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.

You don’t have to overturn many stones in Leelanau County—or initiate many conversations at Dick’s Pour House or Art’s Tavern—to find tales of couples who got engaged at Pyramid Point in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. But the story of Josiah DeValois proposing marriage to Anna Kenney on the Spring Equinox, March 20, stands out.

Holland, Mich. resident Jon Ornée swam from Pyramid Point to North Manitou Island on Friday, Sept. 20. The 7.4-mile swim took him 2 hours and 50 minutes. He believes he is the first person to accomplish the feat.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and surrounding communities are suffering growing pains as we’ve become a prime destination for tourists from all over the world. Conscious of these growing pains, a new group called the Sleeping Bear Gateways Council is stepping forward to facilitate dialogue between the National Lakeshore, local business leaders and civic leaders.

Many school groups from Traverse City and Leelanau traveled to Innisfree on Pyramid Point for environmental education. The fifth or sixth grade students stayed for four nights at the camp within the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. The program operated all year round within sight of the Manitou Passage. Students were led on beach hikes and woods hikes by a crack team of naturalists. In the winter snowshoe hikes and ski trips. Canoe trips on the Crystal River was a staple activity as were “get lost” hikes.

On Monday, Aug. 22, at 8 p.m., Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will host a free InstaMeet event to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial. An InstaMeet is an interactive, in-park event, allowing visitors to meet up, take photos, and get to know each other. Once the visitors meet, they will accompany a park ranger on a nature hike.

Retirement is an interpretive experience. For one guy it might mean a pastured life. For another, there’s the Tom Van Zoeren School of Retirement: Not! A former ranger with the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SBDNL), Van Zoeren’s post-professional life is a blueprint of engaged, purposeful work.

North Unity, on the Good Harbor Bay side of Pyramid Point, was settled in 1855 by a group of Bohemians who had emigrated from their homeland in central Europe to seek a better life in America.

Sometime this month, the 1,364,835th visitor to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in 2012 will arrive at the Dune Climb, hike to Pyramid Point, or perhaps bike the Heritage Trail and enjoy its stunning autumnal beauty. In doing so, that visitor will officially make this the busiest year ever for the Glen Arbor region, the most profitable for local businesses, and perhaps the most hectic one too.

“What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen with this telescope?” asks a visitor to the Leelanau School’s Lanphier Observatory. My stock answer is another question: “You mean in the sky, or on the beach?”