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									                                                                               MINIKANI ALUMNI COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER

                    February 2011
                 Volume 3, Issue 1

  Inside this Issue
                                              “Camp Dinner Around the World”
 1         Camp Dinner Around
               the World
                                                        By Perry LaRoque, Alumni Board Director

 2             Minikani Night
                                                I remember arriving to
                                       Madison as a freshman, and
                                                                                        This year we will be hosting
                                                                               the Inaugural “Camp Dinner Around
                                       although I was excited to start         the World” on March 5, 2011. We

 2              Best Friends
                                       college, I was nervous for this new
                                       chapter in my life. Just when that
                                       hint of homesickness set in, I
                                                                               already have 25 dinners planned in 4
                                                                               countries and we want you to join us
                                                                               in your region. You will find a list

 3             Winter Camp
              Past & Present
                                       received a call from Gabe Gross
                                       about the first Madison Camp
                                       Dinner of the year. I had
                                                                               of Camp Dinners happening around
                                                                               the world on page 6 at the end of
                                                                               this newsletter. You can also visit

 3          Alumni Fund Raiser
                                       remembered a monthly Camp
                                       Dinner held by my parents where
                                       people like Bruce Rasmussen, Greg
                                                                               the website for an interactive map of
                                                                               the dinners around the world. We
                                                                               hope that you will R.S.V.P. to your

 4         Spotlight on Alumni -
              Grace Weber
                                       Valde, and John & Joan Tompsett
                                       would come over to eat together and
                                       play games. But this was the first I
                                                                               local camp dinner host and join in
                                                                               the celebration of Minikani Alumni
                                                                               everywhere. If you can’t find one

 5             Nature Notes
                                       had learned that these informal
                                       camp dinners were still happening
                                       across the country. Upon arriving at
                                                                               nearby, it’s not too late to host
                                                                               and/or cook up some Mock Chicken
                                                                               or Stew’s Pot on your own and join

                                       Gabe’s, all the familiar faces from     in on the gathering. We will be
              Camp Memories            the summer were there and I once        creating several interactive ways for
                                       again felt at home. It seemed like no   all of the dinners to be connected,

                                       matter what city I moved to or          including a live webcast. We hope
              Dinner Host              visited, impromptu camp dinners         you will find your way home to
             Email addresses
                                       were organized and no matter where      Minikani in your region and join us
                                       I went, I always felt close to camp.    as we celebrate the Minikani Spirit
Thanks To: Perry LaRoque, Jen
                                                                               around the world.
Feltz, Lisa Albregts, Matt Sullivan,
 Perry Bump, and Grace Weber

    Bruce Rasmussen, Editor
                                               T  Page 6 for a complete listing of dinner hosts                       and locations – You’re Invited to join them!

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                                                                                MINIKANI ALUMNI COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER

