Our History

Stone Creek VillageKennolyn was founded by Max and Marion Caldwell in 1946, when Harry S. Truman was President of the United States, the first network television series was introduced (on one of only two stations), and gasoline cost a whopping 15 cents per gallon!

Max and Marion (affectionately known as Uncle Max and Aunt Marion) were both teachers. During World War II, Uncle Max served on an ammunition ship in the Pacific. “If I EVER get out of this alive,” he wrote, “Let's start a school or a camp."

From these simple words blossomed Kennolyn, a 300-acre paradise that includes a residential summer camp, day camp and year-round events and conference center in the redwood mountains of Santa Cruz, California.

Aunt Marion and Uncle Max

Welcoming the first campers in 1946 was a lifelong dream come true for Aunt Marion and Uncle Max. They named camp after their children Ken and Carolyn, and started with a 60-acre site and 26 campers, including 11 nieces and nephews who addressed them as Aunt Marion and Uncle Max. The names stuck from that day forward with tens of thousands of campers, staff, parents and grandparents.

Uncle Max and Aunt Marion are sadly no longer with us, but their wonderful legacy continues to influence the lives of countless children and adults alike around the world. Their children Ken and Carolyn, and grandchildren Pam Caldwell Nootbaar, Lindsey Caldwell Johnson and Steve Caldwell are all active members of Kennolyn's Board of Directors. Pam is also Kennolyn's General Manager and is passionate about maintaining the beloved camp traditions and values so important to Uncle Max and Aunt Marion.