I’ve created this separate page for you to leave memories and comments on.  Just use the comment feature below.  I’ve moved over a couple of comments already posted as I didn’t want them to get lost.  So, let me know what you think!  Thanks for visiting!


Heffalump (Rachel) | | Aug 29, 2006

What is the tie that binds us
Friends of the long, long trail?
Just this: we have shared the weather,
We have slumbered side by side,
And friends who have camped together
Shall never again divide.

I didn’t leave Oregon until Kilowan closed, and I have worked many camps since them, some of which capture the same spirit as Kilowan did. But part of my heart is there, in the roaring sounds of teal creek from Alderea #5, in the cold clear water below 60′ falls, in the fairy boats reflecting on the still water of the lake, in the songs sung late around the glowing embers. I’ll never stop missing those memories, and searching for them everywhere I go.

Kilowan Love,
Heffalump/Rachel Castor
@ Kilowan from 1985 – 1999

Peggy Lindburg | | Aug 11, 2006

What a wonderful surprise to find this little slice of Kilowan! Going to camp as a girl was the best part of my childhood, my happiest memories. Kilowan was a lifeline for me for 10 years as a camper. I still very often think about it and miss it. Songs I learned at Kilowan were the lullabies I sang to my children for years. They know Walk Shepherdess Walk, Wee Baby Moon, Barges, Kilowan, Seven Golden Daffodils, and any others. I even wrote them all in a book for my daughter. I have thought many times of trying to see if I could find Kilowan again; my friend and I who were counselors together would love to go back. But I’m afraid it would be so changed that it would break my heart. My last year up there was 1977.

I have so many wonderful memories of times at Kilowan. Fairy boats on the lake after Friday night council fire. The serenity and beauty of the chapel. Creek hiking. Going on the ridge hike and shouting “hey lop lop!” to the camp far away. Toast parties, shepherd’s pie, bibble and squib, smores, and darn goods. Sleepouts in the meadow under a blanket of stars. Earning my IOAPF and IOAFS awards, then making the little metal badges in the craft house to put on my tie. Singing around a campfire. The Indian legends at council fire. Skinny dipping in the lake.
Does anyone else out there have any of these same memories?
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


119 responses to “Guestbook

  1. Kiwi (Staci)

    I came across this website by accident and was so excited. Although I was only a counsler at Kilowan for one summer(1993) I loved the whole summer and the camp. I still have wonderful memories of that year and my kids have a great time looking through my photo album and laughing at how silly mom was. Thanks for starting this website and a glimpse back to a great place.

    • Brooke Fischer

      You were my first Kilowan counselor! It’s so exciting to come to this website and see that so many people hold Kilowan as dear to their hearts as i do!

  2. TINY (GARY)


  3. Suzanne Gennaro (Mim)

    Wow, I never thought I would ever stumble across a wonderful place like this. Some of my very best summer memories were shared at Kilowan, and I remember that while at camp, being very adamant about keeping as many of the old traditions as we could. I miss everyone from Kilowan so much, and think very fondly of the friends I made while I was there, and am always a little melancholy when I dig up the old Memory Books. I was a camper from 1982 to 1987, and a Totem/CIT/Counselor through 1995. I regret that I couldn’t come back to at least get my 15 year, but I definitely don’t regret everything that I learned, saw, and experienced being at Kilowan. I miss it a lot, especially in the summertime.

    I earnestly hope to be able to return someday, but often wonder what I would see now…considering it’s been over 15 years. Larken, thank you so much for sharing this page with us, and all the wonderful memories that it’s sparked in me.

    With much love and sprizzies,


    • Mim! You were one of my counselors one year! I can relate to the feeling of wanting to go back but being nervous about it. Still on the fence about this week’s reunion out at the camp!

  4. Christopher Boitz

    I was randomly thinking about Kilowan, and all of my childhood memories there, so I did a search in hopes of some pictures, and came across this. Kilowan made a big part of who I am today, and my memories there can be compared to nothing else in my life. The song “Moon on the Meadow” has the lyric about people in cities not understanding falling in love with the land, but I got to experience that there, and am ever greatful.

    • mona badura

      Hi Chris,
      Maria told me about this website and told me to get in now. And I’m glad I did. And I got so many surprizes that I’m glad my ticker is still strong nuf to handle it all. How ye been, maaannnn?

  5. Bea Curl ("Buzz")

    Great website! When’s the next reunion?! Kilowan holds a very special place in my heart…From Dreamboats to campfires to “Disco Mafia” to the sound of Teal Creek as I drifted off to sleep. I was on the kitchen staff the summer of ’78 and ’79 as well as helped out with winter camps in ’79 & ’80.Any other folks from the late 70s out there?
    I’d love to be involved in another Reunion. Contact me at Thanks for keeping the memories alive!!

  6. Hi Everyone,

    I started a myspace group for camp because I thought it would be a great way for alumni to reconnect. Here’s the site: I haven’t posted pictures or anything yet, but I will do that soon. So if you’re on myspace, you can become a member.

    Kilowan Love,


  7. Simon Dennis

    What a pleasure to serve this great, great camp. Infact it ‘was almost too good’. 10 years have almost passed but yet I can still class the magical summer of 97 as a worthy pinnacle in my life. I salute you my great American cousins!!

