Pretty Lake Camp
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Inspired by Camp Experience

Periodically we will feature an ‘inspired giving’ story, whether it’s a personal reflection, a volunteer experience, a special project or favorite camp memory. We are very grateful for your continued support and are honored to share these stories with you; we hope you enjoy them!

It was either 1929 or 1930 when I was selected to have a vacation at Pretty Lake Vacation Camp. Finally the day came when we were to be transported to Pretty Lake in small trucks, with wooden benches on each side of the flat bed.  It was a rough ride bouncing up and down, holding onto whatever was handy to grab. We were going through the country, seeing things I had never seen before -like patches of water through small openings of trees. I was feeling, as I looked back, a sense of adventure I felt for the first time.

Entering the camp grounds I viewed the large pavilion where we were to spend many evenings before bed time songs. Together in songs and cheers, the harmony of happy kids came to life. I was both excited and pleased with being at Pretty Lake and looked forward to my camp experience.

We were welcomed by the staff displaying their energy and helping getting us down from our transportation. I listened as we walked around the camp, about what we were to do with our time at each place and how they were to teach us to swim which was my main interest. I felt secure now, and no longer had the insecurity I had at first, being away from my home environment.

I was fortunate to have gone to Pretty Lake for three years all together, the last I believe in 1932. It was then that they changed the campus by removing the Pavilion sleeping quarters. To celebrate the new campus, people were invited to a program where campers entertained the guests. The counselors wrote a skit and I was asked to play a character with the name of Swash Buckling Bandit Dan!

I have often thought of the most wonderful days I spent at Pretty Lake as a child. I will never forget the first night when Mr. Deisenberg the founder came up to our sleeping quarters and went to each bunk, wishing each child a good night, a lasting memory.

Two years ago I was invited to visit camp and was delighted to see that the same spirit prevails and kids still smile. The songs, the friendships, the outdoors, learning new skills – this and more is what inspires me to stay connected with Pretty Lake – to help support a place that gave me some very special experiences, something that I can help pass on to other children for years to come.

The Gift of care will always last in the minds of the receiver.

Taken from an article written by Lance Ferrarro in 2015 at age 94.  

Thank you Lance! From all of  your friends at Pretty Lake!

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Article Comments

Lance is a true community gem. A verified “Mr. Kalamazoo.”

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