Alum Memories

Favorite Camp Memory

From Vasanta Nandyal Knight Nashville TN:Well it is been a while since I have even thought about Red Pine.  I had come across it when doing work for one of my own Foundation where I sit as President of the Board of Directors.  the camp I volunteer with is "Grandma's Camp"  It was started by a friend of mine who thoguht Grandkids and Grandparents are often times disconnected from each other.  When I volunteered at my first camp it brought memories of RPC.  I remember sitting around the dining hall and talking to my fellow campers about the day ahead or the day past.  I remember sitting on the rock behing Musk III cabin listening to nature around me.  RPC did teach me how to be a lady and have the manners that are often lost in today's children.  I know that I am teaching my little 2 yr old girl how to act like a lady.  I don't get up north much anymore as my family, job and Grandma's Camp keep me busy all year around.  My child knows that one day she will get to attend Grandma's Camp...heck she is 2 and knows the camp song.  She will know that her mommy went to RPC and had some fun summers.  I do hope that one day we will make a trip up north to visit the camp.  I think I even found a song book I had from RPC  how cool is that?  Well good-bye for now from Nashville TN.   God Bless

From Jeanette Geder: After many years behind me I still have great memories of Red Pine in the early '70's. My favorite was finally learning how to dive, as much as I enjoyed swimming, the abillity to dive eluded me for many years. I have memories of Sandy Powell, Barb Kittler and many other counselors encouraging me, but it took Pat (he sometimes drove the ski boat) to pick me up by the ankles and drop me head first into the water. Then somehow I learned how to push off and invert my body into a proper diving position! Other memories are the camping trips, canoeing and the pinecone auctions! I was happy to see that Red PIne is still going strong. I was so happy to find this website. 

From Gale Bratnober Brugeman: I believe Mrs. Whittenkamp visualized camp as a fun, camping "finishing" school type of Summer place. We were always being taught manners, housekeeping and speaking correctly and it started with the youngest in Star Cabin. Nobody was too young to learn manners at RPC. I think of that lovely woman, always wearing a skirt, blouse and her forever spectator pumps every day, every Summer in the beginnings of RPC.  She was soft spoken but her glare could send drill instructors running.  She was a no nonsense woman but a lovely woman at the same time.  Little did we beginning campers realize what a privilege it was to know the Whittenkamps, and actually their entire family as Sarah and Susie were always at the camp too, along with Sarah's family through the years. 

I'm sure throughout all the years, RPC always scored witihin the top % with the ACA. Accreditation was a very important factor, especially for a new camp. Campers seldom paid attention but the place was run exceptionally well and seldom did anyone have any free time on their hands to get into mischief. And if one did, it was usually practical jokes like short sheeting someones bed, etc. Never anything malicious or dangerous.

Heather Trees: Because of camp... I love and appreciate nature and I love to do things outdoors no matter what the weather. We had our first blizzard this year. I am headed out for a big snowshoe!

Nancy Flasher....Greetings All: A great deal of my life has been dedicated to being a camper or a camp counselor. Largely because of my camp experiences at YMCA camp, Girl Scouts camp, church wilderness camp and a private girls camp (Yeah, RPC!), I have cultivated an immense love and deep respect for young people, their needs for connection with others, their respect for the environment, and the necessary passageways all individuals must somehow traverse while developing their core selves. 

Camp life led to me to pursuing a degrees in environmental education and public education leadership. I honestly believe that my early and lasting roots in camping make me a better citizen and educator; I will forever continue seeking ways to bring into K-12 classrooms just some of how truly amazing learning and growth takes place at camp.

I worry about the impact on young people who go without the "camp" opportunities afforded me when I was a developing child and young adult. What might the lack of a "camp" experience mean for our young people mean to this great nations and to this planet? Because of camp, I grew up with a great deal of faith in a good future for all life.

Cheers to All at RPC. Much love always,
Nancy Flasher
RPC Camp Counselor, Tripping Department Staffer 1981-1988

From Ann Perce...
Boarding the Hiawatha at Union Station Chicago and arriving after dark at the Woodruff station. Wonderful meals and singing in the dining room/porch. "Hilda, Hilda, listen while we sing to you..." (Hilda was the cook--I believe she had been with the Wittenkamps in Madison.) Learning to swim, dive, canoe, sail, horseback ride--and excelling at the last.Canoe trips, turnabout trips (canoe one way, horseback ride one way), canoe outings to Velvet Island (?) on the other side of Clear Lake. Singing at the campfires.The great counselors--and crushes on them. The beautiful candlelight ceremony, watching the candles on the birchbark float out into the lake--alsways with a lump in my throat because I would be leaving the next day.

From Nancy Anderson-Hinsdale: 
Hello Everyone! I have so many wonderful memories of Red Pine Camp.   I was a camper starting in 1969, I believe. Later I was in the leadership program and then  a camp counselor.  I’ve often thought of Red Pine and all the friends I met including fellow campers,  counselors,  Mr. and Mrs.  W, Irene and Sarah and of course Roy!  I had the pleasure and honor of receiving the Medallion award in 1970 and still have the horsemanship metal that from time to time I take out of my jewelry box and wear! Nancy Anderson (Aurora) was at camp the same time I was.  I believe I was referred to as Nancy Anderson (Hinsdale).  My cousin, Catherine Hansen, went to camp 1-2 years that I attended.  I am still close with Catherine and sometimes (yes, it’s true!) we’ll break into song singing….”Red Pine Camp, Red Pine Camp for girls (clap, clap), Red Pine Camp for Girls, out on Big Clear Lake….we go riding and swimming too, we go canoeing in red canoes….do you still have red canoes?   My best to all of you!   I would love to come visit sometime in the near future ! With loving memories,
Nancy (Hinsdale)

