kids are packing their swimsuits, sleeping bags, and mosquito repellant and
heading off to summer camp. Vermont
is home to a wide variety of camps, ranging from week-long day camps to
month-long residential camps. We talk
about the amazing array of camp experiences available to kids in Vermont,
how camps have changed over the years, and what kids can learn from the
experience today. Our guests include
Peter Hare, the Director at Camp Keewaydin
in Salisbury, and Jon Kuypers, the
President of the Vermont Camp Association, and Director at Camp
Abnaki in North Hero.(Listen)
Did you attend summer camp as a child? Send us an email with your fondest memories of camp.
Also, as Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton meet in
Unity, New Hampshire, we talk
with Valley News reporter John Gregg about the state’s role in this fall’s
presidential election. (Listen)
And, we look back at the week’s top news stories. (Listen)
AP Photo/Joel Page
Emails from Listeners–
Julie from Granville-
Ho-ray-lashamondagandalay-a-gorapeeniya! This loud greeting, bellowed out by campers as they returned from a 3-day hike to those who had stayed
behind, would be recognized across the U.S. by women who went to Camp Hanoum in Thetford, Vermont in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. I could call it in a second. And I bet five to 10 VPR senior listeners would phone in with the requisite response, echoing the Ho-ray in the same rising and falling tones as if we were all in our khaki and bittersweet Wright and Ditsons today.
Hanoum was a one of a kind place, on Lake Abenaki, a glorified mud pond that we sang to solemnly. We returned to this creative camp based on Turkish words year after year. It is celebrating its 100th anniversary August 15th and friends will be gathering from Nebraska, Maryland and Boston to join the reunion. Even my grand daughter wouldn’t miss it, although she attended Hanoum after it had sold to the Girl Scouts.
Hanoum, meaning "gracious lady" in Turkish, was a singing camp. We sang to our scrawny silver poplars and at breakfast to "Abenaki, Abenaki, lovely
lake of early dawns." It attracted music majors from Boston Conservatory
who practiced at back-to-back pianos in Three Gables at night while we
campers drifted off to sleep in tents, dreaming of the crushes we had on the
more masculine counselors. When we persuaded them to play Song of the Open Road, a piano piece of the vagabond as challenging as Gershwin, we were in seventh heaven.
Hanoum was my first truly spiritual experience despite years of Sunday
School. We chanted "Rise, Oh Spirit" in the morning and recited Stevenson¹s
"Give us to awake with smiles, give us to labor smiling," with reverence.
To this day I have a sacred feeling about Hanoum despite the obvious comedy.
When I married and had children, our toddlers’ first lullabys were Hanoum
songs. "In our hearts your memory lingers, when the summer’s gone." and
"Peace, I ask of thee oh river, peace, peace, peace." Most of today’s kids go to sports or choir camps and work on competitive skills. Poor, deprived kids…..let them sing Horay and respond to the call of the vagabond.
Marianne in Killington-
I must put a plug in for the Conservation camps that VT Fish and Wildlife run. this was a great experience for my daughter and it afforable for
Vermonts, which most camps are not. It was great opportunity to know she
understood the rules of Hunting, fishing and wepons handling but also learned the enjoyment of these activities.
Peter in Burlington-
I went to a traditional boys camp in the White Mountains. Mid summer
we had "Color War." For the unitiated, Color War was a week of competitions
between one half of the camp and the other. The Green team vs the Grey team. Points, penalties, and the like.
At the grand old age of 12 in the year, 1960, a few of us boys decided that
this whole thing was silly and furthermore: we did not want to play….We would make up our own team…That team we called: the Pink Team.
We thought the whole thing would get a huge laugh: boys/pink…ha ha. After a couple of days of maintaining that we weren’t green or grey; we were the pink team, we started being called into the camp director’s office to be questioned.
We soon learned that the counselors worried that we were "Pinkos"/ Communists. We were 12 and had no clue that communists were called pinkos…to us it shouted "girl" the antithisis of battling boys.
Arline in Bennington-
The Vermont Arts Exchange in North Bennington holds unique summer camps. I have been teaching summer camps at verious places since college and Water Arts Camp at the VAE was the best camp experiece I’ve ever had! We created art installations in and around Paren Creek. The kids spend all week cutting a path in the woods leading to the creek, they arranges river rocks in the creak to direct the flow of the water and create pools were they floated flowers and leaves. The best part was when the kids proudly showed off thier weeks worth of work to the parents. Then the they left not needing to take a thing home with them other than to know that others would enjoy the art they left behind!