Make Your Own Lava Lamp!

Are you looking for a fun science project to do while at home? Look no further. These DIY lava lamps are the perfect science and math projects to do while at home during the “safer at home” orders. The idea is to create a fun activity and experiment that we can all love and appreciate and bring a sense of peace and calmness during these times. Watch the video of the experiment being done on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

What you need:

  • Empty plastic bottle or jar
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
  • Alka-Seltzer tabs
  • Measuring cups
  • Optional: funnel & flashlight


  1. Fill an empty plastic bottle or jar with ⅕ of water (math skills!)
  2. Next, fill the rest of the bottle or jar with cooking oil. Use a funnel if you have one and pour oil into the bottle at an angle so it stays above the water that is already in the container.
  3. Then, drop in 3-8 drops of food coloring (pick your favorite color). It will settle below the oil.
  4. Finally, drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet. Wait and watch it bubble like a lava lamp. Shine a flashlight underneath the bottle to create a glowing effect for fun!

Did you know?

Alka-Seltzer tablets fizz like crazy when dropped into water. The moment the tablet hits the water, a chemical reaction occurs that releases carbon dioxide gas which produces the bubbles or fizz that we hear and see. These are the same bubbles we hear and see when we drink soda pop.

Intermolecular polarity water and oil don’t mix. The food coloring is mostly water so it doesn’t mix with the oil. It will drop down to the water layer. Then when the Alka-Seltzer tablets are added it will raise up into the oil with the bubbles.

COVID-19 & Summer Camp Updates What's happening with summer camp and how you can prepare!

Dear Camp Friends,

We have been intentionally waiting to make any decisions about our summer sessions, due to the Covid19 pandemic. The longer we wait, the more information we have so we can make informed, solid plans. Please know that we want to have camp, and are fully aware how much YOU may need camp right now. This is why we are waiting and haven’t cancelled the entire summer; we want to have camp if even for a few weeks.

There are many things we need to consider, from staffing (many of our counselors are from other states and even other countries, will we have enough staff to work at camp?) to the cleaning and disinfecting that will have to be done after every single activity, to obtaining protective equipment for all of our staff, to handling mealtimes, etc. The CDC is expected to release guidelines for summer camps in the near future, this may alter our plans, as well.

What we know right now:

We will not be opening camp at all until at least July. As of today, May 5, staff would report on July 5, with campers able to attend sessions beginning July 12.

Camp Wawbeek and Respite Camp will be adhering to state guidelines concerning group sizes, meaning we will most likely have a group of campers and staff members no larger than 50. All staff members will be required, and campers encouraged, to wear face masks.

When our camps open, we will be doing things differently. We most likely will NOT be opening the pool or the ropes course. Because there is potential for so many tourists in Wisconsin Dells, we will NOT be offering town trips, Duck Boat tours, Tommy Bartlett, bowling, and other trips we have taken into town in the past.

We expect to make a more concrete decision on our summer schedule in mid-May. All of the plans throughout the state and country are based on data, not  on dates, so things can change very quickly.

What can you be doing now?

Is camp right for you…right now? Please contact your primary healthcare provider to see if camp is right for you! Any campers or staff members with compromised immune systems or respiratory issues are strongly discouraged from attending camp this summer.

If you need to cancel: Please contact our office right away to cancel your session if you are choosing not to attend this summer.

Getting your physical for camp: We are aware that many healthcare facilities are not open for general physicals at this time. If your camp physical was done within the past 18 months, you will be allowed to attend camp.

Please choose only one session at this time. If you are currently signed up for two sessions between July 12 and August 9, please cancel one session so that other campers who had their session cancelled in June will be able to attend. If you don’t choose a session to cancel, the camp directors will choose for you.

Please prepare your campers for camp to be different! We are well aware that many campers have the routine of camp in their blood, and that is what they look forward to. We are preparing social stories that will be available on our website for you to use in advance. You can be helping a great deal to make this change a smooth one.

Practice wearing face masks at home. There are campers who will hate doing this; if you start wearing them at home for short amounts of time, they may be more inclined to do so at camp. Also, please prepare your campers to be ready to see their camp counselors and other staff members at camp wearing masks.

Camp Billing

Renita Link, Billing Specialist, will be contacting your funding sources to inform them of this change. Please call 608.237.1372 or email her at if you have any billing questions.

We miss you, but safety comes first!

Know that we miss all of our camp friends dearly, and can’t wait to see you at camp! We will be continuously evaluating the status of this situation, and will keep you informed if there will be other changes. Please refer to the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services website for more information:

In camp spirit,


Shaving Cream Color Mixing Sensory Bags Reduce anxiety with this fun art project!

Looking for a fun art therapy project to do at home? This shaving cream mixing sensory bag is a MESS FREE art project that you can make to help relieve stress and help calm the mind when a little overstimulated with everybody being stuck at home. Following are the directions for this easy to make – hopefully mess free 😉 – activity to do at home and without even having to go to the store! Continue readingShaving Cream Color Mixing Sensory Bags Reduce anxiety with this fun art project!

Wellness Wednesday Suggestions from our AmeriCorps team!

Stressed? Who isn’t? You are not alone right now you are part of the majority. When it comes to stress during times of disaster or trauma, we know that unexpected disasters are a huge crisis in a person’s life and can make someone experience significant and heightened stress responses. Stress responses are a normal part of the human body but when the stress response is a daily thing or lasts a long period of time it proves to be detrimental to your well-being. Most of us would be lying if we said we weren’t more stressed or more anxious because of the current COVID-19 crisis which has shifted all of our plans, has made us adapt, and given us a very uncertain, foreseeable future. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown is a significant form of stress that often goes under the radar. Feeling distanced and isolated from social interactions with others also causes higher stress as well as repetitive day after day tasks without a change of scenery. Trust us, you are not alone in this. Here are some tips of advice to help calm the anxious and stressed mind, especially during the “safer-at-home” orders that have now been officially updated in Wisconsin until at least May 26th. Continue readingWellness Wednesday Suggestions from our AmeriCorps team!

