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Friday, October 18, 2013

A Reunion Like No Other: Pendalouan Day 2013 Recap

Greetings from Beautiful Big Blue Lake!


This past Saturday, over 170 alumni and friends came out to camp to celebrate Pendalouan's more than 85 years of making an impact on people's lives.

The weather was perfect - 60s and sunny! And the rain that was forecasted never showed up and we all stayed dry all day! 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.

In the lodge, memory displays with old camper handbooks, photos, newspaper articles, staff manuals, camp newsletters and other mementos were out on tables to examine and bring back old memories. We also had a slide show with more recent photos from the past few summers. 

Bruce Spoelman, Executive Director, took a large group of alums on a tour in the morning. Since some alumni had not been back at Pendalouan since their camper days, it was an exciting tour. Many of the alumni commented that they were impressed at the improvements around camp. 

The bell rang for lunch a little around noon and everyone gathered for a brief introduction by Mark Olson, Alumni & Development Director. He and Bruce updated everyone on some recent developments and other exciting news. After a delicious fall meal, attendees introduced themselves and told their connection to Pendalouan. It was fun to hear which alumni overlapped!

It was great to have so many different decades and types of alumni (former campers, former staff, current campers/staff, parents, volunteers, supporters and friends) represented. 

Oldest Year Represented: 1937 (Bill Paulson)
Most Represented Decade: 1960s

After lunch and the all group photo, we dedicated our new wood-burning gasification boiler, trail lights and Welcome Pavilion. Thank you to the Muskegon Y's Club, the Paul Stearns family, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Lowell Dana, our 2013 Father-Son Campers, Pratt & Whitney, Peter Damm and other donors from the greater Pendalouan Community who helped make these projects possible. For pictures and to read more about these projects, click here.

After the dedications, activity areas were once again opened for alumni and their families to enjoy. A Hike to Sleepy Hollow was also offered. Typical of oral tradition, the stories have changed over the years, but one 1950s alum commented on how much of the stories are still the same.

Our last activity was an all group Songfest at Wildwood Chapel. Recent and our more seasoned alumni helped lead songs such as Little Cabin in the Woods, An Austrian Went Yodeling, Hail Pendalouan, Good Morning Mr. ZipZip, Johnny Rebeck and others!

There might be no better way to spend a day than swapping camp stories with fellow Pendalouan alumni and friends. "This is where I found out how to be a good person," 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 molson@pendalouan.org 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.

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Located on the shores of Big Blue Lake in Montague, MI, Camp Pendalouan is a fully licensed summer camp offering overnight & day camps, as well as outdoor education & conference programs. While at Pendalouan kids and families make friends, experience personal character development and learn new skills – all while creating lifelong memories and having fun in a safe environment with highly qualified and trained staff. You are a part of the Pendalouan family from the moment you step onto camp property. We invite you to learn more about Camp Pendalouan, by checking out our website, the Camp Blog and our Facebook page.



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