“Minikani Night”                                                                The book is out of print now, but
  Promotions                                                                    gently used copies are available
                                                                                from “for pennies on
                                                                                the dollar.” Lisa has since moved to
Jen Feltz, Camp Director, is looking                                            New Jersey with her husband and
for alumni to help her promote                                                  four kids, but the two oldest boys,
campers for this coming summer.                                                 Sam and Jack, still go to Minikani in
She would love to have alumni                                                   the summer.
consider hosting a “Minikani Night”
sometime this spring. The night
would consist of you, the alumni,
inviting a group of your friends
together who have kids who are of
camp age, and then letting them
learn more about camp. It could
                                                                                     Future Events
take place in your home or any other
venue (school cafeteria, community
                                                                                     Camp Dinner Around
room at your church, etc.). An hour     Best Friends                                 the World
                                                                                     Saturday, March 5, 2011
of time would be spent by you, your     Book Review                                  See the article on page 1 and the
friends, and some people from                                                        list of Dinner Hosts on page 6 for
Minikani all talking about camp,        Do you think your experiences at             information.
answering questions and handing         camp would ever help you write a
out brochures. There’s usually a        book? Lisa (Martiny) Albregts was            Spring Work Day
little food and socializing thrown in   a counselor at Minikani in the late          Saturday, April 16, 2011
for good measure.                       ‘80s. In 1998, she co-authored a             Camp Minikani
                                        book, Best Friends: Tons of Crazy,           Bring the whole family to camp for
Jen realizes that ‘word of mouth’ is    Cool Things to Do with Your                  this bi-annual Work Day. This day
the number one way to recruit new       Girlfriends by Lisa Albregts and             coincides with the LT Weekend.
campers, and using the alumni           Elizabeth Cape, Published by
network is a great way to make this                                                  2nd Annual Fun Run
                                        Chicago Review Press.                        May, 2011
happen. What better way for you to
give back to your camp than to help                                                  Camp Minikani
                                        She says of her experience, “We
others learn more about it? If you’re   wrote the book to give girls a
interested, call camp (262-251-                                                      Staff Training
                                        resource for games and activities            Alumni Dinner
9080) or email Jen                      that encourage friendship and                Wednesday, June 15, 2011
( to discuss the     camaraderie. The book follows the            Camp Minikani
possibilities. Do it now, before the    seasons and offers up many ideas             Come and meet the staff for
summer sessions are all filled.         for fun parties and crafts--and along        Summer, 2011.
                                        the way, offers up encouragement
                                        and advice on how to be a better             Alumni Weekend
                                        friend to all. Liz and I pulled many         August 20-21, 2011
                                        of the activities from our own               Camp Minikani
                                        childhoods (and from camp too!)              Mark your calendar now!
                                        and did many workshops around the
                                        Chicago area (where we both lived
                                        at the time) that focused on how
                                        girls could nurture their friendships
                                        and be true to themselves at the
                                        same time.”

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                                                                                 MINIKANI ALUMNI COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER

                                         The next day usually included an
Winter Camp                              open swim time at a local high
Past & Present                           school’s swimming pool, and an
                                         exciting game of All-Camp Bingo.
                                                                                 New Alumni
Winter Camp 2010 was a ‘blast’. It
                                         The much sought after prizes of
                                         candy bars and T shirts helped clear
                                                                                 Website Coming
included a Marshmallow party,
                                         out the previous summer’s inventory
Clubs, frozen fun on Lake Amy            at the camp store. The last day of      First of all, thank you to everyone
Belle, and a trip to Sunburst Ski Hill                                           who had accessed the Alumni
                                         Winter Camp always featured the
for tubing, skiing and snow-             Winter Olympics, planned and run        Website at
boarding. There was also a New           by the next year’s LT III’s. Events     In the near future, when you go to
Year’s Eve-Eve-Eve party with lots       included sled races, fire building,     that ‘url’ you will see a brand new
of carnival booths, snacks and a         shovel pulls, human pyramid             website. This ‘state of the art’ site
guest appearance from Buzz Light                                                 will include everything the old site
                                         building, and card-houses built in
Year.                                    the warm Dinning Hall.                  has and more. Watch your email for
                                                                                 announcements about the new site.

