Bonus Episode: Audio Tour of Camp Storer 1980s

Bonus Episode: Audio Tour of Camp Storer 1980s

Here we are at the last week of June 2018.  I’m so glad that there’s nothing going on this week!  The Stoney Lake Reflections project is in full swing with so much material in the pipeline and barely any time to publish it all.  But that’s a good problem to have.

I found the following piece of audio history in the archives and thought it appropriate to share this week as so many are headed back to camp.  Take a listen and perhaps play it on your way to camp.  And if you can’t join us in person for the 100th, listen to this virtual tour of camp from the 1980’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to learn more about The Stoney Lake Reflections Project’s work with the archives, read on!

 


ARCHIVAL WORK

I like to remind people that this project is much more than the podcast as there is the website (which you are viewing right now) and also some deep behind the scenes work taking place with the YMCA Storer Camps archives.

 

The archival piece of the project is one that I have not talked a lot about yet, but it is vital when considering any piece of Storer’s 100-year history.  I’ll be writing more about it and highlighting some unique contents of what the archives hold. I’ll also be discussing a proposal that would involve cataloging, organizing, preserving and the eventual sharing of the contents found therein.  I have some grand goals for a project that will be big in scope, utilize technology to its fullest potential to preserve, protect, and yet share key pieces of YMCA Storer Camps visual history.  Perhaps the passion is from my love of anthropology. It doesn’t hurt that my Uncle was once head librarian at the New York Public Library (then Syracuse U.) and his son, a Storer alum,  was involved in the Harvard University Library system.  My oldest brother is also heavily involved in the pursuit of family history including geneology.

 

I do want to take a moment here to thank camp for allowing me access to the archives during my trips to Storer this past year.  Specifically, I want to say a BIG thank you to Becky Spencer for indulging my passion for history.  In this case, Storer Camps history, allowing me to view the collection satisfying my social and cultural anthropological curiosities.  I thrive on digging into a culture’s shared ideas, beliefs and values.  The ability to investigate historical records, catalogue artifacts and the ability to share the wealth of information that lies in 100 year’s of history.  A history of personal interest.

 

I also want to thank Becky and others for putting up with my broken record of reminders regarding best practices for the archives, which encompasses a wide-range of issues.  I’ll be diplomatic and say I’m passionate about the archives and believe in (and have goals to attain) their fullest potential.  As my best friend kids, whenever I talk about the Storer archives, he likes to quote Indiana Jones as he gets excited “It belongs in a museum!”   Despite my enthusiasm for the records, I’m grateful that camp still welcomes me back to access the archives.

 

 

As the Stoney Lake Reflections Project evolves, so shall too the archives piece.  If you are interested in learning more, feel free to stop me at the 100th and ask.  Or drop me a line.

“History is who we are, and why we are the way we are” – David McCullough

 

 

 

 

Episode 11: Don Klotz

 

My following guest is someone so many encouraged me to talk to and boy we’re they right!  This past February, while setting up an interview with Bryce & Judy Harbaugh, they mentioned that Don Klotz just had dinner with them and that he would be a perfect person to visit with before I left Toledo.  Considering I have heard so much about Don, a man who I was told embodied the ‘I’m Third” spirit since his time in the 1940’s, I would do everything on my end to make an interview happen.  The Harbaughs made the arrangements and we met the morning I departed for the east coast.

 

I pulled in to Don’s residence, got my gear ready, and walked into the lobby.  There was Don, wearing a bright red YMCA Storer Camps pullover, keeping him warm on this February day.  He met me with a cart for my stuff and he showed me around the complex where he helps with the mail and organizing the gift shop.  It seemed Don was right at home, keeping busy, as he settles in retirement.  At least when he doesn’t hit the road for his Storer visits!

 

Doc Miller was described as a man small in stature but large in spirit and I found Don the same way. Dr. Klotz is charming. He has an impish smile, and a dry wit (both I appreciate).  We quickly got down to business in a room Don had reserved for our meeting.  He even had arranged a special table with two chairs set up for our chat.  The scene was set and we started to record.

