September 5-8, 2008 was an amazing reunion weekend at Port Oneida celebrating 85 years of Camp Kohahna/Leelanau for Girls. Seventy-eight former Camp Kohahna and Camp Leelanau for Girls alumnae joined the fun as we relived our camping days. It certainly didn’t matter which location the camp was in when we attended, we all had great stories to tell and experiences to relive with each other. We had women with us from every decade starting in the 30’s all the way to counselors from this past summer. Being in camp activities together in 2008 felt much the same as it did no matter which year we went to camp, it was wonderful! The reviews from the reunion are heartwarming, I’m sure there are more to come so keep checking back.
Pictures galore! We had several self-appointed photographers for the weekend’s events. Many have sent in their pictures which are now posted on the Alumnae Photo pages, see “Reunion 2008.” You’ll see pictures of the Alumnae Show, activities, the property, faces and more faces! Also, there are pictures by decade. At some point we’ll get all the names up there.
Also note on the same Picasa site the Generations Album. Any Leelanau/Kohahna families who have had two or more generations at camp are encouraged to send in their camp family tree. (Actually be in contact with [email protected] and she’ll send you the information and pages.)
Nothing is more potent, more in accord with being God-like than filling our thought with gratitude; even if the task seems challenging. What better time is there to expand our gratitude than during this time, the Thanksgiving holiday? It is a special time to think to reflect on the past 11 months of this concluding year and fill our thought with the rigor, intensity and grace of what we’ve witnessed during four wonderful seasons. We’ve all witnessed lots of good!
Gratitude has been in my thinking quite a bit this autumn on my journey through India with a College Abroad group. It’s been an incredible experience for me, and it begs me to ask each of us to be more grateful than ever for the supply we have in the United States. Everyday pictures of poverty, famine and corruption came to us in India. We were also challenged individually by our workload and the travel. However, the experience has also made clear the absolute reality of Love’s substance. Half-way around the world and hearing a different language and experiencing a different culture, there is a universal language we all understand – both those traveling and at home – the language of love, charity and gratitude.
The clearest demonstration of this fact is felt in acts of charity and selflessness, two qualities we certainly work on during Camp. Countless times was invited to walk home with someone and eat dinner with their family, with the result that over time I was welcomed by an entire family as an unexpected guest. Countless times I saw my group find incredible joy as a result of talking with beggars and street dwellers. While the communication was difficult, the results were always joyful, fulfilling and surprising. It became clear to me as a result that the only reality – the only true substance – is that of Love, charity and gratitude.
I realize that not all of us can travel thousands of miles in order to understand that what we have at home begs our constant gratitude, but I think about the immense amount of gratitude we witness at the camp during each summer. Every camper knows how wonderful we feel at camp when we’re surrounded by good friends, supportive counselors, and the little bit of paradise called Pyramid Point. I say this even after traveling around the world and back a few times: we have a special spot in Northern Michigan! We say this often during the summer sessions at Leelanau, and now it becomes meaningful. Good work is easy to do when you’re surrounded by friends and family, but in challenging situations we need to stay focused on doing our good work. We left camp three months ago and Thanksgiving is a good time to feel a jump-start – to share what we feel with the world, and doing so begins with gratitude.
Honestly filling our minds with gratitude can be difficult at times, and we’re asked to do it cheerfully! II Corinthians reminds us to “give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” How we all love the cheerful giver! We recognize such an individual when we feel the love in simple acts of charity. We know that we, too, can spread warmth and love. We’ve learned how at camp; and if those with less than us and in worse situations can do it, so can we. Now is a special time of year share our gratitude!
As we’re getting revved up for opening day, we thought we’d share some of the upcoming highlights of the summer.
Top 10 reasons to be excited that camp is just around the corner:
10. Dipping! What a way to start the day!
9. You get to munch on hot dogs at cookout followed by a rousing game of Elbow Tag or Knockout.
8. Pick pocket and swords…must we say more?
7. 4th of July parade…bring your red, white, and blue!
6. Trips to far off places! Mmm s’mores!
5. Lip syncs…look out, American Idol!
4. Enjoy Sunday School with a view.
3. Dune football. No better way to get sand EVERYWHERE!
2. Mama spatch….salivating yet?
1. And the number one reason…Friends! You’ll get to reconnect with all of your
best cabin mates and meet new ones, too!
