Camping career coming to an end

Camp U-Nah-Li-Ya Director Ken Losinski using a megaphone to get his message across (Courtesy Ken Losinski)

OCONTO COUNTY (WLUK) -- A camping career is about to wrap up for Ken Losinski. He’s been running Camp U-Nah-Li-Ya since 1988 for the YMCA.

30 years ago Losinki and his wife were working in Chicago and thinking about joining the Peace Corps. Then they made a trip to U-Nah-Li-Ya to visit a friend who was camp director.

“And we just started talking, and I said, ‘What if we just come up here? What if this is our Peace Corps mission,'” says Losinski.

And just like that, the YMCA had found its next camp director.

Steve Harty has been the President of the Greater Green Bay YMCA for the past 19 years. He says when he first met Losinski at the camp, what stuck out to him is that Losinki knew the first name of all 200 kids in that group.

“The connections he had with kids blew me away," says Harty. "And as I’ve watched him over the years, it’s really translated far beyond just the kids at the camp.”

As he get ready to wrap up his career, Losinski is a mixture of facts, folklore and fun.

Losinski says he didn't have camp director as him game plan over three decades ago. Now that he's entering retirement, he's not sure what he wants to do with the rest of his life either, but says he's okay with that. "

“As my wife said, we have a 130-year old home in Menominee, Michigan with 30 years of deferred maintenance," jokes Losinski. "I’ll have plenty to do for the first year. But you know, I’ll probably do something else. I’ll probably go back and work for a not-for-profit or volunteer definitely.”

In native dialect, U-Nah-Li-Ya translates into “place of friends.” Based on the thousands of people he’s met over the years who have come through the camp, there’s a good chance there will be plenty to see him off on his last day on the job, Friday, Dec. 1.

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