                                         There are two memories of Winter
                                         Camp I’ll never forget. One Winter
                                         Camp we got permission to sled and       Alumni Fund
                                         toboggan down Carter Well’s Hill,
                                         the giant hill across the road from
                                                                                  Raiser –
                                         Indian Hill. Boy, could you get          Winter Event 2010
                                         going on that hill. Unfortunately,
                                         there was a steady stream of
Winter Camps in the 70’s and 80’s                                                ‘Twas the day after Christmas, and
                                         customers to the emergency room in
were always fun. Every December          the Falls for x-rays and stitches. It   all through the bowling alley, every
27-29 was set aside for a ‘Reunion’      was memorable, all right.               creature was stirring, and having a
time, when campers, Lt’s and staff                                               great time. There was bowling,
would get together for a couple days     The other memory comes from one         billiards, eating, drinking, visiting,
at Minikani. Sometimes there was                                                 football watching, and more.
                                         of the Winter Camps without snow.
snow (about 50% of the time), but it     Brad Seibel got his cabin up extra      Almost 100 alumni gathered
didn’t seem to matter much.              early one morning. Later, when the      together to raise over $2,500 for
                                         whole camp reported to the flagpole     summer camperships.
The first afternoon back then was        for breakfast, they were greeted by a
always Cabin Activity time. If there                                             Our thanks go out to everyone who
                                         family of snowmen, made out of
was no snow for sledding, etc., there    cardboard boxes, milk crates, broom     supported the Winter Event on the
was always Winter Capture the Flag       handles, and white mattress covers      26th -- to the Silent Auction donors
in Pine Forest and sliding on Mud        taken from their bunks. Who says        (and receivers), to those who
Lake ice for fun. In the evening         Minikani counselors don’t know          couldn’t attend but sent a donation
we’d watch 16 mm films in the                                                    anyway, to Perry Bump who
                                         how to turn a negative into a
Dinning Hall. (For those of you          positive?                               supplied liquid refreshment, to Erik
born after 1980, ask your parents                                                Herbst Insurance Company for the
about watching 16 mm films!)                                                     football raffle, to the committee who
After a couple of too-scary vampire                                              worked so hard to plan the event,
movies in the early 70’s, the titles                                             and to everyone in attendance who
were all PG rated Disney type                                                    made it so memorable. Thanks.
movies. We even saw the original
“Tron” movie one year. After the
movie it would be snack time. Who
can forget the re-heated frozen hot
dogs that Ethel provided?

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                                                                                  MINIKANI ALUMNI COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER

                                         2. What skills did you develop? I        soul music with a quirky, indie,
                                         think the most valuable thing I          pop/rock touch. It’s very much who
                                         learned from camp was how to be          I am.
                                         selfless. As a counselor, you need
                                         to be able to put every single need      5. Has camp had an influence in
                                         of every kid in your cabin before        you success? Camp had such a
                                         your own and it's really an amazing      huge influence on the person I am
                                         experience to have as a young adult      today and any successes I've had.
                                         transitioning into the "real world."     Camp taught me lessons about being
                                         Learning how to be selfless for the      focused, driven, and creative.
Grace Weber was a camper at              kids, my friends, and co-workers at      Something as simple as putting on a
Minikani the summers of 2001 and         camp gave me a greater sense of          skit at the campfire taught me how
2002 went through the LT program         empathy and I think made me a            to work in a group, be a positive
in 2003-2005, and was a girl’s unit      deeper and fuller person overall. It     leader, and be confident in myself.
counselor for 2006-2007. She             helped me grow into the person I am          But of all the things I’ve learned
graduated from NYU last spring and       today.                                   from Camp, I think the most
is currently pursuing a career as a                                               important was how to fully embrace
singer/songwriter and recording                                                   life. I think the best way to describe
artist.                                                                           any Camp Minikani counselor is to
    Many of you may remember                                                      say that they absolutely love living
her from her appearance on the                                                    life. To be around people like that is
Oprah Winfrey Show, having                                                        so inspiring. When we're at camp,
been handpicked by Oprah from                                                     we wake up every morning and
hundreds of thousands of entrants                                                 spend the entire day finding new
in a national video contest. I had                                                ways to have fun and be creative,
a chance to interview Grace and                                                   and expend every resource of energy
ask her about her “Minikani “                                                     we have. How many people get to
connection.                                                                       experience days like that? I am so
                                         3. What are you doing now? I am          lucky that I got to go to camp.
1. Any favorite memories of              currently working on my first solo
camp? My LT2 trip definitely             album. I spent a lot of time this past   6. Do you have anything else
sticks out as a favorite. Not only did   summer and fall writing and              you’d like to share with Minikani
we have an absolutely incredible         preparing for this record and I'm so     alumni?
time at the camping ground we went       proud of all the material that will be   Can't wait to see everyone at the
to, but it was on that trip that I       on it. I have a Grammy Award             next alumni reunion!
bonded with a group of people I still    winning producer, Mike Mangini,
call my best friends to this day.        producing the record and he's doing      Make sure you check out Grace’s
   Another one of my favorite            an incredible job. We'll be releasing    website at
memories was singing at the closing      the record in May or June and will       You can stay up-to-date about her
campfire for the first time. As a        have a big release show in               new record and its release, listen to
camper, I was so nervous to sing in      Milwaukee around the same time.          some of her songs, and sign up to be
front of the entire camp, but my                                                  on the mailing list.
counselor was so supportive and          4. How would you describe your
encouraging that I only felt excited     music? I think I dabble in a couple
                                                                                  “Grace has everything going for
by the time I stepped in front of        different genres, including pop and
                                                                                  her, the gift of song and the
Council Bluff. The reaction after I      jazz, but at the core my music
                                                                                  beauty with which she carries it
sang was one of the coolest things I     always comes back to the ‘soul.’ I
                                                                                  off.” - Ginny Mancini (Wife of the
had ever experienced and I just felt     tell stories through my lyrics that I
                                                                                  late Henry Mancini and Co-founder
so happy and proud. That also stays      hope can touch people in some way
                                                                                  of the Society of Singers)
as one of my favorite singing            and I always try to sing from an
memories.                                honest place. I like to describe my
                                         music as “Indie-Soul” because it’s

