Tour of the Camp

I am sure you all remember where the camp was located, but just in case, two maps are provided.

Maps

As you traveled the long gravel road (at least it was gravel when I was there) that led to camp, the first thing you passed on your right was the stables, with the barn, the corrals and open fields for the horses to graze. Not far away was the baseball field that was affectionately known as cowpie stadium.

Stables
Corral next to road

Next came the camp gate, a stone’s throw away from Sneak-a-Leak Creek. And then you went by Barney’s cabin (caretaker’s cabin) as we knew it when I was there. Continuing on you pass the camp mail box, then the office and into the parking lot. The parking area also substituted as the basketball courts where many a skins vs. shirts game was played.

Camp Gate
Barney’s Cabin
Entry Way
Office
Basketball courts

Once in the parking lot you couldn’t miss the large Club House that served as our dinning room and meeting place. A place filled with camp history. The Greens and Greys by year on the log wall that ringed the inside of the building and the Birch Bark logs hanging from the rafters with the names of campers, counselors and staff attending each year of camp, stretching back decades. This was the place to which we raced from the inspection grounds to be first in line at one of the doors, the place we ate those ?institutional meals? that almost tasted home-cooked because Joe and Louie knew how to make it so. This was the place where we played that game of PIG to see who scrapped the plates and cleaned the table. This was the place of Pillow Fights, Green and Grey Banquets, Skits, Chinese Toasts, and Final Banquets.

And how many campers ever had the thrill of ringing the camp bell that sat on top of the dining hall. To ring that bell for breakfast, lunch or dinner and know that hundreds of campers were thundering toward that great hall with one thought in mind?getting to that special place at the cabin table. It was a real thrill that not everyone got to experience. It was the Cook’s choice, or sometimes even Ken and Ruby, to pick that special camper who got to ring that bell.

Club House

Outside the Club House was the Well House. A place to meet, a place to talk story, a place to wait your turn on box-hockey, tether ball, or a game of horse to try to double your take at the next candy day. Next to the well house was the Big Bell, a place to meet and sometimes carve your initials in logs that held the bell in place. You couldn’t ring that bell, but sometimes, curious campers were known to have launched rocks into the insides of the bell, just hear its sound.

Well House
Big Bell

Behind the Club House was the Inspection Ground with the Flag Pole. A morning and evening assembly place that each camper dreaded if he had dirty hands, fingernails or ears, or, if he was not into doing his morning exercises! This was a place with a view, a panorama of Lake Charlevoix, the point of entry to Oyster Bay and to Junior Bay. It was also home to camp cook-outs and the Fourth of July cook -out.

Inspection Grounds & flag pole
Cook-out

On the other side of the Club House was Ken’s Cabin, the Junior Section cabins, the tennis courts and of course, Junior Bay. For many years the Junior campers had their own beach and swimming area at Junior Bay.

Junior Bay
Junior Bay and Tennis courts

If you were headed to the Senior Waterfront, or the Prep, Intermediate and Senior Section Cabins you had to pass by the Infirmary, the Quonset Hut (Bigwam) and the Handicraft building.

Infirmary
Bigwam
Handicraft building(s) Old and New

Moving further down the road you came to the Prep, Intermediate and Senior cabins. The Junior cabins were on the other side of the camp. The cabins, our home away from home for many weeks was located a stone’s throw from the shoreline of Lake Charlevoix. In hindsight, some had spectacular views of the lake. Prime waterfront property in today’s real estate parlance. Who knows what the square footage was inside the cabin, but they seemed to be big enough for 7 or 8 campers, plus a counselor. What was your choice? An upper or a lower bunk? Or did you like the dorm-style bed that was found in some cabins. Whatever your choice, you usually found a way to call it your own for four or eight weeks. I know that I personally carved my initials in the logs surrounding my bed in at least four different cabins. My trusty pocket knife or a horseshoe nail retrieved from the stables was all I needed to make my mark.

Cabin row
Cabins
Inside cabin

One of the most used areas of the camp, outside of the Club House, was the Senior Waterfront, home to instructional swims, sailing, and in later years canoeing. With its long dock, weathered boathouse and ?Blue Swimmer’s? raft, the Senior Waterfront was visited daily by nearly all campers.

Senior Waterfront

At the end of the road that lead past the Crafts building, the showers and the Prep, Intermediate and Senior sections was the Rifle Range, the Chapel and council fire area.

Rifle Range
Chapel

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