known for their birch bark canoes and utilization of wild rice that grows along the shorelines of many lakes.
As the Europeans settled the region, logging and agriculture became prevalent. In 1945, E.O. Olson, a successful poultry farmer from Worthington, MN purchased 1600 acres of forests, lakes and fields about 3 miles south of Longville, MN for recreational use and a bit of farming. Then, in 1953, Mr. Olson gave the property to the YMCA. He and his wife Bella hoped, as inscribed on our dedication rock, “to preserve a paradise of forest beauty where youth and their leaders can find joy and inspiration in the years to come.”
Ever since, Camp Olson has been just that. Click the link below to read a detailed timeline of Camp Olson’s history.