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Our mission is to provide guests the most amazing camping experience possible - through exceptional service and unmatched amenities.  At Emrick Lake Campground at The Preserve - we welcome you like family!

The Former Camp Freeland Leslie History

This property, formerly known as Camp Freeland Leslie was purchased in 1970 by the DuPage Area Council based in Wheaton, Illinois. The property is 454 acres and was formed by the purchase of multiple parcels of land owned by several individuals.

The property was developed as a Boy Scout Camp in 1970-1972 and was first used in 1972-1974 as a companion camp to the Northwoods Scout Reservation which was located on Wolf Lake in Oxford, WI. The Wolf Lake camp did not provide the right atmosphere for a Scout Camp with it being located on a shared lake. The Wolf Lake Camp was also owned by the Du Page Area Council. 

In 1974 the Board decided to sell the camp on Wolf Lake after the summer season and move all camp operations to the Emrick Lake property for solo use in 1975.  

One of the many beautiful things on the property is Lake Emrick, which the property surrounds. This secluded location provided the Scouts a perfect location to enjoy swimming, boating, canoeing, and sailing. The remainder of the property provided an excellent location for the Council’s long term summer camp which would allow the Scouts to experience outdoor activities such as camping, cooking, hiking, earning merit badges, wildlife observation, learning life skills, and growing into the leaders of today.  

Camp Freeland Leslie operated as a summer camp each year since 1972. Annually, the camp hosted six weeks of traditional Boy Scout Patrol Method camping and two half week sessions of Webelos (Cub Scout) camping. Annual summer program attendance at the camp is usually around 1,000 to 1,500 Scouts, 400 to 600 Webelos and several hundred parents. Camp Freeland Leslie also provided Scout units with opportunities for year-round cabin and tent camping on the weekends. 

In 1992 the DuPage Area Council, based in Wheaton, Illinois, and the Two Rivers Council, based in Saint Charles, Illinois, merged and formed the Three Fires Council, which is based in Saint Charles, Illinois, and owned and operated Camp Freeland Leslie. 

In 2021, the Three Fires Council announced that the camp would be sold. In 2021 the camp celebrated 50 years of operation and held a Staff Reunion where over 350 former and present Camp Staff and their families attended. This gave the Staff one last opportunity to visit a place, that for many, was such an important part of growing up. Time spent with other staff and sharing stories and guiding their family on tours of the property was one of the highlights of the weekend.  

In 2021, Camp Freeland Leslie was purchased by a local family in the hopes of developing it in a manner consistent with the historical use of the property.

The new owners allowed the Boy Scouts to use the property after the purchase was completed in order to have their final summer camp at Camp Freeland Leslie. The new owners have embarked upon an ambitious plan to develop the property into Emrick Lake Campground at The Preserve.  

This new campground and RV park will be Wisconsin’s Largest Campground. With amenities and services second to none - Emrick Lake Campground at The Preserve will provide guests with an unparalleled Campground experience. The Campground will open at limited capacity in Summer of 2022 with a full opening in Summer of 2023.  Sales for seasonal sites will be open soon – you may contact us to add your name to the waiting list for 2022!

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