Calling All Campers!

“Canoeing at Camp Teconnet.” From the New England Girls’ Summer Camps Photograph Album.

These days are filled with happiness,
Encouragement, and zest.
Companionship we never lack,
Or chance to play—or rest;
No silly rules there are, and yet,
No doubt of loving care.
Each girl has opportunities
To serve, enjoy, and share.

From a 1917 brochure about Camp Teconnet

In 2008, we made a lucky find in a rare book dealer’s catalog: a lovely New England girls’ summer camp photograph album. We were utterly charmed by this album of black and white photos of girls at Camp Mascoma, in New Hampshire in 1916 and Camp Teconnet Maine in 1917. The unidentified teenage girl who created this album clearly had a wonderful time swimming, canoeing, and sitting around campfires with the friends she made, each with her own nickname like “Parsnips.”

The album also included material clipped from a promotional brochure about Camp Teconnet, which described camp life as “the wisest and sanest solution of the vacation problem for girls.” The brochure also proclaimed, “Physical measurements are taken at the beginning of the season for each camper and from these the ‘Missus’ and councilors form the foundation for the work with the individual, encouraging here and holding back there, so that the end of the season may bring its own reward in better health and physique.” These girls certainly do look healthy and fit!

You’ll find a detailed description of this album here. If you’d like to look through the album yourself and reminisce about your own days at camp (or if you have any questions about the album), e-mail us at special-collections(at)duke.edu.

Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

“Waiting for Dinner.” From the New England Girls’ Summer Camps Photograph Album.

21 thoughts on “Calling All Campers!”

  1. "Camp Mascoma in New Hampshire" did not exist in 1916. It was founded by Frank and Helen Moeschen in 1933 on Lake Placid in New York, and then moved to New Hampshire, on Crystal Lake in Enfield Center, N.H., in 1938.

  2. Thanks for your note about the history of Camp Mascoma. We consulted the scrapbook again, and at the beginning of the Camp Mascoma section of the scrapbook, the maker has written "Mascoma Camp, Enfield, N.H., Summer of 1916."

  3. Camp Mascoma was located on Crystal Lake in Enfield, NH as Paul said above. "Mascoma Camp" was most probably located on Mascoma Lake in Enfield, NH. Two completely different lakes/locations.

  4. Thanks for clearing up our confusion. We’d like to leave the post as is, without correction–so that we all remember how careful we need to be in our research (archivists included!).

  5. It’s certainly possible there was a Mascoma Camp on Mascoma Lake in Enfield, N.H. The Camp Mascoma, which has a similar name, was in Enfield Center, only a few miles away, and on the smaller Crystal Lake. To this day your writer remembers swimming in Crystal Lake almost every night in his dreams, more than 60 years ago. Mr. Moeschen, who ran the camp, was like a second father to us all. He lived a long life, born in 1904 and leaving this earth not far from camp, at the hospital in nearby Hanover, in 2001. His ashes today sanctify the lake.

  6. How cool to stumble upon this! I am Frank’s grandson Patrick and I am proud to tell you that Camp Mascoma is still owned by our family! The main lodge, boathouse and some cabins are still standing, and I am actually getting married there this summer. I would love an email from anyone who went to camp. My father was Tim Moeschen (passed from cancer in 1993) and my uncle is Peter Moeschen (aged 76 and still going strong).
    glad to hear your fond memories!!

    1. Congratulations Patrick. I spent several carefree summers at Camp Mascoma, and remember your dad, your uncle Peter, and your grandmother and grandfather very well. God bless them all…..

    2. Hello Patrick, I know your Uncle Peter. My brother, Ted LeClair used to bring me up to your family’s camp when I was a kid. I just drove by there the other day. Great memories there. I wondered if it would be possible for me to stop in at some point and have a look around? Thanks!

    3. Hello,

      Your grandfather was a central figure in my life. I attended Camp Mascoma for five years in the sixties and your father and uncle taught me baseball, sailing, camping in the moutains and… driving the camp truck. I am delighted that the camp still stands. Please give my best your uncle Peter.

      Michael Garroway

    4. Hi Patrick!

      I’m so, so glad you posted. I’ve been trying to figure out who owns and maintains that beautiful property. My family has a summer cabin up on Spec Pond just a couple miles out Lockhaven, and I’ve driven that side of Crystal hundreds of times, enjoying our main house, field and view.

      I’m planning to get married next summer, and the thought of using your property has come up. Can we talk (off of this chatboard of course). My email is matthew.b.christie@gmail.com.

