Virtual Tour of the Lodge Renovations with Director Norm
I have loved the Lodge since I first set foot in it at age nine, which was 40 years ago this summer. I was an Elementary Cabin Camp camper along with my sister, and my mom counseled for the week. My father volunteered for the week doing maintenance tasks, including building a new set of stairs on the lake side of the Lodge, those stairs that many of us have walked up and down hundreds of times or sat on to talk with friends.
The Lodge porch is probably my favorite place on Earth. I spent a summer living in the room on the lake side of the Lodge, waking each morning to the sound of loons calling to each other across the lake. I listened to music theater camp rehearsals, singing in front of the fireplace, screen doors slamming as people went in and out of the Lodge during boating time, sitting in the Adirondack chairs to talk with new friends, and the sounds of lifeguards blowing whistles at the boat dock to signify that it was time for paddlers to make their way back to shore.
My camp memories of the Lodge are so clear in my mind.
So when Norman sent me videos to show the progress that has been made on Lodge renovations this fall and winter, I was surprised. Pleasantly surprised though. My room on the Lodge porch, where Lisa Swett and I spent the summer of 1992, is now gone, but never forgotten — we had a lot of fun that summer! It has now been opened up to be a beautiful part of a screened-in porch,with windows that will let bright light into that usually dark corner of the Lodge.
Did you see those new lights on the soon-to-be screened-in porch? I am so thankful for Kaplan Electric for their incredible work rewiring the entire building and ensuring that it is up to code. Norm said there are electrical outlets along with these wonderful new lights on the Lodge porch! How cool is that?! I can't wait to see it for myself!
I remember always looking up to the loft behind the large stone fireplace inside, wondering what it was like up there. It seems like with these renovations, after all these years maybe I will get to know what it's like up there. They are reinforcing the support for that area, and it will be used for music theater costumes and props. What a great place to be able to store everything for summer musical productions for years to come.
It is impossible to pick my favorite part of the updated Lodge, but I think that one of the most dramatic and impressive changes, to me anyway, is the very first change that I saw when renovations started. The new entrance to Lodge is awesome! There are historic photos to see as you walk through the new entryway into what was the old kitchen area. The kitchen has moved - and looks INCREDIBLE. It is now where the old laundry room used to be. I spent a lot of Saturdays doing my laundry in that little room when I was on staff in the early 1990s. Here are some views of the new entrance and kitchen:
And the final video (thanks to Norm and his son Ethan for creating these videos so we can have a virtual tour while we are all staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus this spring) is of the room where many of us have spent time doing crafts, singing, making friends, participating in worship services in front of the fireplace, dancing, laughing, and making a lifetime of memories.
Seeing these videos and the incredible work being done to ensure that the Lodge is around for generations to come is a bright spot in these difficult times. When I need to find comfort and peace in a place, the place I go has always been camp. More specifically...the Lodge porch and boat dock. Right now, with the coronavirus, I can't go to camp because there are volunteers there helping to feed children in Central Maine, and they need to be safe and healthy. But, thanks to Norm, Ethan, and technology, even though I can't go to camp, camp can come to me — and to you through these videos.
If you watch the videos and then sit back and close your eyes, I bet you can even hear the familiar call of the Lower Narrows Pond loons. They are calling to us and know that we will all "come back again some day."
Until then, please keep camp in your prayers. Check in on a camp friend. Support camp with a donation if you are able. And know that we are praying for you and can't wait to have you join us to celebrate the Lodge and the lifetimes of memories that have been created — and will be created for years to come — inside those walls.
Beth Dimond Comeau, former camp youth director & current member of the Mechuwana Site Committee