In Memoriam: Gay Thomson
Camp Director 1967-1979; Friend, Mentor, and Camp Olson Legend
The Camp Olson family is mourning the loss and remembering the life of Gaylord S. Thomson, director of Camp Olson YMCA from 1967 to 1979. Gay passed away peacefully the morning of February 2, 2010, at the VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington. Gay is remembered for his inspiring leadership, robust song leading, and compelling campfire stories during his time at Camp Olson. His passing is a great loss to our camp community and we extend our condolences to his family. The Board of Directors and a group of alumni from Gay’s time at Camp Olson is currently determining an appropriate recognition for Gay’s immense contributions to Camp Olson. (read more)
Miss Minnesota shares memories of her time spent at Camp Olson YMCA
Hello Camp Olson Family,
Over the past year it has been an honor for me to represent the state of Minnesota as Miss Minnesota! One of my favorite things about Minnesota is the great outdoors. Camp Olson played an integral part in developing my love for the Minnesota wilderness. I think of my time at Camp Olson and the great friends and memories I made there more often than I can even express… (read more)
Camp Olson Remembers: Dr. Kenneth Huizenga
Dr. Ken Huizenga was a longtime Rochester resident and retired Mayo Clinic physician. Dr. Huizenga was instrumental in helping develop and support Camp Olson. He served on its board of directors from 1970 – 1979 including three years as board chairman, and he has remained an active supporter. His family was among Camp Olson’s first family campers and his children were also campers and staff members for many years. Ken will be greatly missed and remembered always for his passionate support of Camp Olson. The Keeper of the Dream Award was established in 1978 and it was inspired by the words of Camp Olson’s founder, E.O Olson: “One may not live to see all of his dreams come true, but his institutions carry on.” Dr. Huizenga was the 13th individual to receive this award in February 2009.
Alumni Focus – Marsha Qualey
Marsha Qualey is the author of several young adult novels. Her books have appeared on numerous best-of-the-year lists, including ALA Quick Picks and Best Books for Young Adults, IRA Young Adults’ Choices, New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age, and School Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year. Her books have won two Minnesota Book Awards, and one, Thin Ice, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Her novels are frequently included on state, school district, and library reader’s choice lists. (read more)
Alumni Focus – Frank Bures
Not long ago, I was working on an assignment up in the Adirondack Mountains. It was a profile of an “acoustic ecologist,” and since it was fall, the trees were brilliant red, gold and orange. We were looking for quiet places to record interesting sounds, but everywhere we stopped we could still hear low roar of the world of machines. (read more)
Camp Olson Remembers: Sid Hughes
Sid Hughes, his wife Colleen, and their daughters Honore, Missy, Holly and Stacey attended Family Camp for the first time in the late 1960’s. A simple family vacation led to a passionate and decades-long family involvement with Camp.
Returning to Family Camp for several years, Sid spent many hours on the Crimson Glory and Blue Monday (C Scows of that era) learning to sail, honing his skills, and sharing his new passion with his family. If not on a sailboat, he could be found fishing on the Shurds, relishing a few moments of peace and calm in the beautiful surroundings of the north woods.
Camp Olson Remembers: Daniel R. Arenberg
Daniel R. Arenberg was introduced to Camp Olson YMCA by his daughter Sue (Arenberg) Palmer during the summer of 1992 when she encouraged her parents and siblings to attend family camp. From that point forward Dan became inspired by the power of the Camp Olson experience. In 2002, Dan lost his first wife of 47 years Mary Arlene Arenberg and he directed the memorial funds to Camp Olson for the construction of a timber frame cabin and the renovation of Ramsey cabin. Dan was a strong believer that camp should be available to all regardless of their ability to pay. He created a campership fund in memory of Mary Arlene which he supported on a yearly basis. Dan returned to visit camp nearly every year and enjoyed hearing camp stories from 12 of his grandchildren who have been attending camp the past 8 years. Dan passed away in September and the Arenberg family has directed his memorials for future expansion of the Camp Olson Leadership Program.
Alumni Focus – Charlie Huizenga
Lives are shaped by people, place and experience. Camp Olson brings these together in a unique and wonderful way that has shaped my life and countless others. Olson has a tradition of extraordinary staff that are incredibly dedicated to creating a positive experience for kids and families. Nestled in a forest of pine and birch above Little Boy Lake, the spirit of the Northwoods lives in the crackling evening fires, in the dip of the canoe paddle and in the evening song of the loon. Together, the people and place create an experience that has been unforgettable for thousands of young children. (read more)