Did you know that the most popular water sport at Camp Foley was invented by two teenagers from Minnesota? That’s right! In 1922, 18-year old Ralph Samuelson theorized that if it was possible to ski on snow, it should be possible to ski on water too.
Ralph convinced his brother Ben to pull him across Lake Pepin, Minnesota in a powerboat with a clothesline. Ralph started out by trying downhill snow skis, cross-country snow skis, and even wooden planks which he strapped to his ankles with a window sash. Eventually, Ralph learned that by leaning backward to keep the front tips of the skies above the water, and by making sure Ben kept the boat running fast enough, he could ski across the lake.
Camp Foley began teaching water skiing in 1956 and joined the National Waterski Association in 1958. The activity quickly became a camper-favorite, and we continue to expand and improve our classes, programs, and equipment – adding knee-boarding, barefoot skiing, and in 2004 wakeboarding too. This year we made another impressive addition to the program with the purchase of a powerful 343-horse power Centurion ski boat.
Here at Foley, waterskiing instruction is open to boys and girls of all ages that have passed their swim test. Our certified lifeguard waterskiing instructors teach campers all they need to know to learn the basic and expert tips to improve their skills. Campers can earn their Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert Camp Foley Ski Awards.