March 1st marks the first day of a month-long celebration here at Camp Runoia: Women’s History Month! Founded by a small group of incredible women, carried on by more incredible women for generations, with its history recorded in detail by incredible women – 116 summers later (soon to be 117), here we still are!
Most of the record keeping of Runoia summers was done so in what we call summer logs – a tradition we still carry on each summer. The main difference is that through the years, we saw logs transform from handwritten pieces and newspaper clippings to typewriter passages and now to typed and printed, full-color books.
Our logs tell stories of formative people and summers past, and provide an amazing inside look to the fashions, language, and current events of each time period in American and Runoian history.
Camp Runoia predates women’s right and ability to vote in our country, for example – and in our oldest log available online, we can see evidence of something we already knew within us: that Runoia ‘gals’ were among those pushing for their right to vote:
So, some things change and some things remain: it’s with gratitude that I say the women of Runoia are still carrying on the legacy of recording camp history, and now thanks to the work of women of that history, we hold the right to vote in this country. And perhaps the most lasting thing among the Runoia community: 110 years after the completion of this log, we are still fighting for our rights, for the rights of friends and family in our community, and working to ‘add more seats to the table.’
While the fashions and language change from log to log throughout Runoia history, it’s also astonishing to see so many things that hold true of Runoia campers across 116 summers. The learned lesson from borrowing and lending important things, the occasional rainy Maine summer day, the love for sunny afternoons on Great Pond, cotillion, silly songs and rhymes, the love for horses – the list goes on.
And, perhaps one of my favorite lasting gems that I found in our logs – the sign-off of “Love, Ainour” which still is a signature stamp of love and care from our camp.