Blog

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012: The Year in Review!

Wow! It's hard to believe that 2012 is almost over! It has been a great year for YMCA Camp Pendalouan, and at this time of year, we feel it's important to look back on the past 12 months and reflect before we head full speed into 2013.

Some highlights from the past year:



We have much to be grateful here at Pendalouan! Thank you to all who have helped us make 2012 one for the history books. As we wrap up and reflect on 2012, we are heading into 2013 full speed ahead! Join us as we make 2013 even better than 2012!

Hail Pendalouan!


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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? 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.

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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.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Impact of a Pendalouan Experience - Pt. 3

Last week, we started a series here on the camp blog on "The Impact of a Pendalouan Experience." In Part One, we shared the story of Brittani, a former counselor who as a camper at Pendalouan received Financial Aid in the form of camperships for several years. You can read her story by clicking here. In Part Two, we shared the words of parents and campers. Today, we conclude the series with the words from our alumni about their Pendalouan experiences.

PART THREE:


Lastly, we have our alumni. During Pendalouan Day 2011, we asked some of our alumni and friends to finish the sentence "Because of Pendalouan..." We got some great responses. Here are two of our favorites:

"...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

For more answers to our prompt, click here!

Would you like to make sure families continue to have meaningful experiences at Camp Pendalouan? Then please consider making a gift to Pendalouan's Year-End Campaign. The money raised will go towards providing more camperships, better facilities and enhanced programming in 2013. Donations are coming in (click here for a list of donors so far), but we still need several donations still to reach our goal. Every gift - of $10 or of $1000 - will help us reach our goal! Please donate today by clicking here or pressing the button below.


DonateNow 

Please, help Camp Pendalouan this holiday season by making a donation today. Your gift will make a big difference to our campers in 2013 and beyond! You can also send a check for Camp Pendalouan to:

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


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 for Pendalouan or would like to donate money or supplies for any of our year-round programs, contact Mark Olson, Alumni & Development Director at molson@pendalouan.org or give us a call at camp at (231) 894-4538.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays From Camp Pendalouan!

Happy Holidays From YMCA Camp Pendalouan!

To all of our campers, parents, alumni, staff and friends, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!




We'll continue our "The Impact of a Pendalouan Experience" Series later this week. Enjoy your Holidays!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Impact of a Pendalouan Experience - Pt. 2

Last week, we started a series here on the camp blog on "The Impact of a Pendalouan Experience." In Part One, we shared the story of Brittani, a former counselor who as a camper at Pendalouan received Financial Aid in the form of camperships for several years. You can read her story by clicking here. Today we continue the series with the words from parents and current campers.

PART TWO:

Next, there are our parents and the campers themselves. Sometimes, we hear such powerful testimonials from our parents and campers that we have to find a good way to share them with a larger audiences. Recently, we've been sharing the following images on our Facebook Page and on Twitter. Take a look at these great images!











Would you like to make sure families continue to have meaningful experiences at Camp Pendalouan? Then please consider making a gift to Pendalouan's Year-End Campaign. The money raised will go towards providing more camperships, better facilities and enhanced programming in 2013. Donations are coming in (click here for a list of donors so far), but we still need several donations still to reach our goal. Every gift - of $10 or of $1000 - will help us reach our goal! Please donate today by clicking here or pressing the button below.

DonateNow 

Please, help Camp Pendalouan this holiday season by making a donation today. Your gift will make a big difference to our campers in 2013 and beyond! You can also send a check for Camp Pendalouan to:

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

Be on the lookout for Part 3 in our series: Testimonials and Stories from Alumni. Coming soon!

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 for Pendalouan or would like to donate money or supplies for any of our year-round programs, contact Mark Olson, Alumni & Development Director at molson@pendalouan.org or give us a call at camp at (231) 894-4538.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Impact of a Pendalouan Experience - Pt. 1

One of the great pleasures of working at a Camp Pendalouan is hearing the stories of parents, staff, alumni and the campers themselves. Sometimes these stories are funny. Other times they bring tears to our eyes. All of them demonstrate how when a child goes through a Pendalouan experience, their lives are changed for the better.