    Simon Dennis aka Pudding

  8. Finnigan

    Aloha, as many of you have shared Kilowan was a huge influence in my life. Spending weeks and monthes in the woods yeah!! I had terrible homesickness my first year ( very contagious) my counselor handled it gracefully, letting me beleive I could call home at any time. Did the phones in bluebird lodge actually connect anywhere? The next year my Mom made me go again grudgingly I went and the rest is history I attended for 14yrs ending as counselor making awesome friends , great experiences, hiking to other camps, canoeing 125 miles on the Willamette ( further than the Boy Scouts haha) Sadly I moved farther away and lost touch. I miss it dearly and did not realize it is closed?? My first year must have been 1972 and we had many bus loads from all over the valley. 3 or 4 from Corvallis every week!
    Anywho I will post a song or two. Any Totems or Cpa’s from the early 80’s out there???
    Kilowan Love

  9. Ellen Gerards, (Knapp)

    I was a camper at Kilowan back in 1970-1972…
    I have wonderful memories of Camp Kilowan and now that I am a nurse, living in Boston, I often find myself going back in my mind to that relaxing carefree time.
    I am so happy to see it still is there! I hope Bluebird lodge is still there and my little cabin where I first stayed as an 8 year old!
    I’m just so relieved to see that it is still functioning, alive and well! Thank you! Love, Ellen

  10. Mindy Gladden (George)

    hi all hope every one is doing great…I miss you all and most of all I miss the times of camp. I have gone up to camp a few times and have hiked out to Beaver Pond and have sat thinking about life and all the good times had by all. Stay in touch and I hope to hear from you soon. My email is

  11. Sue Jaqua

    Does anyone remember the song that we sang when we set our Dreamboats or Fairyboat out into the lake?

    • Dayna Dye

      It may have been:
      Kilowan your maidens are gathered together to sing by the shores of the lake
      [Can’t remember the next line]
      While off to the westward, one just views the sunset, for those who have eyes that can see
      The angels have lighted a fire for Kilowan, a campfire for you and for me

  12. I was a camper the summers of 1959 through 1966. I was on staff the summers of 1967 (kitchen aide), 1968 (office assistant), 1973 and 1974 (office manager).
    Some of you may have just gotten Cathy Bourson’s postcard about the possible sale of Kilowan to the LDS church later this summer, which means the September 2007 reunion is iffy. Please contact Cathy right away if you had thought about going to the reunion, so she can keep you updated. Her email is

  13. Lynne (Koehler) Keller

    Lynne (Koehler) Keller
    August 14th, 2007 at 7:21 pm
    I only attended Camp Kilowan for 1 summer camp as a Blue Bird but that summer has stayed with me for these many years. I just celebrated my 60th birthday and I moved away from Oregon during my 4th grade year in Corvallis – but I will always remember Kilowan. My cabin mates and I discovered a place inhabited by fairies and visited regularly by pixies and gnomes. We made up wonderful stories in that magical place. I remember the frog eggs in the swimming area. And I remember hiking through a grassy area with my counselor and discovering the nest of a meadow lark with baby birds while their mother tried to lure us away by pretending she had an injured wing. Oregon is my heart – I have lived all over the United States but I yearn to return to Oregon and all that she is to me. My husband and I moved our family there and we lived in the Portland area for 14 years until we were tranferred to Austin, TX, then Dallas and now we are in Northwest Arkansas. But our heart will always belong to Oregon – to her mountains, to the coast, to the forests and to the majesty that is Oregon.

  14. marie bennett (tigress)

    Wow, Larken, this is too cool! Great job on the website! I have some pics I’d like to send you, too. The ones you took were awesome.
    I’m glad there is a space out there where the spirit of Kilowan is being kept alive. I worked at camp for 3 summers and have brought my Camp Fire club there as often as possible for weekend camping trips for the last 8 years and let me tell you, there is no place the lot of us would rather be! I hope to see you in September.

  15. sue O'Hara

    I met my husband Joe on internet and he moved down here in 2000 to New Zealand
    The first night he arrived he sung to me the song In The Land of Odin
    tonight I googled it and came up with your site
    wonderful site thanks
    would love to hear the original version if any one has it thanks

  16. Melissa

    Here’s another song I remember fondly:
    The flicker of a campfire, the wind in the pines

    The moon in the heavens, the stars that shine

    A place where people gather to make friends of all kinds

    A place where all our troubles are always left behind

    Oh give me the light of a campfire, warm and bright

    And give me some friends to sing with; I’ll be here all night

    Love is for those who find it; I found mine right here

    Just you and me and the campfire and songs we love to hear

    So let the campfire flicker long into the night,

    And let the dreams we cherish remain in sight.

    Love is for those who find it, I’ve found mine right here.

    Just you and me and the campfire and songs we like to hear.

  17. Melissa

    I also remember Linger…

    Hmmm, I want to linger

    Hmmm, a little longer

    Hmmm, a little longer here with you

    Hmmm, it’s such a perfect night

    Hmmm, it doesn’t seem quite right

    Hmmm, that this should be my last with you

    Hmmm, and come September

    Hmmm, I will remember

    Hmmm, our campfires bright and friendships true

    Hmmm, and as the years go by

    Hmmm, I’ll think of you and sigh

    Hmmm, this is good-night and not good-bye

  18. I wash looking up old camp song . It was on my mind. Well see ya’ll later.

  19. Joel Day

    Hello to all,

    This is an amazing site. I hope the creators will keep it going. I went to Kilowan or (I should say had the essential-life-experience that is Camp Kilowan) for from Second grade until I was a Sophomore. I started in the summer of 92 and my counselors were Cowboy(name?) , Oigo (Susie ?), Outhouse(Susie ?), and Shadow who in later years changed her name….? AAAGH my memory fails me know. I think she became the nurse one summer.
    All the same, it’s just good to know that all these things you hold dear are shard by others somewhere out there. It was a the beginning of something for me that I will never forget. All the places, The Songs ( NOTE IT WOULD BE GREAT IF SOMEONE COULD POST THE LYRICS IN THERE ENTIRETY TO FRIDAY MORN’) and most of all the People. If the Counselors Larken or Spaz happen to read this I would love an email to know if you are still out there in the wide wide world. Hope this site stays to keep memories alive.

