Farmington Minnesota
Boy Scouts and Explorers of Troop 118

50th Anniversary Reunion of
1952 Encampment at Camp Neibel, Balsam Lake, WI

17 young men who survived close calls with tornados in two consecutive days

September 18, 2002

Mr. Nathan Hansen
Editor, Farmington Independent
320 Third Street
Farmington, MN 55024

Camp Neibel Reunion Story for the Farmington Independent by Alan Lubke. Photos need not be returned.

A 50th anniversary reunion was held at Ruttger's Lodge near Lake Mille Macs on Monday, July 29th, 2002 of the Scouts/Explorers from Farmington's Troop/Post 118 who "survived" the touchdown of two tornadoes in two consecutive days near Camp Neibel, Balsam Lake, WI. Of the seventeen boys at the 1952 encampment, six were at the reunion, five are deceased, and six were unable to attend. The eleven present at the anniversary dinner included spouses of five of the six men in attendance. At the banquet, attending survivors toasted their deceased comrades.

Following the Monday banquet there was a Tuesday fishing trip on Lake Mille Lacs arranged by John Gerster and the Gersters followed that with a barbecue the same day at their cabin on Big Sandy Lake. On Saturday, August 3d, the John Birkholz's hosted a lunch for reunionites at their summer home on Ten-Mile Lake near Hackensack.

A reunion souvenir canoe paddle shown in the photo being held by Alan Lubke has been presented to each scout attending the reunion. More photos can be seen at his web site

Those attending the festivities were Joe and Dolores Auge, John and Sandy Birkholz, John and Cathy Gerster, Roger and Jeanne Kuchera, Alan Lubke, and Norman and Barbara Lubke. Deceased scouts honored were Leon Flach, Nile Foss, Fred Griebie, Kenneth Hanson, and Michael Minnick. Unable to attend were Richard Cox, Donald Johnson, Jack McBrien, Patrick Minnick, Jerry Schulz, and Charles Steadman.

Sincerely yours,

Alan H. Lubke
San Bruno, CA
West Coast Correspondent to the Farmington Independent
2550 Fleetwood Drive, San Bruno, CA 94066. Tele: 650-588-9299, e-mail:, web site: