Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Celebrating Pendalouan: Pendalouan Day 2012 Recap

Greetings from Beautiful Big Blue Lake!

This past Saturday, over 70 alumni and friends came out to camp to celebrate Pendalouan's more than 85 years of making an impact on people's lives.

These alumni and friends didn't let a little cold weather stop them from reliving their Pendy days. With temperatures in the 40s at 10am when the day started, former campers and their families were out around camp shooting bows and arrows, climbing at the climbing wall or even going for a boat ride. Luckily, the rain that was forecasted never showed up and we all stayed dry all day!

For those that wanted a warmer alternative, the lodge was full of activities, refreshments (cider and donuts), and a warm fire helped keep everyone comfortable. Memory displays with old camper handbooks, photos, newspaper articles, staff manuals, camp newsletters, craft projects, and other mementos were out on tables to take a look at. We also had a slide show with more recent photos from the past few summers. In addition to the slide show, we also projected some of Eddie's old films. Those films are invaluable. Eddie had some great foresight!

The bell rang for lunch a little before noon and everyone gathered for a brief introduction by Bruce Spoelman, Executive Director. Bruce updated everyone on some recent developments and other exciting news. After a delicious fall bbq meal, everyone introduced themselves and told their connection to Pendalouan. It was fun to hear which alumni overlapped!

After the introductions, we realized that we had 5 former Program Directors in attendance (Bob Andrews '62, Hillary [Julien] Fisher '03, Matthew Abel '06-'08, Kalin Franks '09-'10, and Mark Olson '11-'12)! Last year, we realized half way through the event that we had 5 recipients of the Bill Boyden/Rotary Counselor Scholarship present, and a few years ago there were several Waterfront Directors present. I wonder what group will show up in force next year for Pendalouan Day!

Oldest Year Represented: 1937 (Bill Paulson)
Most Represented Year: Summer 2011 Staff (with 7 alums present)
For a full list of who attended: click here.

The all group photo occurred after lunch and then we made our way to the newly carved and painted Totem Pole to dedicate it. Our old Totem Pole had been removed due to rotting and we had been wondering when we were going to get this important Pendalouan landmark back in it's rightful place. Our answer came this past summer, when our 2012 Father Son Campers nearly $300 for replacing the Totem Pole. One of the first time Father Son Campers, Ken Wyman Sr., volunteered to carve and paint the new pole and a couple months later... this beautiful replacement Totem Pole was finished and put up in the Sandlot.

After dedicating the Totem Pole, we made our way up to the Hoop House which is on the way to the barn. This wonderful new structure was made possible from donations by Roger and Jan Spoelman, Weesies Brothers Farms Inc., Don and Sue DeLong, The Olsen Family Fund, Bruce and Margaret Spoelman, MasterTag, and the Musekgon Conservation District. Currently, kale is the only thing planted, but there are plans to get garlic and lettuce planted soon!

After the dedications, activity areas were once again opened for alumni and their families to enjoy. A Hike to Sleepy Hollow was also offered. Our oldest hiker was Bill Paulson, a camper from the 1930s!

Our last activity was an all group Songfest and Trivia Competition (with questions like: What year was the Camp Motto officially adopted? Click here for the answer). Recent and our more seasoned alumni helped lead songs such as Johnny Rebeck, Little Cabin in the Woods, Purple Soup, the Moose Call, Little Bar of Soap, and others!

There might be no better way to spend a day than swapping camp stories with fellow Pendalouan alumni and friends. "It's like coming home," one alum said (and several echoed).

Thanks to all of our alumni and friends who made it out to Pendalouan Day! If you couldn't make it, we still want to hear from you! Contact Alumni Director, Mark Olson at or by calling the office at (231) 894-4538.

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ARE YOU A PENDY ALUM or FRIEND OF PENDALOUAN? Former Camper/Staff, Parent, Neighbor? We'd love to hear from you! Send us a message and update your Camp History by clicking here! Also, check out our Camper/Staff lists on our Alumni Website.

YMCA Camp Pendalouan is a fully accredited resident and day camp. While at Pendalouan, kids and teens make friends, create life long memories, and learn new skills all the while having fun in a safe environment. At Pendalouan, you are a part of a family and campers are led by highly qualified and trained staff. If you would like to learn more about Camp Pendalouan, check out our website, the Camp Blog and our Facebook page.

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