Girls Quest Alumnae
Since 1936, Girls Quest and Girl’s Vacation Fund, has evolved to serve the needs of new generations of girls. Although parts of the program have changed, the basics have stayed the same. Whether you attended Camp in 1956 or 2006, you share a common experience that unites you with thousands of Girls Quest or Girl’s Vacation Fund Alumnae.
We invite Alumnae to re-engage with Girls Quest and regularly visit this Alumnae page for insights into what’s happening in the Alumnae community. Also help us re-establish our Alumnae Database, by taking a moment to share your contact info below under Join Our Alumnae List.
News and Events
- In 2016, the Annual Alumnae Weekend was reborn at Camp Oh-Neh-Tah and Alumnae began to visit Camp again to relive memories, drop by their old cabins, swim/canoe in Silver Lake and sit around the campfire singing camp songs and roasting marshmallows. Alumnae Volunteer Work Weekends were held in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and Alumnae played a major role in tackling tasks that put Camp Oh-Neh-Tah on the path to recovery.
- Alums Connie Stine and Eva Lewandowski have spent a significant amount of time up at Camp hosting Alumnae visits and events and preparing Camp-Oh-Neh-Tah for Camp 2019. Thanks to their efforts and others, the property is looking alive again and was ready for campers arriving in August of 2019.
- The 2019 Annual Alumnae Family Weekend, that was held August 24-25, was attended by about 30 folks and a good time was had by all. Alumnae, family and friends renewed old friendships, enjoyed the beauty of Camp, went swimming in the lake and/or revisited Mt. Zoar. There was plenty of good food, great conversation and laughter. Many left with dusted off memories of their past camping days and excited about returning in a year for another dose of Camp.
- Alum Connie Stine, who is also a Girls Quest Board member and our Camp Director, has worked tirelessly to 1) bring us CampQUEST@Home and CampQUEST@Home Year-Round, 2) drive significant Camp improvement initiatives along with the President of Girls Quest, Eileen Murphy, and 3) ensure all the necessary safety protocols are in place to bring girls back for Camp 2021.
- Sincere thanks go out to the Alums who helped Connie Stine rollout CampQUEST@Home and CampQUEST@Home Year-Round—Claudia Campbell, Lauren Constanio, Sarah Godlewski, Laura Henrich, Shanny Herrera, Selina Herrara-Nichols, Vicki Hopper, Eva Lewandowski, Stephani Lopez, and Leandra Stewart.
- Two Alums have stepped up to take on critical roles with Camp 2021. Stephani Lopez will be our Assistant Camp Director and Shanny Herrera will take on the job of being our Recruiter/Registrar.
- For 2021, be sure to put these dates on your calendar and plan to return to Camp Oh-Neh-Tah:
- Camp 2021—July 16-26 (Become a member of our Summer Staff or Volunteer)
- 2021 Annual Alumnae Family Weekend—July 31-August 1 (Relax, be a camper again.)
- The Smoke Signals Newsletter for Alumni of the GVF/BAL Camps is still being distributed. If you are interested in receiving a year’s subscription of 4 issues for $5.00, please contact Constance Stine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peggy Keegan: Delivering Small Miracles
How can a letter from a union change your life? When it introduces Girl’s Vacation Fund to a family with a young daughter open to leaving Mom and Dad for a couple of weeks to try something new. A union announcement was how Peggy Keegan discovered GVF. A discovery that started a positive and significant multi-year journey that she believes helped shape who she is today.
Peggy stepped on the camping grounds of Camp Manitou in 1962 at age 10. For the next 11 years, she was a camper, a Senior Camper and at age 21 in 1973, she ended her camping days as a Counselor. “I have never forgotten about my days at Camp. I carry the experience in my heart, and the memories of my adventures there still make me happy”, Peggy shared. She also mentioned that the comradery, support and joint effort to make sure that Camp ran smoothly were some of her fondest memories of being a Senior Camper.
After GVF, Peggy moved on to college and later became a caring nursery school teacher before joining the Home Depot/Expo Design Center family. After a successful 22-year career at Home Depot/Expo, she retired to spend quality time with her husband, two children and young granddaughter. Peggy also volunteers her time to worthy causes.
Post Peggy’s active camping days, she stayed engaged with GVF over the years. She has participated in Alumnae Volunteer Work Weekends and Alumnae Weekends. She has also leveraged her relationships with Home Depot/Expo and a fraternal organization of skilled craftsmen called “The Independent Order of Odd Fellows” (her husband is a member), to work on a variety of important projects at Camp. She’s been instrumental in getting volunteers to build a small barn, fix roofs, replace windows and wood decking, paint the waterfront deck and complete plumbing and electrical work. Peggy said, “I’ve been able to work small miracles by tapping vendors and people I’ve worked with to get involved with GVF. Fortunately I’m not afraid to ask.” And Peggy has worked small miracles with skilled professionals as well as with family and friends who have travelled to Camp to take on basic cleaning tasks that were critical to maintaining Camp.
Peggy’s drive to ensure that young girls get an opportunity to enjoy Camp like she did, and her willingness and ability to bring needed resources to Camp in order to help GQ offer safe camping sessions, makes her an invaluable Alumnae. One that we are thrilled to Spotlight!
Join Our Alumnae List
To improve communications with Alumnae, the Girls Quest Board is creating an Alumnae Database. An updated Contact List will help us keep Alumnae abreast of information and/or events. Please take a moment to share your contact information with us. SIGN UP »
In 2004, alumni of the Kauth Camps got together with the current crop of campers to celebrate the lives of campers past.