Camping and Collectors Items

by Mark Stash, Editor

When my son was in Cub Scouts, we would take camping trips during the summer. Camp Dittmer near Phelps was always a favorite spot, with a nice little lake and camping grounds and fun things to do. But the granddaddy of Scout camps in the area is Camp Cutler, in the Bristol Hills north of Naples. Not only is it a Scout camp, it’s also acres and acres of forest preserve.

Mornings would start out going to the pool for a quick cool dip. Enough trips in the week of camping warranted a Polar Bear badge to add to the scouting badge collection. There are five themed villages – Medieval Castle, High Seas Pirate Ships, Native American Village, Pioneer Fort and Mountain Man Brigade. Being a young boy, the imagination takes over while camping, and the week-long experience leads to a lot of fun.

Other experiences involved canoeing on Lake Wellington. There may have been a little incident when I was in charge of my son and another boy in the canoe, where the boat suddenly overturned and we took a nice little swim in the lake. Luckily, we were able to get it upright and climb back in. I can also remember some of the leaders at the camp telling stories around a campfire and sometimes eliciting a little fear from a scary story, or laughter from an animated music number. I cherish these memories with my son.

Those of us who live in the Finger Lakes Region are lucky enough to see at least one Finger Lake in our daily travels. Travelers and tourists tend to see more during their stay, since their goal is to see and do a lot of fun activities. Sometimes we may take for granted the lakes themselves, meaning we may not think too much about their origin, or their history, or their nature.

Kyra Bean, a former student at Ithaca College, has collected information about each of the lakes. In the July/August issue, we are showcasing the four westernmost lakes (page 54). In the next two issues (September/October and November/December), we’ll be working our way across the region, from west to east. These three issues are especially nice to have as a collection, because they will always be a good source of information about the lakes themselves.

In each issue, we are always trying new things, presenting ideas in a new way. We would love to hear how we’re doing. Feel free to send an e-mail to the address you see below. Have a wonderful Finger Lakes summer!

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