Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Charles River Tent Flaps: The First Ten Years … Introduction

In the summer of 1979, the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts published a volume to commemorate a decade of providing a summer arts experience for children aged 8 to 15.

Writing Department counselor David Downing compiled and edited “Charles River Tent Flaps: The First Ten Years”, a collection of quotes drawn from interviews with CRCAP staff and articles from the camp’s daily newspaper. The title recognized the tenth anniversary of the summer arts program, cheekily supposing that there would be more summers to follow. One wonders if anyone anticipated four more decades…

So, we’re pleased to be presenting “Tent Flaps”, a year at a time, from 1970 through 1979. A new segment will be posted every few days between now and CRCAP’s 50th-anniversary celebration on July 13 – in the spirit of “you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you came from”.

= = = =

The Calm Before the Storm: Thoughts During Staff Orientation

I thought of all that had happened and all that had changed in the past year, yet how this place remained rather constant – and timeless.”


Sat on the top level of fire escape … multi-media sound/light/senses/corrugated seat – Al talking in the Art Room – disembodied radio – sun, Andy’s camera click – no flag on flagpole – Coca Cola – the tent – stage coming to life with favorite friends scaling the heights … a setter … is he a sandwich eater? – storing up energy – distance before close-up, intense personal involvement – excitement, rewards, hazards, fulfillment, etc. ahead.”


Who would I get to know, who would fade away at the end of the summer? In the end it came down to that I was going to be related to everyone at this camp by the end of the summer.”


I was sad that last summer was over and would never happen again but I was also glad that I now have an opportunity to start fresh. I was also glad to see a number of familiar names in the camper list.”


Uncommonly dirty for a kitchen. Plenty of ice tea mix for summer, stale roll and turned-brown broccoli, looks disgusting. The kitchen made me realize that it is not only ‘arts’ that make the camp run. Rather, a combined effort from varying sources. Rather hot, would not like to work all summer in there. Felt sorry for whoever does.”


The usual insecure feeling of can the old creative juices run again? Will the energy be there?”


Walked out to the stage and sat there by the lighting booth.

-How beautiful to be outside.

-Thought about past shows – all the kids who’ve been on that stage and love it.

-I love that spot (stage).

-I probably won’t have another peaceful moment like this until the end of the summer and then I might get a chance to sit out here – but it’ll be with different emotions.

Walking Back – talked with Susie C. about work to do – lots – But what fun it’ll be – I can’t wait until Monday…”

June 1, 2019 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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