Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Year In Review!

What a year 2011 was for YMCA Camp Pendalouan! We provided high quality character-building and outdoor education programs to over 6,000 campers, we had record numbers in some of our seasonal and family programs and we continued to connect with our friends and alumni.

The first few months of 2011 were characterized by having some wonderful school groups come out to camp for a winter outdoor education experience! In addition to enjoying our year-round classes and activities we provide, these school groups had the added benefit of enjoying our winter activities such as cross country skiing, our toboggan run, and broomball on the frozen lake.

But eventually the snow melted and winter turned to spring. In the spring, we had even more school groups come in and we were thrilled to be able to work with so many great groups of teachers, students and parents. In the Spring we also had our “Spring Break Escape” Day Camp and our two Open Houses for those who wanted to get a feel of what Pendalouan is all about.

Summer is Pendalouan’s busiest time of the year and for good reason! Our summer staff join us early for an intense week of Staff Orientation/Training and then we are going, going, going for 6 weeks straight of Summer Camp Fun. It was an amazing summer! We also welcomed Special Days Camps for the first two weeks in August. In addition to our Resident Camps and Day Camps, the summer is when our Mom & Kids Camp, our Family Camp, and our Father-Son Camp take place. What a blast those all were!


As summer came to a close, the school year started up again and we focused again on our Outdoor Education Programs. School groups ventured in the outdoors with us and grew in our unique learning environment. In addition to our OE programs, we also welcomed over 100 alumni & friends back to camp for Pendalouan Day, had a great group of women for Women’s Adventure Weekend, and had record high numbers for our Halloween Camp. What a great Fall! We also capped our year off with our Year End Campaign. Since we have a few more days until 2012, the campaign hasn’t ended yet, but as soon as it does, we’ll let you know the results!

And now, as 2011 wraps up, we are busy thinking about how to make 2012 the best year yet for Pendalouan. We already have some excited things planned for 2012 including a cool new T-Shirt Promotion, some awesome additions to our summer camp programs, and some innovative Alumni initiatives. Do you have any ideas on how we can make 2012 the best year yet for Pendalouan? If, so let us know! Email with your ideas.

Now the fun part… Resolutions! Some of our 2012 New Year's Resolutions:
  • To continue to offer high quality programs to those who walk through our door
  • To continue to grow in Mind, Body and Spirit as an organization and to facilitate that growth in those we service
  • To constantly work to improve communication with parents
  • To find more ways to share the Pendalouan experience with even more children
  • To find and reconnect with alumni who we’ve lost contact with

Thanks to everyone who made 2011 such a success and we look forward to seeing you in 2012!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our 2011 Year-End Campaign

Even though we don't yet have snow on the ground, we here at YMCA Camp Pendalouan never stop working on Summer Camp! We are already hiring staff, having summer planning meetings, and buying supplies for Summer 2012!

One aspect of summer camp that we work on 12 months a year is our Campership Fund. We are often asked by Alumni & Friends, "How can we help Pendalouan?" And while there are many ways to help out camp (volunteering your time, energy, supplies, etc.), one of the ways that people often like to participate is by sharing the magic of Pendalouan with children who can't afford it.

Right now we are currently in the middle of our Year-End Campaign for our Campership Fund. You may have gotten something in your mailbox or inbox about it (if not it means we may not have your current contact info!).

Our goal is to raise $5,000 by the end of the year. All proceeds will go directly into our Campership Fund, which helps get kids to camp who otherwise wouldn't be able.

Would you be willing to make a contribution to our Campership Fund? Any amount makes a difference, even $10.00. However, the first 50 people to donate $75 or more will receive a 2012 Pendalouan Calendar, featuring some of our favorite Camp Pendalouan photos. There still are Calendars left, so if you are interested in receiving one of these, donate soon!

There are several ways to donate. You can donate online by clicking here. You can give us a call [(231) 894-4538] and make a donation over the phone. Or you can send in a check (Memo line: Year End Campaign) to the following address:

YMCA Camp Pendalouan
1243 E Fruitvale Rd.
Montague, MI 49437

We appreciate your time, energy, and consideration as we continue to help provide a Pendalouan experience to all children who need it.

Hail Pendalouan!

We are extremely grateful for all of our Alumni & Friends who support YMCA Camp Pendalouan in many different ways. If you are interested in volunteering your time and energy, or would like to donate money or supplies for any of our year-round programs, give us a call at (231) 894-4538.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Check Those Off The Wishlist! New Basketball Backboards!

Tis the season of giving! As we all get ready for the holiday season by preparing gifts for family and friends, we here at Pendalouan are so grateful for all our friends and alumni.

Earlier this fall, we published our Wishlist right here on the camp blog. The Wishlist is compiled for the community as a public list that shows what camp's current needs are. Many families and individuals prefer to give towards a specific project or to donate items instead of cash.

One of these families is the extended family of Emily Adama. Emily was a 7 year camper in the 90s. In addition to working as a Summer Staff member in 2005, she has recently helped Pendalouan as an occasional Outdoor Education Instructor. This year, after looking at our Wishlist, Emily talked to her family and they decided to donate two new basketball backboards to camp for Christmas!

We caught up with Emily to talk about her family's donation.

Camp Pendalouan: What is your family's connection to Pendalouan?
Emily: I was a dedicated summer camper from ages 7 to 14, to me it was a place of joy and wonder, friends and imagination, adventure and challenge. My memories of camp have always inspired me to creatively seek the best out of life and people. My older brother came to camp as a thirteen year old - he remembers this time as one of the best weeks EVER as a young fella. My Mom has been a big supporter of camp both by sending me and my brother, but also by financially supporting other campers to go.

From left to right is Paul, Emily, Aaron, "Rusty Pony", Jeanne, Anna and little Elijah.

CP: How did your family come to the decision to donate to camp?
Emily: My family has been trying to change the way we do Christmas for several years, we realized that we just don't need more stuff, that there are plenty of people who do, and that we have the resources to make that happen. It takes a little more planning and effort, but the result on Christmas morning when we creatively share about our project and what we accomplished together is way more meaningful than opening up presents that will probably end up in the trash.

CP: Why did you decide to give to Pendalouan, as opposed to elsewhere?
Emily: The great thing about giving to camp is that we feel personally connected to it, both because of the impact it's had on my life, but also because we see the great need for future generations to be exposed to what camp has to offer. We want my nephews to be able to enjoy camp!

Our Current Basketball Hoops. We are excited to get new ones that will provide a better basketball experience for our campers.

CP: How did you choose basketball backboards?
Emily: My family is BIG into basketball, we love the game, so the backboards were a natural choice, and I'm pretty sure the backboards have been the same since I was a camper. The wishlist made it easy to know that our giving was going directly to a real need and have a real impact on the lives of campers.

Thank you so much to the Adama/Papes Family for providing camp with TWO NEW Basketball Backboards! The matching backboards will be used for years to come!

We are currently in the middle of our Year-End Campaign. If you or someone you know is interested in donating items from our Wishlist or cash to purchase these items, take a look at our giving page on our website or contact Bruce Spoelman, Executive Director, at or call the office at (231) 894-4538.