    Joel in Portland ( I never got a camp name, it closed the year before I got to become a CIT)

  20. I went to Kilowan in…87-90? 88-91? My mom was the nurse (I think her camp name was Darts). I think often of the camp. I’d heard it closed, which makes me sad. I had some good times there before we moved away. Friday night fairy boats always made me cry–especially since I stayed all summer but had to say goodbye to new friends every week. I remember thinking the skits the counselors did were hilarious–out in some kind of covered pavilion?
    Glad to have found you all!

  21. Kelsi (Iggy) Erkkila

    Hey All,
    I stop by this site every once and awhile and it is great to see all the familiar names. Having been there for 15 years, I swear I am not bragging, starting in 1980 to 1999 (missing some years in between) there are a lot of names to remember fondly. You can tell I have a hard time letting go of things and Kilowan is one of the most magical, fabulous, and wonderous places I will ever have the privledge of being a part of and I know many feel the same. One of my fellow camp-ites sent me this site you should check out. It is a great video put together featuring the camp. You might want to have a tissue handy. Such good memories.

    All the best!

  22. Fritz

    I just stumbled on this website looking for summer camps for my sister…..I saw Finnigan’s post!! I attended Kilowan for many summers. I think my last summer was 1984. That was my 12th summer. So many of the songs and experiences are a wonderful part of my tapestry. I remember you, Finnigan! We were Totems and CPAs together–I was on that mega hike to the Girl Scout camp. What a time…and the 125 canoe trip up the Willamette.
    Love, Fritz (Gretchen)

    • Nannette Mueller

      Hi Fritz! I still have our counselor picture from one year either 81 or 82. Your picture is in it. Wasn’t it great! – Iyoki

    • Crash

      Hi Fritz and Finnigan:
      I was a counselor at Kilowan when you were there, and recall your names — and foggy (though fond) 25-years-ago memories of your faces too. Will dig out old photos to refresh this.


    • Melanie Tinkham

      Hey Fritz! Worked with you in the summer of ’81! Such fun memories!

      Melanie (Boo)

  23. Claire

    What a great blog. I’ve been looking for some of these lyrics, which I can’t find anywhere else. I attended Camp Kilowan for five years, from 1988-1992 (through 8th grade). Those memories are definitely some of my fondest ones from childhood 🙂

  24. Wow…what an excellent website! Long long ago in the land of Kilowan, I was known to some as Ozark Mountain Bagg. For any who are interested, I have some photos, recipes, songs, memory pages on the ditto sheets etc. I have missed this magical place.

    Thanks for presenting us with this website!

  25. Staci (Kiwi) Tanksley

    I was reorganizing old photos and came across pictures that I took at Camp Kilowan summer of 1993. I thought that I would share them and put them on a slideshow on If you see a photo you want email me at and I’ll send you the pic. Also if for some reason you don’t want one in the slideshow please let me know and I can take it off. It was a fun summer and great to see these pics again.

  26. nanci

    I was on that canoe trip! There was a guy in an orange or red kayak that went with us, we got stuck in an eddy, camped with a bunch of cows…wow, I haven’t thought of that in years. I was supposed to be in the teepees that year but I was the only one so I stayed with the older girls (one year) in Addies. I remember twins – Beth and Gretchen I think? That was a great summer!!

  27. Jaime "Sundance" Daeges

    I have been cheking into this site every so often. I am glad Kilowan has touch so many lives. I know I have great memories. Alumni from 89-99.

  28. Deanna Dickerson

    I went to camp every year starting from when i was in the first grade until like the 6th grade. That was always the highlight of my summer. I was looking though some of the comments and recognized a few of my old leaders such as Sundance and Heffalump I grew and learned so much at this camp because of the people and the experiences. I still to this day almost 6 years later miss coming home totally horse because of how much singing we did. Thank you to all of the leaders and the Camp.
    Deanna Dickerson (Butterfly)

  29. Marni "Spaz" Doerfler

    Melissa “Daisy” Gee contacted the Camp Fire Office this week and was officially told that Kilowan has been sold to “a church group”. Earlier, the LDS church was looking at buying, but the office didn’t specify and Melissa didn’t ask.
    Has anyone else heard about the sale?
    I hope that the church takes better care of camp than Camp Fire did. If it was the LDS church that purchased it, it was my impression that they were open to letting alumni rent it from them. I know Mable Taylor would be very disappointed about Camp Fire losing camp, but, as I said before, hopefully it will get cared for now and kids will be back this summer to enjoy the land as we did.
    What will go with the sale are our traditions and legends. This is extremely sad. Thanks to Cari for this site and to all you for being here and participating in sharing memories, songs, legends and traditions; in a way, keeping them alive.

