Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum

 

Diary Of A Girl Scout Camper At Camp Andree Clark 1928

 





INTRODUCTION TO:

RUTH ALDEN CLARK’S CAMP ANDREE DIARY ENTRIES

 

HELLO!

 

My name is Susan McLean, and I recently discovered (while typing out the entries in my Mom’s 1928 Diary) that the Girl Scout Camp adventures she had often mentioned enjoying as a teen had most likely taken place at Camp Andree Clark. Since the only diary entry mentioning the name of the camp was difficult to decipher- (I’d thought at first reading that the name was ‘Camp Andsee’)-  and since I could not find a camp by that name in the Boston area (where I’d mistakenly imagined it to be), I had to do a bit of on-line ‘sleuthing’. Eventually the diary entries citing place names such as ‘Ossining’ and ‘Macy’ (and Grand Central Station!) led me to widen my search for the camp’s location, and as soon as I came across the name “Camp Andree Clark” , and checked to make sure the camp had been in existence in 1928, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

 

In the course of my on-line search, I encountered Michael Bowman, who was helpful in steering me toward discovery of the correct camp location. Mr. Bowman was also kind enough to indicate an interest in reading, then posting on-line the diary entries pertaining to life at Camp Andree as seen through the eyes of a 1928 camper!

 

My mother, Ruth Alden Clark, and her best friend Jeanne Claire Bowman (or Jean Clare as I have seen her name spelled elsewhere outside the diary pages) knew each other growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in the town of Marquette. Jeanne was an only child and my mother had no sisters (3 younger brothers), so the two girls were accustomed to spending much of their social and free time together. Jeanne’s father was James Cloyd Bowman, an author of several books for youth (including one called Mystery Mountain which he dedicated to my Mom and his daughter). Mr. Bowman was a professor teaching at the Normal Teacher’s College (which later became Northern Michigan University) when the two girls first met and became fast friends.

 

When the Bowman family moved away from Marquette, MI to Boston for a sabbatical year, Ruth and Jeanne corresponded frequently, and their families arranged for the girls to be reunited and to attend 6 weeks or so of Girl Scout camp together during the summer of 1928.  At the age of 15, Ruth traveled (apparently solo) by train from Marquette to meet the Bowman’s in the Boston area.  From there the two girls {and their considerable luggage!} traveled by train to Grand Central Station in New York City, and then on to Camp Andree Clark.

 

At the end of their stay at Camp Andree the girls joined the Bowman parents for a visit on a farm in Maine, and then the two girls traveled on together by train via Montreal, Quebec and Sault Sainte Marie (“The Soo”) on their way back to Marquette.  Jeanne’s parents returned to Marquette shortly after the girls arrived there and the girls spent some time at the  Middle Island Point Bowman and Clark family ‘camps’ in the Marquette area before school resumed. By the time they attended the first football game of the fall season, life as the girls had known it before their grand adventures of the summer of ‘28 had returned to more normal patterns.

 

I’m so glad to think that Ruth and her friend Jeanne were able to enjoy these Girl Scout camping experiences together- and that they had such fine travel adventures to look back upon fondly in the years to come. Their close and sisterly friendship endured until Jeanne’s premature death about 10 years after the girls had shared their summer adventure at Camp Andree.


RUTH ALDEN CLARK’S DIARY 1928-1930

 

JULY 1

 

SUN 1928- . Were going to church but didn’t have enough packing done. We’d been spending all morning mending and doing everything we shouldn’t be on a Sunday. Got a little dressed up in the afternoon and went to the drug store and bought consid’ble odds and ends. Had a long visit with girl across the street mostly about her dog. Finally by 10:30 turned in.

 

 

JULY 2

 

MON 1928-  Got up at 4 o’ clock but didn’t go in to wish Emily a pleasant summer with painters. Rode and rode as it got hotter and hotter. Finally arrived at 1:45. Pretty place but J. and I were not put together. Aunt Jess said we could change tho. Went the rounds with Captain  Kay. Had a most terrible time getting baggage . Well- Camp Andree- at which I am to spend 7 weeks- I like you.

 

JULY 3

 

TUES 1928-  Got a little more in general routine. Elected Jackie patrol leader. Had swimming try out. Was dishwasher so I couldn’t go to canteen. Had campfire down the hill and each patrol gave something. Jackie read a letter to Pete Pan.

