Kennolyn’s Story of Family Tradition and Inspiration

Kennolyn began hosting weddings, special events, and retreats in 1995, but it has been the site of world-renowned summer camp programs since 1946. It had long been a dream of Max and Marion Caldwell to open a school or camp for kids, and when Max returned home after the Second World War, they did—on a tranquil property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They named Kennolyn after their children Ken and Carolyn, who were 5 and 3 years old when Kennolyn welcomed its first campers.

As the San Francisco Bay Area grew and transformed through the second half of the 20th Century with post-war momentum, Kennolyn evolved as well to meet the needs of more and more visiting families. What started as just 60 acres at the Stone Creek Village became 300 acres with the addition of the Hilltop Hacienda Estate in 1956. Most acres still remain undeveloped to this day because the natural life and beauty are integral to Kennolyn’s commitment to harmony and awe for nature. But we haven’t stopped short of filling our venues with all the comforts, resources, and activities that set the stage for one-of-a-kind memories and connections.

Kennolyn has always been a family adventure. Uncle Max and Aunt Marion passed the torch on to their granddaughter, Pam Caldwell Nootbaar, who has been Kennolyn’s General Manager ever since. While she was getting her MBA at Georgetown University, Pam developed a business plan that would become a flourishing events business. Today, Kennolyn Events continues to bring people together for weddings, retreats, and other special events. The entire family is dedicated to keeping the Caldwells’ dream going strong. Ken, Carolyn, and Ken’s three children—Pam, Lindsey, and Steve—all sit on the board of directors, supporting this true family business.

Just like our family, Kennolyn is still growing. With each new event we help to create, we evolve with new ideas and more and more gratitude for the warmth brought by families like yours. 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 around the world. Family tradition will continue to be our driving force, thanks to traditions inspired by everyone who has shared in Kennolyn’s timeless magic.