FOK to Cease Operations on November 15th, 2010 (11-12-2010)
Members and visitors to Friends of Kern, Inc.
Western Star Posts 100th Anniversary Celebration Pics (06-20-2010)
Your board of directors has unanimously voted to cease operations of
Friends of Kern, Inc., effective November 15, 2010.
We are very grateful for the service of Executive Director Stuart
Weinberg, MD as well as for all the thoughts, notes, friendships and gifts
from you during these years.
Remaining funds have been distributed as gifts to YMCA Camp Kern and to
The Carl B. Kern Fund of The Dayton Foundation. The last gift to camp was
to support the Chuck Snyder project. Memorial gifts to the Foundation were
made in the names of Gary Saxton, John White, and Robert Terwillegar.
Honorary gifts to the Foundation were made in the names of Tom Sydnor,
Mike Engel and Stuart Weinberg for their efforts and financial
contributions to FOK. All these individuals have certainly embodied the
Spirit of Kern that flows through the veins of all who have been touched
The contents and functionality of the FOK website will be preserved in
association with The Carl B. Kern Fund.
On behalf of the current board, I wish to thank all those who served as
board members for FOK since 2002.
We encourage you to continue to network with alumni and support camp in
its endeavors in the second 100 years.
John Fiely, Chairman
Friends of Kern, Inc.
The Lebanon Western Star posted a gallery of 25 pictures taken on June 19th (15 with horses!) from Camp Kern's 100th Anniversary Celebration. They are available online at: projects.western-star.com/cache/galleries/Entertainment/Events/061910campkernanniversary/
FOK Newsletter Posted Online (11-25-2009)
It's time to be thankful for all we have, so what better way to start the holiday week than the brand new Friends of Kern Quarterly. This newsletter has all sorts of great information past, present and future Kern. We hope you'll take a few minutes to read it and we'd love to hear your thoughts about it. So, please let us know what you think. You can find the newsletter at: http://www.friendsofkern.org/FOK_Quarterly_2009-12.pdf
Dr. John R. White Passes Away (09-06-2009)
Dr. John White, former director of the Archaeology Camp which started in 1982
and continued well into the 1990's, passed away August 22nd at the
age of 72. It's hard to think of Dr. White and not picture his wild shorts(!)
and the passion and bubbling enthusiasm he had for the field of archaeology. That
enthusiasm spilled over to hundreds of campers, who returned summer after
summer for the next great archaeology adventure around Kern that he had planned.
Please click here for Dr. White's home page on the Youngstown State University site, and click here for a writeup in the local newspaper after Dr. White passed away. A number of Kern alums have submitted their remembrances, and they can be viewed if you
click here. Please feel free to submit additional memories that you may have of Dr. White and we can include them in our on-line tribute.
FOK Membership Drive Underway (11-04-2008)
The Friends of Kern Board invites you to take a moment to read a letter from Kent Barnheiser, Camp Kern Executive Director from 1974 thru 1982 and our FOK Board Chair, about this year's membership drive and some exciting plans in store for 2009:
http://www.friendsofkern.org/2008_Membership_Letter.pdf. We have updated our online form to facilitate electronic submission of your tax-deductible membership gift information, including electronic payment through PayPal if you desire. There is also a printable version for your convenience. We look forward to hearing from you! Thanks so much. - The Friends of Kern Board of Directors
Former Camp Director Eugene Sells Passes Away on June 30th (07-20-2007)
Eugene Sells, Camp Director from 1954 thru 1956, passed away on June 30th at the age of 80. During his era as director, the "New Camp Kern" was continuing to be developed, and a number of structures were being built. Camp had recently moved from the bottom of the hill to the top of the hill in 1950. The bathhouse, lodge, crafts building, infirmary, and several cabins had been built in the early 1950's. From 1954 thru 1956, Pete's Tower, the Director's house, and several more cabins were built. A tradition that continues to this day started when Mr. Sells was the camp director. The first Staff Arrowhead in the dining hall was for the 1956 Camp Kern Staff. Mr. Sells was the last Kern director to serve the role while Camp Kern was a department of the Central Branch of the Dayton YMCA. On January 1st, 1957 - 50 years ago - Camp Kern became its own branch. Byron Stone was Camp Kern's first branch Executive Director in 1957, to be followed by Jack Singerman in 1961. Our sincerest condolences to the entire Sells family.
