Return to Memories

Michael Schmidt


Deerwoode was a major influence in my life. I have run into friends from camp throughout the years and it is amazing that we all feel so strongly about a place and experience. I worked at Illahee when I was in college (great experience only guy that lived at Illahee) and taught golf at Deerwoode. It was such a blast being back there those two summers at that wonderful spot in Brevard. Honestly, all the stories that I tell my non-Deerwoode friends seem absolutely wild and amazingly crazy. From Renegades and Grunts to the “Wild Ride” to even our punishments; people are amazed therefore, I don’t know right now, but maybe after the reunion in July I will have a better idea in comparing mine to other alums.


First Memory of Deerwoode? Visiting camp, the year before I went when we took my sister to Illahee.  I knew it was special when I was 6 – I had to come back and I did the next summer.

Favorite Memory of Deerwoode? As a camper it had to be second year cabin 2, Robert Adams was counselor and we had a great cabin, I am still close to 3 of the guys.  Great summer.

Later when I worked at Illahee — yes, I worked for Frank at Illahee.  I taught golf to the girls at Deerwoode and while it was sad, it was really special to have the place to myself.  I would go in the evenings to hit golf balls and practice, run the perimeter of the flood field and fish in the lakes.  That summer really helped me get back on track, and while I know that Deerwoode was closed and there were no campers there, it was the spirit of that place that brought me back.

NATURE MAN – Best memory of Nature Class? Pepper – he was a great counselor and really got me interested in understanding the world around me.

And finally…Camp Fire? The last campfire of my life and of Deerwoode was one of the saddest things I have ever been witness to.  I will always remember that night.