BERTIL E. ANDERSON
1935 Founding Father
"Some camps are about Christian morality. This camp is about Christian sexuality." -Bertil Anderson
Founder, Camp Silver
Born on a poor zucchini farm in Uppsala, Sweden, Bertil Anderson, the founding father of Camp Silver, immigrated to the United States after the brutal Sven and Ole Wars of the 1920s wiped out the family's farm.
But life was not easy for young Bertil. Extreme prejudices against Swedes forced him into the Scandinavian ghetto of Minneapolis, where he quickly took up the accordion, played kissy face with easy Finnish girls, and became an infamous neighborhood bootlegger of lingonberry communion wine. After pursing his trail for years, Prohibition law men tracked the "Slim Shady Swede," as Bertil was known, to Mount Olivet Lutheran Church's basement kitchen.
In the well-publicized trial of 1931, Bertil admitted to paying off the church ladies who worked the church kitchen by performing late night forbidden polkas so sensual they are still outlawed in Norway today. A federal judge almost handed Bertil the max sentence, but a last minute appeal by a Lutheran Pastor changed Bertil's fate.
Pastor Ikea Gustavsson, leader of a small rural Lutheran church, swore on a stack of Bibles that Bertil was only the victim of his impoverished circumstances and argued that a good guardian was all that the wayward Swede required. The judge agreed, and Bertil was given his second chance at life.
In Taylor Falls, Minnesota, Bertil went to church every Sunday, became the most reliable usher in Pastor Gustavsson's church, and never touched communion wine again. Bertil had found the Lord.
But Bertil soon realized that worshipping on Sunday wasn't enoughhe needed more to sustain his faith. So in 1938 he traded three Volvo distributor caps to the OkeeWauKee Indians in exchange for a small plot of land along a lake in Wisconsin and promptly broke ground on a revolutionary summer camp for Christians.
Camp Silver, named for the lake that laps its shores, opened in 1941 and quickly become America's number one summer camp for sexually active Christian children.
Notable Moments in Camp Silver's History:
1950 Camp Silver opens Stiff Birch Cabin with queen-size bunk beds. Pope Pius XII condemns camp in Vatican speech.
1958 Future president William Jefferson Clinton attends camp for first time and feigns homesickness to score girls. Counselors write official Camp Silver song, "Sacred Place," Or download it here for free!
1969 Camp Silver has its highest attendance ever. President Richard Nixon hires undercover campers to report back on the "goings-on" of the camp.
1974 Prince visits camp as a guest musician and later claims he was inspired by his week at camp to write "Darling Nikki," the very song that caused Tipper Gore to campaign for warning labels on albums.
1983 Glow-in-the-dark condoms are sold for first time at the Camp Silver Canteen.
1987 Camp Silver opens Knotty Naughty Pines Cabin with waterbed mattresses.
1992 Future Internet Celebrity David "Dave" Anderson attends for first time. Fails to score on the softball field or in the cabins.
1998 Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson shuts down camp, citing it as a place of un-American activities.
1999 Minnesota Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura threatens to send the Minnesota National Guard into Wisconsin if his childhood camp is not reopened. Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson obliges and reopens Camp Silver.
2006 Campers Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson meet during camp sing-a-long and immediately sneak off to Knotty Naughty Pines.
2011 Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker shuts down Camp Silver despite being a camper from 1982-1984.