Kent Barnheiser Bathhouse Dedicated on June 13th (06-17-2007)
The Kent Barnheiser Bathhouse was dedicated at Camp Kern on Wednesday, June 13th in honor of Kent's 22 years of service to Kern as a former counselor (starting in 1960), Assistant Director, and Executive Director (1974-1982). Jack Singerman, Stuart Weinberg, and Chuck Snyder spent a few minutes reflecting on Kent's years at Kern and his influence on staff and campers. Kent recently retired after 12 years as the President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter. Additional comments and pictures are online at: www.friendsofkern.org/barnheiserbathhouse.php.
2007 FOK Board Elections Underway (03-04-2007)
All FOK Voting Members should have received an email regarding this year's election for two positions on the Friends of Kern Board of Directors. If you are a Voting Member (i.e. paid at least $10 within the past year) and have not yet received an email, please contact us. The polls close on March 16th. Additional election information is online at: http://friendsofkern.org/2007elections.php
Call for Nominations to the FOK Board (02-17-2007)
Friends of Kern, Inc. is currently seeking nominations for openings on the Board of Directors to be filled at the next FOK Annual Meeting in March, 2007. We are looking for individuals with a passion and commitment to the goals of our organization, which include building and maintaining our network of friends and alumni, preserving and presenting Kern historical materials, and developing resources to support and perpetuate the camp experience and the work of Carl B. Kern. Incoming Board Members will serve a term of three years. Completed nominations must reach the Friends of Kern office via regular mail, fax, or email by March 1st, 2007. At that time the complete list of nominees will be forwarded to the current FOK Board which will select a slate of candidates for election. For more information, please click here.
Pictures Posted from October 21st Visit to Warren County (11-19-2006)
A picture perfect day provided a backdrop for several pictures taken around the Little Miami Valley, posted online at: http://www.friendsofkern.org/October2006.php
YWCA Camp Wy-Ca-Key Web Page Created (11-04-2006)
Thanks to the efforts of Dayton Daily News freelance writer Martha Hardcastle Guthrie, an exclusive story and several images have been added to a newly-created area of our web site, dedicated to Camp Kern's former "sister camp", YWCA Camp Wy-Ca-Key. The Dayton YWCA operated Camp Wy-Ca-Key from the late 1940's through the early 1980's. Jack Singerman is quoted in Martha's story, which can be found at: http://www.friendsofkern.org/wycakey.php
Larry Maxwell Retires from Camping (09-25-2006)
A retirement dinner was held in Louisville on September 25th for Larry Maxwell, Camp Kern Assistant Director from 1976 thru 1982 and Executive Director from 1982 thru 1993. Since 1993, Larry has also been the Executive Director at YMCA Camp Cosby, YMCA Camp Thunderbird, and most recently, YMCA Camp Piomingo. Among the many awards and tributes given to Larry, he was presented with a 'Pioneers of Camping' plaque from the American Camp Association. This Club offers special recognition for camps that have been in operation for at least forty years and for individuals who have worked in camping for at least thirty years. Friends of Kern, Inc. submitted the nomination for Larry and paid the $175 contribution to the Club. One picture from the evening features, from left to right, Beth Gottfried, Greg Maxwell, Josie Gottfried, Stuart Weinberg, Larry Maxwell, and Louisville YMCA CEO Steve Tarver.
Friends of Kern's 2005 IRS 990-EZ Form Available Online (08-18-2006)
Friends of Kern, Inc. (FOK) is pleased to announce that the 2005 IRS Form 990-EZ has been filed, a scanned copy of which is available online. FOK was not required to file a report since annual gross receipts were below $25,000, but this initial filing represents a method to allow public inspection of FOK assets and activities. A few notable items from the report: 1) Total expenses for 2005, excluding charitable grants, was $692.91, which was less than 10% of total income received; 2) Expenses for salaries, occupancy, rent, and utilities was -0-, as the list of contributed services included administrative staffing, web site hosting, phone service, and internet service. These contributed services have been in place from August, 2004 thru the present. Please feel free to contact us to address any questions or comments about this report.
