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The Highground’s First Annual Winter Veterans Retreat Enjoyed by All

The Highground was able to treat Veterans to a day of ice fishing, snowshoeing and a Veterans Workshop by The Heartbeat Center for Writing, Literacy and the Arts during the First Annual Winter Veterans Retreat on Saturday, Feb 5.

After a hearty breakfast at The Highground—thank you, Bonnie Henchen, for all the delicious food over the weekend—the group of Veterans traveled to Mead Lake in Clark County for a half day of ice fishing. Skip Klabon, Chad Klabon and Dick Jacobson set up comfortable, warm shacks for the Veterans who were fishing and assisted them as necessary. All the veterans caught fish; a mix of perch, bluegills and crappies.

After returning to The Highground, the group enjoyed a large meal of homemade chicken noodle soup, chili, pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixins. Scott Schultz with the Heartbeat Center for Writing, Literacy and the Arts led a Veterans Workshop. The workshop theme was “what is home?” which involved an in-depth discussion about what and where “home” is to a deployed troop as well as why many service men and women feel displaced after returning home.

Hiram Cutting, a Vietnam Veteran and long-time volunteer at The Highground, gave a presentation on winter camping. Hiram camped overnight in the picnic area at the Park the previous night, despite temps well below zero, lending credibility to his presentation. Skip Klabon then guided the group on an afternoon tour of The Highground. 

Veterans were then able to try snowshoeing along The Highground trail system with snowshoes rented from Spring Street Sports in Chippewa Falls. The day wrapped up with a delicious dinner of baked chicken, mashed potatoes, bread pudding and more. Everyone also enjoyed a blazing bonfire.

The Highground thanks everyone who made the retreat possible—the attendees, the dedicated volunteers and the amazing sponsors and donors who offered their support with individual donations, in-kind items, and through their sponsorship of the 9th Annual Winter Bowl fundraiser.

Very special thanks go out to Skip Klabon for coordinating the ice fishing experience, including the selection of equipment (which the Veterans were able to take home with them), setting up all the details of the actual fishing, bait, transportation, The Highground Tour and more.

The full list of sponsors for The Highground Veterans Retreats is: Ameriprise Financial (D Meyer); Chips of Marshfield LLC; Dunkin; Foreign Automotive Inc.; Heinzen Printing & Promotional ; Schmidt’s Melody Garden’s Inc.; Starbucks; Timber Rattlers; Weber’s Farm Store; Gypsie Hollow; Merle Norman-The Day Spa; Reigel Plumbing &Heating; Bigby Coffee; Lumberyard Bar & Grill; Hardees; Bonnie Henchen; Richard Ottum; Rolling Thunder Chapter 4; Simplicity Credit Union – Marshfield; Fred & Kim Berg; Skip & Debbie Klabon; The Heartbeat Center for Writing, Literacy and the Arts; Julie Diesing; Richard & Sharon Hogfeldt, Marshfield Professional Police Association; Vickie Davis, VFW Post 2490; and the Moraine Motel.

The Highground is planning the 2nd Annual Winter Retreat for February 2023! If you are a business that specializes in winter outdoor activities and would like to be a part of these meaningful events, or if you would like to make a donation to support the Veterans Retreats, please send an email to Theresa at museum@thehighground.us or call 715-743-4224.

Information about upcoming events, current news, and more is available at thehighground.us.