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Monday, May 19, 2008

Camp Chautauqua - Miamisburg, Ohio

Camp Chautauqua is on 40 acres, and has a bowling alley, tennis courts, basketball courts, Olympic-size swimming pool, 18 hole miniature golf course, baseball diamond, volley ball court, table tennis, Tent or camper area, cabins and dorms, snack shop, gift shop, out door auditorium, out door eating area.

My father and mother took me to Camp Chautauqua starting in 1965, when I was still in my mom. I had never missed a fun filled week in 25 years.

Jerry and Susan Harmyer is the camp managers and has been for years. I can remember them as a small child. The Harmyers has a special place in my heart. They were always very kind, and that is the way they had their staff trained.
Jerry is in the kitchen cooking pancakes.

The camp has been there for at least 42 years. Its a great place to go and have fun plus learn about God.

The camp itself had standard rules, but each group could add rules. With our group. We couldn't have anything like radios, games, cell phones, t.v.'s, etc.
Shorts only could be worn if they came down to the knee, and dresses could only go to the knee as well.

There was at least 20 churches in our group, churches from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Canada. I met new friends every year.

The drive there was always fun, we would sing on the way there or play games on the bus.

Fun was the name of the game here, there was one morning that we had to do K.P. (work in the kitchen) We decided that we was going to use black wax and put it on our teeth to make them look broken out, and serve the people. At the time the kitchen was set up as a cafeteria style, where each person could see what they wanted, and the others could serve them. We not only had to serve, we also had to wash each and every pot, pan, tray and utensils. So if there were 300 campers, there was 300 trays to wash.

After I was in my teens, I started helping out how ever I could. I wasn't into sports, so watching them for me was just boring, so what I did, was helped out, I would work in the kitchen, work in the bowling alley, or the miniature golf. I have always been the type to help out whenever I could.

The cabins that we stayed in each year was not insulated or air condition. So the nights was either really hot or cold. There were two different size buildings. The smaller ones held 8 campers, the larger ones held up to 20. I liked the smaller ones the best.

The weeks schedule was the same every day of the week:

wake up, get coffee
Bible classes
Free time

Free Time
Night Service
Free Time

The dorms we only stayed in one year that I can remember. They were large building that held between 30 -50 campers.

The Auditorium was huge, it could seat about 600 people. The only down fall was, it was open on two of the sides. Our service was at night and if it rained you got wet. If it was muggy, you was wet. The mosquitoes were mean.

There was one year that we had a shaving cream fight on the way home, it was bus to bus, I am sure it was a sight to see on the interstate, seeing two buses side by side and shaving cream flying every where. Its funny those things that you remember.

Jerry was talking to my father one year, about the pool roof. The roof was in bad shape. There was a member that owned a construction company in our church, and he and my father worked out a deal. We took a weekend trip to Camp Chautauqua and put a new roof on the pool buildings. It was hard work. I carried the bundles of shingles to the roof. I also did the clean up on the ground. It was weird to be at camp with no one else there.

I haven't been to Camp Chautauqua in a very long time, its been at least 10 years. From what I have been told, every thing is air condition now.



Carroll said...

I remember the year your dad was the speaker for the evening services. One night, he was trying to make a point about "following the rules". He brought up the rule that had been enforced for years at camp about "NBC between the sexes." That is, boys and girls can't hold hands or otherwise touch each other during their week at camp. He held up a copy of the registration form, and made the comment that "When you signed the form, you said you'd abide by all the rules on this form. And one of those rules is that there will be no phsyical contact between the sexes." Someone hollered out, "Where?" So, he started looking. Someone else hollered out "Rule #1!" He said, "All #1 says is that all camp rules will generally be followed." He kept looking. Finally, he folds up the brochure, and with a sheepish grin on his face announces "There will be a meeting of the advisory council immediately after the service is over tonight!" ;-)

By the way, I've still got the tapes from that week, as well as other weeks at camp. Don't know what kind of shape they're in, but I've still got them.

Allen said...

@ Carroll, Hey thanks for stopping by and posting a comment.

You should start your own blog and post all the cool things that you have from camp. It would be cool to see all the pictures that you have.

Carroll said...

Most of what I've got from the years at camp is slides. A friend of mine bought himself a slide scanner, and he's been after me for several years to box up my slides and ship them to him in Alabama so he could scan my slides for me. If I ever find that round tuit I've been looking for, I might finally send them his way. ;-)

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