Crowdfunding – Donor Challenge for Matching Gift!

Crowdfunding – Donor Challenge for Matching Gift!

I have a crowdfunding update and it’s


I’ve been contacted by a donor who says that if donations I get on or through PayPal get to $1,200, this donor WILL MATCH THOSE FUNDS.  And if we go over $1,200, they’ll donate money to camp as well!

We’re at $730 and we need to get to $1,200.  With $1,200 matching funds on the line, I know we can do this in a week!

Summary: Go from $730 to $1,200 in donations, donor will donate $1,200Anything over $1,200 Donor will make a donation to Camp! 

GOAL DEADLINE: Raise $470 in a week.   







This Week’s Question!

This Week’s Question!

This Week’s Question is a new feature, one that we hope you take adavantage of!

We want to hear from you and all it takes is a call…from you!  Leave a message in sixty seconds or less, answering the question.  Your replies will be shared in a future episode or on-line.


This Week’s Question:

“Your Favorite Place at Camp and Why”

Call and leave a message in sixty seconds: 858-367-7298

I’ll share your comments in an upcoming episode!

And you can call any time…this number does not disturb me and goes straight to voicemail!



Episode: 07 Clark Ewing

Download Episode!

Stoney Lake Reflections Show Notes

Episode: 07 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. Enjoy.


Show Notes:

  • How Clark got started in 1939 as a camper
  • 1942 First on Staff as Assistant Cook (at 15 years old!)
  • Doc Miller as mentor
  • What camp was like when he was a camper & staff
  • 1946-48: Apache Cabin & Being Water Front Director
  • Teaching kids afflicted with polio how to swim
  • 1946 Clark Married Marilyn
  • How influential Marilyn was in making the decision to make it a career at Camp Storer
  • Doc Miller asks Clark to take some travel trips off camp property (inspiration for what became Venture Out)
  • Check Chapter 17 of YMCA Storer Camps – The Living legacy of Doc    Miller for the ill-fated trip of ’52 Abitibi River
  • How Clark became Full Time Summer/Executive Director
  • What made 1956-1958 the most influential years at camp
  • Sacrifices made to join Camp as Full Time Executive Director
  • Clark details the expansion of land and facilities (see Chapter 13 for full details)
  • Bringing in Greg McKee and Mary Mennel to run the show
  • ‘YMCA Camp Storer’ to ‘YMCA Storer Camps’
  • Dining at Camp
  • Families at Camp including a staff child who intimidated Clark
  • Clark’s approach to enforcing curfew
  • Hijinks at Camp
  • Who would play Clark Ewing in a Clark Ewing Movie? Click Here
  • The power of song in his youth through to today?
  • Secret to longevity: Thinking like a kid & The Power of Love






A Story in Progress


Clark Ewing Middle Row, 2nd from Left

Clark & Marilyn Hall of Fame Documents:

Scannable Document on Mar 27, 2018 at 1_57_26 AM


Stoney Lake Reflections Project

New Feature: 858-367-7298


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


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

Intsagram: @coristrellmusic






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





SLR Project – Crowdfunding Campaign

We’re opening this project up to crowd-funding to help defray the costs of this multi-media production.  This is a 100% volunteer effort and every contrubution helps.   This is an ambitious project (more than a podcast) with big goals…read on!


The goal with Stoney Lake Reflections  is to celebrate our common Storer bonds in real-time, utilizing technology to unite several generations, cherish old relationships and make new ones, while celebrating the past, the present, and the future of YMCA Storer Camps.

Stoney Lake Reflections is an independently produced appreciation of great times as a camper, staff and alumnus with a lifelong passion for YMCA Storer Camps.

