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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Smoke Signals Preview!

 Summer Camp Countdown:
9 days until our Staff Training begins!
16 days until Session One and our FIRST SUMMER CAMP CAMPERS arrive!







Greetings from Beautiful Big Blue Lake!

Summer Camp is less than two weeks away and we cannot be more excited! We've been busy preparing for Lifeguard/CPR/First Aid Training (which is next week) and Staff Training, working with the school year's last Outdoor Education groups, and of course... getting ready for Summer Camp!

We already have several packed sessions and specialty camps! Below is a list of where we are as of today. Call the camp office at (231) 894-4538 for up to date availability.

Waitlists/Full Sessions
Session 1 - WAITING LIST ONLY for girls; 75% FILLED for boys
Session 2 - WAITING LIST ONLY
Bugs 'N Bunks Session 1 - WAITING LIST ONLY
Roper & Wranglers - Session 1 - WAITING LIST ONLY
Roper & Wranglers - Session 2 - WAITING LIST ONLY
Roper & Wranglers - Session 4 - WAITING LIST ONLY
Roper & Wranglers - Session 5 - WAITING LIST ONLY
Roper & Wranglers - Session 6 - 90% FILLED

Summer Camp starting is the MOST exciting thing happening at Pendalouan in the next few weeks, but there are other great developments too. One of the the most exciting things? The publication of the next issue of Smoke Signals, the Alumni & Friends of Pendalouan Newsletter!


This next issue of Smoke Signals will include:
  • Summer 2012 Preview
  • A Volunteer Profile
  • Exciting news that has not yet been released!
  • Alumni Notes from Alums as far back as 1950 and as recent as 2011!
Want to make sure you'll get Smoke Signals delivered to your door? Add/update you contact information to our Alumni & Friends of Pendalouan database by clicking here. If you are unsure of whether we have your updated contact information and camp history in our Alumni Database, to be safe, you should fill out the form!

For past issues of Smoke Signals, click here for our digital archives.




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SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG VIA EMAIL: Click here to receive blogposts in your inbox every time they are published! That way, you won't miss a single bit of news!

ARE YOU A PENDY ALUM or FRIEND OF PENDALOUAN? 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 lead 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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tips to Parents from Former Counselors (and the last Summer Staff Bios! !

We recently asked a few of our alumni staff for any tips for new parents! Here are some of our favorites!

Make sure your kid is ready for camp, as in, ready to miss home a little bit. A good convo to have before camp. Be ready for clothes to come back absolutely filthy. Plan to stay as short as possible at drop off - get the goodbyes out of the way on Fruitvale Road or something. Flashlights aren't as important as a good water bottle. Books are a welcome addition to the suitcase. A kid with a deck of cards will instantly be the most popular kid in the cabin. - Matthew Abel (04-08)


On the first day, talk to your child's counselor. Pull them aside if you need, and tell us anything that would be useful to know. We're taking care of your kids for the next week, and any advice is really helpful. This can be anything from medical information to learning that Johnny really likes to paint. Plus, you'll feel better knowing we're prepared. - Will Ferriby (Summer Staff 07-10, 12)


If you care about having your child bring every piece of clothing back from camp, label all of your children's clothes (even socks)! Even with Cabin Clean-Up every day, things can get messy during changing period and campers may accidentally put something of their cabinmates' in their suitcase or bag when cleaning up their belongings. - Mark Olson (Summer Staff 06-12)


Enjoy your week! :) - Matt Sheick (Summer Staff 06-07)

Thanks for the tips, guys! If any other former counselors or veteran camp parents have tips, feel free to post them in the comments!

And now it is time to meet the LAST of the 2012 Summer Staff! We've been introducing them all spring here on the blog (if you missed any you can click here) and now, with less than two weeks until Staff Training beginning, we conclude this series on the blog. Hope you have enjoyed meeting the Summer 2012 Staff! Here's Matt, Georgia, Kerri and Gretchen!


First of all, my name is Matt, but I go by Matt, Matthew, or Smoothie. It's my first time working at Pendalouan and I'm extremely stoked! I love meeting new people that are engaging, exciting, and interesting, or a combination of all three. I'm a pretty positive guy myself probably because I really love God, and with such an incredible gift of grace in my life, it's hard not to be happy. I like to be loud, I also like to say funny things, or what I hope are funny things! I think that nature is amazing... I don't know much about it, but I do like to look at it. My mom and dad met each other working at a YMCA camp and so camp has always been something I have been around. Someone once told me a great principle that I try and live my life by. He said, "Is someone better for having interacted with you?" I think that's an amazing way to operate and so I try in keep that in mind when I am going about my daily life.



