WILLIAMS BAY – All around the approximately 21-mile Lake Geneva Shore Trail, there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
Among these hidden gems is an ice cream and candy shop just off the coastal path.
Grace Covino, 9, and her brother Finn Covino, 5, buy ice cream at the Norman B. Barr Camp Ice Cream Shop.
Norman B. Barr Camp is located between Fontana and Williams Bay, just west of George Williams College.
Every day from 2-4pm and 7-9pm, the camp confectionery and ice cream shop are open to the public, where they are welcomed as if they were part of the family and the camp, even if not only for a short visit.
Many cabins in the camp are occupied by families who have been coming to the area for generations since the camp was established in 1909.
The camp also partners with community groups to provide a free camp experience for children who may not be able to afford it.
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Campers at Camp Norman B. Barr enjoy some time at Lake Geneva on a hot June afternoon.
While at camp, kids can also try the candy store and ice cream shop.
Ice Cream and Penny Candy While it’s unclear when the ice cream shop first opened, multi-generational campers say it’s been around for as long as they can remember. They think it dates back to when there was a cooler to keep ice cream cold, before modern fridges and freezers.
Jill Heinen Hutmacher, 65, shows an old photo of the Norman B. Barr Camp candy and ice cream shop from 1957.
Jill Heinen Hutmacher, 65, has been a candy shop since birth and she has the photo to prove it. We see his mother sitting in the candy store, holding a little girl in her arms. It was the summer of 1957, Heinen Hutmacher said looking at the photo. That’s the baby in this photo.
It was the start of what has become a long tradition of ice cream.
“Ice cream every day, every summer, all summer, usually twice a day, afternoon and evening, and of course the penny candy, which was amazing,” said Heinen Hutmacher.
In addition to ice cream — $1.75 for one scoop or $3.50 for two scoops, with prices subject to change — there are always plenty of other candy and snack options.
The shop offers packages of fruit roll cookies, Oreos or chocolate chips for 50 cents. There are fruit snacks, Ring Pops or Now and Laters for a quarter. For a penny, there are suction cups, small rolls of Smarties or pieces of Bit-O-Honey.
A group lines up to buy ice cream at the Camp Norman B. Barr Ice Cream Shop.
And the penny candy tradition is still alive. For a penny, there is a variety of flavored Tootsie Rolls.
Ice cream team Bridget Schofield, 36, who has been at camp since birth, is part of the team that works at the store.
“My favorite thing is seeing everyone’s smiles come in and get what they want,” said Schofield, who washes dishes and helps with grounds maintenance at camp.
Bridget Brown is holding a jar of lollipops. Customers can purchase a lollipop for 10 cents each.
While ice cream flavors change often, Schofield said in June the favorites were Superman, Chocolate and Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Other options have included Banana Custard Pie, Strawberry, Cookie Dough, Caramel Collision, Van’elephant Tracks, Vanilla, and Jamocha Joe, among others.
Ice cream costs $1.75 for a single scoop or $2.50 for a double scoop.
Schofield, who is also active in Special Olympics when she’s not working, has been helping work at the camp since she was 14 – the age at which children can get work permits to start working at the store.
Glacier staff at Camp Norman B. Barr line up for a group photo in the summer of 2022.
It’s kind of a majority for kids to start working in the store and earning a bit of money at 14.
“I worked on my (14th) birthday,” said 17-year-old Angel Wiley, who remembers how excited she was to get her first real job.
Wiley said that over the years she has many fond memories in confectionery, playing board games, cards, video games and Dungeons and Dragons, the popular fantasy board game that debuted in Leman lake.
“It was a hangout for a lot of kids growing up,” Wiley said.
Camp Norman B. Barr Ice Cream Shop staff line up for a group photo in the summer of 2022 in front of the “Ice Cream Shop Mess Hall”.
In Photos: A look at Norman B. Barr Camp & Ice Cream Shop