  30. Jenifer (Lobo) Sterling

    Wow – a Camp Kilowan web-site. I found myself there accidentally as a counselor in the summer of 1977, fell in love with the place and came back on purpose for the summer of ’78. Very special memories, very special place. Perusing other memories and reading words like “Teal Lodge” , “Alderea” (my unit), 60 foot…favorite hike….ah, you can only go back in your memories, eh? My final “tilly” present I gave was a hand made book with all the words to all the camp songs… dang I wish I’d kept that thing! One of my favorite memories of Camp is that’s where I was first turned on to John Prine – of whom I remain a life-long fan. I think it was Duffy…..

    • Brook

      Lobo, I was the recipient of the final “tilly” present, and someone “borrowed” it when I was ACD in 1980 and it never was returned. I have yearned for that book. I was at Kilowan in 1977 Counselor, a winter counselor and 1980 as ACD. I love the place and watched in horror over the past 20 or more years as it has been clear cut, logged, and sold off in pieces. So much sadness that I can’t go up there any more. Everything is logged, even 100 ft. Falls, the Culvert, 200 Ft. falls, Fairy Falls…and up to 60 Ft. Falls. It was/is an enchanting place that should have been preserved for all the generations to come. Brook

  31. Debi "Tish" Wallace

    I was a camper at Kilowan for 10 years and then a councelor for 2 years, 1976 & 1977. I remember you, Lobo. The great times of Kilowan!
    I have so many fond memories of my years at campfires, toast parties, creek hiking, sliding rock, fairy boats, new friends, etc.

  32. Cathy Watt

    Wow! This is great! I was a regular at Kilowan from Blue Bird Lodge through CIT – my last year was ’79. The photos bring back so many amazing memories – three pools, fairy boats, birthdays at Teal, council fire, cleaning ‘susies’, raising the flag (colorguard, ADVANCE).

    I am a pack rat and have the Kilowan songbook I put together (in my overly cursive teenage hand!) I’ll have to dig that out and walk down memory lane again. Thank you so much for putting this website together!!

  33. Thank you for this site, Larken, and everyone who has posted! I was blessed enough to have Kilowan as part of my summer during my elementary school years (1985-1990?) as well as weekend trips with my Campfire group at Greenwood during the school year.

    I’ve been thinking about Kilowan and wondering if there were photos on the web. I’ve always been afraid to go back, afraid of changes there.
    The slideshow was excellent. It brought back so many memories of how rich my experiences were, and how much culture and legend was wrapped up in even one or two weeks of camp. I feel I could almost make a book of all my memories there!

    I’ve often wondered when visiting the woods, how people can choose to focus their spiritual lives inside a building. When I saw the photo of the outdoor Chapel during the slide show, it all came together where so many of my values were instilled. I still love the woods.

    -Erin Brassfield, camper during 1985-1990

  34. Marni Doerfler

    Wouldn’t it be great, Erin, if we could hold sunday services at the Doris Koenig Chaple at Kilowan? I’d make the drive every Sunday (or Monday or Tuesday or whenever!).

  35. I just happened to be reminiscing and finally thought to look up Kilowan online–what a pleasant surprise to find this site! I’ve recently had several trips down memory lane as I find more people who love eating banana boats or know the words to Barges and other great camp songs. I have so many wonderful memories of my summers at camp (’88-’99), from camper all the way to counselor, and it’s great to see all these familiar names. Spaz, Maniak, Sundance, Heff, Larken, Iggy, George, Tiny, and Mim, I hope you are all doing well! If there’s ever another chance to have a reunion at camp, or anywhere, I’d love to attend.

  36. Here’s a link to an album of my (scanned) pictures from camp:

    Several of you are in them! There are a few from late ’80s-early ’90s, but most are from 1998 & 1999.

    • Angela,
      You sound familiar to me. Could you post the public photos again to face book. Or email me them. I think I stayed in your cabin in Taylor. Did you wear glasses? Another girl that stayed with us was Loretta, and we had a boy named Jared in our cabin. Even if you didn’t could you still email me them.


  37. Buzz

    Thank you for your Kilowan Pictures…I was there for many years (70s-early 80’s). Your pictures are wonderful and bring great memories back to me…camp fires…night walks…Teal… the meadow…great stuff.
    What years were you there?

  38. Spanky-Carol

    I was so pleased to run across this site today as I think about Kilowan often and I’m amazed at the number of memories and fiascos that keep coming back to me over the years. Kilowan is magical–as are the songs and the people. Tippy canoes, totem trips and CIT pranks baby!

  39. Damon "Ody" Olsen

    Wow, a couple of the best summers I have ever had. 1987 and 1988. Camp Counselor. Somebody should make a movie!

  40. Liz King

    I have a group photo…bluebird lodge group from 1971 if anyone is interested…

  41. Jana (Tree) Sorenson

    My old Kilowan pal “Harpo” (Joan Saylor) turned me on to the site. Great to see the old camp photos, songs, etc. I was only there as a counselor in 80 &81, but I will never forget it!

    • Stella Curry

      I was just looking for Joan, Harpo on Facebook! I went to camp for many years with her and worked with her their at Kilowan too! My camp name was Bongo! If you talk to her let her know I was thinking of her and would like to know how she is!!