Hey there! I'm Georgia and this will be my fifth summer being a part the Pendalouan family, but first year being a counselor! I currently am in my junior year of high school at Lyons Township, and I am counting the down the days until summer break and of course camp! I am so excited for the sandbar, singing camp songs, and playing capture the flag. Outside of camp I enjoy listening to music, photography, and exploring the outdoors. I know for a fact this is going to be an amazing summer and I cannot wait for it to begin!





Hello all! My name’s Kerri, and I’m from the tiny town of Ravenna. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Pendalouan as a camper, so I’m excited to get to camp see what’s changed, and what’s stayed the same. I’m studying psychology at Central Michigan University, where I’ve just finished my first year, but in my free time I enjoy soccer, drawing, and reading. I look forward to meeting everyone!

Hey everyone!! My name is Gretchen. This will be my third summer on staff, and I am literally counting down the days until I can be back on the shores of beautiful Big Blue Lake! I am a soon-to-be-sophomore at Northern Michigan University all the way up in Marquette. When I'm not studying, you can often find me outside, exploring, hiking, and just enjoying the beautiful setting with my friends. I love to try new things and meet new people which is why I'm so excited to meet everyone that is new to camp! I am looking forward to cooking s'mores, playing CTF, singing all my favorite camp songs (country roads anyone??), and just enjoying all things "camp." Hope to see you all soon!!!


Remember, if you'd like to look at past posts that have Summer 2012 Staff bios, all you have to do is click here! Parents, make sure your child is able to experience all the fun and character-building that these counselors and all the other staff will provide. Sign up for Summer Camp today; before more sessions fill! Call us if you have any questions at (231) 894-4538. 





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SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG VIA EMAIL: Click here to receive blogposts in you inbox every time they are published! That way, you won't miss a single bit of news!

ARE YOU A PENDY ALUM? 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 lead 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.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Hail Pendalouan!" and 3 More Staff Bios!

Have you ever heard of the song "Hail Pendalouan?" If you have only been a part of the Camp Pendalouan family for the last few decades, you may not be familiar with the song!

For decades, this song was a big part of Pendalouan culture... and then some time in the past few decades, the song faded out of Pendalouan history.

But that changes today! After a valiant attempt at bringing the song back in the Summers of 2008 and 2009, the song again fell out of tradition. This summer at Pendalouan, however, we are making a conscious effort to bring the loyalty song back into Pendalouan tradition and culture!

Here is what we are going to do:
  1. Every morning, we will raise our nation's flag and say the pledge of allegiance, as we always have.
  2. THIS PART IS NEW: Shortly after, we will then sing the song as we raise the newly made HAIL PENDALOUAN flag on our smaller flagpole.
  3. Then we will sing to Mr. ZipZip and head to breakfast!
Bruce Spoelman, Executive Director, showing off our new flag

Here are the words to the song:

Hail, Pendalouan! Hail, Pendalouan!
The pride of every camper here!
Come on you young cubs, join with us old dubs
For Pendalouan now we cheer - Rah! Rah!
Now is the time gang, to make a big bang*
No matter what the people say
So let us all be heard to say I’M THIRD
Hail, Pendalouan, Hail!

*Nick Meier, a camper/staff in the 50s and 60, recently posted on our Facebook page that the words used to be (when Pendalouan was still all boys) "Now is the time boys, to make a big noise"
 
If you don't know the tune, you'll have to either make you way to camp for a visit, or ask a 2012 (or earlier) Camper or Staff Member. We are excited to bring back this great Pendalouan tradition!

Now let's meet three more staff who are going to be expert "Hail Pendalouan" song instructors this summer... Kayla, Jose, and Henry!

Hey Everyone! My name is Kayla and I am an intern for Camp Pendalouan this summer! I will be graduating from Central Michigan University this December with a Recreation, Parks and Leisure Degree with a Minor in Biology. I am so excited to get out of the classroom and get outside! I absolutely love to be outside! I love to bird watch, bike ride and just explore! I can't wait to dive into camp and make some new friends.