      Matt

  7. Patrick –

    I just happened to stumble upon this myself!

    My aunt Madge married George T. Moeschen in 1956. I and my brother spent the summer of that year at Camp Mascoma and did so again in 1958. Your dad was a camper at the time and your Uncle Pete a counselor. (Both good looking men and athletes as well).

    Madge died in 1977 but I and my wife continued to visit George at his apartment in Stuyvesant Town until he passed away in 1989 a few months short of his 90th birthday. I have many fond memories of the camp and of your family to this very day.

  8. Patrick, I knew your dad very well, was his “bunk mate” for many summers, actually from 1947, when both he and I were 6 years old (Tim may I believe be a year younger, born 1942?) until both of us were almost grownups. He was a most mischievious little boy, but good hearted. Life goes by so fast. I am sorry you lost your dad so soon, and that you have had other difficulties that you have deal with bravely. Ma you enjoy health and in your recent marriage happiness.

  9. GLAD TO HAVE FOUND,WORKED IN KITCHEN&PLAYED FOR 5 SUMMERS 1955-60,MY BROTHER TOM WAS A COUNSELOR FOR 2 SEASONS.GREAT MEMORIES OF FRANK,HELEN,PETER,TIM.I WAS 13 SUPPOSED TO BE 16.PETER TOOK ME INTO TOWN FOR MY SS#. BILL WAS A COOK WHO CARVED A BEAUTIFUL INDIAN POST FOR THE ENTRANCE CIRCLE.SAY HI TO PETER FOR US.ENJOY THE CAMP,I PADDLED ACROSS THE LAKE AT NITE ALONE ONLY TO HAVE FRANK& HELEN GO RIGHT BY IN THEIR STATIONWAGON,LOTS OF LUCK

  10. I attended Camp Mascoma from 1950-1955. I remember Frank and Helen fondly. Peter was a camper and later a counselor. I remember the trips to Mt. Sunapee, the Old Man in the Mountain, the Weirs, and especially the rides in the truck to Lebanon to see the movies, and the senior trips to Old Orchard Beach and Amusement Park in Maine. It was a great time and place to be on Crystal Lake in those summers.

  11. I just remembered most of the Mascoma Hymn.

    Far from cities bustling people there’s a place divine.
    On Lake Crystal’s sparkling waters stands our boyhood shrine.
    ?? and swell the chorus out onto the breeze,
    Hail O hail to old Mascoma, nestled in the trees.

    1. Do remember a “Joe” Rooney, but not Tom. Somehow missed it. Bill Dale, the cook, remember him well, and also his wife, can’t remember her name. Very nice people both of them, altho there was a tragedy in their past. Bill had, through no fault of his own, run over a person while driving. He never got over it. And never drove again.

      To Mr. Deitsch. Yes, remember that tune, based on the Cornell U. anthem. Corny but nice. Remember you too.

      1. Do remember a “Joe” Rooney, but not Tom. Somehow missed it. Bill Dale, the cook, remember him well, and also his wife, Olive. Very nice people both of them, altho there was a tragedy in their past. Bill had, through no fault of his own, run over a person while driving. He never got over it. And never drove again.

        To Mr. Deitsch. Yes, remember that tune, based on the Cornell U. anthem. Corny but nice. Remember you too.
        The Opera House in Lebanon still is there, but now is the municipal building, not sure if thy still show movies. Riding back at night in the back of the trust, with the cold wind blowing by, such a wonderful experience. All gone now.

      2. Do remember a “Joe” Rooney, but not Tom. Somehow missed it. Bill Dale, the cook, remember him well, and also his wife, Olive. Very nice people both of them, altho there was a tragedy in their past. Bill had, through no fault of his own, run over a person while driving. He never got over it. And never drove again.

        To Mr. Deitsch. Yes, remember that tune, based on the Cornell U. anthem. Corny but nice. Remember you too.
        The Opera House in Lebanon still is there, but now is the municipal building, not sure if they still show movies. Riding back at night in the truck, with the cold wind blowing by, such a wonderful experience. All gone now.

  12. I am Joe Rooney’s son. My Dad was a counselor at the Camp roughly between 1943-1953. His picture is still up on the wall at the lodge. John Moeshen( Peter’s son) is one of my oldest friends. My family still goes up to camp in the summer from time to time. to visit the family. In 1968, I was a camper the last year it was operating . I feel very luck to have gone there. I have fond memories of the camp back then. It is a special place, even today.

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