      Stella aka Bongo

    • Nannette Mueller

      Tell Harpo to make sure she stays away from the bees! — Iyoki

  42. Michelle (Tiki) Robare

    This is fantastic! Thank you so much for putting this together! Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Kilowan, it has made an enormous impact on who I am! I’m constantly humming or singing a song from camp. 🙂

  43. Meagan Palmateer

    I am so glad I found this website. Not only did I got to Camp Kilowan for five years, but I also grew up not more than 15 minutes away from the campground. I would love to go back there and see it again as it was a important part of every summer during my childhood!

  44. Joey (aka Kate Parker)

    Here I am looking for an address for a job application, and I run across this. What a treat, what a trip, what a reminder of what has been lost but certainly not forgotten. I don’t remember when I was there; mid 80s probably, but I was a wussie (waterfront staff), there with Jasper, and others whose names I long forgot, although Spaz and Heffalump certainly ring a bell! Makes me want to get a garage sale guitar and start strumming!

  45. Andrea Reimer

    I am a very old alumni and just heard of the sale. I am very saddened. Wish I would have heard of the alumni in 2007. Is there any chance of another one? By my estimates, I went to Kilowan in about 1968 through 1976. These were my fondest memories. I am still singing the songs!

  46. Beth "Thyme" Runciman

    Hi everyone. I’ve become a Montessori teacher and I sing camp songs daily with my kids. They love One Tin Soldier and the Washer Woman song. It was great to read all the posts from so many old friends.
    Wherever we may go
    Wherever we may be
    Remember we are friends
    This was written on the wall of the Addies, and Spanx, I still have the crossstitch you did for me in 1991.

    • Beth “Thyme”, I remember you. We were friends for awhile. I am now a Head Start bus aide in California. In Oregon I was in Head Start as a teacher assistant. I can totally see you being a Montessori teacher. How is Hucklebug doing? It is great that this site has been made. I was able to show my fiance the slideshow. I went to Kilowan from 92-95

  47. Colleen (Braddy) Showalter

    I just returned to Oregon from California, I attended camp from 1976 – 1985, I was a Totem and a CIT. I love the memories that I have and the experiences that changed me forever. I was hoping my daughter could attend camp like I did and I just found out that it isn’t a Camp Fire camp anymore and I felt an overwhelming feeling of loss. I sing the songs to my daughter and I tell her the stories, hopefully she will help keep the legends alive. Thanks for the site, Colleen or Tweety

  48. Karyn Rusten

    wow thanks for creating this site. I Love camp Kilowan. I attend there from 1996 to 1999 and wish I could go again. I have so many memories and never wanted to go home from camp. My favorite cabins as a kid were Blue Bird, Lakota Lodge and Mary Louise. Kilowan Forever in my heart!

  49. Tammie Wissinger-Hutchins

    What wonderful memories I have of this place. My mom was my campfire leader from 1978 to 1984 and use to bring our group here. I, to brought my daughter and our group here to make more wonderful memories from 2001 to 2006!

  50. jenny

    I just found out this camp closed…I was a camper for 5 years in a row as a child and I will never forget the songs, the landscape, the activities, the salamanders in the pond, everything! Im very sad I will never be able to send my children.

  51. Nannette Mueller

    I found this site looking again for maps of Kilowan. There are so many memories. All the falls – finding again 200ft falls w/ Kentuck. So many wonderful friends. Opening a letter on the ridge hike to find my – marriage proposal – written in song (I was married the next summer). Thanks for the memories everyone! Wish it did not have to be sold.

  52. Kelly

    I loved camp kilowan: for me it is the perfect representation of all that is so special and magical about being a child and growing up in Oregon. Every day there was awesome. I loved the songs and the woods and the hikes and the craft projects and the counselors and the swimming and the delicious food (all that exercise must have made me extra hungry, but it was really good!) If I ever could win the lottery or otherwise strike it rich, I’d do my best to buy it and basically live there full time and make sure it is well taken care of and inexpensively available to kids and alumni as long as the money lasted.

  53. Michaelann (Koala)

    Hello, Love this sight. I was a camper and CIT from Late 70s until 1984CIT
    I really miss it. In the summers my Uncle lived down the road and when we would go for Family reunions I would always visit the camp and see friends. I now have 4 kids and really wanted to send them to the camp but see it is now closed, so disappointed. Would love to have a reuion there though. Even if its only for a day. It would be fun to see old friends and councilors.

  54. Karen Wheeler Taylor "Kiwi"

    Hi. I started going to camp in the 3rd grade and continued all the way through high school. Counseled there in Alderea after graduation summer of ’69. Returned in ’75 as Unit Director. Camp Kilowan has always lived in my heart. Hope we can have reunion. Would love to see old friends, counselors and campers alike. I think it is interesting those of us who love it so have so few pictures. We must have been having a great time. Kilowan love, Kiwi

    • Lohree Weeks Kottke

      Kiwi, I remember you. I was a kitchen aide in about 1967 (camper several years before that), then CIT for two summers. I worked as a counselor in Ripple Ridge, I believe it was 1970, maybe 1971 after graduating high school. I was in the CIT group with Stretch, Krunch, Archie, Sunny, and others. So many memories, skits by the counselors and CIT’s on Sunday night and then council fire on Friday nights, followed by Dream Boats. I remember all the hikes 60 Foot Falls, 30 Foot Falls, the Ridge Hike, Sliding Rock, the kidnap breakfasts between units, having a tea with another unit under Pooh Bridge where we played Pooh sticks and shared Pooh Crackers. The younger girls at Bluebird Lodge and only being able to enter fairy land if one the the girls from Bluebird Lodge was with you. Meals in Teal Lodge, swimming in Lake Kilowkwa (probably misspelled) and at Taylor’s Pond. Our CIT group helped with a council fire one year and had the idea to shoot a flaming arrow from a tree to Taylor’s Pond. The counselor shooting the arrow fell out of the tree (but no one got hurt.) When my now 29 year old daughter was still small, we came to the reunion at Kilowan, along with my husband. Such a great time. By then, Kilowan had its own swimming pool. So very glad my sister told me about this site.