Our number one reason to be excited for camp is to have all of you and your unique gifts here. Counselors are here, horses are on their way, and the kitchen is getting fully stocked, so now you’re our missing piece! Get ready for a phenomenal summer full of old traditions and new adventures.
I arrived at Pyramid Point in mid April and it has been great to watch spring unfold. There were no buds on the trees, which accentuated the abundance and beauty of all the white birch trees. Today camp is lush green and eagerly awaits the arrival of our counselors next week and campers soon thereafter.
The 2009 Leelanau Summer Staff is another winner. We have many returning counselors most of whom are former campers and CT’s. We have a few new counselors, some from last summers CT Class, one from the kitchen and one that comes to us with previous counseling experience. We also have a few veterans returning who have found themselves in a situation where they can once again spend a summer a Pyramid Point. It’s a very diverse and talented staff and incorporates everything from talented musicians (including bagpipers) to scholars, actors and professional athletes. I get excited just thinking about having all these guys here ready to lead and be role models for your sons.
We have some exciting new things at camp for 2009. We have a 2008 Malibu Sunscape 21 LSV Water-ski Boat, which went in the water this week. We have a Playground Set by the tennis and basketball courts, which the younger kids are going to love and a new tetherball is going up in lower camp as we write this. And speaking of the basketball courts, we have new “Goalrilla” Backboards at both Leelanau and Kohahna. For the waterfront, we have a new Rave Northwoods Water Trampoline. By popular demand, we will be offering “Speed & Agility Training” during the last week of camp for those who are getting ready for their fall sports or would just like to get in better shape. I bet you parents wish you were coming to camp!!!
Thanks for signing up your kids for a summer at Camp Leelanau. It is the place where they will grow the most and have the most fun. We’re eagerly awaiting their arrival and know it’s “gonna be a great summer”.
Camp is almost here and we have an excellent summer lined up for you! We have read your camper evaluation and have tallied the top 10 favorite activities; many are already on the master calendar! Here are some of the top activities listed by you last summer: Lip Sync, Capture the Flag, Pause Dog, Dune Football, Luau, Bombardment, Kick the Can, Cherry Picking, and the Kohahna Picnic.
Many of you wanted more coed time, so afternoon deck time is back. We are also planning a few more coed activities for the older cabins. The other activities you wanted and we will try to provide were: more beach volleyball, regular conditioning, womanhood talks, the climbing wall as a morning activity period and horseback riding for cabin day. For those of you who love taking trips the counselors have some exciting adventures planned and if weather cooperates we will do another kayaking trip and a rock climbing trip.
We loved reading all your ideas for our summer theme and you will be pleased to know that the theme and many council fire ideas all come from your input. Thank you for voicing your thoughts and ideas as they are vital to the success of camp.
Here is the staff of summer 2009!
Laura Ann Johnson-Trips
Emily Sander-Riflery/Archery/Jr. Sailing
Lydia Sinkus-C.T.s/Jr. Sailing
Betty Rhoades-Teaching Supervisor
Alice Stanley-North Star
Melody Baillargeon-North Star
Katie Wallingford-Assistant Director
Get those trunks packed and be sure to express gratitude to all those that make it possible for you to be here!
I recently read in a magazine article that humans are egocentric by nature. According to this belief, even with the best intentions, we naturally place ourselves at the center of our world. As things take place in our life, we think about them from the standpoint of, “How does this affect me?” The problem with that is, if we were standing in the center of all that’s going on, then we could only see what was right around us. But if we think bigger and zoom our perspective out, we can see more significance in what’s happening and understand how things relate to each other.
Imagine walking through a maze. It can be a dizzying experience. Some friends and I ventured through one at an amusement park several years ago, and I remember losing my bearings and not being able to tell which way I’d come in and which way I was headed. As I followed long, winding pathways that led me only to dead-ends, I felt so disoriented that I almost lost hope of making it out. If I’d been able to zoom out and catch a glimpse of the big picture, it would have been a different story. If I had brought along a map of the pathways, or if there had been a mirror above us revealing the aerial view, I would have been able to see where I fit into the big picture and more easily navigate my path. With a big picture perspective, I imagine that my journey would have been much smoother and I would have felt more confident along the way.
