Episode 01 – Mary Mennel



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Stoney Lake Reflections Show Notes

Episode: 01 Mary Mennel


I sat down with Mary Mennel at the 577 Foundation where she was the Executive Director for 28 years.  It was a beautiful August afternoon to discuss some of her Stoney Lake Reflections. I have known Mary since childhood, but we really got to know each other when she was the North Center Director and I was a long term camper during the Summers of ‘84 and ‘85. (Unbeknownst to me at the time, by me going to North Center , it created a small custody battle between Margaret Spoleman and Mary).

Before Mary departed Storer in ‘89 she and Greg McKee interviewed me prior to my first year on staff in 1990!  During my time at Storer through various positions, I came to fully appreciate Mary’s approach to leadership and how important it was to have such a positive Storer role model.

The interview is one part reunion and many parts reminiscing. Interviewers usually shouldn’t be fawning, but this is a podcast, not a formal interview :). Considering Mary’s 17 year professional tenure at camp, I was naturally eager to sit down with what I consider a Storer legend. She is much more humble than to easily accept such a distinction or moniker.  I felt that she would be my perfect guest to launch the Stoney Lake Reflections Podcast. Her laugh is as contagious as her enthusiasm for Camp Storer and I appreciate her graciously accepting my invitation to record her thoughts for Stoney Lake Reflections.


  • Mary discusses working 28 Years at 577 Foundation
  • Remembers surpassing 17 years at Storer and now is looking at retirement after growing and evolving the 577 foundation
  • 577 Mission Includes- Community garden spaces, growing vegetables and flowers, all organic.
    Also planting a row for the local food bank, with last years donations at 1300 pounds! Year around garden in a solar energized geodesic dome. Community outreach includes meeting space for other non-profit groups at no cost, educational programs include a pottery barn, lending library, a historic log cabin from the 1800s, a scenic Maumee river walk and a fossil dig.
  • Mary discusses how she considers herself very lucky in that she has had two careers that were a passion and a love…and not just jobs.
  • Mary details her start at Storer as a camper. She then was asked to help out with the horses as a manager, with Outdoor Education. Later she was a center director in the Summer and Director for OE along with Greg McKee. Eventually taking over supervising both centers. Mary also chronicles the start of OE by Bryce Harbaugh, then Greg McKee bringing in his own staff to build upon that foundation.


  • Mary’s secret to her longevity at Camp
  • Mary’s favorite position while at Storer and why
  • The hardest experience she had at camp
  • Snowbound in the Blizzard of ’78
  • Wonders of communication


‘Stoney Lake Reflections’ Sing-out
Performed by Singer/Songwriter Cori Strell:
Intsagram: @coristrellmusic
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/cori-strell
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cori-Strell-Music-1174158396011014/

Additional Tracks used:
Music by Hook Sounds http://www.hooksounds.com
Music composed by Nicolai Heidlas

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Storer's 100th CelebrationJune 30, 2018
The big day is here.

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