May 15, 1924 – January 4, 2022
Written By Debby Drew
On January 4th of this year, just as we were doing our final CC Putzpauze, Vera Soudkova died. Vera was very important to LPC in the late 1960’s and I would like to take a moment to remember her. Vera and her husband Dušan were both doctors living and working in Brno, Czechoslovakia with their three sons Štěpán, Dušan and Ivan. They were dissatisfied with the oppression of life in the USSR and wanted to expand opportunities for their children. They had a colleague in Canada name Carl Robinow (who happened to be my mother’s cousin) and they asked him about possible international camp opportunities for children. Carl put them in touch with LPC and Vera along with young Dušan and Ivan went to camp in Gargnäs Sweden in 1967. This is what Dan Streit wrote about that summer:
“Wow, Vera made it to 97! I’m not surprised, particularly as she made it through her first camp, Gargnäs ’67, with a male staff consisting of Alain, Thomas Calice, Stephen Allberry, me (all 17-18) and old co-director Jack Bierschenk (20). The shenanigans were as you might expect from that bunch, but Vera smiled and continued to get done the things that had to get done, and her quiet, responsible demeanor (in stark contrast to the boy counsellors…) had a huge, soothing effect on the camp. She immediately became Natalie’s right hand (sorry, Jack) and best friend (the two “ancient” 40 year-olds…). She was sufficiently inspired by what Natalie was doing to commit herself to finding sites for LPC.”
The following year, Vera helped organize our first camp in Czechoslovakia which Rob Streit and I directed. I had the rare opportunity to spend 3 weeks with Vera and her family before the camp started. She arranged for me to observe open heart surgery in her hospital, taught me a little Czech and introduced me to living with a family with a blind member (their son Štěpán). I also joined them on their weekly Sunday family hikes. By the end of the three weeks, they presented me with a certificate of adoption as their daughter, Debinka Drewova. In retrospect, I can see that those three weeks had a significant influence on the rest of my life.
Rob Streit had similar thoughts about Vera and wrote, “I met Věra for the first time in 1968, during the Prague Spring. I was to co-direct an international children’s camp in Slovakia that would not have existed but for Vera’s extraordinary initiative, determination and guidance. The experience changed my life, and I have Věra to thank for that. In our conversations she was always fully engaged, with a wonderful mixture of warmth and seriousness. For a person with such a vast range of knowledge and interests Věra spoke and acted with remarkable humility. She cared deeply about people and showed that care both personally and in her professional life. She was lovely to watch with her family. I’m so grateful to have known Věra.”
In 1968, the wave of liberalization that had started in Czechoslovakia ended abruptly with the invasion of Russian troops. Vera and Dušan decided to it was time to get out and they left their home for good. Carl Robinow helped get them established in Kingston Ontario where they lived out their lives. Dušan and Ivan continued to go to camp for several years, and Vera found a site on the Hudson Bay for our first and only Canadian camp called Moose Factory.
I visited Vera a few times in Kingston, and she once surprised me by showing up at an LPC Inc. board meeting in Rhode Island. We always picked up right where we left off with a strong and loving connection. Vera was a friend, mother, sister, and mentor – always supportive and loving, always an inspiration. I am saddened by her death and at the same time extremely grateful for her life and her presence in my life and for her contribution to LPC. Here is the obituary that was written about her life:
SOUDEK, Vera, M.D., D. P. H. – 97, Kingston, passed away on January 4, 2022, at Kingston General Hospital following a brief illness. Born on May 15, 1924, in Brno, Czechoslovakia, she was a daughter of the late Alois Pištěcký and Ludmila Pištěcká (née Cahová). She is survived by her sons Dušan Soudek, Halifax, and Ivan Soudek, Kingston; her grandchildren Martin Soudek, Ottawa, and Lucy Soudek (Ted Moffatt), Kingston; her great grandson Simon Moffatt, Kingston; special family friend Jane Somerville, Kingston; and other relatives in the Czech Republic and in Canada.
She was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, Dušan Eduard Soudek; by her sister Lidmila Pištěcká; by her two infant brothers; and by her eldest son Štěpán Soudek. She grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia, where her civil engineer father designed highway bridges. In 1942 the family was repatriated back to her home town of Brno, where she studied nursing. It was during compulsory labour, known as Totaleinsatz, in a vaccine research and production facility where she met her future husband, Dušan Sr. As all Czech-language universities were closed during the Nazi occupation, she didn’t start her study of medicine until after Liberation in 1945. She graduated from Masaryk University in 1949, eventually qualifying in pediatrics and serving as a staff pediatrician at the University Children’s Hospital in Brno.
In 1968, after the crushing of the Prague Spring by Soviet tanks, she and her husband took their family, which by now included three sons, to Canada, eventually settling in Kingston. She held several staff positions at the Queen’s University Department of Pediatrics before switching to public health, obtaining a Diploma in Public Health at the University of Toronto in 1972. Subsequently she was based in Brockville, serving as the Medical Officer of Health at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. Her final position, before retirement in 1986, was as the Medical Officer of Health for the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Health Unit.