  55. vickie a holton

    I attended camp kilowan from the second grade untill the summer Igraduated from high school which was 1970. Those times I hold dear to my memories.

  56. Marc West

    I remember my family going to camp early so my dad could do repairs to Addies and several of the other buildings. We stayed in Blue Bird Lodge and caught salamanders in our canoe on the lake.

    Then a few years later I went for camp and I met the counselor “Levi” she took us horseback riding


  57. Hey all! It’s so wonderful to read the memories here! I still have my songbook and will try to e-mail the ones I see that are missing, I still sing camp songs to my kids. It breaks my heart that Kilowan isn’t there for them to enjoy. Best memories and friends ever! My camp name was Rufus, I went to camp from 1976-1987, then returned for a few years as a counselor and UD (15 altogether I believe). Iyoki you were my counselor in Addies-we made the best pan pipes and flutes :). I recognize some other names, Finnegan of course, and Fritz. I still keep in touch with friends from my CIT group, would love to hear from anyone who remembers me 🙂

    • Nannette

      Shelly, You make me smile! I remember those flutes and pan pipes. That was so much fun! Addies was my favorite unit!

  58. Hello!
    Nice to see pictures and have a moment to spend with my memories. I worked at Kilowan summer 1981. Sure would love to hear from folks who worked that summer, Shandi, Moala, Duff??? are you out there in cyberland someplace? Many great memories and songs that I’ve had the pleasure of teaching my daughter who is carrying on the tradition of being a summer camp counselor.
    Wendy Watson

    • Nannette

      Breezy, Iyoki was part of that crew. Frog and Grits – Remember.. Hi my name is Grits because I love Grits. I have the camp picture from that year. I worked with Hobbs. I remember that year.
      Nannette Knight Mueller

    • Hello Wendy “Breezy” HOW FUN to find you here but see you wrote this in 2011 and I am just now finding this group in August 2013. Tried to find you on FB but no luck yet. I having been staying in touch with Moala for years. Would LOVE to reconnect!

    • Melanie Tinkham

      I worked on the waterfront in the summer of ’81! Have such great memories!
      Melanie (Boo)

  59. Jorden McKenzie

    Omg camp Kilowan…..
    I remember this place fondly….. My very first and last summer camp. I was there shortly before it (apparently) closed down. The only counselor I remember was Skunk. He had his hair dyed black and white and with the skunk pattern. Lol. Hard to forget! I went there for horse camp and rode the pony that no one else wanted to ride. I grew so attached to that horse. I remember tearing up when it was time to go home. I left with a coat hanger made of horse shoes. I still have it to this day! (I am now 25) I believe I was 11 or 12 when I attended. Its an honest shame they closed this camp down. I was actually looking to volunteer my time this summer! Its been so long! Is there a chance we can get it back up and running? If there is….i would be THRILLED to help in any way possible. From the looks of it we have enough people who care about this place to do it. Drop me a line!!

  60. Peggy

    Oh my gosh! Joan Saylor was one of my campers when I was a counselor (Sundown) in 1977. She was a great girl and we became friends. I thought of her just recently….
    I have so many wonderful memories of my 11 years at Kilowan. It breaks my heart to think it’s no longer the same.

  61. Jim Adams

    Any one remember Adam and Eve ? Adam (Jim Adams)

  62. Sue Swayngim/Montezuma

    I too went to Kilowan from age ten. I became a CIT for two summers, and then counseled at camps out of state. My last year at Kilowan was1972. My babies are grown now and they have grown up to those wonderful camp songs; flicker of a campfire, Kilowa, Wee Baby Moon, Mandy. Now I sing them to my grand children. Some of my best childhood memories were at Kilowan. Who can forget Sliding Rock?

  63. Pat Graham Borton /Krackers

    Pat Graham Borton/Krackers Kilowan camper, CIT, counselor 1953-1967

    What a delight to learn that so many of you experienced Kilowan and loved it as I did. Reading your comments brought back so many wonderful memories. I have lived in NC since 1973 and sing Barges to my grandchildren. Picked up my granddaughter from Camp Riverlea and as I walked in they were singing “We welcome you to Riverlea.” We used to sing “We welcome you to Camp Kilowan, we’re mighty glad your’d here…” as the campers got off the buses. Wohelo!


    • Julia M. Allen

      Krackers! How nice to see your message here. Do check out the Facebook group. There are pictures from your wedding among other photos. Sounds like all is well with you. It would be lovely to see you at a reunion next summer…. Any chance of that?

      Julie A./ Piney

      • Patricia Graham Borton

        Julia/Piney, how wonderful to hear from you after all these years. I’ve thought of you over the years and was sorry that we lost contact. What reunion? I come to Oregon to see my mother about twice a year so I would love to come to a Kilowan reunion. Where to I find info about it?