Stoney Lake Reflections is a multi-media project:

Podcast interviewing guests from Storer’s past and present

Website devoted to interesting stories and insights about YMCA
Storer Camps

Archive investigation,  preservation, curation  &  protection of
assets while increasing usability of this unique and  historic

It must be noted, that Stoney Lake Reflections is solely produced by me, Dustin Smith.  There are many contributors to the project, including some AMAZING guests, but this operation is totally dependent on donations from people like you.  While the YMCA of Toledo and YMCA Storer Camps have been very open to this endeavor and gracious with their hospitality (i.e. free lodging at camp) and resources, they are not financially involved in funding the podcast or website.  As an independent volunteer project, I will not be shy in asking for your financial support.

Please don’t misconstrue my requests for donations, as I don’t affix a price on my love and affection for Storer.

Also, I do not intend to compete with camp with any of their fundraising goals.  But I do ask the community to consider donating to this cause, if you feel that alumni and friends benefit from this pursuit.   I am grateful for any type of financial support.

How your crowd funding support helps:

–  The first priority is to defray annual costs for website
and media  hosting and development is $650 (first
year;  $400 2nd Year)

– Incremental capital expenditures also come to approximately $65

-(Donor just gifted an Epson Scanner valued at $210)

– Upgrade Audio Software $350  Now $199 (thanks to donated software!)

– Future Multi-media production work (including 4k filming!) is forecasted at $900 (This is after getting
some equipment donated) Filming & Editing Hours donated.

– Future protection of Archive assetts (digitization of the most fragile originals + conversion of old film & video)   estimated $1,500

–  Travel Expenses (I’ve donated over $2,075 thus far)

More financial details can be found here



√ Preserve Originals
√ Protect Originals
√ Increase Usability of assetts (online)

Money raised over $6,000 on gofundme will be deposited in earmarked account to demonstrate interest in pursuing in-depth archive preservation and eventual expanison of archive preservation activities.  If you are interested in reviewing the in depth proposal, email me!

The preservation & protection of the archives have been discussed throughout Storer’s history with varying degrees of attention to the collection through the years.  Money raised in this effort will demonstrate interest in further funding and the communities interest in preserving the archives.

The more I raise over the ambitious goal of $6,000, the greater chance of harvesting matching funds and demonstrating community interest in this endeavor.

At 100 years, I believe it is important to pursue, in earnest, the archives ultimate preservation & protection of assets while increasing usability of this unique and historic collection.

Future plans would include preserved and protected originals for all to enjoy…in your laptops, tablets, smart devices…and ready for future technological platforms.

√ I would love to make a statement with a down payment for future archival work!

If you have comments or questions, please contact me at Stoney Lake Reflections .

If you would rather make a donation off of this platform, please contact me via email .

Thanks for your consideration.


GoFundMe Stoney Lake Reflections



Shana Johnson shares her 90’s reflections

Shana Johnson shares her 90’s reflections

I invited Shana Johnson to share some of her own Stoney Lake Reflections where she was on staff in the 1990s. She and her boyfriend (now fiance) Dwight visited San Diego last year and we had a chance to sit down for a couple of hours, which was much better than just reuniting on Facebook.

Shana is a firefighter in Cincinnati and I marvel at her chosen profession.  It makes most Facebook updates (and professional pursuits) mundane in comparison.  She is on the front lines of many things from property protection, rescue, medical emergencies or confronting the general ills of society.  A lot happens after midnight and before most of us get up for a new day, and for that I’m thankful there are people out there like Shana.  I have a feeling there is little she has not seen or experienced.  That’s why I thought she would have an interesting perspective and I guessed that her experience at Camp Storer probably set the plate for what she is doing now.

Shana describes herself as ‘Outgoing, loud, extremely open minded, fun personality that loves to do new things and meet new people. Has very strong opinions about the world, but very open to debate’.  What more could I possibly add?  Other than I liked working with Shana and I was lucky to have her on my village staff way back when.


I found this quote a long time ago, and it rings so true:

“Telling camp stories to outside-of-camp-friends and realizing

they don’t get them because don’t understand how awesome camp is” – Unknown.