Hey everyone. My name is Jose and I am from Muskegon, MI. I have recently finished my first year at Grand Valley State University where I am studying to be an art teacher! Art is cool! :) Speaking of art, you will probably be seeing me around the craft shack a lot as I am a big fan of arts and crafts and love to make bracelets and other crafty things. This will be my third summer at Camp Pendalouan and second summer as a counselor. I can't wait for camp to start because it is going to be awesome! See you all soon!





Hey! I’m Henry and I live in FRANCE!!!! This will be my 5th year at Camp Pendy, but my first as a counselor! I'm so exited!!! When I’m home, I love to play tennis, just chill, or FLY (to follow my dream of becoming a pilot)! Being from France, I can speak French, English (obviously!), and I’m learning German. I can’t wait to meet all you amazing people beside Big Blue Lake! Because this summer will be AWESOME!



Kayla, Jose and Henry are gearing up for Summer! With less than 3 weeks until Staff Training, they are getting super excited! (and so are we!) Parents, make sure your child is able to experience all the fun and character-building that these counselors and all the other staff will provide. Sign up for Summer Camp today; before more sessions fill! Call us if you have any questions at (231) 894-4538. 




***
SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG VIA EMAIL: Click here to receive blogposts in you inbox every time they are published! That way, you won't miss a single bit of news!

ARE YOU A PENDY ALUM? 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 lead 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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

4th of July on Big Blue Lake! Plus 3 More Staff!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend 4th of July at Camp Pendalouan? Traditionally, the 4th of July lands right in the middle of our Family Camp. But this year, due to the calendar, we will be celebrating 4th of July in the middle of Session Three of our Summer Camp!


What does this mean for Session Three Campers? It means that in addition to all the fun camp activities that experience during their time at Pendalouan, they will also enjoy our 4th of July celebrations! We will have a barbeque cook out, a party in the sandlot, and end the evening with Fireworks! Uncle Sam may even stop by for some games!

Session Three is a day shorter than all of our other sessions. It runs from Tuesday, July 3rd to Friday, July 6th and is $100 cheaper than our other full-length sessions. This is great for both the inexperienced and seasoned camper!

For more information, click here or give us a call at (231) 894-4538.

Are you ready for more Summer 2012 Staff bios? Let's meet Fenton, Ruth and Kathleen!


Hello from Saginaw Valley State University! My name is Fenton, but you can call me Simba. This will be my second year working at the wonderful paradise known as Camp Pendalouan. When I'm not at camp, I actually work in a library - that's right I'm a librarian - not the boring type either! My favorite hobbies include playing soccer, eating and, of course, reading. I can't wait to see you guys! I'm literally counting down the days till we're singing to Mr. Zip Zip or playing an intense game of Capture the Flag. My favorite camp dish from the wonderful kitchen staff is hashbrown stars. They really know how to make a guy smile! :) I bid you farewell, until we meet again... maybe over a game of Ninja!



Hey everyone! My name is Ruth (next to my buddy Buzz), and this will be my first summer at Camp Pendalouan. I can't wait to get started! I'm currently a Junior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Therapeutic Recreation and minoring in English. I have an ever growing list of hobbies, including running, reading, and crafts. I absolutely love Michigan summers, and am looking forward to spending this one with all of you!

 
Hi Everybody! My name is Kathleen and I am so excited to be returning to Camp Pendalouan this summer! This will be my 12th summer, and 2nd year as a counselor. I am really looking forward to getting back to camp for some fun Cabin Activity Times, such as the watermat and ice cream making, and also the foil dinners and campfires! There's nothing like spending an entire day outdoors with friends and activities! Hope to see you all soon on Big Blue! 




Fenton, Ruth and Kathleen are already getting ready for Summer! Less than 3 weeks until their Staff Training! Parents, make sure your child is able to experience all the fun and character-building that these counselors and all the other staff will provide. Sign up for Summer Camp today; before more sessions fill! Call us if you have any questions at (231) 894-4538. 



***
SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG VIA EMAIL: Click here to receive blogposts in you inbox every time they are published! That way, you won't miss a single bit of news!

ARE YOU A PENDY ALUM? 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 lead 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.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's New for Summer 2012 (Plus 3 New Staff!)

This Summer, we have a ton of new stuff here at YMCA Camp Pendalouan! But first a few updates on our registrations for Summer 2012!

