Camp Runoia Collection
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Credit: Camp Runoia Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Group of campers practice marching in unison, 1928.
Credit: Excerpt from Camp Runoia Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Marching in unison, 1928.
Primary Format and Extent
film (29,775 ft.) : si., b&w, col. ; 16 mm.
Collection Date Range
1920 - 1980
The Camp Runoia Collection consists of film shot by Constance Dowd and the Cobb family from the 1920s to the 1980s at the girls’ summer camp in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. The collection shows counselors with campers enjoying daily activities including footage of a shared meal in the dining hall, and many shots of the girls gathering to raise the morning flag. The bulk of the material covers recreational activities like swimming, canoeing, dancing, water-skiing, horseback riding, and diving. Popular sports depicted include tennis, softball, and track and field activities. Notably, some footage offers a valuable glimpse of the early uniformity of the girls’ movements. The girls are seen learning to walk in formation, carrying wooden rifles, and using their paddles in synchronized movements while they canoe. The collection also serves to document the change of this uniformity over time, depicting the loss of uniforms and leisurely movements within daily camp routines.

The collection also contains purchased film.

Biographical/Historical Notes
Founded in 1907, Camp Runoia has been owned and directed by the Cobb family since 1960. It was founded by Constance Dowd and Lucy Wieser, 2 school teachers from Cleveland, OH. Camp Runoia is located on Great Pond in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, covering approximately 90 acres of fields and woods with almost a mile of lake shoreline.
People and Organizations
Camp Runoia
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 for more information.
Items in this collection: 22
Showing 1 - 10 of 22:
1) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 1
Girl campers swimming in lake. Girl campers canoe. Girl campers race in water. Campers dive into water. Campers march in square formation. Campers continue to play in the water. Girls t...more
2) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 2
Girl and woman play outside. Girls walk out of cabin in bathing suits. Girls play in water, while two women watch in canoes. Girls paddle in canoe. Girls uniformly lift their paddles in...more
3) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 3
Girls canoe. Girls dance with hoops and practice other dance formations. Girls take a dance lesson with an instructor. Girls perform. Woman tends to horse.more
4) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 4
Girl campers eat in dining hall. Girl campers practice high and low jump after counselor demonstrates it for them. Girls play in the sand. Girls swim. One carries the other out. Campers...more
5) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 5
Girl campers paddle canoe. Girls at edge of the water hop up and down. Girls jump off raft to swim in the lake and canoe. Some girls swim on top of float. Campers walk through woods. Co...more
6) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 7
Girl campers walk in uniforms. Girls wave handkerchiefs. Girls sit huddled in grass and line up for picture. Girls sit on rock in costume. Girls play tennis at night. Girls ride horses...more
7) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 8
Boats on water. Girls run down trail. Girls salute and pull up flag. Girls play with dog. Girls play badminton. Girls on canoe talk to girls on deck. Canoes on water. Girls row. Girls r...more
8) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 9
Team of girl campers sits on bench on field. Another team huddles together on opposite side of field. Girls play baseball. Girls walk in bathing suits. Girls jump into the water and pla...more
9) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 10
Boy campers play with small animal (maybe goat) in field. Boys pile into boat as girl campers stand on deck. Girls row boats. Girls play basketball. Girls sit on the grass and eat ice c...more
10) [Camp Runoia—home movies] Reel 11
Girl campers walk down trail in blue uniforms. Older girls stand laughing with their dates. Girls swim. Girls stand in canoe and paddle. Girls swim and sit on the deck. Girls try to bal...more
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