My first summer at camp was one of fear, excitement, and so many other emotions. My first cabin was Hudson cabin, my first counselors were Tammy Willis and Jeannie Kirkhope. I could not have asked for a better 2 weeks in my life. Lindsey Hart and I were instant friends, two people from different states that just found something that drew them together. For the next 3 summers, we were always together at camp. I remember sobbing that first summer, begging my parents to leave me at camp, not to take me home. I didn’t want to leave. Little did I know, that feeling would never go away.

                                                            Hudson Cabin…Hidden down a very dark and long path at night!

I have so many memories from being a camper that there is no way that I could write them all down and keep this to a readable length. Sailing, overnights, Green Eyes, Hill 1, Hill 3, trail rides, Mona, the endless sky full of stars while lying on the ground with Amy Rymer, my last counselor as a camper, out at the Ranch. I remember being “kidnapped” for a 5th year ceremony, and hearing Bimbola’s laughter….the rest shall remain a secret, as it always should. I would go on to become a CIT, and then I got the chance to become staff. Finding out I had been hired as a counselor, was probably the most exciting part of my life at that point.

My years on staff, as a North Center counselor, were truly some of the most amazing days of my life. I returned to Hudson cabin as a counselor that very first year. I couldn’t believe it, I was a counselor in the first cabin I had ever been in as a camper. I then went on to Appleseed Cabin, where I made a lifelong friend in Ericka Kieffer. Time and distance may have separated us, but the friendship has lasted a lifetime. The chocolate frosting fight, the late night sitting on the North Center Tower just talking and staring at the sky, the sudden voice of Bimbola and “you best be getting back to your cabin”…I think we heard that more than once a session. I had wonderful directors, wonderful people to work with. Probably the most hilarious summer was when Dustin Smith was the Explorer Director. I think that entire summer was consumed with laughter and just endless days and nights of fun.


I did so much growing up at camp. I was responsible for ensuring that 12 kids had the best times of their lives while living in a small cabin with them for 2 weeks, and would repeat this for 3 summers in a row. Camp is where I learned that pushing boundaries, facing fears, trying new things, and finding my true self was totally acceptable, and I hope that somewhere out there, there is a camper that I helped achieve that.

Camp gave you permission to be weird, to be crazy, to be loved for who you were in a time when you really didn’t have a clue. People didn’t judge you for wearing a toga to lunch, or singing at the top of your lungs “Your mama don’t wear no socks, a ding dong”. Hearing “How dooooooooo yoooooouuuuuu feeeeeel” at the beginning of meal in the North Center Dining Hall…or standing in the morning dew wearing shorts, Tevas, a shirt that might have been washed that session, your hair crazy under a rag, and hoping that you didn’t have to lead chapel that morning because if you did, you had about 3 minutes to think of something. Staff meetings, where we got to vent, and we got to plan crazy events, and just take 10 minutes to be alone.



I have taken the “I’m Third” motto and tried to incorporate it into my adult life. I love my chosen profession; I feel that being a firefighter gives me the chance to put God first, others second and myself third. I believe that the fears I was able to face at camp, and the boundaries I pushed have given me the strength to do a job that not many women want to do, and that requires a strength that you dig deep for, and a faith that no matter what, God has your back. The friendships I made at camp, the trust I had in all of the people that I worked with, has come full circle in the brothers I have at work. We trust each other with our lives, we laugh and joke, and we are a big family….so much like camp. The friends I have from camp will always be like family to me. Not many can understand the connection we have through Storer, just like many cannot understand the connection I have to my fellow firefighters.


The chorus to the song we sang at so many closing camp fires I think is where I will end this story. Storer’s light will always shine in my heart, and it’s the people that love that place that continue to make it shine. No matter the distance, no matter the obstacles that life throws at us, we will always be able to smile remembering the friends we have made, and those friends are the forever kind.

“And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends”






Episode 6 -Jim & Judy Mohr

Download Episode!

