Forest Lake Camp 2015 Alumni Reunion Weekend

It truly was a weekend to remember. Thanks to all the alumni who returned to FLC to celebrate the 90th summer of Boys’ Camp and the 25th Anniversary of Girls’ Camp on September 18th-2oth 2015. It was so wonderful to connect, share in memories and enjoy a weekend at camp together. We hope you enjoyed your return to camp as much as we enjoyed welcoming you back. We look forward to having more alumni gatherings in the near future. Remember that you always have a home away from home in the Adirondack Mountains! Please enjoy the pictures and reflections below from those alum who attended. If you aren’t a part of our alumni network, please take a moment to register today – and receive updates and monthly newsletters from FLC.

Register and join The FLC Network: https://forestlake.campintouch.com/v2/alumni/register.aspx

2015 Alumni Weekend -SD (480p) from Forestlakecamp on Vimeo.

Thanks to Alum, Jason Potterton for photos

“I arrived in time for the photo session and the announcement of afternoon activities.  Among the Seniors, almost everyone was recognizable by face or by name.  It is astonishing how a bond can survive in suspension for over 50 years and you can then sit down with an almost-total stranger and start talking on an almost-best-friend basis.  But after the warm drive up the Thruway and my initial meets-and-greets under full afternoon sun, I was ready to go down to the waterfront for some liquid refreshment.  Memories were swirling around my head, thick as gnats, and I heard the skeet-shooting, my afternoon activity of choice, commence behind Cabin 9.  When it became clear that I was trying to out-run the day, I remembered that “it’s the journey, not the destination.”  On the road to the waterfront, I downshifted my feet to first gear but the memory motor was still racing. Looking deep into the woods which brought H. T. Confer here 90 years ago, I noticed that some things were growing, some were dying, and some just flapping in the breeze.   I threw desire to the wind – the forest has been watching us carrying on for years.  I felt reassured that there is plenty here to go around.  

It would have been unimaginable on my last night as a camper in Swift Arrow to think that 55 years and one month later I would be sleeping in my same bunk, and that Bob “the Director” Blanck and John “I haven’t thrown an honest punch in decades”  Rousseau would be sleeping in their same counselor beds. In fact, Cabin 3 housed all of the 50’s/60’s alumni warriors with a minimum of pushing or whining.  I used the Indian stealth walk while sneaking to the bathroom and did not elicit a single snort from this cabin full of snoring old men.

After most of the alumni had cleared out, I sat in Gary’s enormous Adirondack chair overlooking the empty softball field, letting the late morning sun burn away the opaque layers that have been obscuring my days as a camper.  Now, maybe I had been in the sun a little too long, but I think I saw Bob Blanck’s granddaughters and their dog leave the tennis courts and start crossing the field, randomly dragging, pushing, crying out, tumbling, laughing, and carrying one another in a lazy progression up toward one of the cabins.  After about 10 minutes they made the return trip in exactly the same fashion. There it was: the unalloyed summer camp experience!   I asked Lilly to sign me up for an 8-week session but she checked her books and said that nothing was available until June 2016″.Steve Tilden

 

 It is surprising how moving it is to see people you have not seen for 60 years who you first knew when you were eight.
Too bad Gary Baerenklau, Jay Cawley, and Jerry Schwartz did not show.
Forest Lake is special not only because how good my time was there but also because it is an experience shared by both my father and sons.
It was well before the reunion but years after leaving camp that it came to me that a number of the counselors may have liked me but it wasn’t because some called me “super.” Leo “Buzzy” Fishel

The huge changes at FLC hit me at the Confer Pavilion dedication gathering. The changes – girls, cabins on each end of the Craft Shop, the climbing wall, the girl’s office built on the junior camp shower house, the new cabin (8) next to what was CIT’s 4J & 5J, the girl’s dining hall addition, the elimination of the upper and lower camp’s flag poles, and the Confer home across from the Lodge. The 2015 reunion for me was to have a final meal in the old Mess Hall and look at all the Red & Blue plaques still hanging there. I made all the ones from 1959.**I photographed the campus and sent them onto a former camper, my brother Joseph, whose son also attended FLC.Jorge Batlle 1949 to 1959

I have to admit feeling a bit like a ghost at the outset, wandering around old haunts, but being together with the older and younger generations soon made me feel more like part of a living continuity.  And the landscape endures – the lake, the surrounding hills, the night sky – at some moments the years seem like a minute passed.  Seeing the oldest camp brochures gave me a goal for 100th Anniversary campfire – to sing “Home on the Range” like they did the first years the camp was open.   The camp is in good hands and I’m certainly happy to feel part of it still Mike Moran