Now imagine that the maze represents any challenging situation in which we feel trapped. Is there an overhead mirror, or a map that will help us see the big picture? The overhead mirror represents spiritual sense. It gives an exalted view that enables us to break out of the box that we’re in and see farther. With that expanded perspective, we’re able to be receptive to God’s direction to get through the maze. Hymn 115 expresses the protection that comes from being led by God. It reads, “When we wandered, Thou hast found us; When we doubted, sent us light; Still Thine arm has been around us, All our paths were in Thy sight.” God always sees things clearly– after all, God made everything in the first place — and spiritual sense elevates our thought to see things as God does.
As far as carrying a map goes, think of what purpose a map serves. It outlines the route from point A to point B. Christian Science study serves the same purpose; it reveals the path from the material view of life to a spiritual understanding of Life. The more we study a map, the more we’ll recognize the trail when we actually encounter it. We’ll be able to say, “Oh, this must be that funny turn near the middle of the maze.” Similarly, the more we study Christian Science, the more we’ll be able to discern situations, too. No longer will we feel like every bend in the road is a surprise or a mystery. Instead, we can spiritually discern what is really happening and how to navigate through the situation.
By being God-centered, we can see everything clearly. Doesn’t coming to Kohahna help us become more God-centered in our lives? First, camp gives distance from the situations at home. A change of scenery helps us gain perspective and see how limited our old viewpoint is. Second, we meet people who have already walked the maze, or encountered similar situations before. They can share helpful ideas and serve as role models, giving us footprints to follow in our quest to better know God. Third, camp stretches us everyday, which means that we are offered more challenges, along with tools and support to successfully apply what we’ve learned in Christian Science. When we return home to face the maze dilemma there, we have a better understanding of God and more experience to draw from and help us through. Things are often easier the second time around, and when we reencounter situations at home, we already have the confidence from our successes at camp.
Perhaps most importantly, camp turns thought away from self. Life at Kohahna illustrates the practical importance of selflessness and generosity, and it provides countless opportunities to put them into action. The more we’re thinking about others, the less we’re dwelling on ourselves and our own challenges. As a result, the paradigm shifts — we’re no longer at the center of the world, and instead we see a much broader view. Our study of Christian Science and application of its principles point out our pathway to spiritual freedom, and spiritual sense will always reveal the true concept of what is going on.
At the conclusion of the Boys’ Banquet on August 8th, Clark Shutt announced that the Leelanau-Kohahna Board has appointed Glenn C Johnson as the Director of Camp Leelanau. Glenn has been close to the camping business for many years through his mother and family’s long association with Camps Newfound and Owatonna in Maine.
Glenn came to Michigan as the Water Skiing counselor for Family Camp in 2000 and he fell in love with the area around Leelanau County and with the spirit of Camps Leelanau and Kohahna. Early this spring he sold his business as a manufacturer’s rep for the automotive business, (mainly NASCAR) and was looking for a new experience. He agreed to serve as the boys’ water skiing counselor for the summer. The campers and staff received him warmly and the Board approached him about assuming more responsibility at the camp.
He has been deeply impressed with the quality staff of young men, the excitement of the campers and the beauty of the area. Motivated by these feeling and his strong desire to serve the cause of Christian Science, he has accepted the position of Director. A huge roar filled the room following the announcement at the Banquet.
Our Board is delighted with Glenn’s decision and we extend a warm welcome to him as a more permanent member of the Leelanau Family.
Our daughter loved her counselor and cabin mates. Meals were good, really something to look forward to.
– a Kohahna mom
I can only say we feel such gratitude for the strong values and safe environment encircled in God’s great love expressed through an idea such as camp.
– from the mom of a camper & counselor
Our son loves the lasting friends he made at camp. It was a 7 week slice of heaven…and opportunity to practice Christian Science.
– Leelanau dad
We were so pleased that our girls got to experience Kohahna again this year. We have seen such a positive change and sense of confidence in all of them. They always come away with so much. We are still hearing stories! Thank you.
– from the mom of 3 Kohahna campers
As a parent I value most the unconditional love and support all the Leelanau men have for one another. I really appreciate the lessons on how to be a loving, responsible, respectful man.
– a Leelanau mom
We are so grateful for the treasured experiences camp provides. The most wonderful aspect, for us as parents, is to see her growing reliance on Christian Science. Camp so lovingly nurtures this growth and teaches daily application of the Truth. This has strengthened (our daughter) and our family. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.