Session 1 - Two openings for girls; 75% FILLED for boys
Session 2 - Reopened for boys; WAITING LIST ONLY for girls
Bugs 'N Bunks Session 1 - WAITING LIST ONLY for girls; One opening for boys
Roper & Wranglers Specialty Camp - Session 1 - WAITING LIST ONLY
Roper & Wranglers Specialty Camp - Session 2 - WAITING LIST ONLY   
Roper & Wranglers Specialty Camp - Sessions 4 & 6  - 90% FILLED


Summer Camp is filling up quickly! If you still need convincing, take two minutes and watch our new YouTube Video. Don't miss out! Sign up online today!


WHAT'S NEW FOR SUMMER 2012

  • Slingshots - That's right, slingshots! Right next to Archery, you'll see a brand new range specifically designed for sling shots! Under supervision from trained staff and with protective equipment, campers will be able to shoot at unconventional targets like hubcaps, pots and pans, and watering jugs. This activity is a great compliment to our other target sports using bb guns, air rifles, and bows.


  • New Archery Equipment - speaking of archery, look for some significant improvements to one of our most popular activities! Some of the things to watch for will be 6 new compound bows to supplement our recurved fiberglass bows, and... oh wait. We're getting ahead of ourselves. More exciting information will be revealed soon.


  • A Great New Way to Start Each Morning at Day Camp - Our new Day Camp Director Amiee is coming up with all sorts of new ideas to make Camp Pendalouan Day Camp the best day camp in all of West Michigan! As a veteran resident counselor, she is bringing successful resident (overnight) programming success to Day Camp activities. One way is through a "Thought of The Day" at Day Camp's Morning Gathering. This would mimic Overnight Camp's Chapel skits (which are performed by a different cabin each day - usually about one of our Four Core Values or The Camp Motto) and will be a great addition to Day Camp!


  • New Games and Activities - Our Director of Fun, Mark has been busy planing several new All Camp Games for Summer 2012! Don't worry, Capture the Flag is NOT going anywhere! But we will be having several new and exciting All Camp Games this summer!

Those are just a FEW of the exciting new developments that Summer Camp at YMCA Camp Pendalouan will experience in 2012. Stay tuned for more announcements, updates, and sneak-previews (as well as more information on our Archery Program Updates).

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But now let's meet some new staff! Today, we'll be introducing DeShawn, Margaret, and Justin! Three new Pendalouan Staff members!





Hi my name is DeShawn and this will be my first year at Camp Pendalouan. I am really excited about getting to Big Blue Lake and enjoying the summer with everyone. I love being outside and being active. I am entering my sophomore year at Central Michigan University majoring in Psychology and Sociology. See you all on the shores of Big Blue Lake soon!!!








Hi everyone! My name is Margaret and I am BEYOND excited to be spending my summer up at Pendalouan!!! This will be my first year as a counselor and I can't wait to be back on Big Blue Lake, singing songs and playing four square! As of June, I will be graduating from Grandville High School and moving on to college. When I am not at camp or at school, I enjoy reading, painting and being outside!!! This summer is going to be great!




Hey everyone! My name is Justin and I am coming from Madison, WI. This is going to be my first summer at camp and I am SUPER PUMPED!!! I can not tell you how excited I am to become a part of camp. I am currently finishing up my freshman year of college at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse were I am majoring in Recreation Management. I can't wait to share great experiences with you, sing songs, play guitar, and have A LOT of fun this summer. See you soon!!!






DeShawn, Margaret and Justin are going to be great additions to Camp Pendalouan's Summer 2012 Staff! Parents, make sure your child is able to experience all the fun and character-building that these counselors and all the other staff will provide. Sign up for Summer Camp today; before more sessions fill! Call us if you have any questions at (231) 894-4538. 




***
SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG VIA EMAIL: Click here to receive blogposts in you inbox every time they are published! That way, you won't miss a single bit of news!
ARE YOU A PENDY ALUM? 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 lead 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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Everyone Loves a Discount! (Plus More Staff Bios)

Did you know that it is now easier than ever to send your child back for more than one week of Summer Camp? Or send a sibling as well? Or, convince a family friend or relative to send their child as well, so your 1st time camper does not come alone?

We have several discounts to help you or others make camp a reality this summer!

