Friday, April 18, 2014


Below is a photo of Cherokee Village in 1975 or '74. When the number of girls enrolled as campers boomed in the early 1970s, Halbe Brown asked the seasonal director team how they could accommodate the increased numbers. The response was to create a new village for the oldest girls. Tacoma had been the oldest village since the beginning of girls' camp. Now "Cherokee" would be the oldest. But where to house them? The boys CITs were now in Hayden, since its renovation in 1968 or '69; the girls CITs were traditionally in Turrell Lodge. Pigeon Lodge was used for staff housing upstairs and the Staff Lounge downstairs. That left Biscuit Lodge, so the oldest girls moved in there. The then-new Tokyo YMCA partnership in a few years (early 1980s) moved into Pigeon and Biscuit, so eventually the oldest girls village had to move again. I created "Windsong" village in 1983 (and two years later, "Quinnipiac" in 1985 in Hird Lodge). "Windsong" moved into Turrell and was there for some years until Kresge was built in the '90s. In between "Cherokee" and the making of "Windsong" there were a few summers of "Sunburst" village, living in odd spots around camp; one summer "Sunburst" even lived in a few platform tents set up at the edge of the woods behind the Ad Office! They used the Ad office bathroom for showering!

But Cherokee was not a success. The camps were still divided by boys and girls. The oldest girls couldn't be expected to walk all the way across campus for meals in the girls' dining hall (now Geyer Hall). And there wasn't room there for more than the four original villages: Pokey, Susky, Sacky and Tacoma. So Cherokee ate in the boys' dining hall, in the back room ("Hemlock Lounge"). It means, let's just say, that they received a great deal of attention from the boys in the oldest villages, creating some rivalries with Tacoma and even Sacky. In Hemlock Lounge they ate with the program staff and administrative staff, and that wasn't a good fit either. Still, it was a few years of interesting experiment, and I'm sure that those who came through Cherokee on their way to CIT remember the experience fondly.