Then before I knew it, we were wrapping up.  I couldn’t believe it.  Don was so engaging, I lost track of the time.  I double-checked that he left no stories on the table or thoughts to share.  He was satisfied with our time and the stories he shared and he seemed more than happy to share his love for YMCA Storer Camps.  As an interviewer, this is an ideal guest, generous, open, and fun.

 

 

I wished I had more time with my new friend, but we both had things to do.  My last stop that day was at the Toledo club for a quick bite to eat before leaving town for Detroit Metro.  When I got to lunch, both my Dad and Stepmother noticed I was in great spirits and I told them about my perfectlty wonderful morning. I will say Toledo is dreary in February, but that day, I didn’t really notice.

 

Throughout this Stoney Lake Reflections journey, I find myself using word’s like ‘legend,’ ‘giant’, and ‘hero’.  They seem redundant after awhile considering there are so many great people associated with Camp Storer, past & present. If these words are overused to a point where they lose impact, that’s on me.  But when thinking about people like Don Klotz, come up and share your own adjectives for this Storer luminary, if you want to add to my list.

 

Don was instrumental in the Emerson Barn rehab project, working closely with camp and the ‘Barn Doctor’

 

 

 

Artesian well pump house where the milk was kept cold at Storer’s first few acres

 

Chimney of the original mess hall, S. Center

Enjoy the following discussion of one of the humblest, yet generous men you will ever meet.  Here’s the second half of Don’s story where we find out how he delivered on a 40 year promise…

Show Notes:

  • Starting at Ohio State and first year residency
  • Leading a trip through Lake Powell Arizona- Another trip (mis)adventure! Anyone have a radiator?
  • “I peed in my shoe!” Someone on his trip declared!
  • The need for Venture Out to return!
  • Don’s favorite place at camp and his favorite job.  Mind you, he could of really done anything!
  • A former surgeon wants to work on the maintenance crew !?!
  • Don’s rough introduction to the crew…hint: it all works out!
  • What drove Don while working at camp during his return
  • Don’s three main responsibilities, that affected all but would only be noticed if he didn’t do them
  • Emerson Barn overhaul
  • Building a new maintenance barn (Providing much needed cover from the elements)
  • Don’s appreciation of the ‘E’ in Stoney Lake!
  • Repurposing the North Center dining hall to the Doc Miller Learning Center
  • Rehabbing Hyatt house
  • Don visits the maintenance boys at camp (and the ladies in the kitchen)
  • What Don enjoys at camp, starting with the people
  • What advice he would give people working at camp today
  • Don is asked, what makes a good leader?
  • October 2015 he is inducted in the Storer Hall of Fame, and how he’s embarrassed by his inclusion.
  • Don does not have a favorite motto year, but he accepts two suggestions
  • Don’s one word for camp and what it means to him
  • Don’s final word: Come back to the 100th!

The Legend of Mona Greenfield

The Legend of Mona Greenfield

The following article details my approach to this re-telling the legend of Mona, from a thoughtful introspective examination of this piece of lore through actual recorded production.

 

 


 

 

 

DID I BREAK A TABOO?

At the start of The Stoney Lake Reflections Project, I had a few things that were “must haves” if I were to devote a podcast to YMCA Storer Camps.  Naturally, the first few items on list regarded guests.  However one item stood out as it was a musing to record the Legend of Mona.

 

 

 

As an Anthropology enthusiast, (BA Anthropology), ever since my notion of telling the Mona story, I struggled with the idea of what it means to record this particular tale. Anthropologically,  the legend was always an ‘oral tradition’ an important component of any culture’s history and Storer’s was no different.  But now I was thinking of moving the legend to ‘oral history’, if I were to commit the tale to some piece of media. I asked myself, was I somehow committing some sort of offense? Was I sharing a secret story?  Would I ruin the story for future campers?

Well, the short answer, after much deliberation, and some investigation, is NO.  As I shared with Mary Mennel, I wrote the following after I edited her recorded performance of the story:

“As an alum and a fan of the spoken word, I have mixed feelings making the story so formal and gussied up. However, in light of possibly losing the tradition, since by and large the tale isn’t really told anymore (I’ve heard this from campers and most staff) I think our modern spin will help perpetuate the story.  At the very least this version provides a reference for current staff.  After all it is the story and the telling that matters, not so much the package it is presented in.”

