Towering Pines Blog

Camp reunion . . . friendships, family and coming home

Sunshine, sailing, smiles, and blasts from the past. In honor of the 50th birthday of our sister camp, Camp Woodland, many Towering Pines alumni graced us with their presence in the Northwoods this past weekend.  There were alumni who came together from many different corners of the world, but a recurring theme resonated over and over again.  “It feels like coming home .  .  .  these people are like family.” 

It’s amazing that even after years spent apart, we could come together and share memories and experiences that truly transcend any distance that time has played.  Many alumni reflected on the strength of friendships made at camp and how these bonds were often stronger than even yearlong school friendships. 

Beyond the incredible friendships are also the life lessons learned while at camp.  Some of our alumni shared what they learned and how impactful camp was in their lives.  Several said that camp gave them the opportunity to become more independent and learn how to make important decisions.  There were many opportunities to broaden horizons by meeting new people and trying new activities out of one’s comfort zone.


One alum shared that he learned patience, humility and leadership skills. The structured group living setting promoted getting along with others, developing compassion and encouraging negotiation.  Learn to love and respect others regardless of any other outside influences. The depth of what camp offers is personal connections that may even last a lifetime.  

Camp also fosters a better understanding of oneself.  For one alum this realization even went so far as to help him find the true meaning of life. Another shared that at camp he became the best version of himself.  And there was the simple lesson of, “Be there.  Be honest.” 

After 74 years of boys coming to camp at Towering Pines, the unique and very solid traditions are still being passed on today.  The current campers caught a glimpse into their future.  Dozens of past campers around them, talking about old camp memories and referring to Towering Pines as their ‘home away from home.’   Alumni Weekend was also a rare opportunity for our current campers to see first-hand what their experiences here at camp will give them some day.  Another place to call home, with friendships that last a lifetime.

“By Nokomis rippling waters where our campfire’s bright, keeps the flames of friendship burning in our hearts tonight. Here we gather in the twilight loyal friends so true, building in our hearts fond memories, Towering Pines for you.”

Angie Wenzl Ziller

  • Mom at TP
  • Leadership Staff at TP/Office Manager
  • Marketing TP/Woodland
  • Assistant Waterfront Director at Woodland
  • Counselor at Woodland
  • “This is goodnight and not goodbye.”