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
- 2022 Alumnae Volunteer Work Weekend (May 21-22) and Alumnae Volunteer Work Day (June 18) made a difference in getting camp ready for Camp 2022. The accomplishments of the volunteers who showed up in May and June were significant. Several items on the Camp Prep List were addressed—Pavilion re-screening, cabin and kitchen cleaning, gardening (weeding/planting), and opening program areas. After work, all enjoyed time together barbecuing, singing songs around the campfire, and star gazing.
- Alum Connie Stine, who is also a Girls Quest Board member, our Camp Director, and coordinator of the GirlsQUEST@Home Year Round Workshops, will be stepping down as Camp Director after Camp 2023. The extensive time and effort that Connie has devoted to preparing and executing 3 summer camp sessions (2019, 2021, 2022) has been invaluable. She has dedicated her heart and soul to providing a camp experience that will encourage girls to explore, learn and grow. The Board sincerely thanks Connie for her commitment to GQ and willingness to volunteer so much of her time to helping the organization meet its mission.
- Alum Laura Henrich joined the GQ Board in 2022. The Board is leveraging the wealth of camping experience she brings to the table. Laura’s history with the organization starts in 1977. Over the years her roles at camp have ranged from Camp Counselor to Camp Director. She has also been an active volunteer during Alum weekends and with the GirlsQUEST@Home Year-Round program.
- Three Alums have stepped up again to take on critical roles with Camp 2023. As in 2022, Stephani Lopez will be our Assistant Camp Director, Claudia Campbell will be our Health Director and Shanny Herrera will take on the job of being our Recruiter/Registrar. All did a great job in 2022, so we have every confidence that they will do a super job with Camp 2023. By the way, these 3 Alums have also been active with the GirlsQUEST@Home Year-Round program.
- The Teen Leadership Program returned in 2022 and will be active again in 2023. For 2023 this group of young leaders will led by Jay Green who will be the Teen Leader Advisor. Thanks Jay!
- Sincere thanks go out to Alum Eva Lewandowski, who has been our Aquatics Director for the past three camp sessions (2019, 2021, 2022). Eva was instrumental in setting up the aquatics program for our return to camping in 2019. Her and her team’s efforts on the waterfront have resulted in incident-free swimming and boating activities. Unfortunately, Eva will not be joining us at Camp 2023, but we hope to see her return in the future.
- Camp Sojourner (CS), Directed by Alum Alisha Berry, traveled from Philadelphia to Camp Oh-Neh-Tah for a successful week of camping from July 31-August 6, 2022. Alisha started CS in 2007 and modeled the program on her experience at Camp Oh-Neh-Tah. With this history it is fitting that CS find a home back at Camp Oh-Neh-Tah. WELCOME!
- For 2023, be sure to put these dates on your calendar and plan to return to Camp Oh-Neh-Tah:
- Alumnae Volunteer Work Weekend—May 20-21 (Come and roll up your sleeves to help us get camp ready for Camp 2023 and then relax by the campfire after a good day’s work)
- Alumnae Volunteer Work Day—June 17 and June 24 (If you can’t volunteer for a weekend, give us a day)
- Camp 2023—July 14-22 (Become a member of our Summer Staff or Volunteer)
- Alumnae Family Weekend—August 11-13 (Bring the family and join us for a fun weekend at Camp O-Neh-Tah. Totally unplug and do nothing, or go swimming in Silver Lake and climb Mt. Zoar again. Bring back memories of your younger years at camp and share stories of experiences that you will never forget. Surprise your kids with tales of what you did at camp when you were their age)
- The Smoke Signals Newsletter for Alumni of the GVF/BAL Camps is still being distributed. Sending major “Thanks” to Connie Stine for her undying commitment to write and distribute this newsletter. If you are interested in receiving a year’s subscription of 4 issues for $10.00, 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.