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Camper celebrates 100th birthday at Lake Carlos State Park

Family members of Ansis Vilcins gathered at Lake Carlos State Park last weekend to celebrate his 100th birthday. Contributed photo1 / 2
A birthday celebration wouldn't be complete without cake, especially for Ansis Vilcins, who likes sweets. Contributed photo2 / 2

As he's been doing for the last 35 years or so, Ansis Vilcins returned to Lake Carlos State Park last week to enjoy the great outdoors and time with family.

But there was a new twist this year: Vilcins turned 100, prompting birthday cake and a big celebration.

The Echo Press featured Vilcins in a story last August. The story noted that even at the age of 99, Vilcins, an avid camper, slept in his own tent.

Vilcins was born in Latvia and moved to America after the war pushed his family away. As refugees in America, camping was an easy option and it has stayed with the family over the years.

Now, for more than 35 years, his entire extended family - four generations worth - camp once a year at Carlos State Park. Though Vilcins has been to almost every state in the U.S., he continues to return to Carlos State Park for a simple reason: He loves it.