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Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Charles River Tent Flaps: “The Next Ten Years?” as Viewed From CRCAP’s Perch in 1979

[“CHARLES RIVER TENT FLAPS – THE FIRST TEN YEARS” is made up of interviews with past and present staff members and campers of the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts and of articles from The Daily Double.” -from “Tent Flaps”, published for the CRCAP tenth-anniversary celebration, summer 1979 (David Downing, editor). Its final page is a curious time capsule, including staff speculation as to where this thing goes from here … having no idea that 10 years of “this thing” would lead to forty more … ]


It depends upon the economy, the gas situation. I mean, Dover’s out in the middle of nowhere. I’d like to see it become a year-round thing.”


Every summer the performances, the quality of work in the class, the staff get better, even if it’s the same people. The kids as a result get better. Each new person who comes to teach will have their own special class that’s something different, like Susie Clifton’s Sign Mime. I think it’s going to progress in that way. What I hope doesn’t happen is that it becomes more specialized; I hope we still get the same kind of kids, some are talented, some are not.”

The thing that’s made it so special is that it’s small. It would be great if it were as small as it is now but it won’t be.”


I think aspects of this program will be big ten years from now, like the Charles River Press. I think that the camp will still exist here but I also believe that there will be affiliates of this program in existence, in the North End, for example. We really need more outreach, more commitment to recruiting minorities. We can’t be an insular community. The lack of public transportation to Dover has been hard on getting a broad base of kids here.

I see perhaps touring companies coming out of here that take our shows to other communities. Maybe even a team of people who work with the schools to integrate the arts into the curriculum.

The arts generally need more professionalism at the management level. Unfortunately, I also think the arts will still be peripheral to society ten years from now.

Finally, I hope we get some better initials.”


There’s the statement that when things get tough the first thing to go is the arts. That’s true in California with Proposition 13. But here you’re talking about economics and government; you’re not talking about people. I think it’s becoming so much more a part of our society and people are being exposed to it so much more. The city’s moving out to the country which is exposing the country to the arts.

It’s not going to be given up; the arts are too much a part of our lives, whether it’s the kid with the music lessons or parents involved in community theatre or the professionals. People are becoming more conscious of the statement it can make.

By the time Bach came around, Europe had existed for 1600 years. There was a whole culture behind Bach. This country’s only existed for 200 years, and with a transplanted culture. It’s going to take time. If it were two Europeans talking, there wouldn’t be any question of the arts surviving. In this country, the problem is that it’s still too young to have a lot of pride in its artists.”

July 12, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Charles River Tent Flaps: 1979

[“CHARLES RIVER TENT FLAPS – THE FIRST TEN YEARS” is made up of interviews with past and present staff members and campers of the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts and of articles from The Daily Double.” -from “Tent Flaps”, published for the CRCAP tenth-anniversary celebration, summer 1979 (David Downing, editor). We begin as CRCAP completes its opening decade, seemingly in a contemplative mood …]



Tom Megan, artist-in-residence … MONOPOLY at the Waterfront Park … Frisbee … Krakowiak Polish Dancers … Brad Jones of The Next Move is our sunshine … Multi-Arts takes on Gauguin painting, “Whence Do We Come, What Are We, Whither Are We Going?” … Junk Food makes it to the big time in FOOD FOR THOUGHT … Dog Dilemma … Juice machines next to The Real Thing … Julie Matthies returns with songs … new courses: Calligraphy, Book Creation and Illustrations, Hot Stage Festival Review … Dougie Petit …



God, give me gas.”


There are a lot of good places to see camp. My favorite place is on the circle of grass by the new building. You can see the Town Hall, the clock, and the pines just to the left of it. You can sit there and crack pine needles between your fingers, talk with your friends, or you can just watch. There’s the four-square game with a long line of kids, kids splashing around in the pool. You can look at the ten stage and see a few kids laughing, talking, or just fooling around on the piano. You can see people at the Snack Bar, in the Art Room, in the Drama Room. Always people in the windows.”

