The content in this preview is based on the last saved version of your email - any changes made to your email that have not been saved will not be shown in this preview.
Connect. Travel. Serve.
Hi Lyon Chapter members:

I hope this finds everyone well as we enter fall 2021. It was great to see some of you during our virtual Campfire back in June. 
Like many chapters, we are going to venture back into live events. A retreat at YMCA Camp Oakes in Big Bear is being planned for Oct. 8-10 (more info below) as well as our annual Christmas Party, Saturday, Dec 4.
At the National YMCA Alumni level, plans are moving ahead for Reunion '22 in New Orleans, Jan 12-15. The city is slowly recovering from Hurricane Ida, and the Planning Committee is confident that they will be ready for us in January. Registration fees are refundable.
Thanks again for your support of YMCA Alumni. I hope to see you soon.

Paul Andresen
Lyon Chapter YMCA Alumni President
Join us at Camp Oakes Oct. 8-10
click the arrow to enjoy the video

Meet our new board member
Randy Bolsinger

To share my work career in the YMCA I also have to talk about and share Martie Bolsinger, my wife and also a YMCA Professional who passed from Alzheimer’s in 2017.

We were a team through the years when we met as new Associate Branch Executives with the Minneapolis YMCA at two different Branches.

Lyon Chapter member Mary Lindeman joined volunteers with the International Service Corps (ISC), a program of YMCA Alumni, in June to help get Sioux YMCA Camp Marrowbone ready to celebrate it's 50th year. Here is her story:
My introduction to indigenous peoples occurred early, learning the history of the word ‘Cuyahoga’ (meaning ‘crooked river’ in Iroquoian) growing up in Cleveland (name of both the burning river and county), plus our controversial Chief Wahoo baseball team mascot.

I discovered the Sioux YMCA (established in 1880s) in 1984 when I worked in New York City at ICCP (International Camp Counselor Program), searching for the best match to send to their Camp Marrowbone.

Fast forward. I’m new to Y Alumni, having left Y employment in 1995. When I heard about a group from the International Service Corps (ISC) traveling to Camp Marrowbone to help prepare it for its 50th Anniversary season, I jumped.

My images of their YMCA work on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota were dreamy. I was unprepared for the stark landscape, and miles of poverty, most homes having a parking lot of old vehicles instead of gardens.

I met most of the ISC volunteers at the Rapid City airport, and coordinated transportation to camp: 225 miles, one way. Living in L.A., seeing miles of barren land, with occasional cattle, and small communities, this was shocking.

Most of the Y volunteers stayed at Bob’s Resort, along Route 212, but they were sold out (fishing season on the Missouri River). I opted to stay at camp, in a cabin.

Cabins do not have electricity, and the path to the one working outhouse was an obstacle course due to two years of roaming cattle (camp was Covid-closed last year), hoof prints embedded in the dirt, dried cowpies, hidden by puffs of thistle. I had envisioned walking beneath a sky full of stars.

Fact was I had to gingerly watch each step, in the pitch dark, using a walking stick, to go pee. The hose for water was by the kitchen, across camp. The solar showers were scalding hot. The winds shook the cabin, making watching the lightening storm blow across the prairie challenging. My rugged bravery slowly dissipated.

Our team was to paint the 10 cabins, divided into two sections for boys and girls. We eventually found rhythm according to which side was in the blazing 90 degree sun or winds that blew away paint. (con't. next column)
Depending on our varying heights, we tackled the lower, mid-way, or around the windows. We had one ladder, and two roller poles.

The hardware store was 65 miles east, so when we opened the last 5-gallon paint container only to discover it was steel gray and not brown, our day was done.

Wanting an afternoon project we volunteered to tackle the metal shed full of sleeping bags, stored since camp ended in August 2019. We selected the worst shaped ones and stuffed Debi’s rental car. Harriet disappeared in the back seat as we drove east 50 miles to Eagle Butte to the nearest laundromat.

It was exciting being at the heart of the nearly 5,000 square mile Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, observing daily lives of its residents.

When we asked for driving directions and mentioned the YMCA camp the woman got back into her car and drove us to the laundromat with the larger washers.

We ran out of time to dry them thoroughly, so later my cabin was draped in sleeping bags, over the bunks and along with banisters.

Wish we had enough stuff sacks, but since most campers don’t come with their own bags, many will at least have clean ones to borrow.

Camp Marrowbone staff were in orientation training, limiting our ability to interact. I was interested in learning more about their activities, beyond archery and water activities. I had assumed a focus on native people’s traditions and rituals.

Retired Camp Director Ken, who gave me rides into Bob’s Resort for a cold beer, gently enlightened me when clarifying their camp’s purpose was to allow campers to make new friends from the extensive Reservation communities.

These are kids they may eventually go together to high school or play team sports, plus have three meals a day to help them ignore the food insecurities they typically experience at home.

When the opportunity arises to assist future work of the International Service Corps (ISC) by identifying retirees with specific talents to serve in foreign countries that have a need for the talent, I hope you consider sharing your unique gifts.
Hurry: Early Bird Registration
for Reunion '22 ends Sept. 30

Early Bird Registration for YMCA Alumni Reunion '22 Jan. 12-15 in New Orleans are now available.

New Orleans -- as it always has -- is bouncing back from the pandemic shutdown and last month's Hurricane Ida. The good times will roll for YMCA Alumni for sure.
Registration remains open, but if you are an Early Bird and register by Sept. 30, you will be eligible to win one of 10, $100 bills to be drawn at the Opening Session for use at one of the "Dinner with Friends" evening planned at New Orleans famed restaurants.

And, when the reunion ends, you can join with the YMCA Alumni Travel Club Jan. 16-24 where there is still space available for a Caribbean Reunion on the Norwegian Cruise Lines Breakaway from the Port of New Orleans. A relaxing, no agenda 7-night blue water cruise with stops and fun and different Caribbean ports.
Your YMCA Alumni Travel Club welcomes you it's 2022 trips. Just click the button below for a quick overview.
Chapter leaders
President: Paul Andresen
Treasurer/Membership: Phyllis Murphy
Secretary: Patricia Defelice
International Liaizon: Mary.Lindeman
Lyon Links Editor: Bob Warnock
National Liaison: John Green
Member-at-Large: Tim Hardy
Member-at-Large: Randy Bolsinger
Click on name in blue to send email.
YMCA Alumni Mission:
" enable members to promote a nurturing worldwide Christian Fellowship that provides educational, social, service and charitable opportunities."