Jerry and Susan Theys started Wildlife of Wisconsin in 1994. Run out of their home in Cato, WI, they devote their time, money and energy to taking care of injured and sick wildlife as well as running educational programs across Wisconsin.

The coronavirus is presenting challenges to all of us — Friends of Sinawa included.

Friends of Sinawa has reluctantly decided to revise/cancel both of its major fundraisers — Fall Family Day and Christmas at Sinawa — because of the risk associated with large crowds and the virus.

So, this year Friends of Sinawa invites you to join them for a lively, virtual fall fundraiser. For every $20 you donate to Camp Sinawa, you’ll be entered into a drawing for several fabulous prize baskets, including the following:

  • Wisconsin Sports Fans’ Basket — Includes a 2019 team autographed football donated by the Green Bay Packers, a cozy hand-quilted Badgers-themed lap quilt, a golf-themed painting and a Camp Sinawa baseball cap.
  • Local Foodies’ Basket — Includes a $50 Festival Foods gift certificate, delicious Camp Sinawa maple syrup, a selection of baking mixes from Willow Creek Mill, ceramic serving dish, fabric pumpkins and a beautiful hand-quilted table runner.
  • Fall into Gratitude Basket — Includes a cozy Camp Sinawa sweatshirt, pumpkin pancake mix, three decorative wood pumpkins, a large pumpkin candle, three-book devotional set, and a give thanks shelf decoration.
  • Christmas Cheer Basket — Includes a variety of charming Christmas decorations and crafts, a stunning hand-quilted Christmas-themed table runner, and a cozy Camp Sinawa winter hat.
  • Fall Fun Basket — Includes an exciting variety of fall-themed decorations and crafts, and a long-sleeved camp T-shirt to keep you warm this season.
  • Nap Time Nap Sack — Everything to make nap time special — a fleece pillow and nap sack, hand-crocheted blanket, a soft, cuddly Curious George stuffed monkey, book to read, a charming hand-painted giraffe and a matching blanket for George.
  • Relax & Rejuvenate Basket — Includes a 60-minute massage certificate from Manitowoc Massage, long-sleeved Camp Sinawa T-shirt, bath products from Floppy Ear Farm, an adult coloring book with colored pencils, puzzles, and a set of six books to read. 

To enter the drawing, head to the camp’s website, 

The baskets are all set up at Sinawa if you want to sneak a peek.

Donations must be received by Oct. 24. The drawing will be streamed live on Facebook at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25.

Buy Photo

FILE – Visitors participate in a fall festival at Camp Sinawa in Valders in 2014. (Photo: Matthew Apgar/HTR Media)

• Wisconsin is the birthplace of snowmobiling and continues to offer some of the best snowmobiling opportunities you are likely to find, especially in northern Wisconsin.

More than 200,000 registered snowmobiles hit Wisconsin’s 25,000 miles of groomed trails each winter, which means safety is an important part of the ride.

Fall is the ideal time to take the first step of preparing for the upcoming snowmobile season by completing the safety course. The safety course seeks to ensure snowmobilers of all ages are safe while they are having fun on the trails.

The course is required for operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1985, and who are 12 years of age or older. 

Snowmobile safety is critical. In 2019, 16 fatal snowmobiling accidents occurred, with the top contributing factors being speed and operator error.

The safety course costs $10 and includes six hours of classroom instruction with two optional hours of hands-on instruction or a simulated ride.

For those age 16 and older, the course may be completed online.

To register for a classroom course or an online version, visit

• Starting Oct. 5, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Reforestation Program will be accepting seedling orders from Wisconsin forest landowners for trees and shrubs to be planted in spring 2021.

Seedlings grown at the state nurseries are used for reforestation and conservation plantings on private, industrial and state/county forest lands.

A minimum order consists of a packet of 300 trees or shrubs of the landowner’s choosing in increments of 100 of each species, or 500 shrubs or 1,000 tree seedlings.

Seedlings can also be purchased by youth groups and educational organizations for their reforestation and conservation planting projects.

For more than 100 years, the Wisconsin nurseries have provided high-quality seedlings of native species, appropriate for planting throughout Wisconsin.

“The DNR Division of Forestry grows 3-5 million seedlings annually,” said Joseph Vande Hey, DNR reforestation team leader at the Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel. “Planting trees or shrubs is a great way to improve wildlife habitat, increase land value, reduce soil erosion, produce future wood products and improve the overall aesthetics of your property.”

Additionally, tree planting can also be an educational activity.

“Planting trees is a great activity that involves all ages of family members,” Vande Hey said. “It provides an educational experience and an opportunity to become more invested in the stewardship of the environment.”

While the state nurseries have strong inventories of many different conifer, hardwood and shrub seedlings, Vande Hey suggested ordering as early as possible.

“Some species sell out quickly, especially now that those affected by the previous year’s tornadoes and windstorms are completing their cleanup efforts,” Vande Hey said. “These landowners are now looking to replace their lost forests.”

Forest landowners may create an order using the online form found on the DNR website or by printing the order form and mailing it to the Griffith Nursery, 473 Griffith Ave., Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494.

Customers may also contact the reforestation staff or their local DNR forester for personal assistance.

Printed copies of the order form are also available; call a local forester or nursery for details.

Regardless of how a customer orders, all orders are batched on Oct. 5 and entered into the system at random, ensuring everyone has the same opportunity to procure the seedlings they need.

That’s it for this week, so have fun in the great outdoors.

Bob Schuh: 920-682-3106 or [email protected]



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