I’m hoping after you hear this creative execution of the Mona Legend, you will agree with my statement above.  And if you don’t like this execution, that’s fine.  Different storytellers have different styles and I can live with that.  I attempted to treat the source material with reverence, but adding some contemporary effects to enhance the ‘theater of the mind’.  In fact, the daytime nature noises are actual recordings I made at Storer this past May with a specialized boom mic and digital recorder.

 

Hear the Cranes and the Geese in the recording? How about the general nature sounds…recorded at camp to give some authenticity

 

Although this is a modern take on an old tale, I do NOT expect counselors to whip out their iPhone and play the MP3 file for their cabin and let that suffice as telling the story.  I’m hoping to inspire the present day staff to embrace the power of a great story well told.  I hope they use the recording as a reference point, not the definitive version of Mona.  And as for Alumni and friends of YMCA Storer Camps, this provides you with a touchstone with camp, and something fun to listen to.

I’m not going to lose much sleep over recording the story.  I have yet to wake up bound in seaweed.  But of course, we’ll see what happens when I spend the night in the Hocking cabin during the 100th.  If you don’t see me on June 30th, please have Clark make his way over to Mona’s to untie me.

 

 

PERSPECTIVE ON TRADITIONS

I know that traditions, including oral traditions, all evolve, change, and adapt in some ways.  Evolving permutations occur through time and the re-telling.  Some details are dropped, some are just forgotten or new angles are presented depending on the audience. I know there are several versions of this story, and through the years some have told it better than others. Also, it has been told all around camp, not just at the foundation of Mona’s former house (wait, I guess it is still hers).  The location at Mona’s only gave the story gravitas, but I also know the mosquitos there are the biggest in camp.  So if the story didn’t give you goose bumps, the bug bites would take their place.  I remember fondly some great renditions being shared at Emerson Barn replete with squeaking bats to add to the ambiance.   So the story moved onto a certain point…but at a certain time there’s a break in the chain and the tradition risks fading into obscurity.

 

 

IS MONA ALIVE?

I’m not here to rabble-rouse or to complain about how they don’t do things like they did  ‘in my day’, which were ‘the golden days’ which you wouldn’t understand. According to my inquiries, it is my understanding that the legend is not told anymore.  This is not by policy or edict, but I believe borne from the fact that the chain has been broken.  This is not an indictment and not a cause for panic or protest. If indeed the tale of Mona Greenfield is no longer being told, we can at least provide some printed record (and by extension this recording) for staff to pick up this oral tradition and share the story with a new generation of children, provided it is still relevant, which I argue, the legend is highly relevant, more so than ever.

In today’s society children need hope and positivity.  If the many contemporary accounts about children’s anxiety levels are true, kids and their parents seem more apprehensive, unsure, and insecure than any other preceding era.  The causes go beyond ‘traditional’ adolescent challenges, which are too numerous to list here, but just think of a few issues poking at today’s child: school safety, bullying, peer pressure, and general narcissism prevalent in today’s popular culture, all magnified by living lives through screens, further skewing reality and perception.

 

 

GHOST STORIES ARE UPSETTING

And while I speak of children, so many of us recall fondly hearing this story in our youth.  Remember, it is not a ghost story, but a story of a spirit.  I use spirit not as in ‘ghosts, goblins or ghouls’ I use it in the sense of something that embodies positive attributes and values found at YMCA Storer Camps.

noun

plural noun: spirits

  1. The nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul.

Yes, I can hear some say, “but in today’s environment telling ghost stories or scary stories maybe upsetting to children” (or their insecure parents).  Yes, I said that, right there. The latter does not help the former.  But again, the refrain should be: THIS ISN’T A GHOST STORY.  It’s a story about a woman who loves nature and children, and ideas of respect and honesty.  In the version presented here, you will find the story ends with a positive message.  It certainly pales in comparison to what many parents let their kids watch on any screen or what video games they play in the living room.  Mona is certainly less scary than the Disney Haunted Tales record I listened to as a kid. Furthermore, to quote Joseph Campbell, world-renowned expert in mythology, religion, and culture “We need myths that will identify the individual not with his local group but with the planet.”  I submit that Mona’s story achieves Campbell’s ideal as well as providing the comfort of an unseen friend who watches over us, loves children, protects nature and represents positive virtues.  As Mary Mennel says in her performance, “Sometimes, back home in the city, they’re many Monas that are helping us watch and preserve those things that are important to us”.  Mona, we thank you for this.

