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The craftsman
Volume XXVII, Number 5 (February 1915)

Helpful facts in building a summer camp: by a woman camper who knows all about it,   pp. 567-570 PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 567

W        E call it Camp Dogwood, from
          the high-piled drifts of white,
          which, in late March and early
          April, make it seem a lodge in
fairyland; but we might just as appropri-
ately call it by any other of a hundred fra-
grant and suggestive names. For every
month has its symbol, its herald to the ear
and eye; and to us who know it well, our
Haunt in the Woods changes its aspect with
every moon.
  Its inception, as so often happens, was
somewhat in the nature of an accident.
When we were married, Peter owned stock
in a small artificial lake about seven miles
from town, which-in default of beaches,
mountains, or navigable rivers in the vicin-
ity-furnished about the only outlet for our
longing for "all outdoors." At first this
met all our needs, and we used often to
come down with our guns and minnows
and bird-glasses, sleep at night in the plain
little club-house, and have an early morn-
ing fish; or spend a quiet Sunday reading
'and bird-gazing in the woods. But with the
advent of Peterkin our outings took on a
more complicated and less distinctively
"sporting" character. It was mutually un-
comfortable and embarrassing for us to
run into a party of young men taking their
ease with pipe and tackle. Often the howls
of our month's-old Peterkin would throw a
whole party into consternation. We began
to wish for, presently to speculate about, a
camp of our own. One other member of
the club had obtained permission to build
him a little cabin on a pleasant wooded
point; and it occurred to us that we might
do the same. The Bachelor Uncle became
interested. Before we knew it we were
sketching rough plans; our wistful debates
as to whether we could properly afford the
outlay grew more sanguine as imagination
warmed to the project; and finally the little
house was built. It was finished in "the
month of dogwoods," the spring Peterkin
was a year old.
  Since economy was decidedly an object,
and comfort-owing to Peterkin's tender
years and my rather precarious health-in-
dispensable, we put our whole investment
into that, and held our aesthetic yearnings
sternly in check. The result was a small
frame house on the slope of one of the
little wooded hills that rise from the lake.
We made just enough of a clearing to mini-
mize the danger of forest fires, leaving
even the underbrush on the hillside, to
avoid a "civilizing" effect. If you were
fishing on the lake, a thread of blue smoke
above the tree-tops, or a friendly beam at
night, would be the only indication of its
existence till you put your boat in at the
ferny landing-place and followed the wind-
ing path up the hill to our steps. Peter and
the Bachelor Uncle found a fine spring and
sunk an eighteen-inch pipe, so that we have
a supply of clear, sweet water that has never
failed us. The house faces south, and con-
sists of two well-built, weather-tight rooms,
with a ten-foot hall between, and a porch
the length of the front. Above the two
main rooms are two attic-rooms, each with
a window in the end, and the other end
closed only by cretonne curtains. We put
the ceiling in the two lower rooms above
the rafters, thus making floors for the up-
per. These quaint upper chambers, looking
out into the tree-tops, are especially dear

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