90th Reunion Sparks (First entry)

10.06.2023 By CC4G
90th Reunion Sparks (First entry)

A note from the 90th Reunion Chair, Camme Smith McEllhiney

This year marked 90 years of Clearwater.  With it came a reunion to celebrate the milestone and the indelible mark that Clearwater has left on so many of us.  Shortly after campers left for home, over 125 Clearwater daughters arrived to celebrate and experience the wonders of camp once again.  Over the course of the reunion, old friends connected and new ones were made.  Attendees were able to sit with women who understand the true beauty and impact of Clearwater Camp for Girls.  I myself was humbled to be with women who have had a profound influence on me and the way I live my life: those who were my counselors, those I was a camper and counselor with, those who were my campers, and those I have had the privilege of getting to know since my daughters began spending their summers on Tomahawk Lake.

I often wonder if Halokwe could possibly imagine when she moved those first few cabins over to Tomahawk Lake, ninety years later there would continue to be women that felt so strongly about the importance of Clearwater in their lives and the lives of other young women, that they would contribute in whatever ways they could to ensure its continuation for another ninety?  Did she truly know then the impact it has had on thousands of young women and how it continues to guide how they live their lives? If she did not, I can assume it did not take her long to realize the magic she created – a magic that lives on in all who have had the privilege to experience it.

Over the past year, I have had the honor of serving as the chair of Clearwater Camp’s 90th Reunion Committee.  During this time, I was able to work with an amazing group of women who not only share a love of Clearwater but who were able to share the experiences and perspectives of campers throughout Clearwater’s history. These women took on the task of bringing Clearwater to life, creating experiences that none will soon forget. My sincere appreciation goes to all who served on the committee: Margaux Boles, Maddie Brown Carlson, Suzanne Hartung Coffman, Sarah Decker, Stephanie Domijan, Amanda Dunaway, Margaret Crowe Howe, Zay Rugland Lenaburg, Jayne Patterson Mlenar, Heidi Nickels Pace, Stephanie Schlect, Liz Webler, and Danielle Vidinich Welch.  I must also share my gratitude for Clearwater staff member, Sheila Ferguson.  Without Sheila’s guidance, support, and love for Clearwater,  this reunion would not have been the magical event that it was.

Until the next time we can all be together on Tomahawk or otherwise, I leave you with this reminder:

What is the bond that binds us, friends of the Clearwater trail?  Just this –

We have shared the weather; we have slumbered side by side.

And friends who have camped together, shall never again divide.


This is the first in a series of Reunion Sparks to share memories from our 90th Reunion. More sparks are linked below so you can read the highlights from the weekend.




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