Weldon Rutledge// Director of Camp Leelanau
In 1987 I stood in front of the Camp Leelanau for Boys sign with big plans in my head. I knew then that I would attend Camp for 20+ summers, run the trips and CT programs for the greater portion of the first decade of the new century, eschew stable work in order to always have my summers free well after college, and eventually be named the Director of Leelanau. All of this I remember thinking as I tore around the Northport site desperately seeking the restroom, because I feared if I wet myself on the first day of camp I would be too ashamed to follow through on my plans. Thank God for my counselor Bill Helms for showing me the bathhouse and setting me on my career path.
Maybe it didn’t go quite like that. But the camp nurse can tell you that from a very young age Green and Sand have been coursing through my veins.
As the summers progress, the priorities of Camp Leelanau remain the same: raise young men to love brotherhood, unselfishness, and integrity. Leelanau has been developing leadership skills, growing competence and creativity, and encouraging progress for over ninety years and I am honored to continue that blessed calling.
Pippi Rutledge// Director of Camp Kohahna
The year 2005 brought together a beautiful fall and my first time ever in Northern Michigan. I arrived here to work my first season at The Leelanau Outdoor Center, and needless to say I was immediately hooked. All I could think about was, “How can I figure out a way to live up here all year long?” Well, after working many seasons as a LOC staff member, eight years as a counselor at Kohahna, and five years as the LOC program coordinator, I’m still here and couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to continue serving camp as the Kohahna Director.
Despite being a “latecomer” to camp, I took to Kohahna immediately and recognized the value in what Kohahna brings to campers and counselors. I’ve grown a lot in the last eight summers and I’m so very grateful (and excited) to continue in my own personal growth, but to continue to give that opportunity to others as I support Camp’s grand mission to teach Christian Science youth.
Caroline Savoye Hufstader// Development & Marketing Director
My first real introduction to Camps Leelanau and Kohahna and the Leelanau Outdoor Center (LOC) came after I graduated from college. A friend convinced me to spend the fall at LOC and assured me it would not only be fun but that I would be inspired by the growth I would see in the kids that come through the program.
Needless to say, I loved my fall LOC experience and was hooked on the LOC program and beautiful northern Michigan. I made wonderful friends and I also met my future husband! After just one season I moved to Boston where I began working in the Development Department at Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association, the Christian Science nursing facility in the area. After a couple of years in Boston it was time to return to camp.
I’m so excited to be back on the shores of Lake Michigan and I am honored to be serving in the position of Development and Marketing Director. Camp is such a special place and it is incredible to see how it continues to influence and shape lives in such positive ways. I love being a witness to the progress, joy, love and expressions of the Christ that shine through challenging activities and everyday tasks here at camp. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a dedicated staff and am excited to be a part of the Leelanau & Kohahna and LOC family.
Steve Hufstader// Director of The Leelanau Outdoor Center
The month after I graduated from Northwood University, I was invited to work, short term, at the Leelanau Outdoor Center (LOC). Even though my degree was in Business, with a focus on advertising and marketing, the opportunity to work at LOC was greatly appreciated, and ignited a fire and passion to educate and work with students outdoors. I was “sold” after 2 days when I realized that LOC not only provided an exceptional outdoor learning environment, it also emphasized self-worth, leadership development through cooperative learning, character education, and fun.
My short term invitation to work for LOC for just a few weeks lasted 3 years, and ended when I decided to accept a position more fitting to my degree. However, I discovered that I dearly missed working with all of the students who came through the LOC program. So when the timing was right, I made the transition back to LOC where I could make a positive impression, and impact students’ lives.
As the LOC Director, I am overjoyed to be a part of an amazing program! I have seen LOC bring greatness out of students of all ages as well as teachers, administrators, corporate groups, and families. My goal is to share this experiential learning with all.
Alix Haynes// Alumni Coordinator
When I first arrived at Camp Kohahna many years ago, I knew immediately it was a very special place. Besides being the most beautiful of locations, there was something else … being 12 years old at the time I wasn’t quite sure what it was but I learned that summer, as well as the next summer (and the next …), just how special and life-molding Camp would become. I thank my parents every day for their wisdom and recognition that Camp would awaken and encourage my spiritual and personal growth.
After my camper years, I knew I wanted to serve and support the Camps in every way that I could. Initially, it was by attending Camp Reunions, introducing my husband, Lew, and son, Jeff, to the Camps (which blossomed into many years of Family Camp), by actively participating at Harvest Weekend, assisting with the Camp Family & Alumni Dinner, working in the Camp office, helping plan the ’08 and ’13 Kohahna reunions, by serving as a Family Camp counselor, and always in prayer.