– Kohahna parents
Leelanau and Kohahna provide a fun, safe, refuge for children to experience God’s allness and yet they can still build their spiritual armor to handles the challenges that may come their way in a confident manner.
– written by parents of Kohahna & Leelanau campers
I learned a lot more about Christian Science, which is really one of the best things about being at camp. I was able to help my cabin mates whenever they were not feeling well and that made both of us feel better.
– a Leelanau camper
My favorite thing at camp that keeps me coming back each summer is the love. Every counselor is a big sister, and the other girls in the same cabin as you become your best friends.
– a Kohahna camper
Camp, specifically Leelanau, has become a very important part of our year. The boys love their camp brothers and look forward to seeing them each year. I love knowing they have such a strong pure male Christian Science influence in their lives.
– a Leelanau parent
I have had the most amazing summer of my life this year. I made so many friends that are like my sisters around the US now.
– a Kohahna camper
Each summer (our children) come home more confident in their practice of Christian Science, and more willing and eager to share it with others. The lessons they learn at camp impress them, and stay with them throughout the year. We also appreciate the counseling staff at Leelanau. Our boys respect, admire and want to emulate. These young men have a remarkable influence on our children. We are so grateful for their efforts to model practical, applicable, effective Christian Science in all they do.
– from parents of Leelanau campers
Nowhere else have I met more caring and supportive people than at camp. The friends I have made at camp will be lifelong friends. The spiritual lessons that I have learned help me in my daily life at home, and for that I am extraordinarily grateful.
– a Leelanau camper
As the summer season comes to a close the thoughts and blessings of camp continue to come to the forefront. My daughter began her school year with additional confidence and strength in her understanding of her connection/ relationship to God which she gained at camp. The blessings of those four weeks continue all through the years!
– parent of a Kohahna camper
Camp this year was filled with fun, adventure, and growth. I was provided with many opportunities to push myself, and I took full advantage of every one. I shared laughs and memories with old friends and made new ones. The people at camp make it a unique experience.
– Leelanau camper
The boys love camp. They love making new friends, learning new skills, participating in new activities, and living in beautiful northern Michigan for four weeks each summer. We particularly appreciate the opportunity for them to do all those things under the guidance of strong, clear metaphysicians whose goal it is to help our children grow in their understanding and practice of Christian Science. And they do grow!
– Leelanau camper parents
I have learned so many life lessons and made so many amazing friends. My seven weeks at camp this year were incredible and life changing and I got the opportunity to do so many cool and unique things – like hiking in Canada, going on the challenge and building council fire. I did not want to go home at the end of the seven weeks!
– Kohahna camper
For my kids, camp is the time they get to spend with other Christian Scientists their age. They return with great enthusiasm for God, Christian Science, and love for all, not to mention great stories and life long friends. They gain an understanding of spirituality, as well as realizing prayer works in the everyday hurdles, not just the big stuff.
– camper parent
The values and ideas that are instilled while at camp will be with my children their entire lives. – a Kohahna mom
We value the strong atmosphere of Christly love that permeates camp, the strong sense of family and the sheer joy of the place. – from another Kohahna mom
“My husband and I were very impressed with the caliber for counselors you employ. These fine young men and women show such warmth, care, thoughtfulness and genuine pleasure at having our children at camp.” –Leelanau Parent
We are deeply grateful for these exceptional camps. Our children always come back better and recharged. We could never put a price on it.”
– Camper Parents
“We love camp! Our daughter’s leadership skills were visibly strengthened this summer. She also made great strides in handling disappointment with grace and increasing her willingness to share metaphysical ideas.”
– Kohahna Parent
“My son told me he learned the value of staying calm this summer. He was in a sailboat when the winds picked up. He was tempted to be afraid but together with his counselor they brought the boat safely ashore.”
– Leelanau Parent
“I overheard my daughter tell her father, ‘Camp is like having a bunch of sisters.’ She enjoyed the overall experience of finding a different sense of family and home.”
– First-year Kohahna Parent
“I love seeing the change in our daughter from when we drop her off to when we pick her up. She comes back to us with a renewed sense of who she is, who we are to her, her relationship with others and God.”
