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Around The Grange
Looking Back: Camp Bergerís first year

By Submitted by Prospect Grange member Dolly F.H. Stevens

  JUNE 19, 2018 --

As camp season is rapidly approaching, we offer the following article about Camp Berger that appeared in the September 1956 National Grange Monthly magazine.  The article was sent to us by Prospect Grange member Dolly F.H. Stevens.


by Ralph Rennie

One hundred fifty-seven Subordinate, 12 Pomona, and one State Granges have written a new and glowing chapter in Grange history.  It was done in the nation’s third smallest state, the Nutmeg State, Connecticut.  Thus, 1956 goes down into the ledger as the year of the State Grange Camp.

At the October 1955 71st annual State Session Connecticut Patrons passed Resolution No. 21 which read:  “Be it Resolved that the Executive Committee and the Camp Committee of the Connecticut State Grange are hereby empowered to purchase and develop a permanent Juvenile Grange Camp as proposed at this meeting or in some other manner if deemed advisable for the best interests of the Order.”

State Master Donald K. Peck was quick to gear his forces to the task.  Almost immediately with the passing of the resolution, various groups were making their way to the front of the convention with cash for the project.

The camp, situated on a beautiful spring-fed lake, comprises about 10 acres.  It has a large dining-recreation hall and kitchen, 12 sleeping cabins and a headquarters and infirmary building.  All facilities are excellent.  The value of the camp has been conservatively estimated at $30,000.  It will house about 125.

There were anxious days when the water system did not move along according to schedule.  Even in the final week before the slated opening, there were was question as to whether or not the camp would be in operation this year.  The State Master, who has bushels of drive- threw every ounce of energy into the critical hours as did his able assistants and, as planned, the camp opened on July 29 with an appropriate dedication service.  An inspiring address was given by Past State Master Sherman K. Ives.  The camp was filled to capacity and hundreds of “Nutmeggers” were present for the opening.


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