Camp Kohahna celebrated 100 years this fall

From staff reports

A gathering of more than 130 returned to Camp Kohahna at Pyramid Point on Labor Day weekend to pay tribute to 100 extraordinary years of camping. Women came from across the country, and as far away as London to join this weeklong Centennial Celebration, Aug 29-Sept 4. It was an opportunity to be together with old friends, reminisce and experience the freedom of being kids again at Camp Kohahna.

Festivities kicked off with a hot air balloon offering exciting aerial views of camp property extending far off to the Manitou Islands. Canoe trips and bike excursions followed, along with daily ‘dips’ in Lake Michigan, competitions and council fires, and all the fun traditions campers enjoy year after year. A fair share of uplifting thoughts were shared along with the sincere gratitude for the continuity of good—which Camp Kohahna represents.

Camp Kohahna for Girls was founded in 1923 by Maude Beals Turner, the sister of Leelanau Camp (and School), founder Skipper Beals. Maude, or “MB”, was encouraged by her brother to come from Oregon to teach young women here. She created a unique summer program for Christian Science Sunday School students based on ‘activities and encouragement’ which she operated for over 40-years on its Pyramid Point site overlooking Lake Michigan. Thousands of young women have been to Camp Kohahna since then to enjoy what she began so long ago. Continuing into today’s era, with the help of daily study from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons©, there is time for each camper to expand her love and understanding of God while having fun at Camp.

Counselors help reveal how Christian Science can be applied daily at camp and home. The team of counselors at Kohahna is comprised of strong, capable young women from across the country. Their goal is to bring out the most in their campers and to love, support and challenge them. For the younger campers, this means being good sisters and role models. For the older campers, this means having a keen sense of unspoken needs and an ability to bring out a growing young woman’s potential. Programs are designed to cultivate individual character through participation in a wide variety of activities. Skill levels range from beginner to advanced. Whether on the trail, the lake, or the stage, Kohahna campers are always taught to do their best.

In 1971 Camp Kohahna moved to join Camp Leelanau on the facility it shared with The Leelanau School (originally for Christian Scientists). From 1981 – 1988, the Camps were located in Northport. In 1988, as both girls and boys camps returned to the early Camp Kohahna property Pyramid Point, the non-profit Camp Leelanau and Kohahna Foundation, Inc., was formed to take responsibility for the Camp operation along with the Leelanau Outdoor Center and Sports Camp activities, which are nonsecular. The Foundation raises funds through grants and individual donations to support all activities and facilities, including the classic historic ‘Great House’ around which many Camp activities center.

The Leelanau Outdoor Center will celebrate its 30-year anniversary this winter.  It offers school students throughout Michigan and the Midwest an outdoor setting to enhance character and leadership qualities while learning about the unique environment of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Information about all programs for campers, adults and student groups can be found here.