 

JULY 4

 

WED 1928-  The 4th & one quite different from all others! We had a troop meeting and played games and made our Peter Pan hats. There was a band meet which we did not enter. Too hot! Watched the water meet and wrote letters with Jeanne. Went back up the hill just as a storm came up to  put down tent flaps, etc.  Ate in Kismet, went canoeing, then campfire.

 

 

 

 

JULY 5

 

THU 1928-  Went to handcraft.. Miss  camp. Slightly nervous & cranky but many wonderful things to make. Started back early to cook.

 

JULY 6

 

FRI 1928-  Princess Tiata (?) in her Indian costume  gave legends and stories at campfire.

 

JULY 7

 

SAT 1928- Visitors day- not much to do. We sat around in P.M. again writing letters and then had community supper and troop plays after supper. I was Liza the  Darling’s nurse & Jeanne was gypsie queen.

 

 

JULY 8

 

SUN 1928  After breakfast I got ready for church. Rushed down and just caught the bus. After getting into church J. and I went back to store to buy pen. Went to Presbyterian. Got ice cream cones after. Had Scouts Own at cathedral.

 

 

JULY 15

 

SUN 1928- Got up at 5:45 & prepared to go to church. Started in bus  with J. to Episcopal church . Zim? and Merlin? were also going. Got there much too early. Went to drug? places which were closed and back to church. Holy Communion! None of us Episc. Awful time and also funny. Got magazines. All had feast on figs for tomorrow. Went to Macy for Scouts Own. Had two plays for us. One- Moses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULY 16

 

MON  1928-  Classes started again. Handcraft was the same. Took archery in P. M.  Scorching hot day to shoot out in field, but I hit Bull’s eye (because I aimed at another target!) Left early. Had to cook potatoes for salad.

 

JULY 17

 

TUES 1928- Started some belts in handcr. Good looking. Kay was on her day off- no archery. There was Kid’s party in evening.

 

JULY 22

 

SUN 1928-  Was signed up for church but did not go.

 

 

JULY 24

 

TUES 1928-  Was a cook. We had visitors from Robins and huge breakf to  cook but weren’t very late. Didn’t go to class but started letter home and started dinner. Didn’t feel good in A.M. or evening either. Jeff and I went down to infirmary (!?!) to see if we should go on hike. Sue said she’d see. We skipped campfire. Went to cabin.

 

 

JULY 25

 

WED 1928-  Troop meeting. We discussed our overnite hike and learned some songs to sing and played games. Didn’t go to archery but looked all over for pansys. Found one last minute. Had to do dishes, fix bed + everything all at once. Kay wanted me to hurry and I didn’t feel good. We started out little after six- very fast. Dot hurt foot so J., Dot & I lagged behind. Collected food, made beds, fixed m. netting, had “some mores”, sang old songs & crawled into bed. Wonderful night.

 

 

 

JULY 26

 

THU 1928-  Rose at 4:30. J. & I had our watch and made breakfast. Hiked home. Started tray in Hamdcraft. Got 5 letters, one containing $45 for board which I paid. Went over again to Hdcr & almost finished tray.  Had Col. Of Awards and our ceremony in  G. S. cabin afterward at which I read camp log, passed fudge and all sang. Overnite Hike Song made quite a hit with everyone.

 

JULY 27

 

FRI 1928-  Last day for 2nd 2 wks. Duke went home.  J. & I packed our things and moved down to Gypsies. Took shower. Were almost late for lunch. Nice girls in our tent- Muriel and Barbara. Spent most of P.M. getting settled. A girl from Gypsy Rest cooked our supper. Was volunteer K.P.  At campfire we introduced selves.

 

 

JULY 28

 

SAT 1928-  J. & I were K. P. Not so bad. Down here everyone washes own dishes. Had meeting in cabin to practice and explain things. Went to Handcraft with Mercedes. Got suede for blue belt. She gave me bag to finish etc.  Practiced stunt after rest hr. & after community supper. Had Evolution Of Camp Fire- Cavemen(?), Gypsies; Indians; Pilgrims & 49ers.

 

 

JULY 29

 

SUN 1928- Pressed J’s & my G. S. dresses for church. Cleaned canteen and dressed for church. A whole gang of us went to Christian Science to see what it was like. J. & I sat in front row. It wasn’t as queer & hard to follow as Episc.  Took shower, washed clothes and worked on  bag for most of afternoon. Scouts Own in evening. Bundy pressed her bloomers for me & asked me to give them back so she could press them better. Was so surprised!

