Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Because of Pendalouan..."

There is no doubt that a camp experience can make a major difference in a child's life. In fact, when Alumni call us up or stop by for a visit, often the first thing they want to share with us is the impact that Pendalouan had on their lives.

A few years ago, the American Camping Association created a video titled "Because of Camp." This video featured successful people commenting about the impact camp had on their lives. The video can be seen below.

At Pendalouan Day 2011, we decided to ask our alumni & friends to share some of their thoughts on how camp has affected their lives. We also posted the question on our Facebook Question of the Week. Below are some of the responses. Enjoy!


"...I know that no child should go without at least one summer of camp."
Abby Hollinhead
former camper

"...I am a better parent than I would have been."
Mandi Garvey
former staff member

"...I am a "whole" person. :-)"
Lindsey DeLuca
former camper and staff

"...I've learned to be myself, and to respect other people."
Riley Grunow
current camper

"...I have not only come to appreciate and love the camp experience, but over the years I have become a better individual. I've become a better role model, leader, teacher, student, sister, and friend. I've come to truly appreciate life and all it has to offer, and I've met many amazing people and friends along the way. So thanks Camp Pendalouan, and here is to many more years of life changing experiences! :)"
Elizabeth Marks
former camper and staff member

“...we learned teamwork, we learned how to make friends. The thing that has stuck in my mind all the way through, was – and it’s more from Pendalouan than Emery - was I’m Third. And as I grew up, I always remembered God First, The Other Guy Second, and I’m Third.”
Judy Evans
Camp Emery Alum, Parent and Grandparent of Pendalouan Campers

"...I learned how to be responsible for my actions and how they would impact others, how to work, how to have a job. I learned how something so small can have such a great impact on someone else in a good way and a bad way. And I learned how to make mistakes and how to learn from them. I think that's the greatest thing I learned here - how to make mistakes and it's okay to make mistakes. And I leanred how to teach kids that friendship is the most important thing you could ever have in your life."
Kalin Franks
former staff member

"...I learned a lot about teamwork because in life you have to work together as a team."
Katie Wampler
former camper/CIT

"...I am who I am today. It made such an impact on my life. I'd hate to think about not having those years here at camp."
Jim Toth
former staff

"...I am much more respectful, honest, caring and responsible. I am more patient, I understand compassion and empathy. I have made lifelong friends. I appreciate small things like finding a turtle. I appreciate the Seasons. I know who Black Elk of the Oglala Sioux is. I understand what it means to be completely exhausted, warn out, unshowered and still greet parents on a Friday with a smile even bigger than the one presented on Sunday (because I always fall in love with my campers). My love of photography started at camp, my love of climbing started at camp. Because of Pendalouan I know that I can go further, run harder, wake up earlier, push my limits above and beyond anything. I also understand what others are capable of, how far others will push themselves with a little motivation. Children (and adults!) can do big big things with the right resources and a big smiling engaged counselor cheering them on the whole time. Camp is so so good."
Dom Paschal
former camper and staff

“...I learned how to take care of myself and other people. I learned how to be on time for stuff. That’s kind of a big one. I mean I could really go on all day. I think just learning how to be myself and treat other people.”
Tim Mathieu
former camper and staff

"...I am a teacher!"
Debbie (Shivle) Ykhlef
former camper and staff

"...I am going to get my Masters in teaching."
Meredith Freeney
former camper and staff

“...I learned how valuable friendships are, how valuable a day can be. I had a foundation. For me it’s like bedrock. I was here as an adolescent and I could have gone one way or the other, but Pendalouan gave me a great base and it was really the people of Pendalouan as much as the place.”
Mik DeBoef
former camper and staff

Many thanks to all who answered! And don't forget to check out our current question of the week by clicking here.

Do YOU have a "Because of Pendalouan..." story to share? If so, please email and we'll compile it for another post when we get enough responses! We love hearing from our camp families, alumni and friends, so please do not hesitate to contact us!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Camp Newsletters: A Pendalouan Tradition!


That's right! You heard correctly. The camp newsletter, Smoke Signals, is back!

Pictured: Two Camp Newsletters from our Past: A Smoke Signals from 1999, and a Lone Pine from 1983.

YMCA Camp Pendalouan has a long history of providing camp newsletters. And we are excited to announce the revitalization and reissuing of our Camp Newsletter, Smoke Signals!

From as far back as we can remember, Pendalouan has had some sort of newsletter. But the various versions have differed in terms of how frequent they came out, who they were targeted towards, etc. For example, the Smoke Signals of the 60s were produced at the end of each camp session and were given to each camper with a list of names and addresses of campers and staff.

We've also, from time to time, switched the name and format of our newsletters. Deep in our archives, we found a call for campers to write in what they think the name of the newsletter should be. The finalists are seen in the image below (for a clearer image, click the list).
In the 1980s, Pendalouan had The Lone Pine, which was named after a Giant Pine that towered above every other tree on Big Blue Lake. (The tree was later brought down by Boy Scouts, for some wonderful thoughts/descriptions of the Lone Pine, take a look at former Pendalouan Director Daryl Sieplinga and Jack Winans' articles in this 1983 issue of The Lone Pine.

Nowadays, we have two Camp Newsletters: 1) The Pendalouan Press, which is written by our Newspaper Class every week during summer camp (Next summer, we'll be posting those online - Be on the lookout!) and 2) Smoke Signals, which will comes out 4 times a year and recently was sent out in the mail and electronically last week.