Clark Property Purchased by Dayton YMCA (08-06-2006)
It was announced at the annual Strawberries and Ice Cream dinner in June that there was a possibility that the Clark property would be purchased. This property borders Camp Kern in an upside-down L-shape, with ELK lake (former Nixon property) to the north and the former Poppe property primarily to the east. It appears from the publicly-available online Warren County Auditor records that the deal went through on July 27th, 2006, with a total of 98.29 acres purchased for $1,150,000.00. The total acreage includes a 58.5-acre parcel which comprises the upside-down "L" described above, along with a 2 bedroom brick house and a barn. There is also an additional 39.79 acres of vacant land across State Route 123 which borders the property to its north and east. The acquisition of Clark's property will ensure that a large, contiguous, historic piece of property from the west banks of the Little Miami River to its bluffs above will be available for generations of campers for years to come. Congrats again to all involved in this landmark moment in Dayton YMCA Camp Kern history. A complete summary of Kern's land acquisitions through the years, with direct links to online parcel descriptions, is available at: http://www.friendsofkern.org/acreage.php
Beat the Hill Race Info Packet On-Line (05-11-2005)
*Everything* you want to know about the 2nd Annual Beat The Hill Race, being held September 11th and providing 100 percent support for camp scholarships, is available on-line as a 9-page PDF file. The 2005 Mission is "... to strengthen the surrounding community through a fun-filled family event that will inspire everyone involved to care for each other on a higher level and to raise money for the Strong Kids Fund". Check it out!
FOK Partners with ACA Ohio to Offer FREE Student Memberships (04-20-2005)
The Friends of Kern, Inc. Board has approved a resolution which will subsidize one-half the cost of an American Camp Association (ACA) Student Membership to any current student who has an association with YMCA Camp Kern. When combined with the Morrison Scholarships of the ACA Ohio Section which also picks up one-half the cost, students have the opportunity to receive a FREE Student Membership. Complete instructions for students (high school, college, graduate - full or part-time) to take advantage of this unique opportunity are available on-line.
Jack Singerman Receives E.L. Kohnle Humanitarian Award (03-15-2005)
At the 134th Annual Meeting of the YMCA of Greater Dayton, held Monday March 14th at the Schuster Center downtown, former Camp Kern Director and longtime Dayton YMCA supporter JACK SINGERMAN received the E L Kohnle Humanitarian Award, the highest honor awarded by the Dayton YMCA. According to his wife Marilyn, "[it] came as a total surprise. He was so overwhelmed that he could hardly speak to give a 'thank you'. Next year he will present the award to a new person, then he'll be able to gather his thoughts and say a few words." Prior Camp Kern honorees for the Award have included BOB BARR, BOB NEFF, BURT MOORE, and LEE WHITNEY. Congrats, Jack!
Our 2nd Newsletter Now Available! (12-01-2004)
Hooray! With a few weeks to spare before winter officially begins(!), the Fall newsletter of the Friends of Kern Chronicles is now available online! Check out the PDF version, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. AND, if you didn't catch the inaugural newsletter from last March, it is also still available online as a PDF file.
Call for Nominations for Members of FOK Board of Directors (08-26-2004)
Friends of Kern, Inc. is currently seeking nominations for openings on the Board of Directors to be filled at the next FOK Annual Meeting on November 21st, 2004. We are looking for individuals with a passion and commitment to the goals of our organization, which include building and maintaining our network of friends and alumni, preserving and presenting Kern historical materials, and developing resources to support and perpetuate the camp experience and the work of Carl B. Kern. Incoming Board Members will serve a term of three years. Additional information is on-line.