 

 

JULY 30

 

MON 1928-  Was cook with Jeanne. Had to chop a lot of wood. Went to Life Saving- like it pretty well. Bundy taught me breast stroke. Started flowers. Had supper hrs early as the patrol went on 2-overnite hike. We went canoeing and on tour of camp to show new girls. Terrible unearthly howl or screech after Taps.

 

JULY 31

 

TUES 1928-  Found out that the noise last night was a screech owl. Had quite a laugh over it w/ Maxine. Went to Life Saving- got behind, awfully hard! Wrote letter during rest hr. Worked till six on flowers after going to Innisfree Campfire at Theatre. Dramatic Club gave plays- awfully good- especially the one about Benjamin . Mary Jane, Barb & I got up after Taps to put dishes away & get drink.

RUTH ALDEN CLARK’S DIARY 1928-1930

 

AUGUST 1

 

WED 1928-  Was extra girl. Wrote letter. Troop meeting & no Life Saving!! Went out with Pam, Muriel, etc. to lay trail for dinner hike. It rained and the rest didn’t start out so we had to come back.

 

 

AUGUST 2

 

THU 1928-  Life Saving again- awfully hard- studied breaks and respiration. Went with Flowers in P. M. and worked out under big tree writing up flowers. Was going to swim with Dot H. but couldn’t find her. Worked till 6 P. M. on flowers.

 

 

AUGUST 3

 

FRI 1928-  Terribly hot. At 10 o’clock we all had to go down to Kismet in middies and pleats to have pictures taken. Baked all morning. Pictures weren’t taken till about 11:30. Went up hill for dinner and had to go back at 2. Took picture of us running to campfire yelling! with ball and singing songs at campfire. Had rest hour from 3:30 to 4. Went in swimming with Dot H. She helped me practice Life Saving.

 

AUGUST 4

 

SAT 1928-  Didn’t go to Life Saving. We died our bandannas. Then J. & I went to see Aunt Jess about going to Maine, leaving, etc.  Then I went to Handcraft. Awful rainstorm in P. M. Couldn’t hear whistles to relay. Were supposed to have Campfire at Pancho Playhouse . Macy was over but it rained again & we had it in our cabin. Knights, Inisfree & Macy visited us. Miss Schvottsky told us two lovely fairy tales. Dot & I talked till almost Taps. After Taps we ate Peanut Crackle mother sent.

 

(NOTE-  Macy,  Knights, etc seem to be names of other scout clusters or units at the camp. Kismet, Pancho Playhouse and a few other names seem to refer to locations within camp.  sdm)

 

 

 

AUGUST 5

 

SUN 1928-  Got up early to go to Catholic church. Lewis drove us in. Barb went to Catholic with us. It was quite odd but we could follow what other people did fairly well except concerning collection. We had come in such a hurry we had no time for getting money. Had ride afterward to pass the time waiting for others. Doris explained to us about Catholic church. Washed clothes. Got awful headache. Thought I couldn’t eat dinner but I did. Spent most of P.M. in tent watching visitors. Had Scouts Own.  J. was in it.  (Whenever ‘J’. is mentioned this very likely is  Jeanne Bowman sdm)

 

 

AUGUST 6

 

MON 1928-  Was late to Handcraft. Waited to finish a letter asking for money for trip to Maine. Went on flower hike thru swamp. Got slightly dampish. Had campfire on the lake. Stubby gave instructions on canoeing. I demonstrated strokes with him!! Got giggles in good night circle by road when councillors told about wood pile plan. 

AUGUST 7

 

TUES 1928-  Went over to Handcraft. Got about 4/5 of belt (blue suede) done. Payed for things. Had her cut out bright blue suede purses. Nature in P. M. as usual. Textried to teach us a new song! Had campfire down the hill at Pancho Playhouse. Aunt Jess (Hello Jessica!!) got slightly peeved at us. Several short plays given. Tex tried to teach us a lot of long songs- We sang doodle daddle to one all thru!

 

 

AUGUST 8

 

WED 1928-  Was a cook with Edna. Everything for breakfast had to be cooked but got along O.K. Troop meeting morning. Spent most of A. M. working on a new song. I tried to do Nature in between times. Councillors were away for supper. Other patrol had 1 utensil meal & we were quite wild. Aunt Jess came to campfire- we played some good games  and had ‘some mores’ . Had lots of fun.

