Mary Mennel – Inaugural Guest

Mary Mennel – Inaugural Guest

Oh Mary!

I sat down with Mary at the 577 Foundation where she has been 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. I found Mary’s leadership and tenure was a model to emmulate, but never could be matched.

The three part 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.

Join me every week as a new interview is released.  Please subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or other feeds.  Join in the conversation online at


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  1. Anon
    Feb 6, 2018

    Mary is one of my many heroes

    • Gary Keehn
      Apr 20, 2020

      Mary changed my life forever. I was a graduate from college and really had no idea that I would love working with teaching children. I made a call to Mary from Kansas and she hired me as an outdoor educator and I was able to manage the nature centers. Over the year I was with Mary in this outdoor education season I had gained so much confidence and Mary and the campers changed my life. I went back to Kansas and received my certification in education. Since then other than committing another year at Storer Camps as the Natural Resource director, I have been an untraditional educator with Outdoor Science Education in public schools and have been searching for ways to impact my students. This is all with the foundations that Mary gave me and the confidence in myself to be an educator.

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

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