By Beacon, Age 9, and Eleanor Bassett-Taurel, Age 7, campers at the Barn Day Camp (with their mom, Lucy Bassett)

Our grandfather, John Bassett, knew Susan Webb, who was one of the people who started the camps. And since then, people in our family have gone to or worked at F&W almost every summer.

Our grandfather, who we called Pop, went to Tamarack Farm in 1960 when he was 15 years old. At that time, the road that passed Woodward Reservoir was a dirt road, and so it was a lot quieter at the camps. The campers helped grow the crops, take care of the animals, and build the structures they needed. Pop built the first Bear Pit shelter and some of the cabins at Tamarack Farm. He loved hiking in the mountains and going on overnights, just like we do.

Pop was known for running very fast. One day, he asked his friends if they wanted to run around the lake. They said “Yes, we do.” So, they started to run. Pop pulled ahead right away, and the others ran as fast as they could. Pop was so fast that the others could not even see him. When they got back to camp, they thought he would be there already, but instead he was behind them, finishing his second loop around the lake — with no shoes on!

Around sunset, when the campers at Indian Brook and Timberlake were getting ready for bed, Pop and a friend would often go down to the waterfront where they would play the French horn and trumpet. All around the lake, campers could hear the beautiful music.

Pop told us lots of stories about camp, and he visited us at the BDC. He loved to see his old friends at the Fair. This is a place that he loved all his life, and so do we. We hope we can come back here all our life and even when we’re older.

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