Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

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

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