– Kohahna Parent
We never leave camp the same as we were when we arrived. There is always something we take home with us even if it isn’t evident right away. After all, what’s the use of coming to camp if it leaves you where it found you? It’s not just about some fun activities to do during the summertime (even though, yes, camp is a blast!). It’s not even just about the friends you make (even though, yes, the friendships at camp will last a lifetime). Beyond the fun times, and beyond the meaningful friendships, camp shows its true value in your life when you find yourself in some challenging situation later in the year, and—just when you need it—a summertime lesson comes to thought and guides you through.
This fall I found myself dressed entirely in black wearing a creepy doll mask, concealed behind a sheet in a dark room of a haunted house. Had I even been to a haunted house before? Nope. Had I mastered the skill of spooking people? Certainly not. Still, here I was: a ghoul for a night. Interestingly, even though I was the one doing the spooking and scaring, I found myself out of my comfort zone. Apparently, scaring people isn’t a highly social activity. I discovered this as I stood in the dark waiting for people to walk by with nothing but the soundtrack of a cackling witch to keep me company. Frankly, I was feeling my own version of homesickness, yearning to be in the company of my friends who were spooking in other rooms of the house. I was too timid to scream loudly or to burst out in front of a group of people, which made the first few groups to pass through difficult for me. All I could think about was my own discomfort.
Then during a quiet moment between groups, I thought back to a similar feeling that I’d had this summer when I went on the Challenge to play with one of the teams. During one evening’s game of Capture the Flag, I was on defense very close to our team’s flag. The other team was quietly approaching, and just as with the haunted house, I was far from my comfort zone. Standing in the dark presented the illusion that I was alone with a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. However, the turning point came when I remembered that even though I felt alone standing there in the dark silence, there were other team members doing the same. If it were daylight, I wouldn’t be feeling nearly as alone because I would be able to spot my teammates a few yards away. With that (not only their presence but also their mutual efforts to do their best and be alert), my discomfort was replaced with confidence. Then I thought about the other team: it consisted of campers and counselors whom I loved dearly. They had the same pure motive to do their best that I had. Once I remembered that we were all playing together in this game, even though we represented opposing teams, I realized that there was no true adversary trying to attack. The Capture the Flag game progressed harmoniously, and I successfully and joyfully filled my role on defense.
This memory was just what I needed during my ghoul adventure. Just as with Capture the Flag, when I viewed everyone involved—customers and ghouls alike—as participating together, then my discomfort completely disappeared. Everyone had the same goal of having fun, so naturally we’d all be working together for that goal. The lesson here reminds me of what Paul says in I Corinthians, “As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. There should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” (I Cor. 12:12, 25) This simple thought of the unity of everyone involved corrected my view of the situation and enabled me to expand my comfort zone.
Not everyone would guess that a ghoul at a haunted house would be standing behind that sheet thinking about summer camp, but in my case it was thinking about a summertime lesson that enabled me to persevere during an uncomfortable situation. Experiences like this go to show the value of the growth that happens at camp, and I love thinking about the innumerable other ways that Kohahna’s lessons are being brought to life throughout the year.
Kohahna’s final week brought the summer to a nice close. Throughout the week, campers enjoyed a mix of normal activities and special final week traditions. Thursday’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was a delight to watch, with campers from both camps singing and acting together in this year’s musical. Friday morning was our run-through for Saturday’s Encore production, and then campers spent the afternoon packing up their trunks before heading up the hill to Council Fire. On Saturday, we welcomed parents and families to join camp activities for a flavor of a day in the life at Kohahna. That evening, Kohahna’s summer came to an official close in the Great House when the whole camp, dressed in white, celebrated together at Final Banquet.
Friday’s final Council Fire ended with the Pine Bough tradition—everyone had the opportunity to share gratitude and then place a pine bough in the fire. The substance of campers’ gratitude demonstrated the value of this summer. We heard about growth in Christian Science, enthusiasm about going home with a new outlook on relationships or school, and gratitude for the solid friendships that developed at Kohahna. For our silent walk back to camp from this final Council Fire, each camper and counselor carries a lighted candle. The symbolism of this tradition is so important; each person’s shining light not only guides her own steps safely along the trail, but it also sheds light on the path for others. If one candle goes out, there are lit candles on either side to rekindle the flame, just as in life there are role models, friends, and family members to provide a support system for each one of us. Collectively, the flames transform the dark woods to be bright and clear. This has been a significant summer at Kohahna, and the individuals now dispersing around the country are truly beacons of light.
When counselors and campers return at the beginning of the summer, it is so apparent that they have returned to a place they consider to be a second home.