 

 

MONA 2018

During my inaugural interviews with Mary Mennel in August 2017, I asked her about recording the Mona story for a future podcast episode.  In my mind, it was hard to separate the Legend of Mona from Mary’s superb story-telling abilities.  There are great stories and great storytellers and this, in my opinion, was a perfect combination.  It was the Reese’s Peanut Butter cup of oral traditions. So I had my casting set.  Now, what about a script?  I wasn’t sure if anyone had a copy of the story, so we didn’t have to start from scratch.  I did not necessarily want to throw out the idea willy-nilly in a Facebook post, for there are so many variations out there.  Creatively, I played it close to the vest.

As luck would have it, Mary had a written copy of a version she performed at Storer Day in 1995.  Someone at that event had the presence of mind to record her words as she performed the tale to the enthralled audience before her!  I’m so grateful for someone preserving that piece of history.  So, Mary sent me the copy and I read it so intently.  It is a thorough re-telling and included parts I had forgotten.  At once it was 1984 and I was there at Mona’s with Mary telling the story.  OK, I said, now what?  She was busy transitioning from the 577 foundation, so the timing was not ideal for her to record.  Unfortunately, our schedules never synced until this May.  Mary dutifully sat down and recorded from the 1995 script.  Her performance was worth the wait.  It isn’t easy recording such things, especially when you are not used to doing so.  But Mary, as you can imagine, nailed it.

 

 

23-MINUTE STORY 14 HOURS EDIT

Now, Mary Mennel perfomed the recording and she told it well.  She was unaware what exactly I was going to do with her performance.  Let’s just say I ‘enhanced it’ for ‘theater of the mind’ providing a modern creative take an old tale well told. I’m very appreciative she didn’t put any restrictions on her performance or what I could or couldn’t do with it.   I was extremely careful in my selections as with such material a fumble becomes a tragedy.

To make sure I was on the right track, I consulted with three key people.  The first consultant was my wife, Executive Producer of the Stoney Lake Reflections Project.  She is my sounding board for a great many things and this project is no exception.  She was in Seattle for the week and I think was appreciative of the break from her work in oncology clinical research.  She took some good notes, provided some feedback, and also commented that she understood what the fuss was all about since it was the first time she heard the story.  She liked it.  Secondly, I consulted the Emerson Maniac (Wm. Gabehart) as we both have a passion for A/V editing and creative projects using technology.  He too provided some insights with some minor suggested tweaks.  As an alum,  he appreciated my restraint and understood my creative dilemmas as I approached the source material.  He’s a big fan of radio drama and gave an enthusiastic thumbs up.  Lastly, I checked back with the performance artist herself, Mary Mennel.  I suspected she might be surprised with what I did with her performance.  She was gracious with her accepting my take.  She too provided feedback on some sound cues, etc.  But her first impression was that ‘You really had fun with this’.  Indeed I did.  But I wanted to also do the story and her performance justice.

 

 

How Appropriate: “100 Years of Campfire Stories”

Like so much of the Stoney Lake Reflections Project, it is a labor of love.  In fact, I stayed up all night editing for 12 hours straight with a few breaks.  Creative types out there can appreciate this trait, my wife prefers regular hours.  I was in performance mode after being out of commission for days with a cold I caught on my last SLR trip to S. Carolina and Storer.  During my first edits, I was in contact with Mary, as it was 7:30AM her time and she inquired about when I slept, noting that I’m on Pacific time.  The last time she told me to go to bed was 33 years ago when I was as an Explorer.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Episode 10: Dr. Don Klotz

 

My following guest is someone so many encouraged me to talk to and boy we’re they right!  This past February, while setting up an interview with Bryce & Judy Harbaugh, they mentioned that Don Klotz just had dinner with them and that he would be a perfect person to visit with before I left Toledo.  Considering I have heard so much about Don, a man who I was told embodied the ‘I’m Third” spirit since his time in the 1940’s, I would do everything on my end to make an interview happen.  The Harbaughs made the arrangements and we met the morning I departed for the east coast.

