About Us

MISSION: The Oshkosh Recreation Department is committed to providing recreational services and activities that enhance the quality of life for our community.

Office Hours

Monday - Friday

7:30 AM - 4:30 PM (school year)

7:30 AM - 4:00 PM (summer season)

Closed Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day

Americans With Disabilities Act

In compliance with American with Disabilities Act, the Oshkosh Recreation Department would appreciate anyone with special needs to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at (920) 424-0248 so we may make efforts to accommodate you.

Cancellations Due To Inclement Weather

Cancellation information may be obtained by checking the Recreation Department Announcements & Cancellations section of our website.

Cancellation information is also available by calling our HOTLINE  at (920) 424-4044.

Follow us on Facebook for up-to-date information.

Lost / Stolen Items

The Oshkosh Recreation Department is not responsible for personal equipment, clothes, etc. that are lost or stolen during participation in any sponsored activity.

Please feel free to stop in and check the lost and found box located in the main office.

Typo, Human Error, We Goofed!

Occasionally there may be an error in days, times, registrations requirement or fees in the brochure. When such errors occur, our staff will do everything possible to correct the situation promptly. We thank you for your patience and understanding when these situations arise.

Returned Check Policy

There is a service charge of $25.00 for all returned checks.

24 Hour Drop Box

All registrations received via our drop box or walk-ins prior to the first day of registration for the season will be stamped with the date registration opens and processed AT RANDOM for that day.

Simply drop off your registration in our convenient drop box slot located in the left-hand door of our west entrance off Algoma Boulevard (Door #3). No cash please, checks only.

Confirmations – Via E-Mail

The Oshkosh Recreation Department will send class confirmation via your e-mail (look for ORD Confirmation/ Invoice in your Inbox or Bulk Mail folder), if you provide us with your e-mail address. You will notice that a line has been added to the registration form for your e-mail information.

Youth Program Fund Donation

Please consider making a financial contribution to the ORD Youth Program Fund to enable the ORD to serve more youth by offering additional classes beyond our budget. Donations can be made to the ORD at any time. Cash or checks made payable to the ORD will be accepted. Thank you for your support!


The Oshkosh Recreation Department was created in April of 1916, when a playground and recreation tax was passed, which provided for the “Use of school buildings and grounds for auxiliary educational and recreation activities.” The department was organized and administered by the Board of Education and a tax supported budget created.. Six playground sites were opened for six weeks in the summer of 1916 for a 42-day period. The total attendance at these all-day playgrounds was a staggering 46,557, which averaged out to 1,108 per day. The total cost was $1,000 for the entire summer, or a fraction over two cents per attendee. This information was prepared for the Board of Education by the initial Director of the Department, Mr. A.S. Hotchkiss in a report at the end of the department’s third year of operation, on September 1, 1919.

The recommendations from A.S. Hotchkiss in his initial report to the School Board in 1919 are amazingly similar to those that may be written today. In that initial report, he wrote , “It is practically out of the question to expect to secure real neighborhood recreation leaders in the future for a wage which is hardly equivalent to that paid an errand boy or clerk in a small country store. The education requirements are on a par with those of teachers, the demands are much more exacting, the hours are long, inconvenient and arduous, there is much night work. The matter of securing adequate leadership can be solved by paying salaries sufficient to attract real talent.”

Today, the City of Oshkosh, specifically the Oshkosh Area School District covers 102 square miles of eastern Winnebago County and has an operating budget of $1.7 million. The District currently operates 14 elementary schools, five middle schools and two high schools, an outdoor education center, the Recreation Gymnasium and the Alberta Kimball Auditorium. The District operates as a unified school district, governed by a seven-member Board of Education elected at large. Oshkosh’s present population is slightly over 70,000.

In Oshkosh, we are all proud of the Recreation Department and its heritage. Since its inception in 1916, many changes have taken place. However, we still continue to share the fundamental mission that A.S. Hotchkiss stated so well so many years ago. That is, to provide constructive use of the leisure time of our Community residents in organized recreation.

A.S. Hotchkiss provided a solid foundation for the development of the Oshkosh Recreation Department. In its 100 year existence, only five individuals have served as the Director. They are as follows:

A.S. Hotchkiss 1916-1922
Frank Berg 1922-1929
R.C. Miller 1929-1960
Charles Drayna 1960-1987
Al Wenig 1987-Present