We've profiled some of these stories in the past, but we are always looking for reasons to share them with even more members of the Pendalouan community (which is you - YES YOU!). Today, we start a 3-part series on the Impact of a Pendalouan Experience that will highlight the testimonials and stories of campers, parents, alumni and staff.

Let's start with Brittani.

Brittani was a campership recipient for several years at Pendalouan. You may have heard Brittani's story before. Her stories have been featured on our Facebook Page. She's very passionate about Pendalouan and wants her story read by as many people as possible so that everyone can know the impact a Pendalouan experience can have on a child. Here is an excerpt from her story that she sent through a Facebook message earlier this year:
"I started going to camp when I was seven years old, and I can honestly say that I felt safer and happier at camp then I ever felt at any other point in my life. As a camper, I felt no judgments, no persecution. My counselors just encouraged me to be myself, to enjoy life, to have fun. I knew that at camp, I would be safe and cared for no matter what and that meant a lot considering that I came from a home where love was never consistent...

...I would like to thank anyone who has ever contributed to the Campership program. Without it, my mother would not have been able to afford to send me to Pendalouan, and I would not be who I am today. I look back on my time at Pendalouan and realize now that it was way too short. Those were truly the best years of my life whether it was learning that I was worth more when I was a camper or helping campers understand their importance when I was a counselor. Pendalouan will forever be in my heart, and I hope that many other children will have to opportunity to love camp as much as I do."
Her full story can be read here.



Would you like to make sure children like Brittani continue to have meaningful experiences at Camp Pendalouan? Then please consider making a gift to Pendalouan's Year-End Campaign. The money raised will go towards providing more camperships, better facilities and enhanced programming in 2013. Donations are coming in (click here for a list of donors so far), but we still need several donations still to reach our goal. Every gift - of $10 or of $1000 - will help us reach our goal of $10,000! Please donate today by clicking here or pressing the button below.

DonateNow 

Please, help Camp Pendalouan this holiday season by making a donation today. Your gift will make a big difference to our campers in 2013 and beyond! You can also send a check for Camp Pendalouan to:

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

Be on the lookout for Part 2 in our series: Testimonials from Parents and Campers. Coming soon!

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 for Pendalouan or would like to donate money or supplies for any of our year-round programs, contact Mark Olson, Alumni & Development Director at molson@pendalouan.org or give us a call at camp at (231) 894-4538.



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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? 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.



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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.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More Camperships, Upgraded Facilities and Program Enhancements in 2013!


As a Pendalouan alum, parent, supporter, or staff member, you KNOW the impact that a Camp Pendalouan experience can have on a young person. It can change a child's life for the better in a unique way that school, church and other experiences cannot.



As we head into the remaining days of 2012, we are reflecting back on this past year's successes and looking forward toward 2013. We are focused on making 2013 the best year yet for Pendalouan. Among other things, that means more camperships, upgraded facilities, and program improvements.

You may have already heard about Pendalouan's Year-End Campaign. We've been busy this month writing letters, making calls, and sharing our stories to the Pendy community! This December, all donations received will go directly toward our Year-End Campaign, which supports camperships, facility improvements, and program enhancements.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of the year and we are slightly more than half way there!

Can you help us finish the year strong and go into 2013 stronger than ever? Please consider making a gift to our Year-End Campaign today.

Any size gift - small or large - will make a big difference and a REAL impact on our 2013 campers. However, we are giving out 2013 Pendalouan Calendars to the first 50 people who donate $75 or more!  These calendars include some of our favorite photos taken in the past year! There are still calendars left, so if you are interested in receiving one, donate today!