First period you can hear kids practicing show tunes, see the kids rehearsing scenes. Robert [Levine] always transposing all the keys in his head. You can also see the Fencing Class right near the new building going up and back in their stances. Lots of things to hear too. The piano, the scraping of sneakers on the cement in fencing, people laughing and splashing in the pool, the yelling at the four-square court; ‘You’re out!’ ‘No, I’m not!’ The bells in Bellringing, recorders, guitars.”

Second and third you can hear Kippy and all the other kids rehearsing for the play. Lots of times Kippy gets nervous. Then fourth and fifth you hear Pam and all her One-Act kids and she gets nervous. Both of them are always counting down the days ’til the Arts Festival. Sometimes they’re anxious, sometimes they’re secure.”

You can see Nissy riding around on her bike, like a mother watching over her kids, making sure everyone’s having fun.”

You can always smell the hamburgers cooking on the grill when you’re down by the Snack Bar. When it’s sunny, all the counselors sit on the grassy ledge. There’s a Frisbee or volleyball game going on. When it’s raining, the counselors eat in the Counselors Room.”

Camp has changed a lot in ten years. I mean, the place stays the same but the people change. It’s like a ride at a carnival. The camp goes around, different people get on, different people get off. Some people like it so much they stay on.”

Sometimes the wind blows and it cools you right off ’cause you’re sitting in the shade.”

You want to be there with people you like, people you care for, people you know. It’s touched a lot of people. I guess places like that do. I guess they never leave you ’cause you’ve grown so much with it. It’s a place, just a place. But it’s a wonderful place.”

The weeks of the two arts festivals are the two weeks I like the most. Everyone’s excited about the arts festival and musical, but everyone is sad underneath because camp is ending. My friends and I stay through after camp until rehearsal; we go swimming or just ‘bum’ around and eat subs in the town green for dinner.”

Thursday is probably the saddest day of camp. Everyone forgets about the arts festival at least once that day, and they think about the ending of camp. At afternoon announcements on Thursday the Tenny Donnelly Award is given to the nicest, most helpful, kind, etc. camper by the counselors. When the camper accepts the award there are usually tears on her face, and everyone realizes – that camp is over.”

In the finale of the play on Friday night there is so much excitement but once the finale is over and the cast presents have been given out the excitements starts to decrease. When everyone is hugging and congratulating each other the excitement is still there but by the time of the cast party, the excitement has pretty much left and tears fall.”

The cast party is one of the saddest things I’ve known. Only after you’ve been through it can you appreciate it; everyone is saying goodbye to everyone else, but somehow, in some way, it’s the best part of camp. You know something is ending, and you’ll never be able to get it back, so you reach out and grab whatever you can. It’s a time for friends, a time to be together.”



[1] Jackie Megan: “Residue…we will miss you!” … and then he said, ‘Oh, let’s not say ‘Au Revoir’, let’s just say ‘Hors d’oeuvres.’”

[2] Holly Clark: “KADOOKA!!!!!”



It’s nearly Friday and we come now to a close / People feeling bad around, people blowing out their nose

And here’s some suggestions now at the risk of being crude / Here are eight ways to leave your camper:

Blow ’em a kiss, Niss / Try not to sneeze, Louise / Been a great feat, Pete / CRCAP

You have a lot of gall, Holl’ / Great corn-on-the-cob, Rob / Been a great minth, Cynth / CRCAP

July 9, 2019 Posted by | CRCAP | Leave a comment

Charles River Tent Flaps: 1978

[“CHARLES RIVER TENT FLAPS – THE FIRST TEN YEARS” is made up of interviews with past and present staff members and campers of the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts and of articles from The Daily Double.” -from “Tent Flaps”, published for the CRCAP tenth-anniversary celebration, summer 1979 (David Downing, editor). We begin as CRCAP begins to revel in, among other things, creative insult humor …]