Stoney Lake Reflections Show Notes

Episode: 06 Jim & Judy Mohr

What I have to say:

Jim & Judy were very much parental figures for me and countless others.  Their roles as ‘in loco parentis’ were not cemented because of their age in relation to younger staff, but with their stage in life, Storer experiences, and willingness not to only support campers, but support the staff.  It was a knowing look, a reassuring glance, a quick chat during some long days that helpred many of us to dig a little deeper to make the Storer magic happen.  They were a couple who had seen it all at camp, who were once in our shoes.  With their experience came great wisdom and calm, almost silent leadership for us ‘young kids’ on staff.  It was quite wonderous in the 1990s to have Jim & Judy as true examples of what we were there for.  It was amazing to think, we were fortunate enough to work along side with these two ‘legends’ who preceded us (at that time) by a few decades.   It was such a solid example of respecting what had come before us, it gave many of us a phenominal touchstone to the past and present with hope for the future.  And when it came for final campfires, Judy & Jim gaves us a great dose of the historical and traditional import of the procedings.  On our tough days, they gave us strength.  On great days they contributed (sometime caused) and shared in the laughter.

Show Notes:

Part III Mohr’s

  • Judy reflects on lessons learned
  • Judy also details her work on many campership committees that send kids from all backgrounds to camps throughout Michigan, including YMCA Storer Camps.
  • What it was like raising a family at camp
  • Directing the Girl’s camp was a big challenge, but they both worked together and that worked out very well
  • What it was like at Girl’s camp
  • Challenging times on trips and as a kitchen girl- great fun and hard work.
  • Land management is a modern day challenge
  • Jim Mohr dressed as a daffodil
  • Father Nature, Opera star!



‘Lands for Learning Project’  Prescribed burn on North Side of Stony Lake


Episode: 05 Jim & Judy Mohr

Download Episode!

 Editor’s Note: There were some great challenges with audio quality on this episode…apologies in advance!

Show Notes

Episode: 05 Jim & Judy Mohr

In this second episode I spoke with Jim ‘Father Nature’ about the natural environment at camp and what makes it special.

  • Jim details the diverse and unique ecosystems found at camp, some of them that are rare globally. Examples of varied ecosystem on nearly 1400 acres. Boasting 17 different types of soil lead to such a diverse environment. From fens, sedge meadow, rich Tamarack forest (almost gone) wet meadow to Black Oak barrens to Savannah.


  • South Fen is Jim’s favorite place at camp since it is such a unique blend of plants and every time he visits he seems something new. And this is after viewing it for 57 years!  What is a Fen? 


  • The benefits of prescribed burns are discussed as well as clearing buckthorn swamp giving way to new growth after the invasive species were addressed.


  • Jim outlines unique flora and fauna, in and around Lake Stony…Including jellyfish…Yes, jellyfish! 7 out of the state’s nine species of turtles. Stony also boasts 15-20 species of fish.


  • The three areas of Stony: Big, Little & Petite. Formed from glacial waters. Reportedly it boasts some of the cleanest lake water in Michigan. Camp has been noted to have what scientists call ‘extensive undisturbed wetlands’. Jim discusses how to preserve this resource.



  • Jim details the rich history of naturalists at Camp. When Rodney Ferrar left the position, Jim stepped in around ’64 –‘93


  • Jim shares the history of the famous naturalist and ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson’s time at Storer (please see RTP Combined files from Doc Miller and the first naturalist offering Roger Tory Peterson a position at camp.  These feature phenominal historical documents from the archives!


  • The history of Cubbage Trail and how this was originally on Jim’s dad’s property (came to camp through Hyatt Purchase in the 1930s)


Jim drives the bus for a Long-termer Trip!


Jim takes well deserved break from said Long-Termers!




  • David 'Stoney' Stoneberg

Email Blog Subscription

Enter email address to subscribe


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

Blog Stats

  • 9,794 hits