This message is mainly for the male population of our class but any woman can understand the story below.
After reading this, if you wish to share a similar experience with Camp Russell or any other fond memories, send me an email and I will put them on our web site or you can comment on our Message Board.
This experience was sent to me by classmate Dick Bruno. If you wish to comment directly to him, you can get his phone number and email address from the Contact Classmates section.
I spent two weeks every year form age seven to twelve as a camper, the entire season from ages 13 to 14 as a kitchen crew, and 15 and 16 as a councilor, all experiences that were priceless. AS A VOLUNTEER!! Experiences you could not put a value on. The cost to the camper's family was a less than 20$ ( 13$ when I was going) for three meals a day plus every conceivable outdoor activity, sharing a cabin with eight other kids and watching movies and enjoying campfires and stories every night, PRICELESS, PRICELESS. An experience that not one other person who I have ever met in my life has had. It breaks my heart this program had to be discontinued because some source outside the community brought insurance liability issues to the program forcing wages to volunteers, who didn't want it and thereby forcing the Boys Club to turn the camp into a Day Camp. At least that is my understanding. I'll never forget those early morning wake up calls ' Everybody up, everybody up, its a beautiful day in Richmond'
I'd like to hear other experiences of Camp Russell.
I only went to Camp Russell once, for, if I remember correctly, 2 weeks. I was a little guy and the two weeks seemed like 2 years. I roomed in a cabin with other boys including Pat Jacques. It was very hot that year and we couldn't wait to get in swimming. We used the 'buddy system' meaning that I had a 'buddy' for whom I was responsible and he was responsible for me. That summer, there were 'bloodsuckers' - leaches- in Richmond Pond so we were on the constant lookout for one attached to our bodies. I don't recall ever having one on me.
The trip to Camp Russell was by bus and at the time, I thought it took a very long time to get to the camp, 5 or 6 hours at least. I had no idea where the camp was located, and, realistically, I didn't care. I wrote a card to my parents every day and I asked them to visit me and bring me a fishing pole. When they arrived on the weekend, I knew I had the greatest parents ever. They had traveled that long distance from my house to Camp Russell just to see me! And they brought a fishing pole!
Those are my memories of Camp Russell. I didn't know until several years later where Camp Russell was located but by then it didn't matter - I still felt my parents were the best ever.