Those words may bring different memories to different people. To me, they bring the memory of Burr Camp, nestled on and into the valley of Burr Ridge in Vernon County, Wisconsin.
Burr Camp is inextricably woven into the tapestry of my life. My mother was born there on a Sunday morning during Family Camp. From the womb on I spent weeks each summer on that hallowed soil. It was "home." We looked forward to camp with greater anticipation than we did Christmas. Just the word Burr brings a golden wash of warmth and light over my soul. I have shared some of those memories here and here.
During our summer Wisconsin ramblings, Sister Pam, Dad, and I revisited Burr Camp. It is no longer "ours" having been sold. But the hands holding the deed to the land, do not hold the deed to our memories - - - there in our neurons and synapses, we still "own" our camp and none can wrest it from us.
The Pump House. In my lifetime, this was never the source of the camp's water - - - though when I was young one could still prime the pump and a crystal clear, icy fount would gush forth. Oh the fun we had splashing and drinking in that fount!
This little building housed more than water - - - it was the very social center of teenage camp life. These wall benches were crammed with kids, more hanging in from the sides, as fellowship happened - - - ghost stories, laughter, games of concentration, and romance. How many hands were held or lips were touched with first kisses? - - - Only these white arched walls could tell.
It is still the icon of Burr Camp.
The new owners now call "our" Burr Camp, "Rustic Ridge Resort." Let me take a moment here to say how glad I am that it is these particular owners who now have "our" camp. They love it too, and soak up the history that those of us who wander in for a visit have to share.
They are keeping the grounds up in the manner we cherish. They really want to make it a rustic retreat for family reunions, group gatherings, and other events. Why not contact them for a booking?
Known to us "old timers" as the boy's dorm. Do not be fooled by the serene setting - - -this was NOT a quiet place.
I remember often as a teenager I was a counselor for kids camp. One year, as I was trying to get my girls to settle down for a good night's sleep, I heard squeals and peals coming from the vicinity of the ball diamond.
I looked out the window, across the road to the ball field. My friend Marty, a boy's counselor, had his young charges up there running lap after lap in an attempt to wear them down for the night. Wonder if it worked? Perhaps on that ONE occasion, Brannon Inn WAS a serene place.
The "New" Tabernacle.
This view may look odd to "old timers" visiting this post - - - it's because Missionary Building, 16 Room Dorm, and several private cottages have been removed. It's hard to picture now how they ever fit in the space, though fit they did and we never felt crowded in the least.
I remember when this was built. At teen camp that year, all that existed of the new tabernacle was a concrete slab floor and steel girders. No walls. No windows. No roof. We had evening services there anyway, with the starry sky as our cathedral. It didn't rain us out even once.
The visiting speaker was not impressed. He referred to it, from the pulpit, as a "unique" place. I didn't like the tone he put on "unique", and he lost me with that very first "hello."
The Dining Hall
As seen from the county road running along Burr Ridge. I was sitting in this very spot, watching a tiny black and white TV brought in for just that one MOMENTOUS occasion, when I saw Niel Armstrong step onto the moon surface and utter those immortal words - - - "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." I will never forget it!
As teens, we spent hours working in the dining hall serving, doing dishes, and washing pots and pans to "earn" our way through Family Camp. Water fights were not allowed - - - but of course we had them.
This is the same dining hall looking up from the valley drive. The rooms above the dining hall were sleeping rooms used by families who didn't enjoy the "bare board" roughing-it upon which the REST of us thrived.
This was the newest building "we" built on the grounds. It is a lodge with a fireplace at one end. The current owners have also equipped it with a kitchen at the opposite end.
Camp Valley Road
Restrooms on the right. Again, small cottages and other buildings are missing from this view.
If you are a REALLY "old timer," you don't even remember this building. That is because, though it isn't a new little chapel, it was moved onto the campgrounds sometime in the late late 70's or early 80's.
If you are one of my bloggy regulars, and never experienced Burr Camp, thank you for indulging me this ramble down memory lane.
If you are a Burr Camp "old timer" who found this post via google or some other search method, know that you have come "home" to someone who loves camp every bit as much as you do - - - - maybe more. ;-)
I am linking this post to Vintage Thingies Thursday - - - everything ABOUT Burr Camp is vintage!!!