Tyrole Camp, circa 1964

I was sorting through an under-the-bed chest and came across a box of camp mementos….

Do you recall making vinyl lanyards? I remember the smell of the arts and crafts barn where we created baked enamel pins and woven pot holders (ah, the ubiquitous woven pot holders). There were ceramic ashtrays, pine bird feeders; paint and glue, clay and freshly-cut wood…

The dining hall — hammered-tin pitchers and cream-colored plastic dishes. The strong, rusty odor of the mineral-laden water. The noise of everyone talking at once. How about the smell of wet, rubber bathing caps? Or the heat from an army blanket on a bunk bed on a sweltering summer afternoon? Anyone remember Fizzies bubbling up your nose?

Campfires at night. Sparks from the burning logs. Whispered secrets in the circle. Familiar songs played by almost a dozen guitars…

By far, the most enduring scent memory for me is the one I encountered on a dirt path that led to the bunk houses. It was a rich, green smell that must’ve come from a certain tree or bush, but I never knew which one. It just “smelled like camp”. Do you know that smell?
Do you have any special memories of summer camp?

5 Responses to "It Smells Like Summer Camp"

  1. colleen

    March 26, 2008

    With nine kids we only ever saw camp in the movies. I might have missed all those good camp songs but I know a lot of good jump rope ones.

  2. sunny

    March 26, 2008

    Yeah, I’m sure you have me beat on those. The only jump rope song — actually the only part of a jump rope song I recall — is the one with all the months in it. 😉

  3. Harriet

    June 12, 2008

    OK I was looking into camps for my two little guys and decided to google “Tyrole.”

    Your memories are wonderful. Mom (Sandy) and Aunt Marion (Mrs. Sanborn) were alway touched when campers reached out to send a ‘hello”.

    I totally forgot about the baked enamel pins but as soon as I read that I smelled it and immediately envisioned the one I made. (Where is that pin?) Although I remember the lanyard I forget how to start and finish the box stitch. I remember the smell of making the candles in the arts and craft’s barn.

    I loved the old farmhouse with it’s Ben Franklin Stove and Mom’s bell to run camp with. Ms. Evey’s cooking in the summer, and the fireplace and piano in the building where plays took place. Off season I used to love playing dressing up with all the costumes. Sunday vespers on the lake was another favorite memory…..OMG I could go on.

    Even though I have alot of the paperwork, movies and slides for Tyrole I find it hard to review them for many reasons. But at this moment I feel as if I could begin to look at treasure chest of fond memories.

    I took my family to 19 Still Road, Oxford and it was bizarre. To describe camp to them where everything was…mmmmmmm.

    Thank you for the flood of memories that will always be cherished.


    PS I still have my suspenders with their awards on them.

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