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Lake Stahahe

 I went to the YMCA camp on Lake Stahahe. I was there three years in the late 1950s. I think 1957, 1958, and 1959. There were many camps on the Lake. Directly across the lake was a girls' camp which when I was a senior at the camp we would have dances every so often. I have wonderful memories of the weeks I was there. Guess it no longer exists. Says Glen Southwick

My Mom was a chounselor at Camp Michaela in the 1950s When she was 16 years old.  She has
    many letters she wrote to my dad while she was there.  Does anyone have any pictures of Camp Michaela in 1956? Says Ann Kettelberger

While I never post anything, this brought back great memories.  I attended Camp Nendawen in
the late 1950s. Capture the flag, bug juice, diving for a sock full of rocks as part of the life saving certification test, the canoe team, three day canoe trip all come to mind. I loved the Indian folklore, bond fires, Indian dances and the feathers,  red, white, blue and I received the first Orange feather. Not sure what the criteria was but I was very proud, so proud my Father thought there wasn’t anything left for me so I didn’t return after two years. The  
    next two summers were difficult as my mother was dying of cancer. My Camp experience was truly a very bright spot in my youth. Says Clint Cooper

My first summer on Lake Stahahe at Camp Wabenaki, 1959, Ralph and Rose Hittman
 Camp Director. I was 10 years old. I've returned there every year since, one way or another. I was a BBR boy living in the Lillian Wald projects, elected mayor, 1966-68. These were the fondest memories of my life. Second only to my wife Patricia, five children and four grandchildren; and my life as a born again child of God through the atoning sacrifice of the risen Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. Patty and I are currently living in Republica Dominica as missionaries
utilizing sports to reach the kids of San Pedro de Macoris for Christ. To all my Wabenaki braves, God bless you. We love you, and you are too many to list, God knows. Says Mark Palma

I spent 5 summers at Camp Pratt (S7-8) 1953 through 1958. Camps on the lake included Pequot and H.E.S. Attractions were the museum, Eagle Rock, and Boston Mines,etc. We did canoe trips to the other Lakes (Ascoti, Tirotti, etc.) All the counselors went to the Red Apple Rest hiking across the hills following the power line to the through way foot bridge which was still standing last I looked. Great memories. Says Al Thompson

I went to Camp HES from the summer of 1955 to about 1959. Boys camp on one side and girls camp on the other side. I think it was a three week maximum. I remember great swimming in Lake Stahahe and that great nature museum. Also hikes to the wonderful Red Apple rest. Bygone years. Says Gary H

Went to Camp Pratt 1956, 1957, 1958. Remembered bonfire nights- singing songs, improv and skits, bug juice -tall tales around the campfire overnight hikes. Building camp fires, box fires tepee fires. Arts and crafts canoeing swimming in the ole hole in the Ramapo River. Just like Tom Sawyer. Cabin one was supposed to be attacked by cropsey - ate newbie campers. I was in cabin one and tent seven. When you flunked inspection you got to put boots on and clean the latrine. Always remember Reveille and Taps start and end of every day. Yes, I remember Lenny Charity too. Caught lots of perch and blue gill with dough balls on the little bridge - and a huge pickerel once. Loved the hikes to the museum - snakes and exhibits. Says Doug Johnson

I attended Camp Nendawen two summers 1961 and 1962. Had a ball years. I remember swimming in the lake, playing softball and visiting other teams to play around the lakes. You earned feathers and had a white headband with different colored feathers on them. I was 11 and 12 when I went there a wonderful time each year. I believe Ike Kostal was my counselor the first year or 1961. Says Steve Johnson

Anybody remember Zachary and Vince the councelor from Estonia? Says Hank

I'm 79 and spent three summers at camp Pequot in the mid late 40's. I remember living in a tent on the Reservation, also Bob Hamlin, Kipper and  Mr Holt the camp director. I remember the war stories about B-17 raids over Germany by Kip and some about the Battle of the Bulge from counselors who names are forgotten. We used to raid and take the group section signs and hide them. One I even hid in the outhouse pit, which had to be fished out by the guy who cleaned the crapper pit. We hid cigarettes in the hollow of a tree in a metal tobacco can and smoked like big people adults. I learned to swim in the crib and was on the swimming team on my second summer after a whole winter of practice at the pool at St Bart's, N.Y. Those were fun innocent days, Greetings to all my fellow ex campers and fond memories to you all.  Epc.lembcke@gmail.com Says Edward Lembcke

I attended Camp Michaela on Lake Stahahe back in 1956, I believe.  I also think it was run by the Catholic Church.  It was a girls' camp.  What a wonderful summer!! Says Dana Handbury

I attended Camp Nendawen in the mid 60's, and it was a very bad experience, with poor counselors and inept management. I was a victim of inappropriate contact and conduct, and I regret deeply that my parents didn't make an issue out of it. I'd love to wind the clock back and right some wrongs, but I cannot. But I will ''never forget.'' Says Bob

To Ken Fairchid: I remember you as '' KENNY Fairchid '' a fellow camper at  Camp Pequot in 1948/49. Other campers with us , ''Buzzy Kiltiger, Walter Kearney, ''Bosco'', and ''Pee Wee'' are some that  I remember.  I recall one of our blueberry picking excursions  turning into an unscheduled over nighter in the woods because the counselor a got us lost. We were without bed rolls or food. The rangers located us after dark and headed us into a dug out camp site on a mountain top where we slept the night. One of the counselors ( ''Bev'' ) injured his foot with a hatchet while chopping wood for  a camp fire ,and had to be escorted out that night by the rangers for medical attention.  The rest of us hiked back to camp and had a very welcome breakfast. Says Ray