Morris dancing … Morris [the advertising cat; look him up, kids] dies … CRCAP invaded by flies … Eli (Joe) baptizes the new amplifier for the electric piano … King Tut … Carrie [Aizley] imitates Kippy, Daniel, and Zachary, all at the same time, during the CIT show … softball games with Camp Unity … I HAVE A DREAM done by Multi-Arts and Camp Unity … Tenny Donnelly Award … incendiary and failed balloon launchings by DD … Ann Brown, artist-in-residence … Holly Clark takes on the lion’s den, the Daily Double … Katchup debuts as THE CRCAP newspaper then retires to once-a-week status … Maureen becomes a TV star on Evening Magazine



When Robbie ate some potato sticks with preservatives. -Quincy Houghton … Having Quincy admit that she liked “Health Food” cake. -Rob Houghton … … Louise, Louie, and Peter doing Monty Python’s Penguin on the TV. – David Blackett … The Jan Curtis concert. -Cynthia … The cake! -Nissy … When the fly paper fell on Neil Deluca’s head. -Dawn … The week Sam Thompson was absent. -Mac (Debra) … When Jackie threw me in the dumpster. -Sarah Katz



ROBIN HOOD needs bows and arrows. Give to Suzanne. … Pool needs white sheets, hula skirts, and ukuleles. … Frank Wood needs a mobile home or a key to his house. … Costume Department needs boy and girl scouts. … Jordie needs someone to fix the timing on her car. … Ann Brown needs a choreographer, a new right knee, and maracas. … Help send a poor photographer to Rome. Buy Andy’s prints. … Color TV for the Counselors Room.



Q: How’s your pinyatta [sic] going? … A: Well, it’s still wavering between being a bird and being a donkey.



NOTE: Please don’t yell and say, “What a stupid paper!” since everything we print is art. Remember that. The Daily Double is art. The Daily Double is art. Repeat that until you believe it.



The dimensions of the cakes are humungus, 2 feet by 1 1/2 feet. Those who are staying on for the cookout ought to know what sort of cakes were made: carrot, coconut-carrot-pineapple. And you don’t have to worry about cavities, kids. These cakes are 100% healthy. Rob Houghton was the master baker.



Where’s my attendance slip? Peeeettaaaah! My attendance slip is missing!” … Where the heck is my microphone? Hey, Neil! Give me that!” … Will you help me take the benches down? Hey, come on! It’s heavy! AAARGH!” … Will Kenny Camper please report to his counselor?” … Don’t forget your money for the cookout.” … Kenny Camper, where are you? Kenny Camper!” … Today is the last day to change your schedule.” … Will the CITs please move the piano?” … No one is to go to the Drug Store!” … Your flute lesson is tomorrow.” … Kenny Camper, Kenny Camper! Where are you?”




Our entertainment, Eucalyptus Baxter, reports on the play that recently arrived in Boston, MAN OF LA MUNCHIES. MAN OF LA MUNCHIES is a romantic yarn about a half-crazed old man who travels the countryside, spreading the word of Fritos, Doritos, and Pringles…

A PERSONAL VIEWPOINT … It has come to my attention that Lou’s Apple Kitchen will no longer be selling Doritos. The reason, as I have heard it, is that the camp has received complaints that this snack is junk food. This situation is one of concert to me. The Daily Double, Lou’s, or for that matter myself, do not promote or advocate junk food. But I feel that the choice is a personal one. We are all free to make our own choices independent of one another’s. In removing this product from the premises, a few people are making the decisions for all of us. If there are people around what do not want to eat Doritos then they have the perfect right to label them junk food and not eat them. But this is where it must stop.



Doug Little to Peter Dewey after Doug had kicked a soccer ball through the huge window in the makeup room – “Yeah, but Peter, who else could have gotten it in the upper right hand corner?”

July 6, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment