"Legacy" is dedicated to
Mr. and Mrs. Willard and Ruth Kauth
and their family,
who continue to dedicate themselves
to the GVF-BAL principles and spirit of camping

A letter from

Barb Mattimiro Kraft*

Camp Oh-Neh-Tah alum


I just returned from spending the weekend with my mother in Cincinnati while my kids were racing (rowing) there. She's doing well. I'm hoping the family genes are intact so that I can be like she is when I'm 83! We got to talking about camp. Thought I'd let you know that the next generation in the family will be camp counselors for the first time this summer.

My sons Nick and Mike will be graduating from high school in June and will head to camp the next day for staff training at YMCA Camp Hayo-Went-Ha in northern Michigan. This will be their ninth year at camp. Their sister Katie is returning to the girls' camp, Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha for her eighth year (which includes three weeks in Alaska!) and fully intends to be a counselor in a couple of years too.

(After I worked at ONT in 1975 and 1976, I worked at Y Camp Al-Gon-Quian on Burt Lake, Michigan where I met my husband Tom and later was the director. Nick & Mike spent their first two summers there. My younger brother Dan also worked at AGQ, met his wife at yet another Y camp and his three kids now come from Minnesota to attend camp with their older cousins.)

Thanks for your work on the website. As you might guess, many of my early childhood memories go back to time spent at Oh-Neh-Tah and Sebago. (Like the time our swimming pool, a rectangular green one, that was usually behind the Lodge, was used for a production of I think, South Pacific. Now why would I remember that???)

Barb Mattimiro Kraft


May 2008
Published with the consent of Barb Mattimiro Kraft

*Barb Mattimiro Kraft is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nick and Bobbie (Stagge) Mattimiro
who were active in the GVF-BAL organization.


A letter from

Michael J. Nazarovech

Camps Orenda and Kiwago alum


My name is Michael J. Nazarovech. I was a camper in 1949 and went to Camp Orenda for a year or two years and later went to camp Kiwago after it was built. I then became a senior camper for a number of years and finally became a kitchen boy.
Jim Augistine (Uncle Jim) was the cook and Don Kauth was the director of Camp Kiwago.

I recently took a trip to New York for my mothers 88th birthday and the plane landed in Newburgh, New York. I used to go to Newburgh for our days off with Uncle Jim. This trip brought back many memories and I started to think of Camp Kiwago and the wonderful times I had.

This past week I attended a wedding for my daughter in New York and took my wife on a tour of the city and passed one of the avenues 9th or 10th and the bus that we took left from a building there and took us to Central Valley.

When I returned home to Cincinnati where I now reside, I have been curious about The Boys Athletic League and went online and after a search found your website.

I got online and this brought back more memories. I recognized all the camps. There was a lot of feedback on all the girls' camps. However, not much input for the boys camps, especially, Camp Kiwago.

I went to Camp Kiwago when Don Kauth and Dottie Kauth (Don's wife) were directors. Larry, Glen and Chris used to spend their summers there as children. I am sorry to hear that Glenn passed away. Additionally, I do not see any mention of Don and Dottie Kauth who are the parents of Larry, Chris and Glenn.

I would like to try and find out more about the friends and people I knew. I am now 66 years old and feel that the Boys Athletic League was a great help and important part of my life.

After looking at your site I felt inspired to write you and am glad that so many people realize what the Kauth family did for kids like myself. We would have never had the opportunity to go away for those 2 weeks. I am also happy for the chance to go away for the entire summer as a "Kitchen Boy" and even get paid for it.

I have so many fond memories of my times at Camp Kiwago. I started to write down all the names I could remember of the other senior campers and kitchen staff. I am not finished, however I would like to share my information and see if the Camp Kiwago link can be updated with name and pictures. Although, I do not have many pictures to contribute I do have a few. I am contacting my family and may be able to get some from 1952-57. I went into the Army in 1958 and did not have much contact with the camp. However, I visited the camp for a reunion sometime in 1965, 1966 or 1967. I later moved away from New York and visited the camp one other time around 1980.

I would very much like to pursue expanding the information on Camp Kiwago. This would also include trying to find some of the acquaintances I had.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Michael J. Nazarovech


May. 2008
Published with the consent of Michael J. Nazarovech

Letters from

Kauth Camps Alumni


People seem to enjoy the snippets of email that I've received and posted since the launch of the website,
so I thought I would add some of them here.

Please note, that some of the email sing my praises,
and while I'm willing to accept acknowledgement
for my effort, I'm acutely aware that it really is about all of us and the history we've created with and for each other.
We all are really in this together afterall.

It's funny, I was taking my daughter to school and passed a truck that said Manitou on it and suddenly got a blast from the past. I no sooner came home and went online hoping there was a website affiliated with camp. I was thrilled to see it.

The G.V.F. Alumni site is awesome!!! Thanks for all your efforts. You have certainly found a way to keep us all connected and we are very appreciative. Thanks for setting up this site. It is a very special place to visit.

Wanta Go Back To Camp Kiwago, back to the camp I love. Where we have gypsy day in the middle of the day, take me back to Camp Kiwago. Oh, what memories

I was a counselor at kiwago in the late 1960s early 1970s.the kauth boys knew me a jules from England it would be nice to hear from them or any other councelor who might have known me. I was at kiwago for 3 summers and still have fond memories of my time .
I am looking for Peter Weinberg!!! I am an old fellow camper and friend from Camp Kiwago. Peter and I were at Kiwago for over 10 years as campers, senior campers, counselors etc.
What a wonderful site this is!!! And what a truly special gift you have given us all in having constructed it for all of us to enjoy. Ho-Ho-Hey!!! And, may the Great Spirit forever smile upon you. You've certainly captured our hearts.
My sister, who went to Camp Talako, discovered the alumni website and couldn't wait to tell me about it. Since I just discovered the site today, I have lot's of reviewing to do. Thanks for creating it and keeping these memories alive... it is a treasure!
I was looking for a camp for my daughter and I found this site! I worked for Camp Oh-Neh-Tah during the Summers of 1992-1993! It was a great experience and I still relate to it today. As I looked around the website, I noticed the changes the years have brought. I appreciate the chance to be in touch with a place that holds so many great memories for me. When I was looking for camps for my child-I thought of Camp Oh-Neh-Tah because it was a great place when I worked there.
It's been an amazing journey through the website, which I found because I was curious about what happened to the GVF/BAL camps. I visited Camp Talako when my daughter was about four years old and went to one reunion held at Camp Manitou the same year(1983). Looking through the website brings back a lot of memories. Camp was so special to me, as it was to so many others. I do have a staff photo of the 1967 Talako staff, which I'll forward. I recognized so many name ...unbelievable after all these years.
Please add me to the 'found' list. Also, can you help me get in touch with some people? It was great to see so many photos on the website. Thanks so much for taking on such an intensive project.

It seems like only yesterday we were singing in the dining hall, learning basket weaving in the windmill and sneaking out after "taps". I loved Oh-Neh-Tah. Even sent my girls there for a couple of summers, and they loved it too. Wasn't it great!!! Will try to attend a reunion if they have one again.

Michael Woodson , 1973-1982 @ orenda and 1990@ sebago

Hi! I just found this site and can't wait to spend hours on it! :)
My name is George Hite and I grew up in Camp Orenda from 1968-1977 I loved those years and it brought back a lot of fond memories when I visited your site.
I went to Talako 73 - 77 with my sister. My Mom also went to Talako. I'm looking forward to spending time at the site!

Hi my name is Gerald Lamantia and I guess you can figure it out that I did not attend a GVF camp, but instead I attended a BAL camp. Camp Kiwago to be exact. I was there from 67 thru 72, so I guess I'm now found. ( funny I didn't feel lost)
I noticed on your list of founds the name Ricky Kaval (of course its the only other male name I noticed) Well like I said on the community forum I'm pretty sure I know him, If I'm right he had a couple of raccoons over the years and taught us a lot of Beatles songs and back then always seemed to have a guitar. I hope he's the right person. Anyway, your site seems to have plenty of fun things on it, but it would be nice if a lot more (OK a few more) BAL guys find it. Keep up the good work

Note: Gerald, BAL men are finding the website slowly but surely. Anything you could do to accelerate the process would be appreciated. Our BAL brothers are encouraged and welcome to participate. Pam

Thanks so much for this website. I am so excited to have found you. I went to Manitou in 1973, 1974, and 1975. They were some of my favorite memories and always said that if I had children (which I didn’t) I would send them to camp for the experience of their lives. I used to go for the 3 week trips…loved everything about my camping experience and remember it fondly on a regular basis. I really appreciate all that you do to keep us updated.
I’m so glad that you created this, it is such a blessing. You know it’s funny because periodically I googled “Camp Manitou” and only a boys camp in Ontario Canada and one in Maine came up. I even wrote to the NYCHA thinking they would be able to help me, to no avail.
Ben Simmons - Camps Orenda & Sebago circa 1965-1966

First, I want to thank you for creating this site. I've been roaming through every word and picture I could, even before registering. It's wonderful to have a place to roam and remember the best summers of my life.....and I remember you very clearly. In fact, I think you had my sister Mary in the teepees one year. She and Alex Rizzotti were best buds, and were recently reunited.



! When I first saw the picture posted, my heart skipped a beat! I was at Talako from 1970-74 as a camper, 74-76 as a senior camper, and 77-79 as a counselor, and '88 @ Oh-Neh-Tah. You mentioned Bunnie Lavoie, and even though she didn't work at camp full time during my later years at Talako, she'd visit, and I always loved her. She had a way of making you feel better when things were rough. I remember Corky taking us out on Nature walks (my mind might be playing tricks on my though).


So many memories....I wonder if you know what a wonderful thing you've created for us all........thank you........funny thing, you and I both started out at Oh Neh Tah (only one summer for me, as a very scared 8 (?) year old first timer who wet the bed and ran away), and ended up at Talako....

Note: That's a long way to run! ; ) pam

There were some really great times between '72-'74, and I'd love to see folks from those years find the website! Names like Abby Levine, Pat Malone, Karen (I can't remember her name), Sandy (nurse), and I noticed Shea Howell on one of the lists on the site. She was cool! Those were great times! '74 was also when ABBA came about! What a year!

Note: ABBA?? lol (Jes' kiddin') Pam

I am so excited about the website. I'd loved to hear more about some of the others from camp. Crisco's articles were great (did she have a memory transplant or am I getting senile?). I 'm going to see if I have any pictures from camp. I know I still have the hat.

Again, thanks for starting the alumni website... I always thought that ONT was/is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I actually used to keep a photo of Silver Lake in my wallet (it was in color and taken on the most beautiful sunny day-- wish I still had it!) how lame is that!

Note: ONT *is* one of the most beautiful places on earth!
How lame is that...? As "lame" as creating this website 50 years after having been a camper. To answer your question: Not lame at all! Pam
The Cheshire Cat has nothing on my smile after finding the brilliant website you created for all of us, camp alumni. Formerly, Luana Terribile, I am now Luana Del Vecchio.



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