"Lucile and Frank were legends. That camp was there for as long as I can remember," said former Gov. Booth Gardner, who was a camp counselor during high school.
Every summer from 1935 to 1966, when the Hendersons retired, the camp let kids sleep in tepees and learn canoeing, sailing, swimming, and Native American art and dance.
Lucile inspired and continued to serve a vital role in the lives of former campers and camp counselors long after their summers at camp. She was very interested in the lives and development of the children and their safety, according to former camper John Dickson.
Dickson spent 13 summers as a camper and then worked as a camp counselor in the 1950s and 60s, and later became a rheumatologist in Seattle. His relationship with the Hendersons was such that a significant donation is being made to the University of Washington's Division of Rheumatology from Lucile Henderson's estate.
Members of the third generation of some families are now attending the camp, renamed Camp Nor'wester. [An earlier post of the artistic happenings at Camp Nor'wester on John's Island in 2013, can be viewed here.]
|Henderson Camps, Lopez Island.|
Cactus Rock, the Lodge, and pool.
Three original photos from archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
Charnley said he probably wouldn't have become a state official if not for the self-confidence inspired by the Hendersons. Charnley, a professor emeritus of geology taught occasionally at Edmonds Community College. "I became a teacher because of that camp; I learned to love the Earth," he said.
|Henderson Camp, Lopez Island, WA. 1962|
Camp Nor'wester has passed through many hands since the Hendersons retired in 1966, but for many, it remains a Henderson institution.
Gardner was instrumental in helping the property remain a camp after the Hendersons sold it. After the original land on Lopez Island was eventually sold, Camp Nor'wester reopened on John's Island in 2000.
The Hendersons also campaigned to preserve Point Colville on Lopez Island from development. As a result of their work, the US Bureau of Land Management determined the land to be a significant wetlands area.
After Mr. Henderson died in 1986, Lucile remained an important part of former campers' lives.
Above text by Kathy F. Mahdoubl, for The Seattle Times, 2006, written in celebration of the life of Lucile "Rabbit" Henderson who lived to be 101-yrs.