      • Lohree Weeks Kottke

        Piney, I think you were one of my counselors once, in Gypsy???
        “Dusty” – Lohree Weeks Kottke

    • Gonny Jeuken Sturm

      Krackers you were at Kilowan until 1968.I know for sure because I was there that year and I never forgot Kilowan and its people .My campname was you remember me?In my Kilowan box is still à picture of you Pat .yellow poloshirt ,brown eyes.
      So many good memories of that place.It really was for life time.Resently I was thinking about the chapel in the camp and suddenly I thoughed ;”may be I can Google it …”…and there you showed up ! So happy that I found you.Love Gonny (Poney) from The Netherlands.

      • Cheryl

        I remember you, Gonny. My camp name was Scout. If you are on Facebook, check out Great Camp Kilowan there.

      • Pat Graham Borton /Krackers

        Gonny/Poney I do remember you. As I recall you loved marmellows that were not available in the Netherlands. Can you buy them now? I was always amazed that you came all that distance to Falls City, Oregon and Camp Kilowan. You were a great addition to the staff. There are so many of us that have such wonderful memories of Kilowan because of the great people that loved being there. I hope that life has treated you well.

      • Janet Phillips McKensey

        Gonny, you were my “Tillie” and you made a wonderful little book for me that I still have. You wrote in both Dutch and English and provided illustrations.
        Janet Phillips (camp name Monday), camp office assistant

    • Deborah

      Did you know josi, mary Jo stopp. She was my cousin and I think I saw pictures of you in her album.

    • Jeri Boyce Miller

      Krackers, you sound familiar? I was a camper in the early-mid 1960’s and CIT “Coffee” 1969-70 and counselor 1971. Did a Ridge Hike at night under the full moon, going down sliding rock, base camping at Duffy Lake as a CIT and hitting my 10 year mark to get my Pooh Bear at Friday night council fire! so many lasting memories.

  64. Erika Suydam

    I dreamed about sending my daughter to Camp Kilowan last night and started to look and see if it still existed. They are amongst my favorite summer memories. I went several years off and on from age 6-11 starting in 1979. I loved the hikes, the campfires, the songs. And it is where I learner to swim. Thank you for all of the fantastic memories.


  65. Julia M. Allen

    What fun! For more information on the reunion, go to the Facebook group The Great Camp Kilowan. You’ll find a conversation about the reunion, photos, memories, even the recent news that Kilowan is still there & seemingly available for rental. I’m living in Portland, retired, so if you’re ever coming through this way & have time, I’d love to see you. If you have a FB account, send me a friend message & then it will be a little easier to connect.

  66. Janet Lorenz

    Hi, Pat (Krakers) – Just happened upon this website after wondering what had happened to Camp Kilowan. I remember all the CITs from Corvallis ( I was the only one from Salem) and remember you well. I am retired, live in Salem now and did look around Camp Kilowan about two years ago – it seemed pretty much abandoned, although it looked like there had been a recent group retreat. Lodge looked the same; lake seemed smaller than I remembered it! Also went to a reunion there in the late 90’s and hiked around.

    I was a camper there in the 50’s for a few years and then a CIT and counselor from about 1960 through 1963. Both my son and daughter attended the camp in the 70’s, and we all went to family camp there about 1978 or 1979. We all still sing some of the camp songs around the camp fire with my daughters’ family – especially “Kilowan, Kilowan, your maidens have gathered . . . ” Remember the old man up the hill who howled at night and talked in tongues?

    Are you in contact with any others in our group? I’m also on facebook.

    Good memories!

    Janet Peterson Lorenz (Swede)

  67. Patricia Graham Borton

    Janet (Swede), how wonderful that your children could attend Kilowan and that your family camped there. I too loved “Kilowan, Kilowan…”. I well remember the old man whose property was right above camp and the fun hikes to 30′ and 60′ falls and sliding rock–that water was cold! Our grandchildren are interested in making s’mores etc. so I built a fire ring in our yard and hope to soon have a campfire and do some camp cooking with them. They also want to tent camp so may put one up in the yard for them, but it is awful hot and humid in NC in the summer, but fortunately where we live not very buggy.

    I am in contact with Bebo and Tex but have lost contact with any of my fellow CITs. I am not on facebook but will get an account and check out the Kilowan site. I would love to come to a reunion if they have one next summer.

    So good to get in touch–such wonderful memories that have stayed with us over 50 years! Those were magical summers.

    Krackers (Pat)

  68. Bonnie

    i remember camp kiliawan
    i was in grade school….. those were the days/// lol we went on a fieldtrip if i recall right it had something with 4h
    and i remember something to do with fairies////

  69. Patricia Graham Borton (Krackers)

    Bluebird Lodge had Fairy Land where the youngest campers had fun making castles etc. for the fairies that lived there. I remember one child breaking down red bark to make rouge. We were not supposed to put our elbows on the tables when we ate in case we “squished” the fairies. I also remember “fairy buses”–millipeeds with yellow (windows) on the side. Kilowan was a magical place.

    • Lohree Weeks Kottke

      Krackers, remember me? We were CIT’s together then first year counselors you in Bluebird Lodge with Stretch and me Ripple Ridge with Archie. Been a long time. “Dusty” Lohree Weeks Kottke

      • Lohree Weeks Kottke

        Oops, there must have been more than one Krackers in Bluebird Lodge. We were CITs in about 69 or 70.

      • Dusty–
        I do remember you! You were in charge of Trip-Out, I think, the first year I was at Kilowan. I believe it was 1968. Do check out the Facebook Group. There are lots of memories and photos posted there.


