The Dining Hall is one of our most important buildings at camp. We eat meals there, have skills and activities, sing at the top of our lungs during dinner, and may seek refuge there during a thunderstorm.
Did you know that we did not always have a Dining Hall at camp? That’s right. In the summer of 1955, Camp Crestridge’s first summer, there was no Dining Hall. Instead, all the campers had to put on dresses for every meal and walk to and from the conference center
for their meals. They did this three times per day! Can you imagine? Fortunately, the Dining Hall was constructed before the following summer and it has been a home to many memories in the meantime.
If you came to camp after 1998, you missed out on an activity called “Camper Day”. Camper Day was a day during the session when the majority of the staff took off and the campers were in charge. Campers became counselors, skill directors, and even the Summer Director! Each cabin would vote on who they wanted as their counselor. The staff would elect campers to take the Director positions. Now I don’t want you to think that there was no supervision in camp. There were some staff who stayed like Johnnie or Marva, the Horseback, Waterfront and the Crafts Directors. If I were a camper on that day, it sounds like it would be pretty fun! But I’m not sure that it was as fun for the Directors who stayed in camp. Camper Day was an activity from 1955-1998. If any of you have Camper Day stories, we’d love to hear them!
The cabin that is now Cherokee 25 has gone through a few changes in it’s time. In our post last week, the aerial view showed that there was only one cabin built on Cherokee Hill at the beginning. Technically, it wasn’t called Cherokee Hill then. That cabin started out as Arvine Bell’s living quarters and the Staff Lounge. The original cabin had a wall separating where Arvine lived from the Staff Lounge. It also had a fireplace. When they decided to build the Cherokee cabins, that cabin became Cherokee 1. Arvine had to move down to the cabin that is now where the SALT girls live. The Staff Lounge was moved to what was most recently the store.
In this picture, it looks like they are having cabin devotions just before bed and they have a fire in the fireplace. How great would that be to have a fireplace in your cabin! Although it would be great, it probably is not too safe. They decided to take the fireplace out. In 2009, Cherokee 1 was changed to Cherokee 25 since we added 5 new cabins. By 2010, we were able to renovate all of our cabins. Cherokee 25 is now all open with 2 bathrooms and 2 showers.
Our new store will have the Museum on the top floor. You will be able to find lots of great information about camp and its history!