Former Campers and Counselors at Camp White Earth gathered for their second reunion on the weekend of September 12-14, 2008 at Maplelag Resort, Callaway, Minnesota. We had 36 attending:
Payson and Lisa Adams
Tom and ZoŽ Adams
Rich and Nancy Borstad
Bill and Gayle Chorske
Doug and Vicki Dypwick
Dick and Sue Flickinger
Guy and Judy Hatlie
Ron and Caroline Johnson
John and Carol Koepcke Steve and Marilyn Koepcke
John and Jean Nelson Chip and Rosa Maria Peterson
Jim and Mary Richards
Eddie and Kay Schermerhorn
The short form: I think everybody had a terrific time.
The gang started to gather on Friday afternoon at Maplelog Resort….got themselves checked-in, and returned to the Hospitality Room (an area setup adjacent to the lobby) to meet old camper and counselor friends. There were ‘refreshments’ and hors d’oeuvres…. (prepared by Judy Hatlie and Vicki Dypwick). Displays were set up depicting old photos and other memorabilia… There was a good ‘buzz’ in the room. And a few ‘whoops’! as old friends recognized each other, shook hands, embraced, and rolled out “I remember you when……..”
Pete Swanson and Chip Peterson conversing in the foreground; Paul Whitney and Tim MacDonald just behind them.
Guy Hatlie (center) with two of his favorite counselors, Bill Chorske and Rich Borstad in the display area.
After lunch visit and coffee: Foreground L. to R. Fred Richards, Chip Peterson, Ron Johnson. In back: Gayle and Bill Chorske, Rosa Maria Peterson, and Carolin Johnson.
Jim Richards with John and Carol Koepcke
Off to dinner….Italian Night at Maplelag! It was terrific. We sang grace, (“For health and strength, and daily food, we give the thanks Oh Lord”,and John (Nelly) Nelson “Slap off!” at the end of the meal.
After dinner we had a short program. In my opening remarks I mentioned that this may be our last reunion with the camp site in a ‘recognizable’ state. There is a renovation project about to begin which would include the replacement of many, if not all, the buildings that we are familiar with. Here is a summary of the current project provided by Vern Hunter:
“We have been asked by the White Earth Tribal Council to
develop a master plan for a lodge, site sewer/water, buildings to be removed,
bathhouse facility, etc. in preparation for bidding sewer/ water and a
bathhouse this winter for hopefully spring construction. We appreciate the history,
and recollections of obvious good times on this site. We are trying to conserve
it as possible. Please feel free to come back with any comments, old photos,
etc. Unfortunately many of the old dorms will have to be removed and the lake
bank is receding. Any information to include in the report would be
We then moved on to have some fun…
Who traveled the furthest!!!?? Many people traveled very long distances to be here….These are the top 5 (according to Mapquest):
Alhambra, California, 1889 miles…………....Pete Swanson
Windham, Maine, 1711 miles…………….…Payson (Paidie) & Lisa Adams
Tigard, Oregon, 1560 miles…………………Paul Whitney
Woodstock, Vermont, 1534 miles…………..Bill & Gayle Chorske
Thibodaux, Louisiana, 1460 miles…………...Tom & ZoŽ Adams
So, for his long trek to be with old friends…..Pete won a Maplelag shirt!!
There is no doubt that the long distance traveled by many was greatly appreciated by all. Thanks so much for making the effort to attend.
At the 2006 reunion I mentioned a few of the ‘excuses’ given for not attending the reunion….(beyond health issues and travel cost issues) it demonstrated what active/productive lives we lead, but some seemed humorous in ’06, and perhaps a few of the ’08 comments are as well….I thought I’d share a few this time…of course, they are anonymous:
“We’re going to see the Fall colors in Vermont”
“No”……..that was it, just “no”
“We’re going to watch our son present a paper at a symposium”
“I’m going to a professional conference”
“I’m planning a trip to Minnesota….later”
“Going to the dedication of the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial; I was on the design committee”
And my favorite:
“We’re going to a pigeon race”
I read a couple of messages from folks that really wanted to be with us, but just couldn’t attend:
Whitey Kenagy… I also referred everybody to look through the ‘write-up’ and pictures he sent. They were in the display area.
Diane Fleisher… Kitchen girl in 1959 and 60. She admonished us to “fess up”…whoever got into the ‘kitchen girl cabin’ and took Nancy Fabre’s girdle and ran it up the flag pole!
John Nelson led us in a few songs while we set up the video provided by Tom Putnam from 1954. We did pretty well with the old songs…. The video, although rather short, showed the campers and counselors at ‘flag raising’, campers getting their nails checked, and marching off to breakfast, all in their ‘Sunday Whites’. The nurse performing the inspection is believed to be RoseMarie …later to be the wife of Chuck Kubes.
In 2006 when we gathered I chose to focus my remarks as a tribute to Niels Thorpe….read his eulogy and former counselors shared memories of Coach. This reunion I focused my remarks on Rudy ‘Pete’ Pedersen, November 19, 1901 – July 9, 1986. In my view, it seemed that while ‘Coach’ was the spiritual leader of the Camp, Pete was the principle business administrator. Both terrific, influential and unforgettable people. Below I have depicted the obituary and article from the Minneapolis Tribune, and a poem written by a former student of Pete’s.