Summer Camps


Summer Camps

In northern New England, the youth summer camping tradition has provided outdoor experiences for young people for over 100 years. The camps are often on lakes and many have been run by the same families for several generations.


Movie Makers July 1934 pages 294-296
An article, Camp Movies, in Movie Makers magazine in July 1934 notes,
"A film record of a camp may become a medium for recalling memories of a glorious summer that has passed or it may serve as a persuasive agent in presenting the message of camp life to parents who want their children to share in it."

The Ark at Medomak Camp
Medomak Camp in Washington, Maine, was founded in 1904.  "The Ark" was built in the 1920s, perhaps inspired by the ark in James Fenimore Cooper's book, The Deerslayer.  Henry Perley (1885-1972), known as Chief Henry Red Eagle, taught camp craft for many years. 

"Just two years before the opening of Medomak, Ernest Thomson Seton announced the founding of a Woodcraft Movement...A manual, of which the first edition was called The Birch Bark Roll, was published annually to guide the activities of camps that wished to follow a Woodcraft Indian program." from The Medomak Way: The Story of the First Fifty Years of an American Summer Camp for Boys, 1953.

Canoeing at Wohelo
The Luther Gulick Camps on Sebago Lake, Maine, were founded in 1907 and continue as girls camps.

Flying Moose Lodge Campers
Flying Moose Lodge, a boys camp in East Orland, Maine, has operated since 1921 with tents on platforms and no electricity. The campers make ice cream from ice cut on the lake.  Here, campers arrive at the Bucksport wharf on the Penobscot River just downhill from Northeast Historic Film.

Moving Image Review Summer Camp Time story, Summer 1997. PDF or live issue in Internet Archive.

Summer Camp Collections

  • Herbert Benedict Collection (Medomak Camp, Washington, Maine)
  • Birch Rock Camp Collection (Waterford, Maine)
  • Camp Chewonki Collection (Wiscasset, Maine)
  • Camp Mohaph Collection (Glen Spey, New York)
  • Camp Pasquaney Collection (Hebron, New Hampshire)
  • Camp Runoia Collection (Belgrade Lakes, Maine)
  • Chet Gillingham Collection (North Star Camp, YMCA, Waterboro, Maine)
  • Margaret D. Hall Collection  (Camp Snipatuit, Rochester, Mass.)
  • John Howard & Elizabeth Kimball Howard/Stanton & Carol Kimball Young Collection (Alice A. Kimball camps Bonheur and Bonte, Lake Winnepesaukee, NH)
  • Kieve Collection (Nobleboro, Maine)
  • Medomak Camp Collection (Washington, Maine)
  • Maurice Venno and Lucy Blake Venno Collection (Camp Natarswi)
  • Pine Tree Society Collection (Belgrade Lakes, Maine)
  • Harrie B. Price Collection (Flying Moose Lodge, Bucksport, Maine)
  • David Sanderson Collection (Camp McWain, Waterford, Maine)
  • Clare Sullivan Collection (Camp Mishannock, Kingston, Mass.)
  • Wohelo-The Luther Gulick Camp Collection (Sebago Lake, Maine)
  • WCSH Collection (Tim Wilson talks about use of summer camps by state government, 1975)

Northeast Historic Film presented Summer Camps screening with live music by Paul Sullivan at the Portland Museum of Art in 2004: 

  • Charlotte Hewson introduced Wohelo, The Luther Gulick Camp Collection, 1919
  • Jim Newton introduced Medomak, 1930
  • David Sanderson introduced the David Sanderson Collection, Camp McWain
  • Andy Lilienthal presented Winnebago
  • Timothy P. Wilson introduced Seeds of Peace
  • Anne Marsh introduced Pine Tree Society Collection, Tall Shadows
  • Russ Williams introduced Kieve
  • Jesse Dukes introduced Chewonki

Harrie B. Price Collection, Flying Moose Lodge in 1930 closed the program.
Organizational assistance from the Maine Youth Camping Association.
Donations from Down East Magazine, Hammond Lumber, L.L. Bean, Norway Savings Bank.