Are you subscribed to our Alumni & Friends newsletter?!?! Our next Smoke Signals is set to come out in February 2012. In order to make sure you stay connected and receive a copy of the newsletter, click here and fill out the easy form.

Happy Reading!

Our Camp Newsletter,Smoke Signals, is one of Pendalouan's traditions that we are excited to bring back and continue. Do you have any old Pendalouan newsletters that you would be willing to donate for our archives? Any memories about Smoke Signals or other newsletters? If so, please email or call the office at (231) 894-4538.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Camp Books!

Picture of Volunteer Counselor, Nia Gillenwater. Photo courtesy of the Muskegon Chronicle.

Yesterday was the first day of snow here at camp, which means the cold season is not too far away (not to mention the holidays, but let wait until after Thanksgiving for that) One great thing to do in the winter is curl up with a good book in warm clothes, a blanket and maybe hot cocoa! As you curl up in the cold months, why not think about summer? There are several books out there that focus around the experiences of youngsters (and older folks too!) at camp. Here are a few that we've either read or heard about:

For the Kids
Off To Camp by Myra Pravda and Jeanne Weiland, JSP Publishing
A young girl named Samantha decides to head off to overnight camp! This book was written by two nurses who have worked in camping who believe that "a child should be prepared foLinkr an overnight camp experience." This book may help!

Lights Out!: Kids Talk About Summer Camp by Eric Arnold, Jeff Loeb
The editors of this book spent a summer interviewing kids at camps in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The campers' observations, broken down into such categories as "Why I Went to Camp," "Camp Food" and "Parents Day," give readers a great peek into real-life camp experiences.

The Great Summer Camp Catastrophe by Jean Van Leeuwen
Three mice living in Macy's department store accidentally arrive at a Vermont summer camp, where they have fun and fantastic adventures including fleeing from an owl, matching wits with a dog, and learning to water-ski. Can they stop having fun long enough to return home to New York?

It's Off to Camp, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz
This collection of comics features the classic Peanuts gang in outdoor situations and in camp scenarious!

For Young Adults
Cabin Pressure: One Man's Desperate Attempt to Recapture His Youth as a Camp Counselor by Josh Wolk
This lighthearted book chronicles one man's attempt to recapture his youth as a camp counselor. Josh returns to his beloved boys' camp in New England for the second time as a counselor, but as an adult now. This most recent return occurs the summer before he is to marry while he takes time off between jobs. His adult perspective provides new insights to lessons learned as a young counselor.

For Adults
Camp by Michael D. Eisner
This memoir by the former CEO of Disney provides one successful business man's story about the impact camp made on his life. In it, he tells in own tale, while weaving in the stories of two scholarship kids that he helped get to camp in the early 2000s.

Camp Camp: Where Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies
by Roger Bennett and Jules Shell
This humorous, adult-focLinkused book is a compilation of photos and stories from the camper's perspectives. The authors solicited camp stories for a good chunk of time before piecing them together for this hilarious book. The book does well at providing a good idea of camp culture. Chapters include: "Letter Writing," "Camp Romance," "Counselors," "Camp Fire," "The Last Night."

P.S. I Hate It Here! Kids Letters From Camp Edited by Diane Falanga
This collection of 150 real letters written by children ages eight to sixteen to their parents about their adventures at summer camp are laugh-out-loud funny and will have readers laughing and reminiscing about their own camp days. The letters cover several scenarios of sleep away camp, from acing the cabin lice inspection, to breaking the bad news about a retainer lost in the wilderness.

We hope this book list provides you with a few ideas for books to cuddle up read this winter or to give as gifts this holiday season! What other camp books have you read, do you recommend to the Pendalouan Community?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween Camp! What Spooktacular Fun!

Last weekend, Pendalouan welcomed 90 children to camp for our annual Halloween Camp! Our Halloween Camp went for 24 hours and included dinner on Friday, and Breakfast and Lunch on Saturday.

Friday night was a real treat! After settling into their cabins and eating a delicious dinner of worms and eyeball sauce, zombie fingers, and racoon toenails (spaghetti & meatballs, breadsticks, green beans), cabins took turns making their way through our haunted health lodge. The scare-factor was adjusted to each age level as to make sure our younger campers were not too frightened. Cabin groups also had time to work together and prepare a skit or song for campfire! We had cabins perform spooky versions of their favorite camp songs and creative skits involving vampires, werewolves and witches!

On Saturday, after breakfast, campers were able to choose between Archery, Climbing Wall, Candle-Making, BB Guns and a Sleepy Hollow Hike during our Rendezvous Choice-Time. Before lunch we also played an all camp game where kids tried to save Halloween from Dentists who were trying to get rid of the holiday! After lunch, we played a game of Capture the Ghost! Instead of our usual Red & Blue bandanas on our CTF poles, we had red and blue ghosts!

After changing into their costumes, campers trick 0r treated around camp at various locations and met up to finish their stay with a Halloween Carnival around the lodge. Games included: Musical Chairs to Halloween Classics, Pin the Wart on the Witch, Pumpkin Bozo Buckets, and more.

Thanks to all who could make it! Check back on our facebook soon for more pictures! If you didn't get the chance to come this past year, make sure to mark your Calendar for next year to guarantee a spooktacular good time!

Halloween Camp is one of our seasonal camps. You can see a full list of our seasonal camps by clicking here. Our next seasonal camp is our Spring Break Escape, a day camp during Spring Break. You can find more information about that here. If you have any questions, please call the office at (231) 894-4538.