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                                                                                MINIKANI ALUMNI COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER

Nature Notes                                                                    Camp Memories
By Bruce
                                                                                By Perry Bump
What would camp be like without
fires? No Opening or Closing                                                    I have too many wonderful
campfire, no Unit campfire, and no                                              memories that I cannot just share
cooking fires when you’re camping                                               one, so I am going to share two.
out. Not even a Cabin campfire on                                               The first is singing songs. I
the first evening of the session. It’s                                          remember singing songs
hard to imagine. But I’m                                                        passionately, at the top of my lungs,
wondering, with all those fires in                                              with absolutely no inhibition or
our collected history, what we’ve                                               concern about what other people
learned about wood-burning fires.                                               thought. I cannot think of another
                                         The following chart comes from the
We know that not all firewood is                                                environment where I felt so free to
                                         Forest Products Laboratory in
created equal. There’s the tinder,                                              “go with the moment”, especially as
                                         Madison, WI, and might help you if
kindling, and fuel we learn about in                                            a self-conscious child and young
                                         you ever need to buy wood for your
skills. We also know that there are                                             adult. That to me represented the
                                         home. You see, just like fires, wood
big, roaring fires for all camp to                                              “magic” that Minikani created.
                                         comes in many shapes and sizes.
enjoy, and the hot-bed of glowing        But one thing remains true to us
coals that’s just right for                                                     Second, I remember serving dinner
                                         alumni – we’ll never forget our
marshmallows.                                                                   the first night of camp as an LT 1. I
                                         experiences with others when sitting
                                                                                could not believe the responsibility I
                                         around a fire. There’s an old saying
For over 90 years the woods at                                                  was given or at least felt. The
                                         that cutting your own wood will
Minikani have provided people with                                              impact on me was huge and of
                                         warm you twice – once from the
an assortment of trees that have                                                course was fostered throughout the
                                         exertion of cutting, chopping, and
been used for fires. Usually, most                                              entire LT program. I did not realize
                                         hauling, and second when you enjoy
of us will take what we can get. The                                            it at the time but it changed me
                                         its heat. Hopefully your memories
fallen branches from the off-season                                             forever. I feel indebted to Minikani
                                         of fires that once burned at camp
provide most of our supply. We                                                  for that opportunity.
                                         will continue to warm your insides
don’t think much about what kind of      while you’re away.
tree (or bush) it comes from – as
long as it will burn.
                                                                                This space is reserved for your camp
     Type of         Heat      Easy to   Heavy                                  memory in a future Newsletter:
                                                  Sparks      Rating
      Wood          Output      Burn     Smoke
  White Oak         High       Yes       No       No         Excellent
  Beech             High       Yes       No       No         Excellent
  Birch White       High       Medium    Medium   Medium     Good
  ox Elder          Medium     Medium    Medium   No         Fair
  Butternut         Low        Medium    Medium   No         Fair
  Hickory           High       Yes       No       No         Excellent
  Hard Maple        High       Yes       No       No         Excellent
  Soft Maple        Medium     Yes       No       No         Good
  Elm American      High       Medium    Medium   No         Fair
  Basswood          Low        Yes       Medium   No         Fair
  Yellow Poplar     Low        Yes       Medium   Yes        Poor
  Tamarack          Medium     Yes       Medium   Yes        Fair
  Spruce            Low        Yes       Medium   Yes        Poor                  Don’t you have a favorite memory
                    Very                                                           to share? Send it to the Newsletter
  Ironwood          High       Yes       No       Few        Excellent             at
  Willow            Low        No        Medium   No         Fair

