My parents bought a piece of land on the shores of Lake Kanasatka the year I turned 8. I vividly remember the dark woods so thick with trees that it was difficult to get to the water. There were just a few small cottages scattered around the lake at that time, but this would quickly change.

Over the next few years, we camped on the land or stayed at a local motel with little cabins for a few weeks at a time. We added a picnic table a short distance from the shore for days spent at the lake and cleared just enough of the brush to access the water. My sister and I spent hours on end swimming back and forth along the shoreline exploring every little rock and cranny for signs of crayfish and fresh water clams. First thing in the morning we would fish for sunnies using hand lines and then cook our catch over a fire. We found 2 perfect trees from which to hang our hammock and set up a propane camp stove on what we still call ‘kitchen rock’. We lived by the sound of the big bell at Camp Quinebarge, signaling mealtimes and the change of activities throughout the day. At dusk, we watched the bats flitting about under the trees at the water’s edge and many evenings we listened to a trumpet solo coming from somewhere down the lake before settling into our sleeping bags and listening to the calls of the loons.

As I grew older, this idyllic place was never far from my thoughts. I spent time at the lake during all seasons, bringing friends and my future husband along to soak up the restorative qualities it intrinsically offered. We eventually built a small “camp” with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a small kitchen, living room and a screened porch close to the lakeshore. We added a bunkhouse with a 2nd bathroom, enlarged the kitchen and brought our children here. They embraced the routines and traditions from my childhood and added some of their own. They learned to swim in Lake Kanasatka. They explored the shoreline and fished for sunnies with the same hand lines my sister and I had used so many years before. They slept in bunk beds and listened to the sounds of the loons. They kept track of the time by the camp bells and were captivated by the treehouses of “Monkey Town”. Most good weather days were spent almost entirely in or on the water. They learned to canoe and sail on Lake Kanasatka. Hikes up Red Hill were part of our tradition as were excursions to the Country Store and Red Hill Dari for ice cream as they were for the previous generation.

Our children are now grown, the oldest was married here and it is now our grandchildren who come to the lake to bear witness to the stories they have been told about this magical place. They too love to swing in the hammock, wade in the shallows looking for critters, jump off the dock and visit “Monkey Town” and the Country Store. They effortlessly climb Red Hill and love to take a slow boat trip around the lake looking for turtles and loons.

We have kept a journal documenting our time at the lake for over 30 years. We tell the stories shared within the pages to our grandchildren- the day the raccoon got into the house, the day their dad first swam across the lake, the time our dog got sprayed by a skunk and other humorous exploits from across the years. Our grandchildren are now a part of this history and they are excited and proud to carry on the tradition.

We intend to pass this legacy on to our children and grandchildren. We want to insure that they experience the same sense of wonder when visiting the lake that we, their grandparents and their parents did. It is a precious gift to give.

For many of us, our time at the lake is about being with family and friends and building memories over a lifetime. We ask you to consider your own story. Is your place on Lake Kanasatka something you would like your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to enjoy in the years ahead? Or is your journey just beginning with memories just now starting to be collected?

Please act now and join us in pledging your support for the Capital Campaign. Do it for yourself and enjoy a renewed Lake Kanasatka next summer. Do it for your loved ones to enjoy a sustainable Lake Kanasatka in the years ahead.