Monday, October 06, 2014

“It’s like coming home…”: Pendalouan Day 2014 Recap

This past Saturday, over 85 alumni and friends came out to camp to celebrate Pendalouan's 90s years of making an impact on people's lives.

Not even the rainy and chilly weather could prevent former campers and staff and their families from returning to Big Blue Lake. In between drizzling rain, they were out around camp shooting bows and arrows, climbing at the climbing wall or even going for boat rides.

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. Movies of Eddie’s played in the classroom throughout the day.


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. One exclaimed, “A lot has changed since I’ve last been here… for the better! But it still feels like the same old camp.”

The bell rang for lunch 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: 1970s and 2000s (It was a tie!)
For a full list of who attended: click here.

After lunch, we watched our new donor thank you video and took the all group photo. Then we dedicated the new deck and boardwalk of Wildwood Chapel and revealed plans for the Eddie Boersema Education and Activity Center. For pictures and to read more about these projects, click here. (For an in-depth blog post on the E.B.E.A.C., 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 – as had happened in the past - one 1940s alum commented on how much of the stories are still the same.

There might be no better way to spend a day than swapping camp stories with fellow Pendalouan alumni and friends. "This is the place I became who I am today," 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 x104.


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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.


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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