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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Welcome Back to Camp Robin Hood

welcome-back

Remember the sight of the early morning mist setting on Lake Ossipee right beneath the rising sun, the smell of the pine trees wafting through the air, the feeling of the cool water on your skin as you swam your 16 laps, the singing of the goodnight song just at the day’s end?

In the beautiful wilderness of Freedom, New Hampshire just minutes from the White Mountain National Forest, Robin Hood sits, a location treasured with decades of memories. Spirit and energy traveling through camp at each flagpole rising and green and white break. And as the sun sets down on the lake like fire, you head back to your cabin for one last night with friends, for one last laugh, for one last memory. Welcome back to camp.

Eighty-seven years ago Andy Friedman committed to the mission of overnight camp, which was created to fill the need of moving kids away from the city, away from disease, and away from the heat and provide them a safe summer home. Although this was the initial purpose of summer camp, Robin Hood now strives to fill a need of getting children away from screens, getting them outdoors and away from pressures and tensions that exist in everyday life. As each summer passes, our campers grow into responsible, independent, hard-working young individuals.

We feel so lucky to be the caretakers of this magical place, but it’s YOUR home. We want to stay in contact with you! Please inform us of any big news in your life such as marriages, babies, or even new jobs. Our hope is to keep you up-to-date about what’s currently happening at camp, but also to bring the Robin Hood community closer together.

Woody, Dc, and Sol

Let us fill you in on what has been going on at the Realm!

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GIRLS!
In 1987, Robin Hood expanded its camping grounds to include both boys and girls. That’s right, GIRLS! What started out as a few female campers has turned into eight groups of fantastic girls. While the daily activities are split between boys and girls, all campers enjoy eating meals in the dining hall together and occasionally sharing the playhouse for all camp evening activities.

Diversity
The makeup of our campers is truly diverse. A majority of the campers come from all over the United States. However, we have an increasing number of campers that fly all the way from Kuwait, Canada, China, Europe, Nigeria and Japan! It is exciting to see campers form such strong relationships with people from all over the world.

Dining Hall
In March 2008, the Dining Hall collapsed due to heavy snow. As the police were closing off the condemned building, Chuck Illig, who will now be entering his 49th summer at camp, sprinted past them and saved the green and white flags. Due to this unfortunate event, a new Dining Hall that seats up to 500 people was opened in the summer of 2009. Thanks to Chuck, the historical green and white flags are now hanging proudly in the new facility.

Indoor Playhouse
In 2008, the Indoor Playhouse was built. This 600-person stand-alone playhouse is positioned next to the tennis courts and is a central location for many camp activities. You will find campers in the playhouse for special evening programs such as So You Think You Can Dance and the Camper Talent Show. The playhouse also houses our drama and dance program during the day and is turned into a basketball arena on rainy days.

A Note from Chuck Illig

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There are some of you who are reading this that knew Andy Friedman, founder of Robin Hood. It was his dream to run a boys camp and this is what he lived. We who knew him, worked for him or were his campers, are very lucky as he was that special person one admires and never forgets. But even those that didn’t get the opportunity to know him still are touched by him as your association with Robin Hood brings him to you, for he still lives on in its’ traditions.

We are fortunate that all directors since Andy have been deeply associated with camp and while physical structures may have changed over the years, Robin Hood the camp still lives on for all of us to enjoy. My association began in 1965 and it was after that first summer that I knew it was something I wanted to be part of for the rest of my life. What keeps me here?? – There are so many things, but most of all it is the strong friendships formed here each summer in a mere 7 weeks. My favorite part of each summer, beyond the first day of camp and the arrival of our campers, are the visits of alumni throughout the summer; many of which were campers! Parents Visiting Weekend, Green & White Judges and lots of alums in the area stopping by for a visit, the place they still love and had memories of a lifetime formed here. They all come walking through the bunks, browsing through yearbooks, sitting by the lake looking across at the White Mountains, and inhaling the smell of the pine trees they remember from their camper days; then perhaps joining us for a meal in our dining hall and having the welcome song sung to them. At this point in my Robin Hood career I have many sons and daughters of my former campers here. It is my privilege to look after them! I look forward to grandchildren of theirs coming and hopefully I’ll still be here, but for sure Robin Hood will be. “Come round any old time” and visit us!

