Summer Fun at Girls’ Camp

Woman recalls summer fun had year after year at Day Mountain Girls’ Camp in Maine.

| July/August 2012

On hot summer afternoons, I often recall the cool, pleasant days at the girls’ camp I attended during the 1930s in Maine. Our camp was at the foot of Day Mountain, five miles from Temple and ten miles from Farmington. It was a beautiful location.

Day Mountain Camp had its own small lake – no heated swimming pool for us! The lake water was cool and refreshing.

Girls’ camp was in session for eight weeks, and most of us returned every year. We were loyal to our own camp; we never dreamed of attending another. I went there for seven consecutive summers, and I looked forward to it during the long winters spent at school in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

August began with “Parents’ Weekend,” marking the halfway point of the summer season. Parents stayed overnight in town and had most of their meals at the camp. They witnessed competitions in horseback riding and tennis, along with the cooler activities down at the lake, where we had swimming and diving events, as well as boat races.

We decorated rowboats and canoes for a parade of “floats” depicting such themes as “The Old Woman Who Lived in A Shoe” and “Rub-A-Dub-Dub Three Men in A Tub.” Parents were called upon to judge the floats and award the prizes.

Day Mountain Girls’ Camp was without electricity and running water, and campers were required to drag heavy pails of water into their cabins from a pump a short distance away. Two girls shared a pail of clean water, pouring it into a wash basin as needed. A second pail was provided for the soapy water, and this pail had to be emptied before the counselors made their daily rounds for inspection. We washed our hair in the lake, using a bar of ordinary hand soap, preferably a brand that floated!

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