 

 

AUGUST 9

 

THU 1928-  Got up early. Tried to clean cabin before brkfast. Finished after. Took Jewel’s cake to kitchen. At 8:45 went to Kismet to work on Flowers. Worked till 12:35!! Rushed up to lunch and back again to finish. Was going to Macy after Rest Hr. but Miss C. not there. Had to go rounds with troop. Gained 10 lbs!! Ironed my middy. After supper was going to pack but Pam  informed me that I must go to Ossining with Lewis to get money at telegraph office. So I did. Back in time for Crt. Of Awards. Made punch after. Had nice party as usual in Gypsy Glen.

  

AUGUST 10

 

FRI 1928-  Eventful day! Got up at 5 o’clock to pack. Had packing done by brkfst. Was K.P. After finishing work got arrayed in Scout suit. Went up to Tip Top and got autographs. Spent most of morning getting them and also pictures. Barb & Muriel expected to go on bus but (their sdm) mother came . Very sorry to leave but had to.  Long trip on bus thru N. Y. but interesting. Refreshed ourselves  <(Jeanne Bowman and Ruth  Clark sdm) in (Girl Scout sdm) Headquarters. Miss Grey- awfully nice- took us to station. Went up to 5th Avenue. Had ice cream. Watched people in Grand Central- boarded train. Cute little dog in baggage car. Sort of nice girl slept in upper berth.

 

 

AUGUST 11

 

SAT 11- Got up at 4:30 thinking it was 5:30 but train was slightly early so we didn’t have long wait in train. Mr. B & Mrs. (Jeanne Bowman’s parents  sdm) met us in new car. Good to see them. Parked to wait till stores opened. Ate little brkft. Then sang our songs to them and showed things made in handcraft. Did a little shopping. Got cloth for shorts & drove to Aunt Jenny’s. Nice place- lovely house, dog. Had a 2 hr. nap in P.M.  after doing dishes. Played croquet. Decided to do all dishes while here.

 

 

AUGUST 12

 

SUN 1928-  Slept kind’a late. Got ready to go on a drive after breakfast. Went to Poland Springs, a  wonderful, magnificent swimming resort. Saw Maine State House, and drank water from the famous spring. Ate our dinner near Tripp Lake where there was a speedboat & numerous people swimming. Stopped  at Quimby’s on our way back. We were so tired, dilapidated, etc. we didn’t want to but Clarence Q. was so nice to us. Took us to Bear Pond and met daughters Betty and Pam.

 

 

 

AUGUST 13

 

MON 1928-  Got up at 5:30. Mrs. B. went to Lewiston. Played croquet and made sun shorts out in yard. Had quite a time with pup. Helped wash clothes. Took nap in P. M.  Played croquet again. Took in clothes. Started to make candy but lost ambition. Played piano most of evening.

 

 

AUGUST 14

 

TUES 1928-  Slept late. Awfully hot- 96 in shade. Took off G.S. uniform and played, jumped in the hay in barn. Then we carried & carried water into the barn (for the horse, like fun) and poured into tubs. Then took our first real bath in 6 weeks in the barn with soap suds galore. We also gave the dog a bath or tried to. Stayed in bed most of P.M/ reading, etc. Then we got up and donned middy and tan bloomers. Played croquet. Dresses came. Then we went for a buggy ride with Bale  <(sp? name of horse? sdm). Loads of fun. Ate supper in yard. Played cards after supper.

 

 

AUGUST 15

 

WED 1928-  Read and wrote 4 letters during the morning. Mrs. B. came back- also Cousin Fred and Mrs. Fessenden. Mrs. B. & Aunt Jenny went to celebration- then Mr. & Mrs. B. went to Lewiston.

 

 

AUGUST 16

 

THU 1928-  Got up early- put water pans on, washed after breakfast- a huge washing. About 1:30 started out in buggy (J. & I perched on the back) to Round Pond. Ate lunch on moss after tying Bale up. Went in swimming with only 3 other girls in. Played cards in suits, got dressed. Drove back Bale got awfully restless tied up & pawed up ground. Played croquet (4 of us). Went star gazing.

