Dining Hall, Camp Oh-Neh-Tah

Oh-Neh-Tah vs. The Valley Camps

Reni Blue Spruce


There were some major differences between our camp & all the rest.

To start with, we were on the bus twice as long & our ears popped a lot. If this was your 1st time to camp you really felt like you were very very far from home. I think that's why we didn't have too many attempts to run away, it just wasn't worth the trouble. We all know that Oh-Neh-Tah was owned by the GVF while the other camps were leased & that we were the biggest camp both acreage wise as well as our number capacity. We had mountains while you had hills. You had poison ivy & rattlesnakes & we didn't. Your lakes were clear & you could see the bottom while our lake was brown & slimy - try getting kids to swim in that. We had glass windows on the cabins, you didn't. You had 3 blankets on your beds while we had 4 & I can bet that most mornings you didn't have to wear mittens & a winter coat to flag rising! Your latrines also didn't smell as bad - you had some sort of liquid chemical that ours didn't have. I think we were majorly deprived of BOYS - the chances of us running into a male were slight if not nonexistent. If you had a summer romance in the valley then all you had to do was make a local call while we had to spend massive amounts on a long distance call. Yes we had the Police Anchor Camp down the road but their counselors were about 14. years old. Imagine our version of going to a social: get in a car after taps for at least 90 minutes, arrive at said destination of Orenda, Kiwago, Sebago or Lanowa at 10:30 (that's if we didn't get lost finding Sebago or Lanowa), stay for a few hours & be home around 2:00. Then we'd have to get up at 7:40 (5 minutes before flag raising) & work a full day. We did have a few more watering holes than just your Murray's. We had Point Lookout, Windham Mountain Inn and The Klondike. We also had Hunter Mountain who hosted the Polka & German Fests. I remember 1 summer when some counselors went to the German fest & since one of the foreign counselors was German, was able to strike up a conversation with one of the bands who spoke no English. It was a rainy day at camp & this German band came to play in the dining hall for the afternoon's activity & entertained us all. Then there was All Day Program. We could only send about 20 people so it was quite an honor to be picked to go. I know the Valley camps had the brunt of the day's organization for the event but Oh-Neh-Tah's contribution was to silkscreen all those scarves! I just remember Connie & I being holed up in the Lodge's Loft for at least a week, cutting the material, drawing the design, making the stencil, putting it on the screen then add the paint, squeegee, hang to dry & clean up the mess. Those scarves were everywhere. Working conditions weren't all that great because by the afternoon the loft was stifling hot with no ventilation & we were working with toxic adhering fluid so I'm sure more than a few brain cells were sacrificed for our efforts. In any event, we didn't have many distractions so we truly were able to just enjoy the total camp experience.


August 2006

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