How it all began, in their own words!

Belinda's Story:

It all started in 2002.  As I sat in my Palermo living room watching the snow come down that January, I had a thought that a girls weekend sounded like a good idea.  I called my friend Debbie that lived in the Bay then and asked her to go over to Bonnie Castle and see if she could work a deal for an inclusive package.  She got back to me a few days later with a price and I started calling friends, some of which were relatives from Sodus Point.  They called friends and I think that first year, 2002, we had about 17 girls.  That first year we pretty much just raised hell and enjoyed getting together.  After that first year, we knew we had a hit on our hands.  I would have been content to just get together for the weekend but organizer Debbie said we had to have some activities.  We felt that anything that interested us would probably interest most women.  We made spa appointments at a spa in Clayton for the girls which eventually turned into having people come right to the hotel to do the services for us.  Now, no one has to leave the hotel for anything unless they want to.  By the way the name "Castle Queen Weekend" came from the fact that we started at Bonnie Castle.
I am retired (don't you just know that!) and enjoy spending time with my Grandchildren.  I also take care of my Mother.  I like to read and I love my dogs.  As for a goal, I would like to make our girl's weekend larger and meet new women.  I enjoy this getaway so much and really enjoy the diversity from the young girls to older.  My Mom joined us this year and she is 84!

Debbie's Story:

Your journey has molded

you for your greater good,

and it was exactly what it needed to be.

Don’t think that you’ve lost time.

It took each and every

situation you have encountered

to bring you to the now.

And now is right on time.

-Asha Tyson-


Deborah Robbins Scholes or “Debbie”, like many others is a devoted wife (of 43 years), mother (of two boys), sister, daughter, great (great)-grandmother (though she’s not that old!), as well as a successful entrepreneur. She grew up and raised her family in rural Palermo, NY. Later on when her two boys started a family of their own, she moved to a village house in Alexandria Bay, where the winters bring about a quiet village life and the summers bring an influx of vacationers and avid boaters. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the atmosphere and people. Before long she and her husband, Garry Sholes, built and settled on cozy Island #9 in Goose Bay, NY. Debbie has been a great promoter of the 1,000 islands, encouraging and sharing the great and many things the islands have to offer to the public.  She currently works for Clayton Island Tours a boat line that carries thousands of people a year thru the beautiful waters of the St Lawrence River.

“Always wear an invisible crown, because being a queen

is important.”

Debbie was attending a party where she ran into high school friend (though much older!), Belinda Ingersoll, from there they started chatting  and planned to get together and treat themselves to a one night “girlfriends getaway” at the Bonnie Castle Resort, in Alexandria Bay, NY. While eating dinner at the fist Girl friends getaway they looked out at the beautiful Boldt Castle, and jokingly called themselves the “Castle Queens” because for that one night, they forgot their troubles and felt like self-proclaimed queens. It all started with 5 rooms and 12 “queens”, they all had so much fun that they decided to get together every year and wanted others to experience the same queen feeling. Castle Queen Weekend has been growing ever since then!

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