2021 Marks 75 Years!
When the dream of four Grand Rapids developers to turn the shores of Algonquin Lake into a world-class resort was crushed by the Great Depression of 1929-33, no one could have known then that such a historically devastating event would be the catalyst for creating dreams for thousands of children and teenagers in the decades to follow.
One man, Aben Johnson of the Hastings Manufacturing Company, used his vision for a better future and a love for the children of his community. He inspired a committed group of friends and neighbors to join him in creating space for Camp Algonquin. The group convinced owners of lakefront lots, located on the northern shores of the 240-acre lake and rendered worthless by the Depression, to donate their holdings to the dream of a YMCA camp for children. Camp Algonquin became a reality in 1946.
In 2021, the families of those first donors, a community of volunteers and donors, and thousands of alumni will celebrate the 75th anniversary. As part of the celebration that will mark the special occasion, Camp Algonquin is preparing a commemorative book that documents the rich history. The book will include personal memories and priceless stories of campers from every decade.
The book will be a keepsake for every camper fortunate enough to count Camp Algonquin as part of their childhood and for members of a community that can take pride in its commitment to children and young adults. There are still opportunities to contribute to the content of the book, especially for alumni of the 1980’s – 2010’s by contacting the YMCA.
By special arrangement with publisher, J-Ad Graphics, Inc., of Hastings, the YMCA of Barry County is taking special orders for signed copies of the book prior to its expected release date in October, 2020. Copies are on sale for $30 by calling the YMCA office at 269-945-4574 or by clicking on the “75th Anniversary Book” link.
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