      • Jeri Boyce Miller

        Lohree – hope you get this as we have lost contact. Wow Stretch and Archie…. and Goldie was from Chico? Retired now so if you are still in Salem area we should get together for lunch!
        Fellow CIT – “Coffee”


        Just in case Jeri Boyce Miller does not see the response I made in Kilowan Memories, I want her to know my cell phone (503) 931-1225. Thanks. Lohree Weeks Kottke “Dusty”.

  70. Kim

    Finni and Fritz!!I just found this website and was happy to see you were on here, albeit years ago. I hope all is still going well with you. I sure remember those Totem and CPA days well. Awesome memories – remember backpacking in the heat on the back roads and especially that 125 mile canoe trip on the Willamette! The best! Take care…
    Kermit (Kim DeVries)

  71. WOW! How FUN! I just found this! Didn’t occur to me to just “google” Kilowan ALumni. Was actually looking for “Puffin” Ann ??? who I recall was from PA and now that I am living in MD was hoping to look her up. Anyone recall her last name and/or have contact info for her? Will also look through this list again and see who else was on staff when I was there. SO many fabulous memories of own Kilowan days! Casey “Shandi” Carter (on staff when Missy and Rick were there in ’79 and then Director from 80-85)

  72. So, 30’ish years after the. Happiest weeks of my life at a Kilowan, I am a Camp Fire leader for my 2nd grade daughter, trying to track down all the piece of my memories so I can help her make new ones. And I find this site-so amazing! I am so very sad that the Willamette Council closed and sold Kilowan. I live in San Diego and our council struggles very hard to stay afloat. The San Diego camp, Wolahi, burned down 10 years ago in the Cedar fires and hasn’t been restored. Anyway, this site is a treasure trove. Thank you so much!

  73. Forrest Creek

    These songs are as interesting as they are varied. For us it was the Skeeters and the Badbugs. Same lyrics except it was Saturday morning instead of Sunday morning. Some funny renditions here!!!

  74. Deborah Foster

    God is the real answer. Ask Him for your every need, including helping with restoring relationships. All other sources are only temporary help, and don’t last.

  75. Diane Gissel

    Diane “Towhee” counselor 1974 sixth grade cabin… last days of innocence. One weekend a bunch of us went into Dallas to see The Exorcist!!!! too scared to walk back to our cabins in the dark!!!!!

  76. Lynda Beck

    I remember Camp Kilowan as a safe haven, where you could be yourself, make great friends and have wonderful memories that last a life time. I have always loved this place since the first time I was a camper. I was lucky enough to go to camp there for several summers and during the year when we had retreats. I recently went back, when I saw there was some land for sale next to camp I decided to check it out. It has changed a lot, but it still brought back those wonderful memories that I never lost. This is a place that made you feel as there was no better place on earth than here. I have always wondered why Camp KIlowan had such an impression on so many. Was it the Camp, the Counselors, the friends you made, the songs, the sometimes crazy concoctions we would make and sometimes make to eat lol??

  77. Deborah Foster

    It was a combination of all them. Camp Kilowan was a wonderful place.

  78. Lisa

    I went as a campfire girl for a week from rose lodge oregon,I think in 72.the group I bunked with got to sleep in teepee and we tried to sneak over to the boy’s camp one night but chickened out.barges song and chocolate,coconut,,jelly toast,mmmm .what a memory

  79. Lohree Weeks Kottke

    Jeri Boyce Miller, yes we did loose track. What a shame. I retired also, this past June (2015). My husband and I live in Dallas now, but that’s real close to Salem, as you know. I agree, it would be fun to get together. Contact me. My phone is (503) 931-1225. It’s a cell phone. Lohree Weeks Kottke, “Dusty”.

  80. james e aho

    My name is Jim Aho. In the summer of 1969 I was 17 and spent the summer as the Handyman at Camp Kilowan. I lived in a little shack up toward the main gate and have many fond memories of my time there. My camp name was Monty because i was from Montana. Mr Taylor and I fixed screens, doors, killed bees and did everything else to help keep the place and cabins in shape for the campers and staff. I always wanted to go back there, but unfortunately when I turned 18, I was forced to enter the military and never was able to make it back there, although I’ve thought of it often over the years. Now I’m retired, the place no longer exists, but will always be a pleasant memory. Best, (and last), care free summer of my life.

  81. Lohree Weeks Kottke

    Monty, not sure I remember the handyman for 1969. That was one of the years I was a CIT. I’m Dusty. I was a Kitchen Aide the year Rip was our handyman. I think that was 1967 or 68. After I was CIT for 2 years, I was a counselor for 1 summer. I know what you mean, that was a great summer, but I was only able to be a counselor one year. Couldn’t afford it after that, I could make so much more working elsewhere. What an experience though. I’ll never forget it.

  82. I think those are the right words-I remember! I also remember the melody being so beautiful, though I can’t remember it. I cried so hard during the Fairy Boats every year.

  83. Dayna Dye

    Kilowan D,F,F
    your maidens D, G, G
    Have gathered D, F, F
    Together C, D#, D#
    To sing by C, D, D

    Don’t have access to a piano to give you the rest but will work it out when one becomes available. If you start with these notes with a pitch pipe it may come back to you. The first note is held twice as long as the second and third. I think this is the song we sang during the Fairy Boat launch but we did sing this song every evening by the lake.

    The camp was a great experience for girls and would be today as well.

    Kilowan alumni, 1964, 1966

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