The fictional but real University of Okoboji

I remember the first time my parents tried to explain to me that there really was no University of Okoboji.

“They make t-shirts,” I replied. “There has to be a university.”

Finally, after an hour or so of seemingly illogical arguments, I gave in.

“Okay,” I said. “It’s a university without classes. That makes no sense, but I give up.”

Today, I can see where the idea came from.

Herman Richter and other University of Okoboji founders saw some similarities between this area and a college atmosphere.

There are sports. There’s entertainment. There are friends. Most of all, there is fun.

Since moving to the Lakes, I have gained a great appreciation for this ‘nonexistent’ school.

While the idea may seem illogical to youngsters and newcomers, the university has not only brought more activities to the area, but it has also brought a spirit of youth and of fun.

I have to admit that I still chuckle when we get asked how to get to the University of Okoboji. And yes, I do get asked.

Sometimes, I think the “where is it” questions could most easily be answered by holding one’s hand to the heart while sporting a silly grin.

What I say instead is “It’s sort of a fictional university without a central administration building, but it teaches people what life should truly be about – friends and fun.”

“There are no classes, per sé,” I reply. “Unless you count the classes of learning about life.”

So this summer, enjoy the University of Okoboji. Skip classes all you want.

But be careful, you might just learn something in the process.