Shuswap on the Nipissing

Written by Kevin Murphy with content from Bill Murray, Sean Murphy & Brent Murray

We spent many years at Samoset Lodge(1988-1996) where we had some great times and created some awesome memories! We saw:

  • Brent & Sean on their first trip in 1988
  • A picnic table burn down
  • 2 junior members playing “chicken” in the boats
  • Grandpa/Uncle Barry measuring all the heights of the boys on the back of the door near the stove.
  • Kevin & Mike take Brent & Sean out backwards trolling in the dark before a late night dinner(not a good idea!)
  • Uncle PF have his last Fishing Trip with us at Samoset  

What we also saw at Samoset was a lodge that was suffering and it was obvious we needed to look for an alternative. As in many things we do, Uncle Bill took charge and a few of us(think it was Bill, Kevin and Mike M.) drove over to Shuswap Camp. You see, for almost 9 years, we drove from Samoset, under the bridge, and we passed right by Shuswap….but no one really gave it much thought until things were slipping a bit at Samoset. 

We pulled into Shuswap in the car…..we were greeted by beautiful flowers, foliage and what looked like a camp that certainly had some vibrant life! We walked into the main camp lobby and were immediately greeted by Gerda Loewenberg. What an incredible pleasant individual! She welcomed us with open arms! She walked us over to Cabin #16 and in basically no time at all, we were all pretty excited about our new location and the adventures that would accompany us over a few years.

This is being written in 2018 and to date, we are approaching our 22nd year at Shuswap Camp!!

Starting in 1997 at Shuswap, the memories are pretty much endless but there are a few that stand out:

  • Uncle Barry measuring the height/growth of all the kids on the door near the stove
  • Mike Murphy scissor kicking the top of the doorway and landing it perfectly…..then completely wiping out after one step
  • Driving through the rain/lightening(always trying to beat the storm home)
  • The Potato Launcher
  • Hitting golf shots off the rock at shore lunch while Mike & Kevin attempted to catch them with a Fishing Net
  • Burying the Time Capsule in 2005
  • The MGM 40th Trip & Banquet in 2010
  • The sighting of Delores(aka Mike Murphy doing some waterskiing in the buff) 
  • Late night visits from Heinz(including the epic “rolling the pikes with ores” visit(aka: the Tongue Lashing)
  • Morning Tequila shots of Brent & Sean and a very quick sleep on the soft rocks at shore lunch!
  • The inception of the Boat Draw in 2006
  • Charlie Murray winning the Big Fish trophy in his 1st year
  • Bill Murray catching a 36″ Muskie and winning the Big Fish Trophy in 2017
  • Kevin Murphy’s Back2Back wins in 2010 and 2011

In the early Shuswap days, I came home one year after a tough year consumed by many Binge Brother Moments. Uncle Bill dropped me off around 6:50 pm and as we pulled up the driveway, Torie ran out and said “It’s time to go Dad!”. Where, I said? I forgot we had to go to Sparks(younger Girl Guides). So there I am, sitting on a gym floor at 7:05 pm as Torie announces her dad to everyone. As I say hello to people and start to build a birdhouse, the Old Milwaukee starts to flow out of my pours!! OMG, that may have been the toughest 90 minutes of my life!!!

And how can I not speak about June 7th, 2017. The day dad left us!! The night before, dad proudly donned his Tuxedo T-shirt and stayed up to around 1:00 am. He was chatting and laughing a lot with Ryan and Charlie. It was so great to see! After we left Shuswap, we stopped at the French River Trading Post for our customary parting ice cream! Watching him try to walk up was tough to watch but he made it! As we all did, he enjoyed his chocolate cone. He decided to take a rest and wait a bit to leave with Carl & Mike G.. We all gave him a hug and kiss. I told him I loved him(like many did as well) and then 5 hours or so later, one of our Founders was gone.  A legend was created on this day as we will always talk about him and his “marvelous” stories!! 

Another key moment of my own specific reflection on Shuswap Camp was the morning after Dad passed. That next morning, I called key family members and also our friends at Shuswap. I spoke with Gerda and it was a very tough call to say the least. Half hour later, Heinz called the house! OMG, what heartfelt, sincere empathy came from these two people! Heinz and Gerda together have been part of our lives for over 22 years and we all have enjoyed every minute of their hospitality and friendship!

Gerda and Heinz, thank you so very much for all the great family memories we have shared at your Camp. We look forward to many more and thanks for being an integral part of our MGM Family Fishing Trip journey. We could not have done this without your continuous support and love!

Thanks again!!

The MGM Group


Grandpa / Uncle Barry – Measuring the heights of the younger members