Staff Blogger: Josh Hilgenberg, Journalism/Creative Writer Intern

Schuler, Alex 4Teens at Lakeside are a huge part of the experience, and it’s time to hear their stories.

Alex Schuler, who has been coming to Lakeside with her family for 10 years, was generous to share her story with us.

The Schulers stumbled upon Lakeside while vacationing at Bay Point one summer – Alex was 2 years old at the time. After discovering our Chautauqua community, the family decided they would return next summer. Since then, they’ve never looked back.

After 10 years, Schuler still has the same passion and love for Lakeside.

When asked what her favorite thing about Lakeside is, she replies with an enthusiastic and definitive “just everything.” She loves that it offers a different kind of home, and marvels at the fact that there are no kids on iPods, tablets, cellphones or other electronics.

Schuler goes on to explain that she loves wandering through the shops, hanging out on the beach, connecting with friends new and old, and most important for her, bonding with her family.

Schuler, AlexLakeside brings the Schuler family together and helps them create memories like they couldn’t anywhere else. They spend a great deal of time together, and Schuler loves it.

She also enjoys Middle Grade Madness (MGM), one of the programming opportunities for Lakesiders her age. She fondly recalls her MGM summer memories with leader John Wilkie, playing games and having fun with biblical activities.

When she isn’t with her family or at MGM, Schuler is spending time with the many friends she’s made during her time at Lakeside. There are some she’s only known for a year, but others she’s known for years on end, and compares them to her own siblings.

Regardless of how much time they’re able to spend together, she’s grateful for all of her Lakeside friends. Schuler loves that she can be with her friends whenever she wants, a freedom that’s unique and appreciated at Lakeside.

“Lakeside is so great,” she says. “It’s the greatest place I have ever been on the whole entire Earth. It’s my second home and my getaway. I have no idea where I would be without it!”

We’re beginning an initiative to develop teen programming and a youth activity center. You can help us out this #GivingTuesday (December 1, 2015) by making a gift for the future of teen Lakesiders! To learn more about this initiative, visit