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Past Campers Memories

Name:                Year(s) at Camp:                Live Now:            Email Address:
      My Camp Memories:

Lorinda Shumate  1987 to 1988     Chehalis Washington
      When I was a freshman at Elma High School I was a part of Natural Helpers and we had a weekend retreat here. We spent a lot of time in the dining hall and the dorm. I had a lot of fun here making new friends and memories. Only recently did I discover (through my husband) that it was held at this lake. I'm looking forward to taking a trip there in the near future. I'm glad that this camp is still going strong :)

Gene Chouinard  the 50's and 60's     St: Scappoose, Oregon
      When I was a freshman at Elma High School I was a part of Natural Helpers and we had a weekend retreat here. We spent a lot of time in the dining hall and the dorm. I had a lot of fun here making new friends and memories. Only recently did I discover (through my husband) that it was held at this lake. I'm looking forward to taking a trip there in the near future. I'm glad that this camp is still going strong :)

     Below view memory picture's ... click image for enlargement ... then click on backward arrow
Here is a picture of my mother in law, Ruby Walczyk, my dad, Marvin Chouinard, and myself in front of the lodge at Panhandle. It was taken the day they had the alumni reunion a couple years ago. We arrived late, and did a self tour of some of the camp and got to talk just a couple folks still there.

Danika Peterson  4 years     Montesano, WA
      Hey everyone:) so im 13 and last year i couldnt go to 4h camp because i had a big knee surgery but this year will be my 4 year i beileve. Probably my favorite memory of camp would probably be the talent show. My favorite memory of the talent show would have to Nicole. She comes up with the funniest skits anyone could possibly come up with. 4-H camp is like another home to me. Everyone is awesome and so SOOO nice. Anoter fun memory would be eatting and challenging and get challenge by other tables to do things like not be able to use anything to use for eatting. I really love 4h AND WILL DO IT FOR as long as i can :)

Karen Gilman  1977-present     Shelton, WA
      I grew up a 3rd generation 4H member. My Dad can still point out the cabins that he went to as a member. Back then it was cabins were assigned by families since most had lots of kids and all were 4H members!! They were the Borden and Arnold kids from Elma and Satsop. Our Borden family reunion was held at Panhandle for many years. I attended as a child and now have been a chaperone for my kids when they went to 4H dog camp. So many great memories!!! I look forward to more as a 4H leader!!!

Celina Kingery  I honestly don't remember     Elma, WA
      My maiden name, that I attended camp with of course, is Moser. I don't remember the exact years I attended, but I mostly wanted to share with you my lasting impression of Camp Panhandle. It was my 4-H camp. I have so many memories of year after year of attending this camp. I loved the songs, the activities, location, and people. I mostly wish that I was more outgoing during these years so that I could have enjoyed them to the fullest, but as an adult with my own kids and still being in the area it would be one of my greatest wishes to be able to be back at Panhandle Lake again one day with my kids, and my more outgoing nature to have a blast and build memories with them that I have of my childhood! Thank you, Camp Panhandle for the experiences!

Callie             2011-2012             Virginia Beach, VA  
      Last year was my first year and I can't tell you how much fun I had. I remember meeting my first "love" and dancing with him at the dance. I remember the fun we had when the counselors snuck out for their secret meeting at midnight, and how they never knew that we knew. My cabinmates and I would all start snoring to let them think we were asleep, and then after the door closed we'd whisper to ten all together, and at ten we would all get up and turn on our flashlights. It was so mischievous! I also remember singing "maybe" by Annie at the talent show, and needless to say I ROCKED IT! :) I did canoeing, which was fun, animal science, and performing arts. That was my FAVORITE CLASS. The skit was one about 4-H'ers got talent, and the act that I made up was hilarious. I dressed up as a cheerleader and put my hair in two high ponytails with pom-poms, and I made up a cheer about Optimus Prime, finishing with "Transform and ROLL OUT!" as I rolled off of the stage. It was so funny, and I performed it at the talent show. I remember bawling my eyes out at the campfire... It was a hot mess. So many counselors were crying because it was their last year and I remember absolutely LOVING my counselor Tyler. I still LOVE HIM SO MUCH and I hope he comes back next year as a staff member. I hope my next year at 4-H is even better than the last!

Tom Barte             2005-July 2011             Olympia, WA  
      Panhandle Lake 4-H Camp recently hosted its 60th Birthday celebration. In attendance were several past campers and founding leaders of the camp. Among those in attendance: Jim Wyrick, Randy Lindel, Lois and Carol Meers, Dick Doak, Dennis Loertscher, Bob Trenckmann, Gary Thomas, Richard Sharer, Guy Lusignan, Beulah Muller, Gene Chaunaird, Clara Hippe, and many others. All in all it was a great day!

