submitted on: July 15, 2010 at 05:25
name: David Shapiro
email address:
comments: I think my brother Jon and I may have the record for most years for one family's attendance at Camp Day and would like to hear if anyone can top it. I attended from 1948 to 1956 and my brother attended from 1954 to 1962, and was on maintenance in 1963 (that makes a total of ten years). And that is eight weeks each year. I remember Doc Simmons well and found it interesting that he had a PhD in Physical Education. He believed that boys and girls (emphasis on boys) needed single sex camps and got very upset when the staff's girl friends and sisters came to pick them up on their days off and did not promptly leave. It was only after his death that the concept of coed campers was introduced. He would have looked over his glasses, puffed on his cigarette and made it clear that he was unhappy if he had had the opportunity to express an opinion. This may be why the Newton YMCA Board of Directors waited until he was dead before considering this move. The two sessions were four weeks each (sorry John Knowles you may have only wished the sessions were two weeks long). We had use of outhouses (which got ripe as the season progressed), bathed in the Lake which could be cold on a Sunday morning, and washed using cold water at the wash stands. The food at best was only passable and lacked in taste and appeal. How many people remember a visit to Coach Fisher's cabin to have your transgressions reviewed for you and corrected? The Senior unit consisted of tents on raised floors and you had to stay away from the flaps on a rainy day or you could get quite wet. The ultimate goal was to be in Tent 1 or maybe 2. If you were REALLY lucky you got to be a waiter at one of the tables occupied by Doc Simmons and the Unit Heads. You got better food and did not have a counselor trying to get you to eat the usual food.

submitted on July 27, 2010 at 8:44am
name: James Frutkin
email address:
In response to David Shapiro’s quest for a family record: I attended from 1961-1969 and was a counselor 1970 and 1971. I have 2 brothers who covered stints between 1963 and 1971. I enjoyed your recollections and perspective. The plaque race, legend of crazy dan, candlelight ceremony, father’s weekend, inspection!,”pink eye” epidemics spread by sharing comic books and a life run by bugle calls afforded me the opportunity to learn about myself (not sure I appreciated it at the time). Looking back – the fact that virtually no one was referred to by their real name- earned nicknames were the rule- signified the bonds that we developed with each other. I remember my first summer- my dad was waiting to speak with Doc to see how I was doing. Doc was talking to another Dad who was saying “my son needs this and that”- Doc’s response: “Your son needs a kick in the arse”. He may have been set in his ways and he sure had some expressions: : “Quiet- or in boy language SHUT UP!”- But there was merit to his thinking . I have always been grateful for the experience. James Frutkin, VP Clinical Services ServiceNet Inc. 131 King St. Northampton, Ma. 01060 413.582.9507 (voice) 413.582.4252 (fax)