I pulled in to Don’s residence, got my gear ready, and walked into the lobby.  There was Don, wearing a bright red YMCA Storer Camps pullover, keeping him warm on this February day.  He met me with a cart for my stuff and he showed me around the complex where he helps with the mail and organizing the gift shop.  It seemed Don was right at home, keeping busy, as he settles in retirement.

 

Doc Miller was described as a man small in stature but large in spirit and I found Don the same way. Dr. Klotz is charming. He has an impish smile, and a dry wit (both I appreciate).  We quickly got down to business in a room Don had reserved for our meeting.  He even had arranged a special table with two chairs set up for our chat.  The scene was set and we started to record.

Then before I knew it, we were wrapping up.  I couldn’t believe it.  Don was so engaging, I lost track of the time.  I double-checked that he left no stories on the table or thoughts to share.  He was satisfied with our time and the stories he shared and he seemed more than happy to share his love for YMCA Storer Camps.  As an interviewer, this is an ideal guest, generous, open, and fun.

 

 

I wished I had more time with my new friend, but we both had things to do.  My last stop that day was at the Toledo club for a quick bite to eat before leaving town for Detroit Metro.  When I got to lunch, both my Dad and Stepmother noticed I was in great spirits and I told them about my perfectlty wonderful morning. I will say Toledo is dreary in February, but that day, I didn’t really notice.

 

Throughout this Stoney Lake Reflections journey, I find myself using word’s like ‘legend,’ ‘giant’, and ‘hero’.  They seem redundant after awhile considering there are so many great people associated with Camp Storer, past & present. If these words are overused to a point where they lose impact, that’s on me.  But when thinking about people like Don Klotz, come up and share your own adjectives for this Storer luminary, if you want to add to my list.

 

 

Enjoy the following discussion of one of the humblest, yet generous men you will ever meet.  This first half of Don’s story doesn’t even touch the surface as we will find in the second episode, Don make & keeps a 40 year promise…

Show Notes:

  • Camp in 1943 – 1947
  • People he looked up to
  • Favorite activities : Riflery and Swimming
  • Meals at camp…guess the Meatloaf recipe
  • Doc Miller’s Jig
  • Doc Miller’s Chapels
  • Becoming Explorer Village Director
  • Associate Camp Director and an interesting field promotion
  • Meeting and working with Clark Ewing
  • Receiving the Doc Miller award
  • Off-site camp hikes and overnights
  • Friday nights in town & calling home
  • Polio scares around the nation and at camp

Subscribe to Podcast: iTunes or iPhone

Subscribe to Podcast: iTunes or iPhone

Did you know there is an easier way to listen to Stoney Lake Reflections?  I was looking at some stats recently and I noticed some anomolies in the data provided to me from iTunes.  This data showed that there is an area of opportunity for all of you!

While Apple is looking into their numbers, I wanted to make sure you are getting the most out of listening to the podacst.  To that end, I wanted to provide detailed instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast.

 

Why should you subscribe?

√ The Podcast will automatically appear in your feed when it is published!  One time sign up and always up to date!

There are 3 ways to listen to Stoney Lake Reflections.  I’ve listed the choices below, from easiest to more cumbersome.I personally subscribe to my favorite podcasts through my iPhone because it is always with me.  It provides a great break while walking the dog, waiting for someone, lunchtime, commuting, working (did I say that?), and  anytime you want to chill.

