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Branstroms and Christiansens at Camp Van Vac

Ivar and Lil Branstrom started coming with friends to Camp Van Vac pretty much every Saturday and Sunday during fishing season in the 1940's. They would rent a big green wooden boat and fish with deep tackle for lake trout, usually having good luck. Their son Bob and his wife, Audrey, would often join them after they were married in 1954.

Bernie and I first came to Van Vac's in 1972 with our year-and-a-half-old daughter Jennifer We returned the following Memorial Day with Jennifer and our newborn daughter Elizabeth. Among other things we brought a portacrib, a baby buggy, and a high chair. We came back for Labor Day and have spent every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends at Van Vac's for the last forty-four years, even foregoing attending family weddings if they happened to fall on one of those weekends,

We eventually relocated to the large Cabin #1 along with Ivar and Lil, Bob and Audrey, and our friends Donald and Donna Fleetwood. Jennifer and Elizabeth never missed a Memorial Day or Labor Day weekend at Van Vac's during their growing up years.They enjoyed the swing sets and exploring the point, often finding frogs in little pools of water. When they were little, Buell nicknamed them "the sunbonnet girls".

Ivar and Lil continued to fish as long as their health allowed.They often brought in trout, and we would enjoy scrumptious fish dinners. Bob, Donald, and I didn't have much luck fishing, but we enjoyed being on the lake. Donald talked nonstop when we were in the boat, and the women always knew when we were coming in because they could hear him talking out on the lake.

Ivar and Lil, Donald, and Bob are no longer with us, but together with Audrey we spend the holiday weekends in Cabin #21, which has a nice view of the lake. Audrey's son, Jim, and his family stay in the cabin next door, and Jim and I get out fishing when the weather is good. Audrey and Bernie have handwork with them, and I bring my Nook in case the weather is not conducive to fishing. We always have homemade pasties for supper on Saturday nights.

Together we enjoy relaxing weekends every Memorial Day and Labor Day and look forward to spending those weekends at Camp Van Vac in the years to come.

Wayne & Bernie Christiansen
Audrey Branstrom
Virginia, Minnesota