Lucia’s Corner- Marci Stephens
I first had the pleasure of getting to know this volunteer when I was an impressionable CIT in 1963. I was in awe of Ondessonk staffers, but especially Marcella Harper Stephens. She welcomed me to Chabanel as an equal. Marci’s first experience at Ondessonk was at the official dedication in May 1959, when she played with the Assumption/St. Theresa High School band; she was a first-time camper in 1961. Her 1962 CIT training was in boating, but when the camp director contacted her and said they needed lifeguards for the 1963 Girls Season, Marci took the Red Cross Lifeguarding course in her usual accommodating style. She kept Lake Saint Isaac safe for two summers, then moved on to Unit Leader and Program Director. Somehow, along the way, she earned the dubious nickname “Queenie.” I’ll let her tell that story.
Even with her demanding professional career with IBM, Marcie never lost touch with Ondessonk. In the Summer of 2000, when Marci returned to Camp as a volunteer, she originated the Dessert Divas. During the week, this group of volunteers, the Dessert Divas, provides a nightly dinner dessert for the entire Camp. I make it a point not to advertise the week they will be working because we would be overrun with volunteers at that session.
Have you ever wondered where Ondessonk gets their supply of Lodge Sashes? In great measure, they are the product of Marci’s work and the work of her fellow volunteers, a crew of regulars who sew sashes for an entire week….when they are not making desserts. Marci continues her sash-making at home. She makes not only the familiar red Ondessonk and blue Tekakwitha sashes but an annual supply of Lodge Official sashes, St. Renee Goupil, and John de Brebeuf Awards. In addition to her donation of time and talent, most of the supplies for sashes and desserts are a part of Marci’s gift to Ondessonk. She was awarded her St. John de Brebeuf sash in 2001.
Since its inception, Marci has also been a volunteer for Fall Fest and Trail Runs and a regular contributor to the Ondessonk Gala. I have to mention that Marci travels from her home in Florida to make her substantial contributions to Camp. By the way, Marci, do I have your 2022 volunteer application?