Summer brought wonderful opportunities for Alums to feel a part of camp. Most Sunday nights alums are invited to join the campers in the walk up the hill to council fire and then be a part of the circle as counselors and campers share ideas, sing songs, participate in challenges and are recognized for their achievements. Counselors always have a special message they are working to convey as a part of their summer theme, this past summer it was “It’s the real you.” Alums are asked to share how the lessons learned while at camp have touched their lives. Sometimes the alums even get to be a part of the night’s challenge.
If you would like to go to council fire be sure to get in touch with Kathleen Moyer, Kohahna’s Director, by the prior Saturday.
Every summer, the last Saturday of camp, alums gather in the Great House by 7:40am, to serve the campers and counselors breakfast in bed. After breakfast we spend as long as we can sharing stories and enjoying each other’s company. All alumnae are welcome to join us!
Cynthia Konold Landers (‘70s) shares her experience:
When we relocated to Northern Michigan for early retirement, I couldn’t wait to go back to the camp and take part in the alumni breakfast. It was so worth getting up early on a Saturday to meet all the alums, reconnect with my former counselor Marcia, see Mary Heckel who had been a camper when I was there and visit with today’s counselors and campers. I visited the littlest girls and they were so sweet and adorable! It was a chilly morning and one of them was sleeping “au naturel” in her sleeping bag – what a trooper! It made me long to be back at camp again, but also made me grateful for all the wonderful things Camp Leelanau & Kohahna do for boys & girls, now and later in life.
Lisa Davis tells us:
What a wonderful tradition for alums – serving the last Saturday breakfast at Kohahna! It not only gives us a chance to revisit our cabins 🙂 , it demonstrates the long-lasting love of camp, of the Kohahna spirit that we cherish through adulthood. Do you ever wonder if the girls think to themselves — I’m going to do that one day!?
Mary Heckel Thompson also shares:
Seeing the campers faces in the morning is priceless . . .
The last Saturday night of camp, while the girls’ camp is having their banquet and the boys’ camp is having their cookout, alumni and camper parents along with their families (kids that aren’t at camp) gather in the Leelanau Lodge for dinner and camaraderie. It’s a great spot to see friends and meet parents who understand the importance of camp enough to send their children to camp even though they never went themselves. This summer it happened to coincide with the raising of the totem pole which was fun for everyone to watch.
There are always alums that show up and surprise us! Nancy Schmidt Kyme came this year and presented Board Member, Susan Latham Timoner with a check for camp. From Nancy, “We did a little ceremony at the Camp Alumni dinner so I could give my winnings from the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award to Susan Timoner.” Book Luvin’ Babes named Nancy the Inspirational Book winner of the 2012 Next Generation Book Awards for Memory Lake, the forever friendships of summer, Vantage Press. Nancy’s book is about her summers (’74-’76) at Camp Leelanau for Girls.
We have this dinner every year, we hope you will attend if you are in the area.
I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since the reunion–it’s still such a strong presence in my thoughts that it seems as if it were just a week ago. It was wonderful to see so many friends again! Really, it seemed as if only a few years had gone by instead of 14 or more. I loved hearing about the journeys people have been on–marriages, careers, children, travels, challenges, triumphs, and more. Some of us are between jobs or looking for new opportunities, and the positive energy we took away with us from the reunion has helped all of us. I know that for sure because we’ve been emailing and cheering each other on! The atmosphere was so incredibly supportive, and there was such an expectation of goodness on all levels. I just loved it.
This may sound like a funny thing to point out, but after the church service I saw several people spontaneously helping each other to shelve hymnals and so forth, and the spirit of mutual helpfulness and cooperation really struck me. It was a small thing, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen something like that…I just stood there and appreciated it for a moment. It still makes me smile. I know lots of helpful and nice people in my mom’s group, my PTO, the place where I volunteer…and yet it just isn’t the same somehow. There was something so sweet and loving about what I saw. I need a little bit more of that in my life.
Seeing most of my CT group again was priceless. We’re all the same, yet totally different. We grew up! And everyone is still so amazing! We had such a blast together. I wish everyone had been able to make it, so next time we’ll have to be more persuasive.
Love to everyone!
Diana Burchard West
(75 – 86)
Click here to view photos of this event.
The CT class of ’76
was the finest ever, a quality mix!
Leelanau for Girls was never the same
after our glorious summer of phenomenal fame.
We returned with spirit to reunite
for a wonderful weekend of pure delight!
From New Hampshire, Ohio, and Saint Loueee,
We gathered in carpools, chatting with glee.
Old friendships picked up quick as a wink.
Any bunk was fine; we didn’t make a stink
But missing were two of our dear cabinmates,
deterred by social and business dates.
Without their smiles and giggles galore,
We had to adjust–and eat an extra s’more!
Hikes to the Point and Olympics on the lawn,
Talking and snoozing, waking up at dawn.
Taking a dip in the cold, cold lake
Don’t wake Cindy, for goodness sake!
Who was that snoring? A mystery remains.
Still had fun making crafts and pebble frames,
Quietly canoeing, sharing lots and lots of laughs
Tears at Council Fire.
And our time, of course, would have been incomplete
Had we not made sure some beds had short-sheets!
All together in one cabin again . . .
Kohahna . . . , let’s just say, Amen.