YMCA Camp Kern Featured in Cincinnati Enquirer (07-23-2004)
An article by John Johnston of the Cincinnati Enquirer looks at a week at YMCA Camp Kern from a camper's perspective. The online article is at: http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/07/23/tem_frilede23.html
Bob Kesling Media Center Dedicated on June 11th (06-15-2004)
The Bob Kesling Media Center was dedicated at Camp Kern on Friday, June 11th in honor of the former camper (1968) and staffer (1969 thru 1973) who is currently the "voice of the Tennessee Volunteers" after serving as a longtime TV sports director. Additional comments and pictures are online at: www.friendsofkern.org/bobkesling.php.
Vi Packer Passes Away at Age 87 (06-03-2004)
Viola 'Vi' Packer, camp nurse for 10 summers from 1959 through 1968, longtime supporter of Camp Kern, and mother to veteran campers/staff Reed and Gary Packer, passed away on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004 at age 87. The funeral will be Monday, June 7, 2004 at Newcomer-Farley Funeral Home, 3940 Kettering Blvd, Kettering, Oh. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:30 a.m. with the service immediately following.
Alumni Work Day at Kern (04-16-2004)
From Camp: "We need your help getting camp ready for the summer season! We will be working in the chapel, clearing the brush, trimming trees, and spreading mulch. We need lots of help! If it is a rainy day, we will also be working on indoor projects, such as cleaning the craft room." For more info and to RSVP, check out: http://www.campkern.org/events.php
Inaugural FOK Newsletter (03-23-2004)
The Board and Staff of Friends of Kern, Inc. are very pleased to present to you our
inaugural newsletter, which is available online as a PDF file, which requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
"Help Trow Help the Kids" - Planned for March 27 (02-17-2004)
On March 27, Trow will be paddling 15 miles on the Little Miami River to help
raise $$ for the Y's Strong Kids fundraiser, and he's looking for support. Check out his email.
Durbin Feeling to Receive Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters (12-21-2003)
Durbin Feeling, a staff member from the summer of 1965, will be receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Ohio State University Department of Linguistics on March 21, 2004. Camp Kern's 1965 Annual Report remarked, "Durbin Feeling, a full-blooded Cherokee from Oklahoma, did an outstanding job for us in Indian Lore. His teaching of Indian dances and sign language added much to this program. Durbin's performance at our Candlelight Ceremony at the close of each period will long be remembered by campers, staff and parents." Durbin has an extensive biography, but that Camp Kern summer seems to be missing!
FTC's Recommendations to Reduce Spam (12-12-2003)
Friends of Kern is committed to facilitating communication between friends from camp, but we are also sensitive to recent recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (Reducing Spam) which warns against publicly displaying email addresses. Our current solution of using web-based forms without displaying actual people's email addresses is a step in this direction, and we welcome any other suggestions to help protect your privacy.
FOK Featured at National YMCA Conference (12-04-2003)
Stuart Weinberg joined National YMCA Staffers Gary Forster and Mike Bussey as a guest speaker/trainer at a national YMCA conference which was held December 2-4, 2003 at the YMCA of the Ozarks' Trout Lodge Conference Center outside of St. Louis. Entitled "The Annual Support and Alumni Development Symposium for YMCA Resident Camps", the conference was attended by approximately 50 YMCA camp executive directors, alumni directors, and camp volunteers from across the country. The conference brochure (PDF) is online.
Cleveland Bed & Breakfast Supports FOK (10-20-2003)
Glendennis Bed & Breakfast, a National Historic Landmark located in Cleveland and featured in a December 2001 HGTV episode of "If Walls Could Talk", has recently confirmed it's standing offer to all Friends of Kern to donate 10% of your lodging cost to support FOK. Thanks to Emily Landis Dennis, former Ranch Staffer in the mid 1970's, for the offer! For more info, check out www.glendennis.com
Remembering Steve Bull (10-19-2003)
'Bull' passed away 2 years ago on October 19, 2001. Comments submitted from friends
have been compiled and some additional notes have been added.
Moira Stone in Local Production of Show Boat (10-13-2003)
Moira Stone, former main/archaeology/voyager camp camper from 1984 thru 1991, has returned to southwest Ohio from her New York City home to play Magnolia in the current production of Show Boat at La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro, Ohio. The show runs through November 3rd, and has received
great online reviews. Additional ticket info is available at
www.lacomedia.com. Moira would love for "Kern alumni to stop by and say
howdy". Congrats, Moira!
Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner and FOK Meeting on November 23rd (09-25-2003)
The Camp Kern Alumni Committee, headed by Laura Drake, invites Kern alums and guests to this year's Pre Thanksgiving Dinner, to be held on Sunday, November 23rd. Complete
details of the event, including RSVP info and on-line registration, is
available on Camp Kern's website at: http://www.campkern.org/events.php
For a look back at the fun from last year, check out the
2002 Wrapup with photos and stories.
Lloyd Lewis, Sr. Passes Away at Age 99 (08-07-2003)
That same day, Friends of Kern will be holding
its Annual Meeting at Camp from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, tentatively in the
Moore Building (old craft shop). This is our general membership business
meeting where the newly elected Board members will be installed,
membership and financial info will be reviewed, other business will be
brought up as needed, etc. For additional information, feel free to
Lloyd Lewis, civic leader, longtime friend of the Dayton YMCA, and grandfather of former staffer 'Jimmy' Lewis, passed away on Monday, August 4th, 2003. The Dayton Daily News has a detailed
on-line look at Mr. Lewis' life and accomplishments.
FOK Board Actions Provide Additional Benefits for Camp (07-12-2003)
At the July 12th FOK Board meeting, the Board voted to establish the Friends of Kern Campership Fund and the 100th Anniversary Discretionary Fund. A portion of all incoming membership contributions will be designated towards supporting these Funds. A complete description of the financial policy regarding incoming donations is available online. The Board also voted to donate $250 to Camp Kern to become a Hole Sponsor at the upcoming Bob Barr Memorial Golf Outing.
PayPal Online Payment Process Added (07-04-2003)
Friends of Kern, Inc. has established an account with PayPal - a very popular and well-established online payment system used (and now owned) by eBay among others - to give first-time and renewing members an online payment option. Additional online options are being investigated as well.
Pics and Emails Posted from Kim's Canal Street Concert (06-08-2003)
Former Kern staffer Kim Richey was in town on Wednesday, June 4th, 2003 entertaining folks at the Canal Street Tavern in Dayton. Several Kern folks attended, and some emails and pics has been posted on-line
Ranch Reunion Plans Underway - Cumulative Staff List Posted (06-04-2003)
It's been 15 years since the last Ranch Reunion, and it's time for another! Preliminary plans are underway, picking a weekend and discussing possible activities. We also want to make sure we don't miss anyone, so for our alumni/history efforts, a cumulative live-from the-database list of Ranch Staff by year is located at www.friendsofkern.org/ranchstf.php (it takes a little while to load). Staff lists up through 1992 should be pretty accurate, but some lists since then are spotty, so please review and help fill in the gaps if possible. Thanks, and stay tuned!
Tax-Exempt Status Approved (05-06-2003)
Friends of Kern, Inc., received a letter from the IRS dated May 1st, 2003 which stated that FOK is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). It further confirmed that FOK is not a private foundation because we fit the description in sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi). The complete letter is on-line in PDF format. Many thanks to Tom Sydnor whose law firm completed the application pro bono. All gifts retroactive to February 1st, 2002 are tax-deductible.
Jen Feltz Heads to YMCA Camp Matawa (03-14-2003)
Jen Feltz, Kern's Senior Program Director and Camp Alumni Liaison, has accepted the position of Branch Executive Director at YMCA Camp Matawa, a resident camp with the Milwaukee YMCA, effective March 17th. Jen came from Wisconsin in March, 2001 to become Kern's Summer Resident Camp Director and was then promoted to Senior Program Director in February, 2002, overseeing the development of the Alumni Committee and alumni activities, including the newsletter, the Lodge displays & materials, and events like the Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner. Friends of Kern appreciates Jen's efforts, wishes her the best in Wisconsin, and welcomes her as one of our newest alumni!
UPDATE on Saving Centerville Mills YMCA Camp (02-13-2003)
A press release from the Cleveland YMCA details plans for the sale of the land, while camping services remain intact.