DonateNow

We thank the over 50 alumni, parents, friends and staff who have already contributed to our Year-End Campaign:

Gerry Nehra & Peggy Jensen
Kathy Stratton & Bob Cebelak
Mike & Nicole Morea
Jean Boyden
Jack & Laura Schultz
Don & Sue DeLong
Dessie Spoelman
Tom Hammond
Lindsey & Jason DeLuca
Cheryl Lyttle
John & Marilyn Wightman
Patricia Slovak
Mary Fisher
James "Red" Heeres
Donald Martines
Betty Mayberry
Jonathan Hoffman
John Koster
Eric Brenner
Sydney Wedemeyer
Kate Gresock
Brad & Janice Hilleary
Leland & Enid Holly
Harry & Lori Arthur
Margaret "Nita" Slater
Amiee Woodrow
Don & Nancy Crandall
Roger & Masako Bellinger
Keith & Cindy Crandall
Patricia Baldwin
Debbie Menon
Phillip Lundwall
Jan Evert
Jane Boyden
Judy McAllister
Jim Damm
Mary Mennel
Katie Markle
Gordon & Joanne Torresen
Edward Redline
Stuart & Anne Weinberg
Rick & Robyn Franks
Dick & Cindy Baker
Capt. & Mrs. Robert Priefer
David Paulsen
Dave & Char Beckmann
Judy Bradeen
Daryl & Marie Sieplinga
Bill & Mary Lou Maher
Laura Chester
Mark Olson
Bill & Jeanne Leaver
Katie Spoelman
Larry Braak
Karina Olson McNamara
David & Barbara Kendall
Kayla Parks
Deborah Siegel
Kathryn Heavey
Bill & Stephanie Leibfritz
Matthew Abel
(As of 12/13/2012 - For an updated list: click here)

DonateNow 

Please, help Camp Pendalouan provide more camperships to low-income families, make facility improvements and enhance our programs today by making a donation today. You can also send a check for Camp Pendalouan to:
YMCA Camp Pendalouan
1243 E. Fruitvale Rd.
Montague, MI 49437

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 for Pendalouan or would like to donate money or supplies for any of our year-round programs, contact Mark Olson, Alumni & Development Director at molson@pendalouan.org or give us a call at camp at (231) 894-4538.


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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? 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.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Top 10 "Camp-y" Holiday Gift Ideas

The holiday season is upon us! Do you have all of your shopping done?

If not, Pendalouan has compiled the Top 10 "Camp-y" Holiday Gift Ideas to help you out! While most of these gifts are more appropriate for current campers, we are sure that several alumni and camp friends could use and enjoy a few of these items! Either way, here is a lit of ideas that will surely have the recipients thinking "CAMP" this winter!

1. Fishing Pole - Fishing has always been a part of Pendalouan's history, as evidenced in this picture from Father Son Camp taken in the 1950s. But this past summer, fishing was one of our most popular activities! In addition to offering Fishing as a class, we also had several staff members who were experienced fishermen, which made Summer 2012 a great year for fishing at Pendalouan. You can get a basic fishing pole for cheap at your local outdoor or big box store!

2. Headlamp - First there were torches, then there were lanterns, then there were flashlights. Now there are headlamps! Frequently used by miners and scientists, this light source allows your hands to be freed up while still providing light for your camper at night! They are fairly inexpensive, super helpful, and a perfect gift for the camper, counselor, or explorer in your family!

3. Pendy Gear - Who WOULDN'T want to receive a Pendalouan Sweatshirt, T-Shirt or Long-Sleeve T for the holidays! We have several sizes, designs, and colors available. Contact Melody, our Office Manager for availability at (231) 894-4538.

4. Journal - Many of our campers come to Pendalouan with something to journal in. Some use journals to reflect on their time and experience at camp, others use pen and paper to write letters to family and friends. They may use it during Rest Hour, during Open Waterfront or maybe right before bed. No matter how your child uses a notebook while at camp, it's never too early to purchase a special one, just for Camp! Here's a style that might be perfect for camp! 

5. Riding Boots - This is an idea for the Ropers and Wranglers camper in the household! Instead of retiring your camper's gym shoes after their week up at the Pendalouan Ranch, invest in a pair of boots that will last for several years! Here's a site with not just boots, but other equestrian accessories too

6. Camp Books - Last year, we devoted a whole blogpost to camp books. Check it out for different camp books split by age (from younger kids to adult books)!

