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History of Cedar Lodge
Lakeside Farm CampEddy and Stella had a dream. They dreamed of starting a summer camp where campers would design their own program and then spend the summer learning the skills needed to implement the program of their choice. The Programs could be anything. From planting crops, to building a canoe. Eddy and Stella believed that learning to create things with your hands were as important as learning to create things with your mind. They put very few restrictions on the campers, and tried to pave the way to make their camper's dreams realities. The year was 1964. Eddy and Stella had just purchased 150 acres in Lawrence, MI and had opened up "LAKESIDE FARM CAMP FOR BOYS" with a capacity of 12.
Eddy and Stella met at "CAMP FARR" where Eddy was Program manager and Stella, a young widow, had come with her young son, Chuck for a week mother's camp. It was love at first sight, and soon Stella was giving up her life in Chicago and moving in to a camp wife's life. Eddy and Stella had 3 of their own children with in the next 12 years; David, Sally and Amy. For 15 years the Edwards ran the year around programs and Summer camp for Camp Farr agency camp.
In 1964, Eddy and Stella felt they were ready for a change. It was time to branch out on their own and find a place where they could be their own bosses and implement some of their ideas. They found that place in 2 farms owned by the Nicholas brothers just north of Lawrence, MI. The property was purchased and 1964 saw the beginning of Eddy and Stella putting their dreams to work.
The philosophy of the camp was simple; a chance for children that are use to working with their brains to work and play not only with their brains, but with their hands. The target audience was primarily drawn from the University of Chicago Laboratory School and surrounding areas. It was a small group (5-10 campers the first several years) and all boys. Campers would sit down at a group meeting at the beginning of each week and decide what they would like to accomplish. They may plant a crop, build in canoe, put in a well, whatever they could imagine.The only rules were that they had to research it, discuss it and participate in the building\care process. In addition, Lakeside Farm was set up as a Farm, complete with livestock, crops, a garden and chores.
Many changes came over the years. In 1968 Eddy and Stella decided to go coed. As the years went by and camp grew, more structure had to be added to the program to assure some continuity. The original ideals and dreams that Eddy and Stella began with however, remained the same.
In 1975, Eddy and Stella took over running
CAMP WATERVLIET FOR GIRLS in Watervliet, MI Watervliet had
previously been run by Henry and Velda Tatter. When they retired,
Henry and Velda sold the camp and the new owner, though wanting
the camp to continue had no desire to run it themselves. They
approached Eddy and Stella and an agreement was reached. Camp
Watervliet was a totally different type of camp then Lakeside.
With a capacity of 120 girls and a expansive facility, Camp
Watervliet ran much more of a traditional 50's type camp. They
had a strong riding program and were known through out the
Midwest for their high standard. Since Eddy and Stella's
daughters, Sally and Amy had both taken a keen interest in
riding, this seemed a perfect match. From 1975 to 1979, both
camps were run by the Edwards on their respective grounds. The
programs stayed as they had for years.
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