About Wenas Campout

Hazel Wolf
Hazel Wolf

Hazel Wolf , 1898-2000. In 1966 Boise Cascade designated the Wenas campground area as a bird sanctuary. In her centennial year of 1998, the company joined Wenas campers in honoring Hazel Wolf–Wenas founder, extraordinary Audubon mentor and all-purpose environmental activist–by naming the campground area the Hazel Wolf Wenas Bird Sanctuary. Her spirit continues with us at this Memorial Day event.

The purpose of the Wenas Campout is to provide Audubon Society members, birders and their friends with a variety of natural history and recreation opportunities in a beautiful area with a fascinating assortment of spring flora and fauna. Wenas also offers the spiritual fulfillment of simply being outdoors. We do not charge fees for the Wenas outing. Camp expenses are covered by voluntary contributions.

HOW DID THIS ALL COME TO PASS? In 1963, Bea Buzzetti, Ruth Anderson and Hazel Wolf wandered serendipitously into the Wenas Creek area on a Memorial Day camping trip. They were so impressed with the variety of wildlife that they convinced owners Boise Cascade to make the campground available to Audubon campers on Memorial Day. This was the beginning of an annual, state-wide (now regional) Audubon tradition that is the largest such event in the country. With the goodwill and cooperation of the Audubon community, it will continue indefinitely.

Evening campfire programs are held at the Hazel Wolf Campfire Circle in the meadow across the road from the headquarters area. The Hazel Wolf Campfire Circle was named for Hazel Wolf on the 30th anniversary (1993) of the Wenas Creek Campout in the year of Hazel’s 95th birthday. The naming of the circle in her honor recognized her many years of organizing the campout, her dedicated service in helping the event run smoothly, and her bright and witty presence at campfire programs. Hazel realized her goal of living in three different centuries on New Year’s Day 2000. She passed away January 19, 2000.

As soon as you set up camp, locate the Larrison Tree, a large pine near the creek. It is named in honor of the late Earl J. Larrison, a gifted and dedicated teacher, author, natural historian and conservationist who gave generously of his time and energy each year to make the Wenas Campout a memorable experience. The Larrison Tree is the headquarters and focal point for many Wenas activities. There you will find a sign-in sheet, bulletin board, trip sign up sheets, programs, maps, bird lists and wildflower display boards. The Larrison Tree is also the rallying point for field trips and workshops.

Wenas Valley – Thumbnail History