     Below view memory picture's ... click image for enlargement ... then click on backward arrow

April Ritter             1990-1999             McCleary, WA  
      I have many fond memories of being at 4-H Camp, from being a camper and a counselor as a teen. Some of my favorites were "Wild Men of the Alders", the troop in black, the polar bear swim, but my all time favorite times would have to be singing camp songs. I still sing them to my kids, who aren't quite old enough to attend camp yet.. I remember when Craig Fauber sang "Shameless" in the talent show, and dedicated it to me! =) I remember practicing the Macarena for hours on the basketball court.. One of my favorite parts of camp was getting there the first day and setting up decorations for our cabin, and seeing the finished product of what we had worked hard to complete in the weeks before hand. I remember the talent show when John Wieser and Jake Karl danced their hearts out and Josh Terry was their spinning dj... I remember my first "camp kiss" was Luke Unis, behind cabin # 9.. =) I remember the MANY dances where my mom would bust out and do the Macarena. the electric slide, the "train".. and so many others... I remember when a few of us played some pranks, and one of them was putting wet spaghetti noodles in the bottom of Tom Gwin's sleeping bag in the dorms.. yes Tom, I'm apologizing now! =) I remember the frogs in the showers.. I remember playing Wild Men of the Alders and Kelly White got me and threw me over his shoulders and threw me in the lake.. I remember the excitement of seeing all my camp friends that first day, and the sadness that came with leaving them on the last... My mom was the director for a while, so I got to experience certain aspects of preparing for camp that not many others did. I love that place, and it will always hold a warm spot in my heart!!

Cindy Lindel Chandler             1960-1968             Gaylord Michigan  
      4-H camp was a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. My whole family was involved in the building of club cabins, the one for the Peppy Pine Cones, and my club way back in the woods, the 4Rs.I loved the rustic cabins where we stayed with our whole club and brothers and sister. Swimming was always a highlight for me. In my high school years I was a lifeguard under longtime waterfront director Arlene Nelson. Not only were we at the water all day, Arlene always volunteered the lifeguards to wash dishes after every meal ! The skits and cabin decorations we worked so hard on were always so exciting. The fact that we had to prepare before we came to camp taught us so much. I loved that we brought something to camp, not just attending a camp where everything was prepared for us. I think my very favorite thing was the square dancing with Mary Carpenter as patient teacher. We had so much fun and the record player was always on during free time. Older and younger campers joined together enjoying the same activity. Age didn't matter, we all came together with Oh Johnny Oh !! I will always remember Panhandle as one of the hightlights of my growing up years.

Rich Kapatsos             19 fun filled summers             Hoquiam, WA  
      I can still remember the first time i went to 4-H camp..I went with my brother Mike and I was in the 3rd grade. I was even in 4-H at the time, I knew one of the counselors so my brother and I got an invite. what i thought was going to be so boring ended up being a huge event in my life at the time, so much so that i would go on to spend 19 summers at camp..from a camper, counselor and then as staff...will spill a few memories soon...

Annie Colley             1995-2001             Elma, WA  
      My years at Panhandle were the best ever! Being a counselor at Panhandle helped me to break out of my shell and learn to have fun! April's pranks (in the early years) were definitely an experience. One of my favorite memories is of playing Wild Men of the Alders...especially the leeches from the creek....ewwwww! Running around covered in mud hugging campers is super fun, everyone should get to cover themselves in mud!

I hope all future campers and counselors get to have the same wonderful experiences at Panhandle that I did! Special thanks to Mike and Rhonda who made it all happen for me!!!!

Corey Whiteman             1992 to present             Olympia, WA  
      Wow there are too many to remember... from my first year as a young camper, asking my counselor Jeannie King, where the "electrical outlet" was in my cabin, and her replying "Corey, here at camp we call it a plug in... and we don't have any", and also staying the final night on the lodge yard (because the rumors of an escapee at the prison)... going to sleep at the top of the hill, waking up at the bottom... Getting into trouble with AC Strickland and almost being booted from our table group (I love ya Jeremy).

The too many memories of being a counselor: Wearing the dress in the counselor room, dancing around in front of everyone, and having Darlene walk in (the look on her face.. and mine, was priceless). Getting lost on our way to Lost Lake... Playing "mission impossible" on our way to Lost Lake (part two)... seeing Jake Yancey oh, so far up in that tree....

