On Friday July 12 we finally got going on our long planned sixth trip to Alaska. But first a stop at young state park for our 33rd annual VanderVeen camping. Since 1986 what started as some friends and then church friends and now family and friends. Mickey and I can’t help but be overwhelmed with memories. Flooded out camp sites, shivering on the beach, a friend who took off her bottom after being stung by a bee, Horton Bay for a memorable boat ride (good way to get away from the kids), pot lucks which we still do, and as the pictures show the third generation having a wonderful time as well.

The big difference this year is as with all of the Great Lakes, no beach. So up early to stake out your chairs and a little closer fellowship. My personal tradition continues with a bar of ivory (it floats) i can avoid the showers for the week. We’re even an international group. Roger in the foreground is from Veracruz Mexico. The family used to live in Tawas and are friends with Kurt and Anna.

This is Mickey and Lynn of Jack and LynnE Bolt. The four of go back to before marriage and that’s who we’re going to Alaska with. Like us the Bolts have a diesel and 30′ fifth wheel and we’ve done several road trips together and get along fairly well. Their kids have started the young tradition.

Swimming in Lake Charlevoix and a sunset to boot. This is what we think about in February.

Cousins and sibs how big



The tooth fairy pays more when you’re camping

This was the well organized water balloon fight. Parents filling them up, marking off the lines of war, strict instructions on no face hits, and off they went. Teresa said it was a tie

.This morning was tie dye. Starting with putting your name on T shirts and with a little help from adults, kids are waiting for the finished product. I did this back in the 70’s and had fun then too.

The end result, first all who participated and then Vander Veen grand kids.

Tree climbing and sappy hands

And of course the buzz cut. I’ve done this on most Alaska trip. The price is right.

Third generation

Third annual kickball


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  1. Theresa Weller

    What wonderful traditions? What wonderful photographs! Thanks, Gary!

  2. Jen

    Aww man, we missed kickball??