Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Summer Camp

As you may or may not know, there is a trend on the various social media sites to post photos from the past (either recent or many years ago, your choice) on Thursdays under the name of "Throwback Thursdays".  I thought I'd play along this week, as I've been thinking about the first "sleepaway" camp I ever attended, way back in 1971.

I started remembering my time at this camp last weekend, when my mother brought a small box of promotional buttons up to the cottage. You know the kind, the ones people used to wear on their lapels with sayings such as "Vote for ___" to denote who your favourite politician was, or "Kiss me, I'm German" which was an important fashion accessory if you were going to be attending an Oktoberfest party.

I pulled out this button
and it took a minute for me to remember where it was from and what it meant.  Colline aux Nuages ("Cloud Hill" in French) was a French camp I attended in 1971; "l'artisinat" means "crafts". Presumably it was a badge to signify that I had completed something (I have a vague recollection of macrame), like we used to get in Girl Guides, only it was a metal button instead of a piece of embroidered fabric.

When I Googled the name of the camp, pretty much all I could find was this advertisement which appeared in the Montreal Gazette in 1974.  It seems strange that no other information is available but then again, it was almost 20 years before the Internet appeared.

I would have been nine years old in the summer of 1971 and I went with one of my best friends, Ruth. I can't remember if we went for 2 weeks or a month. Either way, it seems like we were pretty young to be sent off on our own to a place where they made us speak only French for much of the time. At that age, we hadn't even taken French in school (that didn't happen until high school - oops, no, make that grade 7, as Mary Beth has reminded me that's when we started to learn the adventures of Pitou!) so it was learn as you go. I remember having to figure out how to ask someone to pass the butter at meal times but that's about all I remember, so I don't think it ended up being too much of a hardship.

My mom and dad drove us to the camp, which was located somewhere in the Province of Quebec. Here's a picture which I believe is from the day they dropped us off:
Can't believe how long my hair was back then!  I remember we slept in that canvas tent and were visited by a raccoon one night, who came in search of the bag of plums that Ruth had.

What were you doing in the summer of 1971??

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