Buck N Beams

Going to the dogs, sometimes, is not a bad thing, especially when the dogs are named Buck and Beamer, as in “Buck ‘N Beam’s Campground ‘n Bar.”

Located near Cameron on seven acres nestled among many trees, it has an authentic northwoods get-a-way look and feel. A cozy bar and restaurant along with 33 campsites and a for-rent pavilion complete the ambience.

Originally created nine years ago by Bob and Vicky Bowerman and named after their two dogs, it was recently sold to their son, Greg Symbal, and co-owner Chip Bell. Both co-owners also have “day jobs.” Symbal works for Wells Fargo and Bell works for Hennepin County in Minnesota. Symbal and Bell started running the business on Dec. 15, 2021.

The bar has a wood-burning stove and comfortable seating.  Symbal and Bell offer a good selection of beers and liquor including eight beers on tap and one tapper for peach whiskey lemonade which they mix in-house at the bar. “It’s nice to have a unique product,” said Symbal. They also carry several varieties of Old Smokey whiskeys.

As for food, “really good pizza is our specialty,” said Symbal. They also have hamburgers and a lengthy list of appetizers including deep fried cheese curds, a bar food favorite. An item they used to feature was deep fried ravioli but due to supply chain issues, it had to be taken off the menu. It was replaced by broccoli cheese bites.

The campground has 19 seasonal RVs which stay there year-round. Most of those campers live within two hours, said Symbal. “Some from Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, a few from the Twin Cities and one couple from Duluth.” That leaves 11 “open” campsites for daily or weekend camping. Each site has electric and water hookups and even come with a fire ring for campfires.

“We have the best shower room around” said Symbal. “Some campgrounds have been around for a long time; ours was built only nine years ago, after all.”

The campground also has a separate building known as The Dog House available to rent. It is fully enclosed, insulated and heated pavilion. It can host most any kind of get-together from graduation parties to weddings, memorial services and celebrations of life. Recently, it was used for a Christmas party. Last fall, it was used for a Polka Fest.

Considering the campground named after two dogs, it should come as no surprise that it is dog friendly as long as the dog is “well-behaved.” A small playground for the children is also available.

Each August, the campground hosts a barbecue cook-off competition with  between 15 and 20 teams competing. The owner also sponsor teams in the Chetek pool league and Town and Country dartball and various other teams throughout the year. They also hold weekly beanbag tournaments in the pavilion. The winter league is already full, but people can get your name on a waiting list for the spring league in March.

They are closed on Mondays, but have nightly specials the other six days. Tuesday features a popcorn shrimp basket; Wednesday is their prime rib sandwich; Thursday is any 12” pizza for $9, and Friday is a fish fry.

Though Buck has passed on, if you come to camp, eat, party or just to relax on the spacious patio, you might get the chance to scratch Beamer behind the ears. He is a frequent visitor.

Buck ‘N Beam’s Campground ‘n Bar can be reached at (715) 458-2990 or by email at bucknbeams@gmail.com 

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