By Executive Director Doug Helman —

The relationship between Kendal at Granville residents and employees routinely exemplifies a spirit of community that is purely special. This was on full display Jan. 7 & 8 when multiple employee departmental teams competed against one another in a team building event.

Doug-Helman-3.50hThe event was organized and managed by resident volunteers and included six different contests: miniature golf, corn hole, bouncing pong (aka “beer pong”), ladder golf, miniature basketball and Kendal Trivia. Individual participants recorded a score at every contest whereby the top three scores were added to create a cumulative team score for each of the six contests. The scores from all contests were then added together for a cumulative score for the overall event. Awards were then given to the winning team for each contest, and for the overall event.

The event was a huge success — 90 percent of employees participated in the event, and everyone who participated in the event truly enjoyed themselves. There was plenty of encouragement over the two-day period, and while I wouldn’t say that there was true discouragement between team members, the competitive spirit among some participants led to a little bit of friendly “trash talking” along the way. There were strong accusations that the Administrative Team (captained by yours truly) obviously had the upper hand at “beer pong” and Kendal Trivia — I will confess, one of those accusations is entirely true!

The Kendal Trivia portion of the competition by far created the most conversation among participants. Several expressed a keen interest in the trivia question about the origin of the Kendal name. As such, I decided to research this a bit more in Kendal’s online resource library and ran across a document entitled “Our English Name” written by Eleanor Stabler Clarke, a founding board member and resident of Kendal at Longwood (the very first Kendal community). Excerpts from her article are offered below to cure any curiosity, I hope you enjoy.

“One of the first orders of business for Lloyd Lewis, founding CEO of Kendal-Crosslands Communities and The Kendal Corporation, was to write a Quaker historian for suggestions to name a new community for retired persons in southeast Chester County (PA). The historian replied with a list of places in Northwest England, an area Friends called ‘The Birthplace of Quakerism.’

“Kendal, England, is built on both sides of the river Kent, in the dale of the river Kent, hence the town's name Kendale, shortened to Kendal. Kendal goes back to England's earliest days. The people of Westmorland County are a mixture of all the peoples who invaded Britain: the Celts, the Romans, the Angles, the Danes, the Saxons and finally the Norsemen, who left many words that are in daily use in the area such as ‘fell’ meaning a hill and ‘thwaite,’ a clearing. Kendal is in the Doomsday Book as ‘Cherchbi-Kendal,’ which means the church by the dale of the Kent. The conquering Normans used the southern form of what is now the word church, while the Scots used the northern form, ‘kirk,’ so the Scots called Kendal ‘Kirkbi-Kendale.’

“‘The name of Kendal was also associated with the fund raised in the first instance by Margaret Fell (also known as “The Mother of Quakerism” and as Margaret Fox, wife of George Fox the founder of Quakerism), to meet any expenses over and above those which could be borne by the pioneers themselves,’ writes Elfrida Vipont Foulds in her booklet, The Birthplace of Quakerism. The pioneers were those George Fox speaks of in his Journal as ‘Publishers of Truth.’ Elfrida continues: ‘. . . known as the Kendal Fund, and supervised by Treasurers belonging to Kendal meeting, it faithfully performed a most useful service and acted as a model for similar funds until Quakerism became organized on a national basis.’

“The idea of the first fund for assistance to traveling Friends being named ‘Kendal’ appealed to the committee interested in building a community for older people in southeast Chester County, Pennsylvania, and contributed to their selection of the name ‘Kendal.’”

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