New Camper Discount: $25 Off
Coupon Code - NEWCAMPER

YMCA Member Discount: $25 Off
Click the option during Registration

Sibling Discount: $50 Off
Automatically deducted during registration

Additional Session Discount: $80 Off
Automatically deducted during registration

Everyone loves discounts!  We hope these discounts make it easier for you to send your child to camp for another week, bring a sibling, or convince a friend to come along for the experience of a lifetime!

Now, it's time to introduce more Summer 2012 Staff! Join me in welcoming Miya, Nick & Nora!




HELLO my name's Miya and I'm beyond ready to be back at camp! It'll be my TWELFTH year at Camp Pendalouan. I can't stop coming back! You can't blame me - Pendy's the best place on earth! Camp fires, stars, nature, archery, sports, crafts, cupcakes, peas, horses, and cabin activity time are all calling my name. Right now, I'm finishing up my senior year at Mona Shores High in Muskegon and counting down the days until I can finally meet new campers and catch up with returners. See you on Big Blue Lake!



Hey Campers! I am Nick and this will be my first year at Camp Pendalouan. I am already stoked to get there and have fun with all of you though. I am a sophomore at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant and study Broadcasting, which is for people who want to work with TV, radio, movies, and all that good stuff. I love swimming, biking, bonfires, smore's (although who doesn't love smore's), animals, the water, taking pictures, drawing, laughing, hanging out with friends, and of course movies. This summer is going to be a great one! Be ready for fun! I am not sure these exclamation points are illustrating how much fun we will be having so here are some more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 



Hi! my name is Nora, and this will be my 8th year at camp Pendalouan, but my first as a member of the staff. I am going to be starting my senior year of high school this fall, at OPRF high school right out side of Chicago, but in the mean time I can't wait to spend the summer at camp! Im so exited to be back singing songs, playing games, and having the best time ever! See you soon!




We are thrilled to have Miya and Nora back at camp and we are looking forward to Nick joining the ranks!! Parents, make sure your child is able to experience all the fun and character-building that these counselors and all the other staff will provide. Sign up for Summer Camp today; before more sessions fill! Call us if you have any questions at (231) 894-4538. 


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SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG VIA EMAIL: Click here to receive blogposts in you inbox every time they are published! That way, you won't miss a single bit of news!

ARE YOU A PENDY ALUM? 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 lead 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.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Carabiners Camp and More Summer 2012 Staff Bios!

Have you heard about our Carabiners* Specialty Camp? This add-on to our overnight camp sessions is a great program for campers who love our ropes course, climbing wall, or climbing in general!


While every camper gets an opportunity to tackle the climbing wall, and all campers 10 & up have a chance to try out the High Ropes course, some campers want more time on our High Adventure elements and courses. These are the campers that love our Carabiners* Camp!


*A carabiner, for those who don't know, is a tool used for rope-intensive activities such as climbing, sailing, construction work, etc. For a picture, click here.


While each year has slightly different programing, our Carabiner campers will spend their two hours block of time each day (and four hours on Thursday) on a blend of activities such as our Low-Ropes Course, High Ropes Course, Zipline, and Climbing Wall. When the week is over, Carabiner campers  will have been on these elements and courses three times more hours than the average camper! This allows campers to develop exceptional climbing skills, confidence in their abilities, and an opportunity to challenge themselves.




Our Carabiners Camp is offered for ages 12-15 and only during Session 5 (July 15-20). If you would like to learn more about our Carabiners Camp or already signed up for overnight camp and want to add this specialty camp, give us a call at the office at (231) 894-4538. You can register online right now by heading to our website.

Now let's meet some more Summer 2012 Staff! Today, we are introducing Stefan, Adam, & Zoey!




Hello to all you crazy excited campers! My name is Stefan and I hail from the great state of Wisconsin where I just finished my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. I am pumped to be back for my third summer at camp. My last two summers have two of the best ever and I plan on making this one even better. I am so pumped to get my CTF, song singing, game playing, and solid fun on. I cannot wait to get back to Big Blue Lake and to see all of you just as excited as me. Summer is so close I can almost taste it. See you soon!




Hi! My name is Adam and I’m from a little town called St. Clair. This is my first year at Camp Pendalouan and I am really excited! I really enjoy swimming, fishing, and playing sports. I currently am working on my Bachelors degree, majoring in History and Math, and I love working with kids. I cannot wait for Camp Pendalouan 2012!!!