I have long been amazed at the tenacity of our Camp Runoia founders Lucy Wieser and Jessie Pond. Their dedication to starting a camp for girls showed great bravery and confidence when heading off into the unknown wilds of Maine. In our world of high speed transportation and at your finger tips technology it is sometimes very hard to imagine how different life was back in the early 1900’s. Rural Maine was sparsely populated with few paved roads and limited access to many areas. The Maine Central railroad had only established the Belgrade Depot in 1850 and the local community was mostly made up of farms with some vacation housing in the village. Arriving by train from the city into Belgrade must have been quite a culture shock. While the actual story of their first adventure has become a little lost in the mists of time I imagine them in skirts or dresses, hiring a horse and cart to travel around the area.
On our staycation this week we traveled to the Owls Head Transportation Museum which had some fascinating displays the most interesting of which for me was about the early female pioneers of travel. Like our Runoia founders they were making history in the early 1900’s and boldly going places that women typically hadn’t ventured to. Their names were new to me and their adventures and experiences seemed so radical for the time. Can you imagine driving a car cross country with a couple of your girlfriends? Now think about doing it when there were only 156 miles of paved roads and your car barely had a roof!
I shall continue to be inspired by the brave bold women of the early 1900’s and to keep sharing their stories with our fearless young women at camp. Maybe they will become the pioneers of this new generation.