By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jun 24, 2021 at 11:02 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

The smell of the campfire. The calming chirp of crickets in the woods. The feel of the cool lake water on a hot day. These are the things that take us back to those great days spent at summer camp when we were kids.

Even as an adult, you can relive those precious moments (without the irritation of mosquito bites and sand in your swimsuit) during the immersive Summer Camp experience at Camp Bar, 525 E Menomonee St. in the Historic Third Ward.

In fact, thanks to yet another themed transformation at the popular Northwoods-themed bar – which will remain in full effect through Sept. 18 – you can grab the fleeting days of our Great Milwaukee Summer by the horns antlers and hightail it down to summer's official vacation headquarters.

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Camp out in the urban North Woods

It’s summer in the Northwoods, and all your favorite characters are there, from the snide wolf on the western corner of the bar to Mama Bear in her grass skirt and coconut bra.

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You can get patriotic with Shorty for the 4th of July (be sure to check out his amazing swimming trunks).

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Or party with Flat Flamingo on the rocky beach.

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You can even while away the hours splitting hares with the magical tropical jackalope.

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Any way you choose to celebrate, you’ll find a drink to enjoy alongside, thanks to a summer menu filled with all your favorite draft brews, wines by the glass and classic Camp creations.

But there's more. You can also enjoy pretty much every flavor of White Claw available in the modern world (black cherry, blackberry, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, strawberry, tangerine and watermelon; plus lemon, peach, mango or raspberry iced tea; and either blood orange or cranberry Surge).

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Some may have actually been delivered to Summer Camp on the antlers of Myron the Moose. But we can’t be sure.

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As if that weren’t enough, there’s also a very special menu of Clawtails, featuring White Claw infused options for just about everyone, from the “Hot Girl Summer” (lime, rhubarb, vodka, strawberry White Claw, ginger beer) to the Single & Ready to Flamingo (citrus vodka, Chambord, prosecco and black cherry White Claw).

Start off slow with a Claw Me Old Fashioned (a classic Camp OF spritzed with tangerine White Claw). Or go directly for the ear worm and order up a Watermelon Sugar (vodka, grenadine and watermelon White Claw). After all, it tastes like strawberries on a summer evenin'.

Just be forewarned: Even if you order up a drink called It’s Getting Hot in Here (muddled mint and cherries, Effen Black Cherry, black cherry White Claw), you’ll probably want to keep your clothes on. Just sayin’.

Whatever you decide, it’s time to kick back, relax and enjoy. So take a seat at the tiki-esque bar under the twinkling midnight stars and enjoy. After all, as they say, “There ain't no laws when you're drinking claws.”

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Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.