Emily (Knappen) Likens: Hello Red Pine Camp for Girls!  I stopped my online search of summer camps (I have four boys) to look at the Red Pine website.  It has been over twenty years that I was a camper there!   I wanted to tell you how lovely the camp still is.  I spent two consecutive summers there as a camper and if I could go back to that age, I would have chosen many more.  Although I struggled with the typical pre-teen social awkwardness I must admit that those summers were such a joy and a blessing to me. Especially as an adult, I know how those summers impacted who I was to become in such an impressive way.  To have to recount just one experience is just too hard.  I loved the challenge of “waterskiing” the big white disk.  I loved the smell and sounds of the woods and even now when I hear a loon I am reminded of Red Pine.  I remember walking to the stables on hot afternoons, looking forward to swimming and the long canoe trips to Peanut Butter beach.  There was a particular time when I was sailing on the big lake and a feeling of smallness came over me.  I was afraid of the sailboat’s speed, the impending storm clouds on the horizon and had the general fear of not being able to make it back safely.  Well I did make it back and that memory (coupled with the final outcome of sailing the boat to its mooring), stays with me even today as a reminder that I will make it through overwhelming and scary life situations.  Thank you for providing generations of girls with the opportunity to discover themselves in a positive environment without the pressure and distractions of a coed camp. 

Emily (Knappen) Likens

From Kelly J. Harvey (Butterfield)... My fondest Red Pine Camp memories, what are they???? Let's start with this:
I believe I started going to Red Pine back when I was atleast 7 or 8 years old. SCARED, Yes I was terrified. Being that young and being away from mom and dad. I tell you what the first couple of years that I had gone to Red Pine I seem to think I had taken the Greyhound Bus to the camp. FUN??? Yes it was a blast even though I was pretty spooked out. But the one best thing I did I had met a girl. Her name was Donia, Pizza was her last name. She and I had become pretty great friends. She and I had clicked it off pretty good while we were traveling in the bus to the camp. The bus ride seemed like it did not take that long because we were so busy with talking and getting to know each other and the other kids on the bus. Did we drive the Bus Driver crazy yes I think we did. I am approaching the age of 40 years old here in a few months. May 19th to be exact. I came across the website for Red Pine and I tell you what it nearly brought tears to my eyes. I loved all the people, the counselors, Irene and Sarah. Now, you can't forget the Whitencamps, Now I believe they have passed on now. They were wonderful people also. All I can do is sit back and think of all the great things that had happened to me while I had attended Red Pine Camp for Girls. 
My favorite things that I had learned while I was at Red Pine: I learned how to water-ski, waterskiing is still my favorite thing to do. Sailing, I never really sailed much while I was there I think I rode on a sail boat maybe once or twice. Now Canoeing, I always wanted to go on the Canoe trip to Canada. I never seemed I was able to try out. I did teach Canoeing for one session, I loved it. My kids were awesome canoers. Swimming, I loved swimming and still do. I taught swimming also for one session. I loved to teach kids how to swim. I went to Red Pine all the way till I hit the age of 15 I do believe. It might have been sixteen but I am not sure. Like I had said I am almost 40 now and things are a blurr. Anyway, The biggest thing I do believe that I did learn while I was at camp, and that was how to grow up. I am a firm believer that being away from mom and dad at that early of an age helped me grow up considerably. Yes there were quite a few times that I was homesick. Yes I did cry myself to sleep alot. But you know what I made the best of it. When my parents were able to come and visit me that was the most wonderful time. They were able to watch me in all of my activities. Paul Bunyan cookies now they were the best. I remember being able to go into town with my parents and bringing back Paul Bunyan cookies for the rest of the kids in my cabin. Now, speaking of cabins I remember the Leadership cabin. That was the best cabin ever. I really felt like a grown up when I was in leadership. Then I was a teenager and I felt like I knew it all, (even though I didn't). Now I have not been blessed with having any children of my own, but if I ever did and I had a girl I would most definitely consider sending her to Red Pine. Because Red Pine you are the best. Keep up the great work and please keep all of those wonderful memories keep flowing through. 

From Wendy O'Koon: Red Pine Camp for Girls holds some, if not most, of my fondest childhood memories!  I’m in tears!  I’m almost 40 now, so the memories are blurry, but I remember them all w/ happiness!  Tetherball!  Spruce Cabin!  The freezing water!  Getting stranded on a sailboat on the lake!  Those Paul Bunyun cookies that the older girls would sneak to us!  The infirmery with more mosquito bites than I could count!  Irene & Sarah!  And that cute old couple that had each cabin up to their house up for dinner during the summer.  Oh, and peanut butter mixed with butter that made it oh so creamy!  And the songs we made up . . . heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, red pine camp is the best camp in town!  Putting on those talent shows and the candlelight something where we put those candles in the lake . . . I just remember how beautiful!  And I remember getting in a wee bit of trouble too!  But all part of a girl growing up!  Counselers I remember, though not their names, still seem dear to me!  Learning how to sail and waterskee and put up a tent!  And the buddy system.  And laying out on the grassy lawn in front of the lake.  And trying to bath in what felt like ice cubes!  I’m telling you, when I have a girl, I’m sending her directly to Red Pine every summer!  These are the fondest memories of my childhood and I hope you can share this with all those young girls!  May Red Pine Camp for Girls live for generations of girls to come!  

From Lisa Gordon.... My first year I was all excited to go with my best friend Sue Alex/Squish who had been going to Red Pine for years. She broke her arm and I was on my own, very scared to go alone… it was the best experience I ever had. Connie was my counselor and water skiing was amazing for a city kid who never experienced skiing, sailing, riding and more. I still remember Hemlock and friends like Mary Meek, Blair Be Be and others. I loved Red Pine for years to come.

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