She had eclectic interests and boundless energy. Over the years her household included at least one dog, the occasional cat, and, for a while, a horse. She thoroughly enjoyed her bountiful garden and the tranquil cottage on Fifth Depot Lake, where she kept bees. Her volunteer work included lichen identification at the Fowler Herbarium at Queen’s University and eradication of invasive plants at the Lemoine Point Conservation Area, among many others. Her travels ranged widely, from rafting Northern rivers to hiking in the Andes. She organized two international children’s camps, in Slovakia and in Moose Factory, Ontario. She had a talent for languages, polishing her French and her Spanish until her final years.
Following a series of strokes, she moved to Kingston’s Providence Manor, where she lived the last nine years of her life. Her body has been cremated and a celebration of her life, and that of her late husband, will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Vera’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.gftompkinscentral.ca We are grateful for the excellent care provided by the staff of Providence Manor and by her physicians.
I am happy to announce that we are currently planning 3 summer camps for this summer. If you are interested in joining the waiting list, please email email@example.com.
Camps in 2022
For Younger Campers
USA : Freedom, New Hampshire
Ages: 9 – 14
Dates: July 5th – July 26th
Directors: Debby Drew (USA) & Julia Fiebig (USA)
Estonia : Kiidi
Ages: 9 – 14
Dates: July 15th – August 6th
Directors: Laia Fabre (Spain) & Tomek Chilarski (Poland)
For Older Campers
Norway : Heggnes, Dale i Sunnfjord
Ages: 14 – 17
Dates: July 26th – August 9th
Directors: Till Schwantes (Germany)
During the past two years, we have gotten numerous emails asking about the status of our summer camps. We have also received well-wishes and stories of the importance of LPC in your lives. I personally have greatly appreciated receiving these emails from all of you during this tough time.
At the moment, we are hoping for the best for Summer 2022 with the goal of running summer camps. As such, we will be accepting applications this year for campers and staffers with the usual deadline of December 1st.
We understand the unpredictability of travel restrictions and the issues with asking this far in advance for this commitment. We also do not know what this Summer will look like for LPC and if we will be able to run camps as we have done in the past. However, with your applications we hope to find solutions for many of these questions that we will discuss during our annual conference held in December.
Please note that all camps will comply with any COVID restrictions and guidelines as put in place by local governments. We will be monitoring changes in restrictions and laws carefully over the next few months.
You may request an application via the LPC Office email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications may be mailed to the address below or sent to the LPC Office email address. Please reach out to the LPC Office if you have further questions about this or need any further support.
Abbiamo applicazioni in italiano. Si prega di inviare un’e-mail se ne avete bisogno.
Nous avons des candidatures en français. Veuillez envoyer un e-mail si vous en avez besoin.
Wir haben Bewerbungen in deutscher Sprache. Bitte senden Sie eine E-Mail, wenn Sie eine benötigen.
If you would like to be included on email updates in the future, please fill out the following form here.
Again, thank you for your support and patience! We hope to see your application!
Applications may be emailed here:
Applications may be posted here:
CH-6085 Hasliberg Goldern
In 2023 Luethi Peterson Camps will host its World Gathering at the Ecole d’Humanité in Switzerland. Taking place from Thursday 6 July 2023 – Sunday 9 July, LPC’ers from all over the world will gather there to talk to old friends, meet new people and do those things we love doing in camp. Singing, folkdancing, hiking, courses, time to talk to your buddies and about LPC – there will be time for all of this. On Saturday we will take time to celebrate 75 years of LPC: 1948-2023!
You will be able to register for the World gathering (WG2023) from the spring of 2022 onwards. Information about the registration process will then be shared on the LPC-website and on our Facebook pages.
At that time we will also be reaching out to you, asking for your ideas for courses, activities and roles you may want to play before or during WG2023. So keep an eye open for these announcements!
Our first announcement is here already: Every World Gathering needs a logo, and we don’t have one yet. Are you the creative LPCer who will provide us with the logo for 2023? Maybe? Then please send us a design and we will submit it in the soon-to-be-world-famous WG23 Logo Contest!
The idea is simple: design a logo for WG2023.
What if you win? Is there a prize?
Yes! You will be given free admission to the WG2023!
1. The logo should have the words ‘LPC World Gathering 2023’ in it
2. It should be recognizable from a fair distance
3. Send it back to us at email@example.com by November 15 (2021)
4. Help us with choosing a winner.
We are looking forward to meeting many of you on the Hasliberg in the summer of 2023, so start planning now!
For more information, feel free to contact us at LPCwg2023@gmail.com.
KC Hill and Piet-Hein van der Ploeg,
Organisers of LPC WG2023
After last year’s success of raising over 5000 Euros, LPC’s fundraising committee is hosting another Silent auction!
Last year, we had handmade yarn, clothes, rugs, a blanket, and a carved wooden spoon, LPC memorabilia, art, music, wine tasting, virtual tours, holiday getaways, Swiss chocolate, and much more. The bidding was enthusiastic up to the very last minute, and the process helped connect our community around the world at a time we all needed it. Here is a link to what was offered last year. This year we will use a new platform specifically for charities auctions – should be even more fun!
2021 Silent auction will take place October 30th-November 7th
October 30th – bidding opens
October 31 – Silent auction’s special edition of LPC Radio show!
November 7th – bidding closes
CALL FOR AUCTION ITEMS AND EXPERIENCES!
If you have any exciting items or experiences to offer for this year’s auction, please fill this SURVEY no later than October 24th!
Help us spread the word:
Do you belong to a whattsup group from a camp? Did your kids go recently? Are you friends with LPCers who might not be on any mailing list? Please tell them about the auction!
Thank you for your past support, and for helping make this next Silent Auction an even bigger success!
Piet-Hein van der Ploeg will host a special LPC Birthday edition of his LPC radio show tomorrow on Sunday, August 1st!
If you want to hear your favorite LPC song, see instructions on our Facebook page here. This can be a song you sang in camp, your favorite folkdance, that song you always played during dishes, or any song that makes you think of camp!
The show will air from 7-9pm Central European Time (1-3pm EDT and 10am-12pm PDT in the U.S.), and can be accessed through these links:
https://bit.ly/2pGnP3v or https://bit.ly/2Gxy9EV
See the Facebook page for updates if the above links do not work. Link here.
Happy Camp Birthday!
Well, it’s happened again. After a disappointing last year, so many of us were looking forward to this summer. And now we still can’t travel. The excitement, the ceremony, the special events, the international understanding… All will be missed. So sad.
Of course we’re talking about….the Olympics! Well, we may not be able to get to Tokyo, but don’t you worry, LPC always finds a way. If you can’t go to the Olympics, LPC will bring the OLYMPICS (pronounced “LPC Olympics”) to you! Experience the thrill of international competition as you and your LPC Family face the Challenges of many incredible events! (Physical exertion not required.) Discover extraordinary Venues, test yourself to the fullest, meet or reconnect with your fellow Olympians!
To have this once in a lifetime experience (unless you did the LPC Hunt last summer…) all you have to do is sign up. You will become a member of an LPC Family and throughout July and August you will be an Olympian, solving puzzles, sharing laughs and striving to reach your goals with your Family team! And the best part is you are not required to travel one kilometer – the OLYMPICS will take place online, and you will only need to set aside 1-2 hours per week to participate.
If you think this is for you (yes, it is!), sign up now. No cost. Tell your LPC friends! Registration will close on June 1, 2021. It will be fun, stimulating, nostalgic, mind-blowing…. Be a part of the OLYMPICS!
To register, go to: https://forms.gle/6arVsJ1xTACmHBxE7
For further information, contact Olympus Kampantzakis (Ollie) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Campers, Staff Members and Families of LPC,
The association of Luethi-Peterson Camps met this past weekend to discuss potential plans for this summer. Unfortunately, we decided not to host summer camps for 2021. Like last year, there is still much uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic still is affecting many nations around the world. This includes rising numbers of cases and changing quarantine requirements for entering and leaving specific countries. The situation is still fluid, and new restrictions can be imposed at short notice. This has been a very difficult decision-making process for the organization over the past few months. We had hoped for a return to normal this spring. However, we do not feel we have a clear picture of what this summer would look like and felt that we could not ensure a safe experience for campers, staffers and directors alike.
As mentioned earlier, interest from the community has been inspiring and informative during this process. While we may not be able to offer our normal summer camp programming, we are currently working to keep the LPC spirit alive for this summer and into this fall. This includes:
This will include hopefully another digital Camp Birthday celebration, a Silent Auction and other small events throughout the summer and the fall.
-Summits, Trainings and Discussion Groups
This will include discussions with various support groups in the LPC community as well as discussion and training with staff members
-Gatherings and Work Weekends
This would include putting together weekends for families in localized areas and potential work weekends to fix up our sites.
If you would like to receive email updates on these specific events and other information going forward, please fill in the form below to join our mailing list.
If you filled in our previous form from the past few months, you will continue to receive emails from us. You can email email@example.com if you would like to opt out from these emails.
That all said, we hope to get a jump on planning for our 2022 camps. While again we cannot guarantee if we will be able to offer camps in 2022, we are hoping to start to look into options and policies for next summer earlier in the fall. Signing up for the above mailing list will ensure you will receive information from us concerning 2022.
I hope wherever you are, you are well, staying safe and have been able to enjoy the Spring. Again, we hope to stay in touch with you all during this difficult time. Thank you for your patience and support over this year.
On behalf of Luethi-Peterson Camps Inc.
Executive Committee: Tommaso Besozzi, Tomek Chilarski and Maureen Tunney