AUGUST 17

 

FRI 1928-  Got up early. Sprinkled clothes. Ironed after breakfast. Frank took us out to pick white water lilies. My they were beautiful. Picked things from garden then went to Livermore Falls with Frank. Sat in car and read Stella Dallas. Mr. & Mrs. B. came at noon. Went on another picnic at Round Pond and this time in cars. Went in swimming & washed hair. Crazy boys there who tried to frighten me swimming under me. Played piano for Mr. B. most all evening. Did a lot of packing- duffle bag, etc.

 

 

AUGUST 18

 

SAT 1928-  Didn’t start for Boston as had planned. It was raining. Fixed rooms, packed, etc. Helped Mr. B. pack things. Went to Jay?, long drive in the rain with Frank- heaps of fun. Went to country auction after dinner. Awfully muddy drive. Washed  ca?. Played cards again. Had autographs signed. Went to bed.

 

 

AUGUST 19

 

SUN 1928-  Got up very early. Finished packing and carrying things into car- had breakfast & said goodbye to farm. Had 170 mi. drive- stopped at several beaches. Unpacked things. Went over to Sherman’s Had fun with Arthur.

 

 

AUGUST 20

 

MON 1928-  Got up- naturally, ate breakfast and started for town. Jeanne forgot something and when she went back found Sarah- Lucky Break! Got skirt, hat, sweater, stockings, etc. Had fairly good luck finding things. Came home for lunch. Did some packing. Went back to Central Sq. for a few odds and ends. Walked home with Sarah. Manicured nails, mended after supper, wrote in you, took bath, went to bed.

 

 

AUGUST 21

 

TUES 1928-  Did final packing and got dressed  in traveling clothes to start home. Went to station with our exceedingly large amount of luggage in a taxi.  Got to train half  ?...ly. Station under construction- very stuffy, hot and dirty in coach. Trio of exceedingly silly and giggly women next us. Got to Montreal Station, ate, read, bought a few things, and sent postal to Arthur. Had nice porter on Pullman.

 

 

AUGUST 22

 

WED 1928-  Got up late. Read Mc Call’s all morning. Little boys across from us . One 8 months very cute. Had hot choc & ---(? ) for lunch & bought Mining Journal but not much in it. Entertained boy taking him on porch. Changed trains at Soo. Waited 2 ½ hours at Soo. Junction. Skipped up and down Pullman. Everybody thought we  were crazy. Were people we knew on train. Wee our lunch and finally 2 ½ hrs passed. Got into coach for Marquette , had a sleep then strained eyes for lake. Midnight passes.

 

 

AUGUST 23

 

THU 1928-  Reached home at 12:30- 45 minutes late- was so excited- Conductor thought I’d jump off train. Papa and Alden at station. Mama waiting, Robert and James asleep. Talked and then saw movies. Got to bed at 2 o’ clock. Slept till ten- very anxious to see James. Unpacked rest of morning. Went to camp with Jane, J. & mother (who drove). It looked so wonderful. Played  cards with Jack Paull  <(sp?).

 

AUGUST 24

 

FRI 1928-  Went downtown with J. to get a few things for mother from trip. We were afraid every other person we met would stop to talk to us but we only met one. I had a movie party  for Jeanne’s birthday. R. Brown , Mary, etc. Mother left for Iowa- Boo Hoo!!! I want to go too.

 

 

AUGUST 25

 

SAT 1928-  Stickneys from Ohio here for lunch. Mr. Stickney quite the dickens- told us wild things he did when a boy- putting limburger cheese all over school, etc. Jim Stickney rather nice. Rode with him.

 

 

AUGUST 26

 

SUN 1928-  Went out to camp for dinner. J. &  I walked way over to Longyears! Steered the car in from camp in evening!

 

 

AUGUST 27

 

MON 1928-  Got pajama material. Jeanne and I sewed most of day.

 

 

AUGUST 29

 

WED 1928-  Aunt M. asked us to supper and for the night. 

 

AUGUST 30

 

THU 1928-  Stayed at camp all day sewing, etc. Came in at suppertime. The Nyman’s came to spend night.

 

 

AUGUST 31

 

FRI 1928-  We went up to school to change schedules. Henning was very nice to us. Went to movie- Laura Lablante  <(sp?)- Saw Bud & asked him when Sally left & he said she hadn’t & was coming to town tonight so I called her. She was going to movie so we went again.