The North Shore Board is an all-volunteer, working auxiliary board of the Northwestern Settlement.

Supporting House in the WOod

Since 1936, our main mission has been to fund Northwestern Settlement's House In The Wood, established for at-risk youth in 1910.  Because we are all volunteers,  all proceeds from our annual House In The Wood Gala directly benefit this award-winning program, enabling more than 1,000 children from Chicago's most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to experience outdoor education sessions with a STEM curriculum during the school year, and residential summer camp. 

In addition to fundraising, the members of the North Shore Board volunteer at the Northwestern Settlement in Chicago's West Town neighborhood and the House In The Wood Camp in Delavan, Wisconsin.

Volunteering at Camp

Throughout the year, we collect clothing and outdoor supplies (bug spray, sunscreen, swimsuits, goggles) for summer and year-round outdoor ed campers (outerwear, hats, gloves).

The North Shore Board also coordinates Sunday Fun-Days at camp to share a wide variety of activities with the campers. Activities have included a workshop on Native Americans, large scale painting, cooking lessons, yoga and baseball clinics.

Volunteering at the Settlement HOuse

Each year our members serve Thanksgiving dinner to Settlement families and participate in the Holiday Adopt-a-Family program to provide families necessities such as warm coats, bedding, shoes and household items, and to we grant children's wishes for toys, games and books. We also participate in the holiday gift basket program to provide holiday meals to food insecure families and homebound senior citizens, in addition to stocking the “Toy Room” full of donated children’s gifts for families in need of holiday gifts.

Each spring, we organize Golden Agers bingo with Settlement House seniors, and set up a Mother's Day Market to help Head Start and Rowe Elementary School scholars select and wrap gifts for their moms.  

Throughout the year we donate gently used items to support the weekly clothing drive at the Settlement House food pantry.

At House In The Wood children engage in outdoor fun activities unavailable to them in the city; they meet personal growth challenges such as climbing that 50 foot oak tree, and become excited about learning biological and earth sciences through doing field experiments with water, forest, and critters.

They return to the city forever changed.
— Ron Manderscheid, President Northwestern Settlement

History of the North Shore Board

Originally known as the Junior Board, we became the North Shore Board of the Northwestern Settlement in 1995.

House in the Wood benefits have evolved with the times since our first Hand Work Bazaar in the 1930's, where members sold needlepoint, knitted and fine-seamed items. Events went on to include a fundraiser aboard the SS Roosevelt on Lake Michigan, a '28 Shop" Fashion Show at Marshall Fields, a series of cocktail parties at private clubs, and a huge rummage sale.

In 1949, the North Shore Board began sponsoring the Chicago Antiques Fair at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago, followed by an annual Tag Day in partnership with the Chicago Children's Benefit League from 1955 to 1979.

In 1977, we launched 'Guess Who's Cooking Dinner?' featuring dinners prepared by celebrity chefs, and the Glitter Ball Chicago charity auction debuted in 2006.

Commemorating the 125th anniversary of Northwestern Settlement, the board organized a special 'Camp Night' benefitting House in the Wood in 2016, and in 2017 we introduced the House In The Wood Gala.

Part of a larger whole

As the North Shore Board is dedicated to supporting inner-city Chicago youth through camp programs, the House In The Wood camp is only one of the many programs provided by the Northwestern Settlement.

Northwestern Settlement nurtures, educates and inspires children and families across Chicago through a multi-layered platform of formal and informal education, social services, and the arts.

They focus their work on what are believed to be drivers related to poverty: isolation, negative influences, conflict management, decision making and consequences, and cooperative social skills.

More information is available on the Northwestern Settlement website.