A note from Jackie (Pelton) Hoglund, a member of Robin Hood’s first girls group

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Greetings Robin Hood Alumni – It’s hard to believe that 27 years have passed since my first summer as an “official” Robin Hood camper, and the first summer of Robin Hood Sports for Girls. Many of you know that my years at Robin Hood actually began even earlier, as the daughter of a camp doctor I have spent summers in Freedom, NH since I was 2. My brother, Erik, started at Robin Hood when he was 6 and my sister and I at Hiawatha (Robin Hood’s sister camp for many summers) when we were 7.

I have so many fond memories of Robin Hood. In some ways, I feel my experience was unique. I started so young and built relationships with many campers and counselors over the years. I returned summer after summer until I graduated college and needed a real job (but not before I was a Green & White captain, of course!). I continued to return as a judge, and also to visit as my parents continued to keep a vacation home in the area.

When DC and Woody took over as owners/directors, I was thrilled they asked me to come spend 3 summers with them as the Waterfront Director. Many counselors and group leaders during those three years (2003-2005) had been TPJs and Tumblers/Jesters when I was a Group Leader and Green Team Captain. Now, I come back to visit often (bringing my children to see what camp is all about) and some of the current Group Leaders were junior campers when I ran the waterfront. It is the never ending cycle of camp friendships – I was a counselor for many campers whose parents I interacted with when I was a young child at Robin Hood; and I fully expect some of these campers to soon be counselors to my 3 children.

There are lots of camps to choose from, when I think about sending my own children to camp. But for my husband Brad (who was known for visiting on weekends when I ran the waterfront) and I, we can’t imagine sending our children anywhere else. My parents STILL keep a vacation home close-by, we want a camp where our children will be together (we have 2 girls and a boy, including boy/girl twins), and we know they will shine in their own right. Besides, they’ve already experienced Cozy Corner, Pizza Barn, Freedom Old Home Week and so much more!

I am really looking forward to bringing Ellie (6) and Tessa & Drew (2 1/2) to Family Camp/9th week this August, and I hope you’ll consider joining us! We can’t wait for campfires on the beach, island swims, the “magic in the trees” and enjoying the sandy beach on the shores of Lake Ossippee, it’s just the introduction our children need to the true Robin Hood camp experience.

– Jackie (Pelton) Hoglund,  RH 1987-1997, 2003-2005

Rachel Podl, 13, sat down with her grandfather who shared with us some Robin Hood history

71-years

My grandfather’s first summer at Camp Robin Hood was in 1943 when he was 14. Though many things about camp have changed, whenever he goes back, he can still remember his many summers very clearly and fondly. As Andy Friedman’s nephew and the first cousin of Miles, Drew and Major (Andy’s children), my grandfather came to be known at camp as “Stanley Brown Friedman.” Before he went to camp he had only played team sports, so he loved all the new activities that were available at camp. For example, he went on a boat for the very first time. World War II was going on when he was a camper and because there was a shortage of gasoline, all of the boys biked out to local farms to help pick crops. He also competed against other camps, like West End, whom we still play today. After winning the Big Cup in 1945, Stanley returned back to camp in 1947 to be a counselor. The year that camp burned down, my grandfather went early to camp and spent his time replanting trees and cleaning up camp so that it could open that summer. With the locals’ help, Camp Robin Hood reopened for the summer of 1948. He continued to work there until 1951, when he went into the Air Force. Upon his return from the service in 1957, he attended dental school during the school year and worked at camp in the summers until he graduated, bringing along my grandmother, who worked as Duff’s assistant. All of my grandparents’ sons attended Robin Hood (their daughter – my mom — went to Hiawatha), and my Uncle Steve won the Big Cup when he was 14. Then, my grandparents came along with us to Family Camp in 2005 and have visited my brothers and I while we’re at camp. Meanwhile, my brother Matthew won the Big Cup in 2011, making three generations of Master Campers! My grandfather could have gone on for hours telling me stories about being a camper and counselor at Robin Hood. I can really tell he meant it when said, “I love camp; I really do.”