GoCampingAmerica.com | Posted July 8th, 2021

Amazing Anniversary: Lake Arrowhead Campground Celebrates 50 Years

Happy Camper Blog

It’s no small accomplishment when a campground has been owned and operated by the same family for 50 years! That’s exactly what the Malsack family has achieved. Their campground’s history began in the 1960s when Bea and Arnold Malsack decided they wanted to start a campground business and moved their family from their small appliance store in Slinger, Wis. to a beautiful plot of farmland and forest in eastern Marquette County. They opened Lake Arrowhead Campground in 1971 with around a dozen campsites and a small camp store, naming their new campground after the arrowheads found in the area years ago.

The campground was almost entirely staffed by Arnold, Bea, their son Phil and Phil's fiancée Linda. Linda and Phil met in college and were married in 1973 on the campground property. They each held a full-time job in addition to working at the campground, with Phil spending 22 years at the Marquette County Sheriff's Department primarily as Sheriff and Chief Deputy Sheriff. Linda and Phil officially purchased the campground in 1975 and they lived in a small house attached to the camp store.

In the early 1980s, Phil and Linda began having children and in 1989 built a new home adjacent to the campground for their now family of five. Their children, Emily, Jessica, and Adam would grow up on the campground property, spending nearly every waking hour in the summertime out on the grounds with their camper friends.

In 1998, the family purchased the nearby Puckaway Shores Campground and after a complete renovation, reopened it in 1999 as Lakeside Campground, an all-seasons park on the shores of Lake Puckaway. The family later purchased Lighthouse RV Park, which was adjacent to Lakeside’s lagoon, and added it to Lakeside Campground. They also purchased the Puckaway Shores Manufactured Housing Community. In 2019, the family purchased property directly to the west of the Lake Arrowhead boat launch and swimming area, adding over 300 feet of frontage on Lake Puckaway.

Over the years, the Lake Arrowhead and Lakeside campground operation has grown to include over 71 staff members and more than 360 sites. The park also offers deluxe cabins along with a swimming pool, a children's activity pool, access to swimming and fishing on Lake Puckaway and sports facilities such as sand volleyball, basketball and a jumping pillow. Plenty of scheduled activities and themed weekends offer families even more ways to have fun and create memories.

The three Malsack children are now part owners of the campground and are actively involved in its operation. Adam Malsack serves as general manager, Jessica Malsack is the recreation manager and Emily Truell is the administrative manager. Following in the footsteps of their parents Phil and Linda, all three of the 3rd generation Malsacks held their weddings at the campground and now have children of their own. And as a sure sign of just how much this family loves this industry, their favorite thing to do when they have time off from the campground is to go camping!

To celebrate Lake Arrowhead’s 50th anniversary, every family that camps at the park this season will be given a commemorative deck of playing cards. On June 4-6, the campground had a fun, 1970s-themed celebration that included tie-dyed shirts, live music with hits from the 70s and a parade. As part of the celebration, the Malsacks planted a maple tree together as a family. “We hope the 4th generation of our family can celebrate our 100th anniversary in the shade of that tree,” Jessica says.