Film and Radio

It has been a while since we’ve updated our website with information about the progress of the project. Several important things have happened since our last update. One of the most exciting was the acquisition of 3 large and 2 small reels of Sam’s 16mm film. As I understand it when Sam got sick, Norm Hallock filled in for him and after Sam passed away Norm finished out Sam’s lecture schedule. He held on to the films that Sam and Giny sent him for many years before passing them on. My plan is at somepoint to have them transferred to a digital format so others can enjoy them as well. It is likely that these films are some of the last ones Sam produced.

The second item, was finding a few privately held, professionally recorded transcription disks with Sam’s voice on them. As it turns out there was a PSA type announcement for the Chicago parks ( and a short message on “Silence”. Another record held a weekly radio broadcast by Sam called “The Sanctuary Hour”. The last one appears to be part of a narrative for a film that Sam used in one of his lyceums.

Another exciting item is the transfer of Sam’s 1951-52 film “Land of the Voyageurs” to a digital format. We have been working on some narration to go along with it and hope to have it completed sometime in January or early February, 2016. This film has some historical footage in it from the August 1, 1951 Grand Portage Dedication as a National Historic Site that Sig Olson (a close friend of Sam’s) was a huge part of.

For the documentary film about Sam’s life comes a very important update. We have finished version 2 of the script. While it has taken a long time to get to this point it has been worth it. Each time the project seems to slow or stop, that change in momentum has always brought something positive from it. No longer has it become, “Oh no! Here we go again.” but has become “Oh, It looks like something else exciting is about to happen!”

We are talking about having a special Sam Campbell weekend up in Three Lakes, Wisconsin early this coming summer 2016. There will be guided tours of the island and many other activities happening around the area. We are also planning on having a pre-release showing of “The Philosopher of the Forest: The Sam Campbell Story”. If this sounds of interest stay tuned for more information.

An Evening of Storytelling

We are excited to announce an evening of storytelling with Judy Lehmkuhl, granddaughter of Roy and Ida (Ray and Ada) Cunningham and daughter of Jean Brewster (part of June’s character) in Sam’s Living Forest Series of Books.

On June 13, 2014 at 7:00pm in the Three Lakes Center for the Arts, Judy will tell stories of Sam and Giny Campbell and her families connection with the. Being a professional storyteller Judy brings with her the ability to captivate her audiences. If you are interested in coming, but the distance is too great to travel, do not dis pare. We are planning on live streaming the  event.

PrintHope to see you all there or in cyberspace.

Winter Wonderland Comes to the North Country

Over Presidents’ day weekend I took my camera and headed to Three Lakes, WI in search of snow in my pictures of Sam’s island. While I did find snow I also found two beautiful sun rises each boasting a different atmosphere.

Saturday morning the sun peaked over the trees for just a few minutes and then was hidden from view by the overcast that was developing.

Sunday morning was clear and as the sun peaked over the trees to the east a fresh layer of white pixy dust covered the landscape. As the sun grew higher in the sky, millions of little diamonds begin to appear in the landscape that was before me. I took my camera and did a 360 degree pan near the island trying my best to capture the beauty of the morning. What I’ve included here is one of the sequences with a few land marks being pointed out for you. The surroundings do look a little different from the warmer months.

Sam’s Island in Winter from Terry Dodge on Vimeo.

A 360 degree turn showing the beauty of winter in the North Woods. See the sun sparkle on the freshly fallen snow. See 'Wegimind Point' and the closest spot of land to the island covered in a white blanket of sparkling beauty.

Come to the North Country

With the help of Metropolis Post, we have scanned Sam Campbell’s last film, Come to the North Country and are preparing to send it off for DVD replication.

We are taking pre-orders on our sister site, and hope to have it ready to ship in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Check out a preview of the film & order your copy.

The money raised from the sales of the DVD/Blu-ray discs to help fund the making of the documentary film.

“Higher Finance”

Last night I was reading Sam’s chapter on Higher Finance and was struck by how much Sam was right and very ahead of his time. I’ve copied the entire chapter for you to read and ponder and hope you can catch his vision of where true riches lie.

Hypothetical Value

The capriciousness of investment convulses the world. Commercial paper and properties with fixed or constantly advancing values appear as an illusion comparable to Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth. A mere whim of chance and the highest securities diminish in worth, making all material fortunes seem purely hypothetical.

The fundamental basis on which the worth of an investment must be judged is the net return to the investor. It is not enough to judge it merely by the interest rate. Though it might ultimately pay out a substantial dividend, if its incidental fluctuations have been the instigator of uncertainty and worry, the net result to the investor is a loss. The final worth of any investment is relative to its effect on peace of mind.

True Fortune

Some years ago the writer took the last cent he possessed and made a trip into the north country. In later years he experienced varying fortunes and prosperity. Investments were made in diverse stocks and various enterprises, all of which, in the honest analysis, were a loss. Yet the investment in the northern trip has never missed a dividend! Every delightful hour spent in the great woods is still a fresh memory, brightening conversations, inspiring plans, and ever furnishing a potential escape from an imposing world. Spirit, mind, and body still feast on the benefits of this and other journeys into the land of lakes, woods, and peace.

True, this reasoning would have no collateral value with a banker. That is because it is nonnegotiable—it is of such personal and permanent nature that it cannot be transferred or lost. It has a higher value than is recognized by the banker or, perhaps more properly, by banking. A bank credit might temporarily lift financial pressure, defer it until a later date, but the investment in nature happiness will reveal the only avenue of escape from the whole category of commercialism.

