My History at NEFC

Friday, June 24, 2011

This summer I’m going to attempt to post weekly about our activities at New England Frontier Camp (NEFC). But first, let me give you a little history of my involvement with NEFC.

I first came to NEFC as a camper in the late 70’s. I think I was here for two years, and I remember during that time that they were building the Stockade area of the camp, about 1/2 mile from the main part of camp. The cabins in this area were built in the style of the old Blockhouses on the frontier, with the upper level overhanging the lower level by about 2 feet all the way around.

In 1986 and 1987 I came to the camp as a Senior Counselor. During the summer of 1987, my then fiance, Kathy, was the head cook in the kitchen. Two weeks after the conclusion of camp was our wedding. It was probably not the best way to spend the summer in preparation for our wedding, as we were quite busy, and had little time to plan. However, somehow we managed to pull it off.

In the summer of 1988, we came for just a week. I was in a cabin and Kathy helped out in the kitchen. In 1989 I don’t think we came at all.

In December 1989, we were looking forward to our first child being born in late June, when I got a phone call from the camp director. He said the administrative staff had been talking, and decided they would like me to be the Stockade Program Director, but they knew that I couldn’t do that with the baby coming. However, they decided to let ME make that decision, instead of making it for me by not asking. I think we surprised everyone when we said “Yes”. Josiah was 4 days old when he arrived at camp that summer – quite possibly the youngest person to ever be at camp.

I worked at camp the summers of 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994. During that time I went on the camp board for a period of time as treasurer, and worked as both Stockade Program Director and then as the assistant to the Camp Director. Matthias was a couple of weeks old in 1992 when he arrived at camp.

At the end of the summer of 1994, our pastor at home resigned, and that led me into a position of speaking each week at church. In addition, the summer of 1995 saw our 3rd child come along, and we decided that we could no longer work at camp. The strange thing was how completely we ended up separated from camp – I do not believe that we set foot on camp property again until May, 2010 when I took my Battalion group down for the Camp-O-Rama. Driving through the town of Lovell began to bring back many memories of camp, and it was quite a remarkable experience to drive down the camp road and begin remembering all the things that I had done there and been involved with. I had forgotten how much I missed the place, if that makes any sense.

Our family had talked about doing some camping that summer, and we found an opportunity with a “Hammer Camp” NEFC was hosting Memorial Day weekend for families. We decided we would go down and camp out in the back field and help out, and we had an absolutely fabulous time. All the kids had a lot of fun and we got a lot of projects done. Over that weekend, the camp director asked Matthias if he would be interested in coming on staff for the summer, and so Matthias sent in an application and subsequently spend the summer there.

We also found out that they were short handed in the kitchen, and so Kathy, Peter, David, and Elias spent 3 weeks there, which turned into 4 weeks. Annie and I made a commute back and forth between home and camp – I needed to stay on top of things at C-Prompt, as well as some projects I was working on at home.

We had such a fabulous time that we decided this summer we would spend the entire summer here. There may be times I will need to go home to tend to things at C-Prompt, but for the most part we are hopeful that the shop will continue without much need for me to be there. Kathy is helping out with the kitchen, both with orders and helping with some cooking, as well as taking care of laundry for the camp. Annie is helping out in those areas where she can as well. Matthias is doing a lot of office work, and Peter is a CIT (Counselor in Training). I’m kind of helping out with whatever I can do – networking, re-building campfire sites, and other miscellaneous things.

In the next day or two I will try to post a summary of our first week. Feel free to post any questions you might have! .

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