7. Camera - While we still sell disposable cameras in the Trading Post here at Pendalouan, more and more of our campers are coming to camp with cameras of their own. This may or may or may not be an appropriate gift for your camper. Some campers are old enough and responsible enough that this gift may be just the thing to spark a life long passion for photography. For a good article with resources to see if getting your child a camera is right for your family and what to look for if it is, click here.


8. Sunglasses - Pendy Shades were a HUGE HIT this past summer and we still have some available in the Trading Post. But, really, any pair of sunglasses will do. These are crucial for those bright summer days on the Sports Field and down at the Waterfront at Pendalouan! Contact Melody, our Office Manager for availability at (231) 894-4538. 

9. New Sleeping Bag - Nothing is worse than an old, worn out sleeping bag. In the summer, even when it's hot out and you're in a cabin, a good sleeping bag can make a BIG difference in a camper's comfort. Need help with picking out a sleeping bag for yourself or your camper? Click here for a nice guide on the different types of sleeping bag.

10. Swim Goggles - Big Blue Lake is hands down the best lake in the world to swim in. Why not provide some new swim goggles to your camper so that they can explore it from underwater? There are several different types of goggles so no matter what the ability or age of your swimmer, there are goggles out there for them!


Honorable Mentions
11. Shower Bucket with Travel Size Toiletries
12. A Blank Pillow Case and Sharpies for your camper's camp friends to sign.

So there it is, Pendalouan's Top 10 "Camp-y" Holiday Gift Ideas. Can you think of any other items that would fit under this category? If so, share in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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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? 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.


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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 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.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Pendalouan Hoop House!

QUESTION: What do kale, garlic, tomatoes, dill, cilantro, and parsley have in common?

ANSWER: They are all currently planted in Pendalouan's new Hoop House!

A Hoop House is a greenhouse-like structure that helps prolong the growing season and prevent animal intrusion. The story of Pendalouan's Hoop House started this past Spring and has only just begun!

Earlier this year, Pendalouan started a composting program. Composting is the transformation of plant matter (leaves, grasses, fruit rinds, vegetable scraps, etc) through decomposition into a nutrient-rich, soil-like material that can be used for gardening. Pendalouan's kitchen and dining hall produce a large quantity of compostable materials and in our quest to limit our impact on the natural world around us, we decided composting would be a logical next step.

Dedicating the Hoop House at Pendalouan Day on
October 6th, 2012

After some discussions with some interested alumni, we soon realized that we wanted to do more! With the support of alumni, and local businesses and organizations, our Hoop House was funded, built, and set up by October. It was dedicated on Pendalouan Day. We thank Roger and Jan Spoelman, the Olsen Family Fund, Don and Sue DeLong, Bruce and Margaret Spoelman, Community Foundation for Muskegon Country, The Aloca Foundation, MasterTag Corp., and Weesies Brothers Farms Inc. for their support.


Executive Director Bruce Spoelman
explains plans for future programming

While we are still in the early stages of planting and growing, we are looking forward to incorporating the Hoop House into our programming, so that our campers and guests will be able to experience the garden for themselves. Our current plans are to provide a rotating program. This way campers will be able to witness and experience every stage of the gardening process, from planting to harvesting.




This hands-on classroom will help youth get a new perspective on food, agriculture and their world around them. Stay tuned here the Camp Blog and on our Facebook Page for more updates!

Below are more pictures from Pendalouan's Hoop House! Enjoy!


Alumni and Friends enjoy a first look at the new Hoop House
during the dedication at Pendalouan Day 2012
Early signs of life! Picture taken 10/28/12

Things are growing! Picture taken 11/26/2012

If you would like to get involved with Pendalouan's Hoop House, contact Bruce Spoelman, Executive Director at bspoelman@pendalouan.org.


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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? 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.