[ 1997-1999 ]
[ 1994-1996 ]
[ 1990-1993 ]

Memories 1997 - 1999

Camp Rolfing - Sharing memories of Kootenai Lodge

This special property seems to touch all those who visit here. It changes hearts, changes minds and changes life. Here are the thoughts and feelings of those who experienced Kootenai Lodge during the Rolfing’s 15-year ownership from 1990 to 2005.

Summer 1999 

"Angel Baby" "Patrick" and "God's Will":
The sounds of cooing are in the air. Owner Debi Rolfing has added foster mothering to her many projects. The first newborn guests to the newly established Cradle Care at the Kootenai Lodge: "Angel Baby", "Patrick" and "God's Will".

Loyal Nordstrom:
"Thank you precious Debi for the wonderful privilege and honor of being able to help you with your very first miracle, "Angel Baby" - could she have been more special?! What a true GOD SEND.

Kim Richards: 
"Debi and Mark, thanks for a wonderful tour of Kootenai Lodge. What a great piece of history! And we are all very grateful it is in your hands."

Jim Preskitt: 
"Debi and Mark, thanks for the tour of your other piece of paradise! This is truly a special place - one of the most terrific restorations I have ever seen! We can tell it is an ongoing labor of love.

Laurie Loomis: 
"I swam to the middle of the lake. The water was cold and crisp and clear. I stood for a while in the shallow, the sand was warm. The breeze fresh … The Kootenai shore green and yellow. All around was quiet and still. For a moment, so was I …From far downstream I smelled the running water. Thank you for this lift."

Rosalie Loomis: 
"If I could take the peaceful, beautiful and happy feelings of Kootenai Lodge with me into the sometimes harsh world, I would be in good stead. Kootenai is indeed awesome and beautiful as is its "princess in charge" of this glorious place." … What a tremendous "treat" we have had.

Ann Mundy: Writer/Producer Restore America - Montana
"Debi, An Angel Mother to many. I enjoyed exploring the past and present here, The "big picture" and details: Big Sky, Big Fork, Big Thunder, Big Hearts and the tranquility, drumming, healing, memories of my childhood camp … being a member of the Kootenai Tribe, Running alone at night, being scared and being brave. An ugly duckling becomes a swan at last …"

Frankie DeJoseph: Director of Photography - Restore America, Cinema 26 Productions
"In my travels with "Restore America" I must say that Kootenai Lodge is no doubt the most beautiful restoration project I have ever seen."

John Van Der Does: Restore America - Montana, soundman
"May you always be on the golden path, for you are truly blessed."

Rosalyn Meyer:
"Thank you so much for giving us such a wonderful vacation. It's funny and so very special how much happiness I experienced and continue to feel. I will never take for granted my wonderful memories of Kootenai Lodge. Your wonderful qualities shine through to help us all. Once again, thank you for a wonderful two weeks at Kootenai Lodge - tubing water-skiing, swimming, running to the bridge and back, dinner on the porch, root beer floats!"

Paul Meyer: 
"Debi, thou shalt be known as P.I.C. - "Princess in Charge" of this glorious place, giving you full authority to add your new title to all official documents and matters of important historical record."

Nick Meyer, age 12: 
"Thank you for an absolutely fabulous time at Kootenai Lodge this summer. Fishing was not good for me this year, although I caught some wonderful weeds. I can't wait until next year so we can swim across the lake, scare ourselves silly with cougar and bear stories, hike six and one half miles in socks with duck tape and eat three layer chocolate cake every week!"

Peter Meyer, age 7: 
"Thank you for letting us stay at Kootenai Lodge. It was fun. I am going to miss midnight macaroni!!"

Holly Finchem: 
"I began this as I think you did, with some trepidation. How could we match the memories of last year - our first trip - to Kootenai? We were also missing an integral part of the heart of Kootenai - Mark! But also the magic is still here because the magic comes from your heart. Kootenai is beautiful. We loved our hike to Fawn Lake - not Dumb Doris - and to have the girls try their first water skiing and knee boarding was a thrill. But we feel blessed to have been able to share angel baby Patrick with you. Thanks for allowing us that opportunity. It has again been a marvelous week of excitement and warm memories. Love to you, Holly"

Tim Finchem: 
"Kootenai is good but you're the greatest! We had a wonderful family time again! Thanks so much for everything. You are a very special person and the Finchem Family loves you dearly. See you soon, Tim"

Kelly Finchem, age 11: 
"I had a wonderful time at Kootenai Lodge. We went on a great hike. I caught my first fish at Fawn Lake. We went swimming, canoeing, pattle boating and thunder tubing. I had a great time with angel baby Patrick. This year was great. Love Kelly 
P.S. I won $120 at BINGO.

Carey Finchem, age 9: 
"I had a wonderful time at Kootenai Lodge. I had fun doing these 10 things: Canoeing, Paddle-boating, Water-skiing, Knee-boarding, Fishing, Tubing, Swimming and even hiking. Inside: Pinball and pool I can't wait to come back next year.
Maybe in the winter. Love, Carey
P.S. Good Luck with Patrick."

Summer 1998

Lee Trevino:
"Being with my kids and wife was better than any golf tournament. Kootenai Lodge is the best place in the world."

Tim, Holly, Stephenie, Kelly and Carey Finchem have returned to Kootenai Lodge three summers in a row.

Holly Finchem: 
"Kootenai Lodge is a place like no other that will always bring back memories of beautiful Montana days, friendly nights by the fire and lots of loving family time. My spirit has been lifted and my heart is full."

Dia Hollinger:
"If heaven were to fall to earth this is where it would land. This place is magical!"

Paul Meyer: 
"It was such a pleasure to be at Kootenai again! Everything is just perfectly the same and a timeless summer experience … Montana hospitality is a special blend of warmth, helpfulness and reserved self-sufficiency that is uniquely western."

Mickey Drexler:
"Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart … being at Kootenai is always the nearest place to heaven and where our Angel Patti is."

Debi and Mark with their moms Mickey Drexler (left) and Mary Bogue inside a hot air balloon, brought in for Mickey's birthday party.

Summer 1997

Debi Rolfing's parents, Chuck and Mickey Drexler outside the Florman cabin.

[ 1997-1999 ] [ 1994-1996 ] [ 1990-1993 ]





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Charles M. "Charlie" Russell, western artist at Kootenai Lodge
Charlie Russell