Darlene Ritter Henson        two many to recall           Shelton, WA
      I was shocked and yet pleased at the same time to find my daughter April and some of the other kids that I had the pleasure of working with in my many years at 4-H Camp writing about their memories of camp. I started attending camp when I was in 4th grade, age 10, as a 4-Her in Montesano Washington. I spent my pre-teen years there and then when my oldest daughter April was at the age where she could attend, I went as a chaperon for her club. April always seemed to love the camp atmosphere, bonded with the kids and grew up to be involved as a teen counselor. Her sister Lisa, also went to camp, and I believe at the ripe "old age" of 6, she swam across the lake and back with many campers, as canoers followed. Both girls seemed to love camp, but it was April that brought alot of good ideas, as well as pranks to camp. I also remember "Wildman of the Alders". I recall a 4-H agent named Dave being duck taped to his bunk, Freddy Kruger, hanging in the old bathhouse scaring Tom to death. I remember knowing every path, knook and cranny without a flashlight! My first year as "Assistant Director" turned into Director when the director became ill. I also remember the helicopters flying over in the middle of the night with their lights on, supposedly "looking" for someone from the prison. I remember the "Man in White" as well. The Mattress on the Cabin Roof all made for someone to sleep in was a sight as well. I will never forget the kids or the adults that I had the pleasure of working with during my 8-9 years as Director. I thank Mike Pauley, Cindy Pauley, Tina Butterfield, Davona Gwin, and the many others that helped to make those two weeks in the summer fun for me and also fun for my children. Who knows, maybe I will soon be involved again as my granddaughter is now 7 and of 4-H age? Oh, and Josh Terry......I will NEVER forget you wearing the dress, nor your cousin JT lighting the firecracker under the cabin that ended up sending him HOME.......Too many stories, not enough space......

Michael Pauley        1979-2004           Aberdeen, WA
      Where to start, I have many more memories from being a camper, counselor, and chaperone, Assistant Director, Director, and Panhandle 4-H Association Board Member. I can remember coming to camp to see my brothers on visitor’s day, and getting a BIG chocolate chip cookie from the kitchen. Riding up with the family for cleanup day, and working on our cabin (Wishkah Superstars). Spending my birthday from 1979-2004 at 4-H camp. I can remember being out late with the other teens when I was a counselor. Staying out late, making SURE that the teens stayed in the cabins. Being able to know where to look when someone went missing......we never did lose a camper!!! All though I can verify that, I got all of the counselors lost on a hike trying to find Camp Bishop during training. Having my kids attend camp from the time they started walking until 2004, when I retired from the 4-H program, and having them feel as if they where cared for by all who entered their lives, 4-H is a great family to be involved with. Having worked with many people, the ones that impacted my life the most, I would have to say are Darlene, Rhonda, Tom, Phil, Cindy, the teen counselors and campers that I had the privilege to work with and many others who have had an impact on my life, more than words can explain. My family and I have been blessed to be part of Panhandle Lake 4-H Camp. It is wonderful to know that Panhandle has impacted so many lives throughout the past 60 years.    THANK YOU Panhandle Lake 4-H Camp

Cherie (Kidd) Fetters        5 years           Aberdeen, WA
      I started at Panhandle before I was in 4H. My mom and dad were camp directors one year, camp cooks, Dad was camp nurse. Camp was always a wonderful and memorable experience. I went with my 4H group as I got older and enjoyed every year that I was able to go! I will never forget the counselor hunts, swimming in the lake, the camp out after our hike and cooking on the fire. It was so much fun and I wish I could share it all with my kids!

Brett Scott        4 years           Elma, WA
      one of my camp memories was the polar dive wooo bur that lake was cold(:

Carlos Santini        92-98           Vancouver, WA
      Well I remember having lots of fun at 4-H camp and having the opportunity to help out with canoeing. I remember that being allot of fun. Its really hard for me to remember details from the past even from high school because I have PTSD from serving in the military. So if there are any of you out there that remember me or have a story about me please email them to me. I would love to hear from you. Anyone of you can call me anytime also I am always up for a conversation. GOD BLESS AND GOOD DAY.

Payton Dineen        4 years           Elma, WA
      I had so much fun at this camp. One of my best memories was when my counselor Cassie was trying to put her sweats on and she didn't realize she put both legs in one pant leg and she got stuck and rolled off the top bunk! It was so funny! Also for our cabin skit we wrote a song and we got to wa\ear cool star shades. It was fun! :-)

Morgan Jump        5 years           Elma, WA
      This year was awesome i love it so much.... one of my favorite memory was when we thought two of our counselors were dating and we might be right..and this year i didn't have to run once!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am amazing lol

Kattie Ziara Nepper        89-93 (I think?)           Washington
      Panhandle Lake 4-H Camp… and the memories! WOW great idea to put this together! It’s sad to say I don’t have ANY photos to share, since I went well before digital cameras were owned by anyone other then a Professional Photographer (hee-hee). I had so much fun every year I attended camp. I remember when I first started to go; I couldn’t wait to be a Camp Counselor, when I got old enough of course. I loved decorating our cabins the first day, which was always so much fun… For some reason I remember the chicks doing most of the work and boys messing around? The camp songs we all gathered around to sing every night is a really great memory too. The popsicle stick arts and crafts we all did at camp… and we all entered in the Fair (ha-ha). April, I’m right there with you… it was ALWAYS so exciting to see everyone the first day, and ALWAYS so sad when it was time to go home. Camp skits, boy that was so terrifying yet so fun! I had so much fun at camp and one day I would really like to send my daughter there… she’s (2) so we’ll have to wait a while. I’d really like to connect with some of my old friends, so if you have minute, catch me on Facebook. Until then Happy Trails, and watch out for the wild men of the alders.

