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Minnesota: Winnehahas

October 10, 2017

August−St. Cloud Campground in St. Cloud, MN was the weekend home for 13 Winnies and 23 Winnehahas members Aug. 10-13. Hosts Ted and Bernie Steele, Terry and Jeanne Johnson, and Dick and Marcia Fabricius provided light snacks for Thursday's happy hour as everyone sat outside enjoying the perfect weather.

Friday's buffet lunch at the Coyote Moon Grille, the restaurant in the clubhouse of the Territory Golf Course, was excellent and very filling. Following lunch was a tour to St. Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, MN. The chapel was built in 1912, but remodeled and added to a number of times since. It is filled with history and Sister Gen Maiers, over 80 years old and a nun like no nun any in the group had ever known, led the group for a couple of hours through all the areas of the monastery and made the past as fascinating and alive as the present. Most agreed she should have had a sideline as a stand-up comic. In the Sacred Heart Chapel, the group was treated to a demonstration of its beautiful pipe organ by world-renowned organist and hymn composer Delores Dufner—otherwise just another nun in the monastery.

Across the roadway was the exhibit hall which featured an exhibit by Chinese artist Baulu Kuan, which included her own works and eclectic art treasures collected over many decades of her journeys. Also a nun since 1948 and barely four feet tall, she taught in St. Cloud schools and at the College of St. Benedict. The artist was there at the time of the tour and was happy to speak with the members of the group and answer any questions.

Back at the ranch, there were games of pegs and jokers in the evening in the building on the grounds.

French toast and sausage greeted campers Saturday morning. The rest of the day was free to explore St. Cloud or just relax in the lovely late summer weather. Everyone brought their own meat to grill. A birthday cake for dessert celebrated the birthdays of those members born in July and August. More games were played after dinner.

Sunday morning brought torrential rains, but it cleared up somewhat and most people were underway.

By Marcia Fabricius