Lesson Learned

One troubled year a guest came to the Sanctuary of Wegimind. He was laboring under the general, conditions of financial depression and had left behind him a sweltering, seething, competitive city. For a few days he wandered the forest trails and drank in the cool peace of northern evenings. “One thing I have learned,” he said later, “is that there is no depression in nature—trees are just as beautiful, bird songs just as sweet, fishing just as enticing, dawns and sunsets just as brilliant, and the cool, bracing air of the northern forests is just as salubrious as ever!”

Spiritual prosperity knows no business cycles or periodic waverings. Investments made to this end are of a security which cannot depreciate. The money placed in a summer home, in boats, tents, or cameras and the time spent outdoors, all pay the investor a dividend which cannot be omitted or deferred.

Real Value

The larger lesson of a world depression is that we should make a distinction between financial values and real values. When riding on the high waves of postwar prosperity, man lost his sense of values. Consideration of fellow men, appreciation of home ties, love of the ethical and beautiful ran at low tide. While stock profits were built high, progress in character was negligible. Man became intoxicated with the spirit of accumulation. In a twinkling this false condition was swept from him, and he saw that his storehouses were packed with shadows. At the highest moment of his material prosperity he was spiritually impoverished. Spiritual values are the real values, and life conducted on any other basis is as a “house built upon the sands.” The presence of fabulous wealth has never given happiness where it has been gained at the sacrifice of character. Ultimately investment will be judged from only one standpoint: its contribution to mental progress and peace of mind.

High finance may twist the fortunes of communities and nations, and a distrustful race result; but higher finance will take into the accounting man’s spiritual welfare and lead to happiness. One may well do without expensive motorcars, elaborate mansions, costly raiment and jewels; he may do without high office and financial dominion over men; but he cannot do without thoughts of beauty, peace, kindness, reverence, and love. He may do without social pomp and display, but he cannot do without the heart-satisfying sincerity found in the gatherings of honest, good-humored folk about a flickering campfire. He may do without costly travel to distant places, amid castles and famed resorts, but he cannot do without the simple, quiet walks through avenues of celestial trees. He may do without his highly opinionated self which struts before men, but he cannot do without the humble, adoring self he is when he walks with nature and with God!

Nature’s MessagesHigher Finance – pg. 135

Come to the North Country

We have recently received permission to transfer Sam’s last film Come to the North Country to high definition using a professional 2K film scanner. We need your help to make it possible.

Your donation will help preserve his film for future generations & for $35.00 or more you will also received a copy of the film on DVD.

Deadline: 11:59 pm Friday, April 19, 2013

Summer Laziness from Natures Messages

Tonight as winter melts with the dreary and dripping clouds of early spring, I pulled Sam’s book entitled Nature’s Messages and found my bookmark at the chapter entitled Summer Laziness. Since I’ve been looking forward to warmer weather I decided to feast my eyes on the words of the chapter. The following paragraph really caught my attention and I hope it can speak to you as well.

There is a lesson to learn from the languor of summer. In the perfect play of creation there is a legitimate allowance for sabbaticals-for times when the highest virtue is just being. Human experience lists sad evidence that we mortals can overdo as well as underdo in this business of living. Often some of the doings of our fair fellows would have been better left undone. There is a reason for hammocks hung in the shade, for days spent in reading or in just thinking, for time allowed to slide by without being loaded with fantastic things fabricated of our fears and foolishness. Likely we need instill more summer spirit into our life design and learn the science of its lovely laziness.

Summer Laziness, pg. 101 Natures Messages

Season’s Greetings

Looking through 7th issue of “the Sam Campbell Special” dated 1951 I found these words and thought I would pass them on to you.

Holiday Greetings from Giny and Sam Campbell
Appeared in the Sam Campbell Special newsletter in 1951.


A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

“May your merriment be based upon the joy of a heart filled with friendship, good-will, and love for fellowmen–and your happiness arise from realization of your own importance to the creator’s eternal, perfect plan.”

Giny and Sam Campbell

The Man Behind the Project

Terry Dodge, Jr.So many of us grew up having Sam Campbell’s books read to us. We all were transported to a quiet world, surrounded by nature and animals who came alive with character. We held our breath as a canoe with precious cargo struggled against a gale force wind, doubled in laughter at the antics of Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo & Still Mo, and joined in the quiet conversations with Inky.

One man, in carrying on the tradition, with probably well worn books went beyond the fascinating stories to put a face on who Sam Campbell was, and to preserve his legacy. Terry Dodge, Jr. in answer to his daughters question is on a mission to keep Sam Campbell and his story alive. Continue reading

Visit to Campbell’s Island Home

Loons in the early morning fog

As the sun peaked over the forest canopy a golden pathway began to take shape across the still waters of Four Mile Lake. A Loon called from the morning mist and as the echo quickly faded, other bird songs filled the vacancy of the lone caller.

Standing on the shore of the little deserted island once called “Campbell Island” just over 100 yards from Sam Campbell’s island home, the peace and tranquility of the Northwoods was over whelming. I had longed for this morning for many months and to finally be here, was almost too good to be true. Yes, I had been here before, but this time I would have almost a week of un-interrupted access to the place Sam called home. The Sanctuary of Wegimind was a place he went to find himself from the rat race of city life and to film the animals he so loved so dearly. Continue reading