Medomak Camp Collection
Medomak Camp Collection, 1963
Camp 1971 Allagash Katahdin, 2568
Credit: Medomak Camp Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Counselor with bugle at day's end, Washington, Maine.
Credit: Excerpt from Medomak Camp Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Campers learn Maliseet traditions, ca. 1930s.
Primary Format and Extent
film (15,000 ft.) : sd. and si., b&w and col. ; 16 mm.
Collection Date Range
1920 - 1970
Collection contains film of boys' summer camp activities. Medomak Camp was founded in 1904 by Frank E. Poland as a farming camp for city boys on the farm where he was born in Washington, Maine. In the early part of the 20th century Poland strove to create a challenging and rewarding outdoor experience for boys. Frank Poland ran the camp until 1958, when his assistant, Howard Hoople, took over until 1979, when it was sold to the Church of the Nazarene. Medomak was purchased by a former camper and became a public camp again in the late 1990s. Most of the early film was shot by Frank Poland. Beginning in the 1950s much of it was shot by Chet Shepard, a professional photographer and a member of the camp staff. Some of the surviving footage was taken for promotion, other footage was clearly designed for entertainment.
Donor James Newton inherited the collection as a result of a family connection to the camp. His connection began with his grandfather, who went to Medomak as a counselor in 1919. James Newton also attended Medomak; his last summer was in 1978.
Northeast Historic Film
The Collection is open for research.
Condition Governing Reproduction and Use
Authorization to reuse and/or reproduce must be obtained from Northeast Historic Film. See http://www.oldfilm.org/research for more information.
Items in this collection: 31
Showing 1 - 10 of 31:
1) [Medomak Camp] Reel 1
Scenes of the surrounding countryside with the camp in the distance. Footage of workers raising large tents at Senior Camp. Two shots of the camp grounds. A train arrives. Several m...more
2) [Medomak Camp] Reel 2
A few shots of campers and counselors posing for their tent group photograph. Footage of campers doing morning calisthenics and then playing, swimming, diving, and rowing in a pond....more
3) [Medomak Camp] Reel 3
A shot of bunk beds in the cabins, or “dens,” for Cubs, boys seven to nine. Boys examine a tree with a counselor. Shots of a baseball game. Boys playing horseshoes and tennis. A few...more
4) [Medomak Camp] Reel 4
A shot of Senior Camp. Several shots of various tent groups. Footage of the tent groups marching and lining up for the flag raising with counselor Leslie “Uncle Dud” Sutherland. Foot...more
5) [Medomak Camp] Reel 5
Footage of the Rangers loading up their truck and leaving Camp Medomak, including a shot of a big send-off at Senior Camp. A few shots of Rangers stopping and unloading the truck. Foo...more
6) [Medomak Camp] Reel 6
Reel 6 contains footage of two canoe trips taken by Frank Poland, his wife Grace, their companions and their guides, one of whom is Ross McKenney. The first trip is on the West Branch...more
7) [Medomak Camp] Reel 7
A shot of a camp site on a lake. Footage of boys in canoes. A few shots of a boy preparing and sailing a model boat. A shot of a sail boat near the Ark. A shot of an older man. A s...more
8) [Medomak Camp] Reel 8
Footage of men and boys dressed as Native Americans at a Pow-Wow. Footage of Medomak campers and visitors from the girl’s camp, Camp Wyconda, playing, swimming and diving in a lake. A...more
9) [Medomak Camp] Reel 9
A shot of a portage, boys carrying their boats and gear across land. A shot of boys at a camp site. Two shots of boys paddling canoes intercut with a shot of a deer running out of the...more
10) [Medomak Camp] Reel 10
Two shots of the Rangers leaving Camp Medomak in a truck with six canoes roped on top. A group shot of the Rangers. A few shots of the Rangers in canoes. Footage of a camp site inclu...more
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