Christie Eherenman Sears (71-77), Cindy McCleary Marston (74-76), Lori Miller Moffatt (71-77), Mary Heckel Thompson (71-83, 85), Nancy German Brooke (71-81), Sarah Kennedy Huscroft (1971¸ 1976), Tori Craig-Moore (75, 76); missing were Sue Wright and Nancy Schmidt Kyme.
My summary of the weekend that keeps coming back to me is: “The joy that none can take away Is mine; I walk with Love to-day.” The continuing joy I feel, at any moment, when I think of camp, it was all reignited at the reunion! Live, Love, Laugh . . . that is what it was all about!
Debbie Schaberg Foley
When I returned to Kohahna in 1955 as a counselor, I had not been at camp for five years and wondered if I could “go home again.” During the eight weeks I formed close friendships with four other counselors. And 53 years later, after marriages, two divorces, 11 children and many grandchildren (among the five of us), and one passing, four of us came home again filled with gratitude for the joy Kohahna has brought us.
I came to Kohahna at age 11 as an only child of a single parent. When I left Kohahna at age 20, all that I had learned about friendship, love, and the qualities of womanhood I had gleaned from camp. It was such a joy to be with one of my daughters at the reunion. I was so grateful that I had been able to share what I’d learned at camp and, more important, that she had been able to have her own wonderful, growing years at Kohahna.
Barbara Farrell Globinski
From an email
I’m on a huge high.
I know I said this yesterday (and the day before that, and the day before that), but I just can’t let it go without saying it one more time …. Thank you! (And this “Thank you” encompasses so many things)!
First and foremost,thanks to the organizers, they did a brilliant job! What a weekend they gave us—one that we could take home and continue to express!
Thank you again for asking me to provide the arts and crafts activity and feeling confident that I could do so. I had so much fun with everyone and received so much more from them, in return, than anyone could imagine.
I “see” it … reunions are very important to/for Kohahna. For instance, to be able to reconnect with Armagh (Cassil) and Peggy (White Wray) and Barb (Schultz), to be able to see you and Lisa (Davis) and Anne (Muente Bruland) again, and to make my first acquaintance with other campers from other decades was just the coolest of cool. It’s a valuable lifeline. So, thank you (a bajillion times plus) for all your hard work and effort.
Can’t wait to return and see you at Harvest Weekend!
Love, Alix Haynes
P.S. I had a great drive home thinking about the weekend, expressing my gratitude and singing out loud, and was home in no time.
From an email
The committee did an awesome job on the reunion! Thanks for making it so easy for the rest of us. I’m so sorry I couldn’t participate any more than I did…I was at the beck and call of contractors and landscapers and movers…but I wouldn’t have missed the campfire for the world…it was THE BEST!
Carolyn Doepke Bennett
From an email
That was a fabulous weekend and did so much for so many people! I hope you heard many positive compliments. One of my highlights was getting connected with Missy Hayden’s mom! I hope I hear from Missy. Too bad so many other people missed out. Maybe next time we can encourage more. It was fun, reconnecting with so many people that we had been with in so many of the locations of camp. The hard part was having enough time to talk with everyone. Thank you for all the planning and making that reunion happen.
Love, Mary Heckel Thompson
Wow! What an awesome time I had at Kohahna last weekend. Thank you for all your hard work putting the Alumni Weekend together!
I felt about 12 years old during the reunion weekend, and it brought back some wonderful memories.
I’ve gone crazy with beads! I had so much fun in the craft room; in fact, I hardly left it at all! I must have made a dozen necklaces since the reunion. I knew the trip to Kohahna was just what I needed.
Love, Jane Beatty
From an email
The reunion was GREAT!! Spectacular! Porge asked me how I’d rate it, on a scale from 1-10. I wanted to say a 10! But only because she wasn’t there, I said 9!!
I have Porge’s (her sister who couldn’t come due to the hurricane) tote bag. I actually made her a picture frame and am looking for a picture of the three Davis girls at camp together to put in it.
(63-60, 82, 84)
From an email
I can’t thank the committee enough for all they did both before and at the reunion. It was great in every way–I teared up many times–at the church service singing hymns, at the Council Fire, seeing friends I hadn’t seen for a long time. Well, it will be remembered for a long, long time. SPECIAL THANKS!
Betty Schierholz Marshall
From an email
I am lucky. Just to have the camp friends I have makes me lucky. We met years ago as campers and CTs and have kept in touch over the years–mini-reunions, get-togethers in Glen Arbor, here and there. But to be able to spend a reunion weekend with these same friends–and to laugh over the same things we would have laughed about 20 years ago–was wonderful. The weekend made me feel like a kid again. Then add into the mixture the most beautiful place on earth, and I come back to where I started: I am lucky.
Leeann Jacob Gun
From an email
The entire reunion was amazing, practically indescribable…. Reconnecting with friends from so long ago made all the wonderful camp experiences seem like just yesterday. For me, the best parts of the reunion included connecting with wonderful women, sleeping in the cabins, participating in activities, going to council fire, dipping, the dining hall and final banquet, Sunday service and hymn sing, having to walk outside to the bathroom (the “Ritz”) in the middle of the night, the view of Lake Michigan from the hill and the beach, the kick line, the Marsh Family… My favorite specific memory: lying on my cot, in my cabin, with my cabin mates, and feeling, smelling, listening to the beauty of camp. I can’t wait to do it again!
All the best,
DD Abner Norton