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Annual Boy Scout Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Visit to Kretz Lumber

In 1929 the Northeast Illinois Council of the Boy Scouts of America purchased an old logging camp near Pearson, WI, located about 25 miles northeast of Antigo. This became Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan. Over the years the Council has purchased additional properties and today Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan is approximately 1,560 acres in size. The Camp is heavily wooded with many different forest types, six spring fed lakes, one creek and numerous campsites. The Camp serves approximately 2,000 scouts per year and was rated by the Boy Scouts of America as one of the best camps in America.

Kretz Lumber has been working with the Council for several years helping with forest management planning, harvesting and hazard tree removal. In addition, Kretz provides educational programs for the scouts. Each week during the summer, Camp Ma-Ka-Ja- Wan sends a contingent of scouts to tour our facilities at Kretz Lumber Company.

Kretz Forester, Andy Roesle, explains logs grading and scaling to the scouts

Kretz Forester, Andy Roesle, explains logs grading and scaling to the scoutsThe tour begins in the log yard with an explanation of wood product classes, wood flow, product measurements, log grading and scaling. After a brief explanation of the de- barking process, the scouts enter the mill to watch its operations from the head-rig through the re-saw, edger, grading station and finally back outside at the green chain.

After the sawmill tour, the scouts make the quick walk to the Ray Kretz Industrial Forest (RKIF), located adjacent to Kretz Lumber Company.

At the RKIF, one of our Kretz foresters guides the scouts through the forest. During this segment of the tour, forest management is the main topic of discussion. From how a tree grows to what kind of tree it is and why it grows here is explained. Even-aged and all-aged silviculture is discussed, as well as forest economics, habitat types and wildlife habitat.

This exposure not only helps to educate the scouts, it also aids them in attaining their Forestry Merit badges. To acquire a merit badge in forestry the scouts must study, experience and document many aspects of forestry, forest management and an understanding of the forest products industry. Kretz Lumber Company is both glad and proud to work with the scouts to help shape the future of forestry. Furthermore, Kretz Lumber would like to congratulate Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan as being named one of the best camps in America. For more information about Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan, visit

Do you have questions you’d like to ask a forester? Send them to us at And for more information about Kretz Lumber Forestry Services, visit

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