Camp friends’ reunion

A note from Stuart Zuckerman:

The star of this story isn’t me; it’s Camp Merrimac, a camp for boys and girls in the small town of Contoocook, N.H. (about 12 miles west of Concord). I started spending summers at Merrimac in 1958. Every summer back then, Dartmouth College hosted a softball tournament for camps in New Hampshire and Vermont.

  That’s me as a camper.

That’s me as a camper.

So in 1960 (at 12 years old), I found myself on a yellow school bus taking us from Contoocook to Hanover, N.H., Dartmouth’s location. At that point, if I had ever seen a college, it would have been either Adelphi or Hofstra, Long Island colleges that drew mostly commuter students from the area where I grew up.

As we arrived in Hanover, I looked out the bus window and saw Baker Library, the Green and Dartmouth Row {a long row of brick buildings painted white}. It was love at first sight. Five years later, I applied early decision.

In October, 2017, one of my best friends from camp and I went back to see the camp grounds, which still looked like they did in 1958. The property is now owned by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Boston, which uses it as a religious-retreat location. Having become involved in planning our college class’s 50th reunion, I was thinking a lot about seeing old friends. So I decided to try to wrangle a group of old campers to meet at the site of the former camp, in part by using a Facebook page that already existed for Merrimac alumni/alumnae.

And so about 80 people — camp alumni /alumnae and their spouses — attended a reunion on the former camp grounds last Sept 21–23.

  Stuart Zuckerman, left, and his friend Rick Fingeroth when they were both counselors at Merrimac.

Stuart Zuckerman, left, and his friend Rick Fingeroth when they were both counselors at Merrimac.

On my last summer at Merrimac, I was a water-skiing instructor, proud to be wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the name of the college I would enter that fall. My friend Rick had just finished his freshman year at Tufts. Below is a photo of Rick and me at the waterfront of our former camp in October 2017. I’m the guy on the left.

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