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Wa Wa Sum members outing – 2021

June 17, 2021 - June 20, 2021

Wa Wa Sum lodge

Michigan State University plans to have Wa Wa Sum lodge open this summer to membership outings, and SWMTU also plans to hold its annual membership outing at the lodge.

For this year we will limit attendance to 25 people. As of April 21, 2021, registration is filled.

If you have questions, please reach out to Larry Risbridger.


We are now taking reservations for our annual membership outing at the Wa Wa Sum Lodge. The lodge is located on the banks of the Main Stream of the Au Sable’s fabled “holy waters,” just east of Grayling, Michigan.

Arrival is any time after noon on Thursday, June 17 with departure on Sunday, June 20. You may come for one, two or all three nights. This year’s rate with be $40.00 for one night, $80.00 for two nights, and $120.00 for three nights.

Due to MSU policy changes, registration is different this year. You’ll need to provide the name, address, email, and phone number for each person who is attending. Additionally, we require a $40 non-refundable deposit to reserve your space for the weekend. The $40 deposit will be applied to your first night of lodging. You can pay the remaining balance at Wa Wa Sum.

Please make your reservation using the form at the bottom of this page. Please select the $40 option for “Deposit Only” to reserve your spot.

The Wa Wa Sum Lodge is a historic log building with a great porch overlooking the Au Sable River. Sleeping arrangements are dorm-style, so bring your own bedding or sleeping bag and towels.

We will be providing some food for a Saturday morning breakfast and assorted snacks. Please plan to bring your own food and your own beverages. There are many restaurants located nearby in Grayling and Gates Lodge is just down the road which offers a great sit-down restaurant option for breakfast, lunch or dinner as well as delicious to-go riverside meals. If you prefer preparing your own food, there is a grill available for your use at the lodge.

Mid-June is traditionally a great time for some of the best hatches of the season. You can fish right in front of the lodge on the Au Sable or venture to other areas of including the North Branch and South Branch of the Au Sable and the Manistee River. (NOTE: there is a good chance that the famous Hex Hatch will be on.) If still water fishing is of interest, Wakely Lake is nearby for bass and bluegills.

Wa Wa Sum is a Michigan State University research and conference facility located on the Au Sable River six miles east of Grayling. The name Wa Wa Sum means “Plain View” in the Ojibwa language and was given to the camp in 1905 by Chief David Shoppenagon, an Au Sable guide and woodsman. At the time, because of the extensive logging of the region’s pine forests, the view from the high bank on which the camp is built was unobstructed for miles to the South. Since then, the forests have regenerated, slowly obscuring the view of the river. Chief Shoppenagon built the first building at the camp, now known as the Dining Room, in 1880. In 1897, Rubin Babbitt, an Au Sable woodsman who later became Michigan’s first wildlife officer, built a second structure, now the Administration Building. These first buildings were constructed of red pine and tamarack logs and used as a fishing camp for a group of Toledo businessman. Other cabins of various sizes were added in later years: the Bullpen (1907), the Big Camp (1921/22), the Barn and the Guide’s Cabin (early 1930’s). The buildings and 251 acres of land were deeded to MSU in1980 by owners Virginia Secor Stranahan and Frank Bell, descendants of two of the camp’s six original owners. Kevin Gardiner, a descendant of Rubin Babbitt, is the camp’s present caretaker. He is the third generation of his family to perform these duties.


June 17, 2021
June 20, 2021
Event Category:


Larry Risbridger


Wa Wa Sum lodge
Whirlpool Road
Grayling, MI United States
+ Google Map


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