Lori (Engebretson) Evans        late 1960s           Olympia, WA
      4-H camp at Pandhandle Lake was always something to look forward to even though I was not far from my Shelton home. I still have my sleeping bag mom gave me for my birthday. I also remember the skits....dancing to the latest 45s....a crush on Greg friend Rene Gates......the polar bear swims which I never did....singing around the campfire....the rustic cabins.....getting to use a flashlight at night.....cabin decorations and competition....mealtimes..and cleanup. Good times.

Taylor Sample        9 years           Elma, WA        NO email address giving
      I really love camp, every year around april i start thinking of camp. i have been a counselor for three years including this one. I have made tons of lifelong friends at camp. I cant wait till another amazing camp this year!!!!

Nicole        2 years           Westport, WA        NO email address giving
      My 2 years as a camper have been awesome!!! My first year I wrote 2 skits for our cabin. My biggest hit was our skit 'Hug A Tree' Then this year the funniest thing that happened was that we di a pageant skit and I asked my table group counselor, Taylor, if he would be in it. And then when we did the talent show he dressed up in a Zebra Snuggie, and we called him 'Tina' I LOVE camp!!!! And now this year my little sister is coming to camp so I hope she loves it as much as I do!!!!

Suzanne Ludwig        97-99           Vancouver, WA
      I don't remember many names from camp but many fond memories! My favorite thing was waking up in the morning. One of the councilors(whom I still think very highly of) would play her trumpet over the speaker system to wake everyone up, it never seemed too cold or early to get out of bed when you wake up that way. I did meet one of my best friends to this day there, although we didn't meet again until middle school sometime. I remember being chased by councilors covered in mud, but I was so little at the time I think they were afraid I would cry if they got me haha :D What the heck was with the Tepees out in the field by the stables? I can't remember if anyone ever told me. The songs in the mess hall, for say... putting your elbows on the table while you ate. I was such a shy little girl I was DEATHLY afraid that I would be the center of attention, so you better believe I learned my table manners at camp!

Gary Miltenberger        1960-67           Meziadin Lake, British Columbia
      I remember Panhanle Lake 4-H Camp VERY well. It's where I learned to tie trout flies, in a class taught by the then county agricultural agent, Mr. (Gordon?) Peck. At least in part because of that class, I became a life-long fly fisherman, and have taken steelhead to 25 lbs., silver salmon to 20 lbs., and King salmon to 45 lbs. on a fly rod. I have 20 years as a seasonal fly fishing guide, including one season on the big island of Tierra del Fuego, Chile (south of the Strait of Magellan), and am now involved in a world-class, wilderness fly fishing lodge in northwestern British Columbia. You can check it out at:

Anthony Bergsma        1           Hoquiam, Wa
      i remember 6th grade camp we had so much fun there i was 12 years old and now being 20 looking back i had so much fun playing hide-n-seek and riding on the paddle boats and canoes fishing the games i played with my classmates and the ghost stories around the fire was so much fun all in all i had a blast and one day would love to go back with my daughter Dixie.

Justin and Christie Johnson        14           Shelton, Wa     Justin and Christie Johnson
      I have so many great memories from Panhandle Lake. The parents getting into a food fight, my first camp away from family, sitting around the big campfire pit singing, exploring the cabins for left behind treasure. But I think my favorite memory is when I stood on the stage and married the love of my life. Panhandle lake provided the perfect place for us to say "I do". The wedding cake was made in the kitchen and the wedding party stayed in the rooms in the lodge. Panhandle lake will always have a special place in my heart.

Danika Peterson        3           Montesano, Wa     Danika Peterson
      Hi! im 11 and have gone to camp for 4 years now. Im so excited for this year. 1 memories is i signed up for the talent show and i was going to sing who said by hannah montana. (it was my 1st year!) so my stepsister Nikki was a counselor and she was going to sing with me because i was nervous. So she started singing and she didnt know the words so i told her i will sing. so i sung and from that point on everyonr knew me. Another memory is when Nicloe did hug a tree and when Talor dressed up in a snuggie and was called tina. My last memory is when it was the last night and we all were at the campfire. Cassidie was a counsalor and told everyone it was her last year. :(. My friend and i broke down crying. So on the day where everyone was leaving i gave my friend a hug and she left. When my mom came i didnt get to say by to Cassidie:(. So i have 2 good and 1 sad memory.


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