Coffee Filter Artwork Getting crafty at home!

Looking for more art project inspiration using household items? If you have some paper coffee filters and a few simple art supplies on hand, then we have some great crafts for you to try at home!

Coffee Filter Rainbows

These coffee filter rainbows are a perfect way to relieve some stress and add some bright colors and fun to the household decor. They are easy to make and should be able to be made using all the things you probably have at home. No need to go out to the store during the “safer at home” orders. Here is a link to pictures and directions. We used markers and a spray bottle with water but the link calls for just some basic water colors. Either option will work!

What you will need:

  1. Markers (substitute water color paints)
  2. Spray bottle with water (Substitute for cup of water for water color paints)
  3. Plastic tablecloth, paper towel, or newspaper to cover table
  4. White coffee filters
  5. Scissors
  6. Optional Items: puffy cotton balls & glue
Continue readingCoffee Filter Artwork Getting crafty at home!

We Are In This Together! A note from the director.

Dear Friends,   Sunny days make me miss camp the most! As I have taken on different roles at camp, I find my time to actually work at camp and take part in the magic has gotten less…but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it the same. Being able to spend time at camp makes me work harder behind the scenes to make sure our staff and facilities have what they need to make camp the best it can be for all of you.

Brighter Days are Ahead

We all know these are uncertain times, and we are right there with you in the feelings of uncertainty. WE ARE PLANNING FOR ALL OF OUR SUMMER SESSIONS, for right now. We are also thinking of every contingency plan and scenario, so that we can make camp happen in a different way, if needed. We are waiting to see what our Governor says on April 24th and will be following any mitigation and suggestions from the DHS. We are also continuously monitoring the CDC guidelines, as they are starting to have guidelines for camps. Continue readingWe Are In This Together! A note from the director.

Preparing for Your First Time at Camp

Make it a Smooth Transition

Sending a loved one to camp for the first time can be an overwhelming experience, especially when your loved one has differing needs than their typically developing peers. Here at Easterseals Wisconsin Camps, we want to help make that transition into camp as smooth as possible! Camp is a place where people of all ages and abilities foster relationships, find independence, and enjoy recreation with peers. Camp also provides a much-needed respite for families and caregivers who have loved ones with a disability. Continue reading “Preparing for Your First Time at Camp”

For The Love of Camp Real talk about our present situation.

Real Talk

Dear Friends,   We like to project sunshine and rainbows here at camp, but it’s time for some real talk. This social distancing is hard. Those of us who live at camp find ourselves very fortunate to be “safer at home” here…we have 400 acres of camp to hike and explore, and are enjoying clearing trails and having the time to explore. We haven’t seen any campers for almost a month. “Camp People” love people. We love songs. We love connection. We love seeing…people…people succeed, people love, people laugh. Alex, Jamie, and Carlee are getting to spend some great time with their dogs, Stevie is “stuck” in Australia, and I am able to spend time my goats and cats (I have been called a “cat lady” in the past…you should see me now!) The truth is, we miss you. We miss all of the campers, your families, our staff/volunteers/AmeriCorps members. We say over and over during training at camp: Camp isn’t the place, it’s the people. And that is what is missing at camp right now. Continue readingFor The Love of Camp Real talk about our present situation.

Wawbeek Boys’ Dorm Bathroom Update and an Informal Tribute

Hello Friends!

We do have some projects that we are working on here at camp – a big one being remodeling the bathrooms and shower room in the Boys’ Dorm at Camp Wawbeek! If you have stayed in this dorm, you will probably agree that they were in need of an upgrade and some attention! Thanks to a beloved Easterseals Wisconsin Board member, John Van Wie, we were able to see this project become a reality! There are new sinks and toilets (thanks to a generous donation from Kohler!), new stalls (real stalls…not the curtains!) will be installed next week, new tile, and actual dividers in the showers. We are excited to see this project come to fruition, and can’t wait to be using them this summer.

Vision for the Remodel

We’ve shared some formal tributes about the passing of our dear friend, John Van Wie, but I wanted to take a moment to share just how much he has done for camp. The contractors are using John’s hand-drawn plans for the dorm showers, and it was his vision for the bathrooms we are completing as well. John not only took on designing the renovation and lining up contractors, he also helped us secure funding. Remember how lovely the Menonomi Cabin remodel turned out? That was thanks to John’s efforts (and the work of another board member, Chuck Buell). That cool zip line? John helped secure the funding. He would visit every Veterans Family Camp and welcome everyone on behalf of our Board of Directors. John even got his wife, Joanne, involved in our Veterans Family Camp through her involvement with Quilts of Valor.

John was a wonderful friend of camp, and believed in all we did…and is truly missed every day.

In camp spirit,


Covid-19 cancellation updates Camp Weekends & Events

In light of recommended guidelines to help contain COVID-19 (coronavirus), and after consulting our Camp medical advisor, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Easterseals Wisconsin has cancelled the following camp sessions and events:

  • April 17-19: Camp Wawbeek session
  • April 24-26: Respite Camp session
  • May 1-3: Veterans Family Camp weekend
  • May 9: Camp Clean-Up Day — But there are still ways you can help! Click here for details.
This is a fluid situation which we will be diligently monitoring. Our #1 priority is the safety and health of our campers, staff, volunteers, and rental groups. Please refer to our Covid-19 webpage, as we will keep information updated.