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                                                                                    MINIKANI ALUMNI COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER

Minikani Board                                         Dinner Hosts for Saturday, March 5, 2011.
Needs Help                                                Please email a host for your R.S.V.P

Camp Minikani is in the process of          Brett Haydin              Salida, CO      
revitalizing their board committees,
                                            Lisa Martiny Albregts     Mountain Lakes, NJ
as well as adding a few new short
                                            Julie Wehling Goebel      Lombard, IL     
term task force groups. If anyone is
interested in learning more, they can       Matthew LaForest          Hollywood, CA   
contact Jen Feltz at camp.                  Perry Bump                Winfield,IL     
Participation does not require you to       Kelsey (McCourt)
be board member, just a helpful,            Madges                    Dayton, OH      
friendly person :-)                         Kevin Wright              Redlands, CA    
                                            Maria Lambing             St. Louis, MO   
Standing Committees--meet every             Andy Mendelson            Philadelphia, PA
other month beginning in February           Bradley William
at a time and place convenient for          Herzing                   Austin, TX      
those involved. This is a longer            Heather Neuwirth          Saunderstown, RI
term commitment:                            Andrew Matranga           Longmont, CO    
--Summer Camp Program                       Bruce Rasmussen           Muskego, WI     
--Environmental Education                   Jason Horowitz            Madison, WI,    
--Board Development                                                   Vattenverksvägen,
--Philanthropy                              Sean Demet                Sweden          
                                            Matt Armstrong            Aliso Viejo, CA 
2011 Task Forces--will meet
                                            Peter Jorgensen           London, England 
several times leading up to summer
                                            Gabe Gross                San Mateo, CA   
and possible once afterwards. This
is a short term commitment to help          Mike Auda                 Chicago, IL     
us with these specific issues.              Calie and Erik Herbst     Milwaukee, WI   
--Creating a more positive transition       Jeff Borling              Duluth, Minnesota
for Explorers who are not accepted          Erin Erlenborn            Washington, DC  
into the LT/OLT program                     Aaron Bell                New York, NY    
--Healthy Staff Culture                     Perry LaRoque             Burlington, VT  
--Long Term/Strategic Planning              August Herschede          Whitefish Bay, WI

 Check Out These Websites                                                            New For Alumni: You can now                                                          order Minikani Alumni T Shirts,
 This is the main site for the Minikani Alumni Community. Once here,                 sweatshirts, caps, kid’s clothing,
 you can click to join the official mailing list. You can also keep up-to-           mugs, and lots of other stuff from
                                                                            Check out the
 date on all the current happenings of the Community.
                                                                                     website in the box at the left.
 CafePress is where the world shops for custom T shirts and other
 unique gifts – all with the Minikani Alumni logos.
 This is the official web site of YMCA Camp Minikani. You can get
 information on dates for summer camp, check out Minikani’s blog, and
 enjoy a collection of Alumni Photos.

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