The camp experience flows through our family … Lew served as Laundry Dad for 8 years and Jeff earned his 10-year Leelanau blanket as a camper, counselor and dish-dog. In addition, two of my brothers as well as my sister were Leelanau and Kohahna campers … John Haynes was a camper and counselor (Green Team and Crib) in the 60’s, Colby Haynes was a camper (Green Team) in the 60’s, and Julie Haynes Shackley was a camper and counselor (Navy and Flavy) from the mid-60’s to the early 70’s.
I’m excited and thrilled to open up another door to serve as Camps Leelanau & Kohahna’s Alumni Coordinator.
Paul Olsen// Recruitment and Outreach Manager
Camp has been a part of my life from the beginning. I am blessed to have begun attending family camp as a four-month old and summers on the shores of Lake Michigan have been a part of my life ever since. One of my earliest memories of Camp is a council fire from my first summer in Argosy. I was only seven years old but was being celebrated by all of camp for my accomplishments in the Junior Archery Tournament. With so much love and support surrounding me, I knew I was home.
As the years passed I worked as a cabin counselor, Head Counselor, Trips Counselor, CT Counselor, and even spent three seasons working for LOC. I went on to study Fine Art at Principia College, and while I love working in my studio, my heart lies in education. So, I returned to school and earned my master’s degree in Education and Innovation and spent three years working as a House Parent in the Principia Upper School dormitory. Now I am excited to bring what I have learned in these experiences back home to camp.
My time as a camper and counselor instilled in me a love-filled sense of manhood that is a harmonious balance between gentle and strong, assertive and patient, humble and confident, and much more. The world needs this kind of high-quality character education and I am excited my role as Recruitment and Outreach Manager will allow me to help more people connect with this invaluable work being done on Pyramid Point. I look forward to opening the arms of camp wide to help share all of the blessings of Leelanau and Kohahna.
Patrice Saad// Kitchen Manager
I fell in love with Northern Michigan when I first vacationed here with my husband about 30 years ago. Several Northern Michigan vacations later, my husband, son and I, following directions to Pyramid Point, drove past the horse barn, pastures and Great House lawn and made the connection that this was home to Camps Leelanau and Kohahna. A few years later we attended Family Camp to check it out as a summer camp option for our son, Colin. After a week of fun activities, good food, and enjoyable company we came to the conclusion that if Colin grew up to be like any of the young men we met during Family Camp, we would be pretty darn happy parents! Colin became a camper the following year. He received his 10-year blanket last year and is the CT and Trips counselor this year. Meanwhile, I yielded to the call of Camp, leaving behind the summer heat of St. Louis to work one summer as Cleaning Mom and another as Office Assistant. I attended Harvest Weekend for Women a few years later and being here in the fall made me dream of living here year round. That dream came true when I joined the kitchen staff in 2018.
I learned to bake helping my mom make Christmas cookies, a tradition I have continued with Colin. Being a vegetarian for most of my adult life, I love vegetables and love making delicious vegetarian dishes. Colin’s love of meat nudged me to expand my repertoire (slightly) but working at Camp has demanded me to master making more than beef fajitas and chicken Parmesan! While I am most comfortable baking I am enjoying the challenge of trying new recipes to provide a variety of items on our menu.
Camp is such a special place. Whether it’s Leelanau/Kohahna, LOC or Sports Camp, there is an energy and vibe that is tangible. I love that the skills and talents I have developed over the years working in education and the business world beautifully support what I’m doing in the kitchen. I’m excited to join the Leelanau-Kohahan-LOC family and be an integral part of supporting their mission.
David Stewart// Assistant Kitchen Manager
Cabin: Sea Hornet
Favorite Song: Hips Don’t Lie / Shakira
Hobbies: Referring to braces as “Grillz”, rolling around in Poison Ivy, asking “How many hills do we have to climb around here?!?”
Occupation: 7th Grader
Cabin: Various Staff Housing
Favorite Song: You Only Live Once / The Strokes
Hobbies: Stand Up/Improv Comedy, Photography, Listening to/Over analyzing music.
Occupation: Assistant Kitchen Manager
Obviously a lot has changed in these past 14 years. What hasn’t changed, though, is the love I’ve had for spending every summer between those two dates here on Pyramid Point. I’m exceptionally grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this organization year round! I’m also excited for the chance to support Camp and LOC by serving balanced, quality meals to everybody that walks through our doors.