I’m technically inclined, but I wanted to provide a guide for those who this is the first podcast you’ve listened to or for those who prefer visuals while navigating phones.  No judgements here, I’m just glad to have you as a listener!  P.S. if the instructions still don’t help you, find a son, daughter or even grandchildren to help you sign up 😉

 

 

1) Through your iPhone via Podcast app (that’s already on all iPhones)

 

2) Through iTunes

3) Through a computer, and going to StoneyLakeReflections.com and checking to see if there are new episodes in the Podcast Category

 

 

I’ve attached a handy dandy visual guide to make subscribing easier.

Click on the following link >>>>  HowToSubscribe

 

 

BONUS POINTS if you RATE and Leave a review for the podcast.  This can be done through iTunes.  Ratings and feedback help me attract sponsors and ratings at iTunes.

Episode: 09 Clark Ewing


Download Episode!

Stoney Lake Reflections Show Notes

Episode: 09 Clark Ewing


What I have to say:

I visited with Clark and Marilyn in August of 2017. Jenni Lane 🙂 made all the arrangements for this interview to happen and for that I am grateful. The Ewings invited me into their abode in Saline, Michigan for an afternoon of great reflections.

For starters, Clark hasn’t changed a bit! As an interviewer I was on the edge of my seat as I listened to his reflections. At once I was a camper again, waiting to be entertained…and I was also that young staffer who absorbed any crumbs of wisdom from this camp giant (or is it oracle?). As an adult, I sat there in awe. It is impossible to separate the history of camp and this couple, without one, you would not have the other. This fact cannot be overstated and is not up to debate.

I’ll wait to publish more insights on my meeting with Clark & Marilyn in a devoted blog article.  But for now, I’ll let Clark tell his story in his own words. You will also hear Marilyn chime in from time to time, keeping Mr. Ewing honest! 😉

Enjoy.

Show Notes:

  • Clark’s Swan Dive
  • Swimming Docks and the many contributions of the Anderson family
  • Recruiting International Staff and Internationalism of Storer
  • Proudest individual achievement – work with the Toledo, Spain YMCA
  • Tom Roy Venture Out guide extraordinaire
  • The Games of Yore: William Tell, Hikes to town & Friday Night Boxing
  • A fundamental shift of focus at YMCA Storer Camps, from sports to nature
  • Expansion of Horses and Watercraft
  • Roger Tory Peterson
  • More Horses! And building barns
  • Clark’s High Silk Hat!
  • Important lessons learned at YMCA Storer Camps
  • Clark’s one word to describe camp
  • What camp means to Clark, Marilyn, and the Ewing Family

 

Swan Dive!

 

Clark’s Member (#1) Card for the Toledo, Spain YMCA

 

 

Clark & Marilyn

Greg McKee & Mike Anderson sacrifice themselves for              World Service Day

 

 

 

Clark Ewing Middle Row, 2nd from Left

 

Clark & Marilyn Hall of Fame Documents:

Scannable Document on Mar 27, 2018 at 1_57_26 AM

 

 

 

 

Happy Daze North Center Barn

 

 

 

 

A Cherished Reunion

 

 

 


Call SLR! 

New Feature: Call and leave a message in sixty seconds: Your Favorite Place at Camp and Why

858-367-7298

StoneyLakeReflections@gmail.com


MUSIC

In Episode:

‘Funiculi Funicula’ – Andre Rieu, 1999, Standard YouTube License

‘Blue Creek Trail’, Dan Lebowitz, Royalty Free Music, Published: Feb 16, 2018.

‘Fortaleza’,  Topher Mohr and Alex Elena from YouTube Audio Library, No Copywright, 2015. YouTube Audio Library http://goo.gl/YmnOAx
‘William Tell Overture’ Rossini, [1829] Standard YouTube License, 2013   Download available at http://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary

Theme:

‘Stoney Lake Reflections’ Sing-out & Intro- Performed by Singer/Songwriter Cori Strell:

Intsagram: @coristrellmusic

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/cori-strell

iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/cori-strell/id1155651660

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cori-Strell-Music-1174158396011014/


Stoney Lake Reflections is a trademark of Dustin Smith. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. http://www.stoneylakereflections.com ©2018 Dustin Smith; All Rights reserved

 

Community

  • Eric

Email Blog Subscription

Enter email address to subscribe

Countdown!

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

Blog Stats

  • 5,640 hits