Saturday, September 29, 2012

Remembering September

It seems as if fall should slow down for us here at Camp Magruder, but each year I am surprised at how busy we still are. I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch you up with some of the highlights from this month.

Vistas and Vineyards was a new group for us. This was a small group of artisans who primarily worked in charcoal and oil paints. It was exciting to see people viewing Magruder for the first time and to see camp through their eyes. Take a look at some of the work they created.

Catlin Gabel brought their sophomore class out to camp for a night to kick off their school year. They brought roughly 100 people and the first thing they did was four hours of community service. The kids and chaperons broke up into groups to work with permanent site staff to clear trails, paint Beutler Lodge and Collins, stack firewood, and clean windows inside and out. 

Needlework Camp spent a week relaxing, enjoying each others company, and working on projects new and old. It seems that people who take up knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, and needlepoint are kindred spirits who delight in the challenge of creating masterpieces. It was refreshing to see people willing to teach someone their craft or help when something didn't turn out quite right. 

We welcomed back the Northwest Regional Education Service District Outdoor School staff and students this past week. Sixth grade students are excited, learning, and having fun in a hands on way. What could be better than time spent on the Oregon Coast in the sunshine instead of being inside at school?

Bunch Lodge underwent a transformation this past couple of weeks. The southern wall of the building leaked last winter and the wall subsequently rotted. Repairs to the inside portion were able to be made before the outdoor school students put the building to use last spring. The outside was repaired and new shingles are freshly hung and oiled. If only we could keep it from raining here. 

One of the feral cats in camp had a litter of kittens at the beginning of the month. There were five kittens to start off with, but we have only been able to locate two of them. The mom has since left them and we've started feeding them wet food. If anyone is looking for a little kitten from camp we think that we've got one male and one female up for feline adoption. 

Miller Cottage's exterior started getting painted two summers ago. We painted all we could safely reach, but had to purchase a harness and rope to be able to paint the last few eaves. After much patient waiting, we had staff crazy enough to climb the roof and belay each other to finish the project. (Thank you Brett and Erin). All said and done, the remaining portion took approximately six hours to finish.

As we reported earlier this month that Jenny the donkey passed away. Caleb seems sad some days and other times he seems content not having to fight anyone for food or attention. Caleb has been getting out for more walks through camp, enjoyed being spoiled with treats, and has appreciated getting brushed and groomed in what are today's latest donkey hairstyles.

With the change in season we officially say goodbye to warm weather, the summer staff, and the 2012 camping season and say hello to the sun setting at 7:15 pm and turning the heaters back on in the cabins. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The following excerpt was taken from an email from Bill and Carol Young.

We were sadden to learn of Jenny’s death. For many years our family attended Corvallis FUMC’s Labor Day weekend at Camp Magruder and always looked forward to seeing the donkeys, especially Jenny. Here is a picture of our oldest daughter Kathy getting acquainted with Jenny on September 5, 1983. Our family has many pictures with the Magruder donkeys… but I think this one of two young “girls” is special.

I hope that you’ll share it with those persons who have walked in the sand with Jenny. May she rest in peace.
If you have photos or memories of Jenny that you'd like to share, please send them to

Monday, September 10, 2012

End of August

With the end of August brought many program events to Camp Magruder. The first was Grand Camp 2. This event had grandparents working with grandkids to create skits, competing to build sand castles, wave jumping, boating, swimming, singing around the campfire, participating in a variety show, plus a polar bear swim.

Creation Vacation Dallas and Salem came next. Highlights of these events included swimming, boating, singing around the campfire, roasting s'mores, a beach bonfire, donkey care, a teen challenge course event, archery, tie-dye, a hike to the tide pools, and playing on the big swing.

Camp Hope shared space with Creation Vacation Dallas and Salem this summer. Camp Hope is for adults with disabilities. Camper's highlights included arts and crafts, music classes, group games, swimming, boating, singing around the campfire, s'mores, a dance, talent show, and an awards ceremony.

Moms, Pops, and Tots followed next. This event is for families with toddlers. Highlights from this event include arts and crafts project turning kids into monsters, playing on the playground, wave teasing, beach play, a trip to the tide pools, donkey care, singing around the campfire, swimming, boating, and s'mores.

Camp Genesis (formerly First Steps Camp) shared camp at the end of the week. This was an opportunity for 1-2 graders to come to camp to have an introductory experience. Campers enjoyed arts and crafts, singing around the campfire, swimming, boating, wave teasing, the big swing, playing on the playground, s'mores, and a hike to the sand dune.

We held the first ever Adult Extreme Camp that week as well. Camper highlights included hiking the Bay Ocean Spit, kayaking through Tillamook Bay, tie-dying, gardening, hiking to hidden lake and the sand dune, cooking out, giant swing, swimming, boating, singing around the campfire, and learning effective communication skills.

Huckleberry Family Camp was next on the list of program events. This is another one of our family camp programs. Families enjoyed swimming, boating, wave teasing, crafts, sharing around the campfire, singing, s'mores, and spending time in community with each other.

Labor Day Family Camp rounded out our summer season. Families enjoyed a beach bonfire, swimming, boating, tie-dye, a trip on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, a variety show, donkey care, wave jumping, a sand castle competition, singing around the campfire, and s'mores. This camp was a fantastic way for families to spend the last weekend before school started back up.