Going to Camp in 1914 (09-02-2002)
The YMCA of Greater Cleveland had announced in November that it would be closing Centerville Mills YMCA Camp effective December 31st. Operating since 1902, the camp is Ohio's oldest YMCA camp. Concerned citizens have been battling to save the camp - and succeeded by getting a 1-year reprieve - as documented by in the following article: http://www.recordpub.com/aa/, but the camp is still likely to be sold after 2003, and the camp supporters need help. For additional information, check out Saving the Centerville Mills Experience.
And the Kern connection? Centerville Mills is located on Crackel Road, named for M.D. Crackel, who was the Boys Work Secretary of Cleveland's West Side YMCA around the turn of the century and who hired a young 21-year-old named Carl B. Kern as Assistant Secretary, just prior to the opening of Centerville Mills. Mr. Kern married Elizabeth Ayers - Mr. Crackel's step-sister - in August, 1908, and they moved to Dayton a year later. When 'C.B.' was killed in June of 1917 and his widow Elizabeth was placed in a sanitorium in Castile, New York, Mr. Crackel wrote "Mother Kern" a postcard on June 10th from Castile, "Elizabeth stood the trip well. This is a beautiful restful place. She will have good care."
Taking the train from Dayton to Lebanon and then hiking to Fort Ancient to get to camp on Opening Day, waking up each morning to a cannon being fired off, qualifying for camp emblems, swimming in the Little Miami, watching the ravine become a roaring torrent during a thunderstorm - such was Camp Ozone in its first 10 years. Many years ago, Richard T. Schwartz wrote about going to camp as a camper and counselor starting in 1914. As part of Friends of Kern's efforts to gather historical info for camp's 100th Anniversary, his memories have been posted on-line.
Ozone Paddling Club Planning a Campout Cookout (08-15-2002)
Yes, Dave ('Trow') Trowbridge and company launched (no pun intended) the Ozone Paddling Club in April, which has held several informal gatherings including river trips and kayak rolling clinics at the Kern pool. Several Kern alums have joined in the fun, and a campout cookout is being planned for September. A complete archive of OPC emails from Trow is now available on-line so you can catch up on all the details.
1929 Postcard Features Old Council House (06-27-2002)
Rich Sucher came across a 1929 postcard that should interest Kern history buffs. The story, and links to images of the front and back of the card that he graciously scanned, are available on-line. Thanks, Rich!!
May 18th Wrapup - Kim Richey Benefit Concert & Ozone Paddling Club Trip (05-18-2002)
Comments about the alumni-packed weekend have been posted
on-line. There are also
pictures from the pre-concert reception.
The Dayton Daily News had also featured an
on May 17th
Kim's benefit concert and the
Banana Slug String Band.
And moved to the Archives are the
details of the concert that were
Camp Kern Fence Project in the News (04-29-2002)
The Dayton Daily News featured an article on April 29th covering
the renovation of fencing around Ranch, spearheaded by YMCA
volunteer Tommy Sears. The on-line version is at:
In Memorium, Charlie Blank (03-28-2002)
Charles 'Charlie' Blank, longtime Board Member and friend of Camp Kern, passed away on March 21, 2002 at the age of 83. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sue, his son Tim, his daughter Laurie, and several other family members. Thanks to Marilyn Singerman for the notification.
The Wright Propeller (11-13-2001)
YMCA Camp Kern Loans Wright Experience Historic Propeller from First Public Flight
September 11th (09-18-2001)
Correspondence concerning New York Kern Friends and Alumni has been posted on-line.
Baby News and More Baby News (08-29-2001)
Dan & Christy (Coggins) Kunz, who
wrote "to jump on the baby boat, Dan and I are expecting one due Groundhog's Day,
2002 (02/02/02 how bizarre!)". AND, a reminder from
Sandy Hempel that "Eric and I
are due in October". Must be something in the bug juice.
And congrats also to Paula & Mark Tolley, who
announced that they are expecting a little camper, due around March 6th!
The Oregonia Bridge (03-13-2001)
Oregonia Bridge Tumbles Into River