I'm 73 and went to camp Pequot at Lake Stahahe. I think in the late 40's early 50's . Had a great time every year I went. Wish I could see some of those friends again. My dad was a baker and would bring Italian bread every 2 weeks. Had a ball. I loved the cooks, John in particular would cook the fish and turtles we caught. Can't say enough good thing about that time. I'd love to hook up with some of those guys if possible. Says Tony Granuzzo (Spaghetti, nick name)

Since joining with Camp Trexler for e-mails I still continue with my memories of Camp Pequot. Hope this summer the wife and I will be able to visit Lake Stahahe. I'm 78 and spent my time on the lake seventy years to seventy three years ago. Still haven't heard what the name of the camp is now after Wabanacke and Pequot. Says Ken Fairchild

Camp Wabenaki is now located on Wabenaki Road S-11 on Lake Stahahe. In 2012 Camp Wabenaki was established as a 501 (c) 3 non for profit organization with the purpose of providing inner city youth a full range of recreational, multi-cultural and educational activities. We are trying to get this camp back up and running again for children. We can use all your support please follow us at Facebook.com/campwabenaki if you have any comments or questions you can contact us through there THANKS! Says Luis Checa

I remember Camp Tamaqua on Lake Kanawauke, Harriman State Park. Lots of memories from there. Says Penny Sandman

I spent a few weeks a summer for 4 summers in the early 60s at Camp HES on Lake Stahahe. I loved canoeing on the Lake, swimming each and every day, participating in the Theatre Club (I think we did Carousel and My Fair Lady; I was a 10 year old playing Eliza's father!); I remember Hot Oatmeal covered in milk, sugar and butter every morning and I remember Zev Stern, a boy from an orthodox family who was a curiosity in our 10 year old bunk because he reached puberty well before any of the rest of us; I remember my couselor Dan and a lovely and beautiful female counselor who was the epitomy of adult grace (she must have been all of 17) who taught some of us the popular folk songs of the day by playing on her guitar, including Blowin In The Wind. I have pictures of myself with my bunk mates, circa 1964, but can't recall the others' names except for Zev! What was scarier than a walk to the latrine up the hill in the dead of night, or more terrifying than the Tale of Cropsy, the deranged man who wielded an ax and searched the camps for the heads of sleeping boys? One of my fondest memories: hearing the rain pounding the roof of the wood bunk, the smell of the wet woods during a storm, the cool breeze that flowed through the bunk house on one of those afternoons? Says Neil Kaplan

I spent many of my summers at the museum between Camp Hess and Wabinaki. My parents ran that during the 70's and I grew up on that lake. I remember the snapping turtles that we would have brought in that were too big to get into a 55 gal can. They were huge and typically they would get out of the turtle pit that first night and escape. Says Vince Coletta

Well here it is the summer of 2012. Tried to find out if S3 Camp Pequot on Lake Stahahe is open for business this summer. Anyone know? Guess I will try and follow my Camp til the good lord calls....Ken Fairchild Says Ken Fairchild

I was a member of the German Ski Club of NY. Our summer camp was camp Eureka. This was back in 1956 and up. We use to race our canoes. And when camp Wabenake boys came down with the canoes my sister and I would swim out under water and tip their canoes. Camp Trexler was right next door and on the other side of us was camp HESS. Which was on both sides of the lake. We swam from one side of the lake to the other. Our tent was up over the road and up in the mountain. I was there and saw when the big fire wave burned down our main hall. They said it was spontaneous combustion. We walk many times to the museum where I got bit by a possum. We had two raccoons as pets. And chipmunks were all around. Salamanders were our other fun project to find. We played badminton and had tournaments. Platte was a German game mostly the men played. And of cause we skied in the winter and had races. They were the best years of my life.
Oh and of cause catching snapping turtles by their tails. Frog legs was a food some of our people liked. Not me. What ever happened to Camp Hess? And why is the German Ski club leasing out. When I was there we had a large number in our camp. I assume it is less now. I was there about 20 years ago and it was still the same. A place to remember, a place to have experience and a place everyone should encounter in their life. Says Jennifer (Brick) Kelly

It's 2012 Does anyone know if Camp Pequot is open this summer (S3)? And if so under what name. Says Ken

I remember camp Pratt as a camper in 1955 in the senior unit, then a junior counselor 1957, and a counselor 58-59. Great times director was Hank Bab then Mr. Atterbury, I remember buddy bishop, Lenny Charity, Bill Ross, from l.i.i hung out with great times going to the red apple rest and overnight hikes to bald eagle. Great swimming. Great memories,oh I forgot Mr. March waterfront dicertor. Says Anonymous

For those Camp Trexler Alumni who are on facebook, we have a page/group there 102 members strong! We've got campers/counselors from the 50's up to the 80's! Come join us! Says LisaT

Looks like all of us ole Pequot campers are in our Seventies... Next time we tilt our glass, lets toast Annie, Mr. Holt, Nursie, Bob Hamlin, Kipper,The old Woodie, The Waterfront gang, the Colony, The Juniors,and all those that went before us at Camp Peoquot. Lost my brother Don this past year. We used to box and cry almost every week.. He'd get home sick and would only be at camp for two weeks. I stayed 8. Wouldn't it be fun to re'open the camp for one season of ole timers like us?? I know I'd go..... Says Ken Fairchild

I Went To Camp Pratt For 6 Years In The 50S . I Loved It; I Went Back As A Junior Consular.Bug Juice, Pigs In The Blanket, Yukon Pete Cookouts. Across The Lake Museum With The Snakes, Lookout Mountain, Etc. Green And White Teams, Arts And Crafts On The Island With Leather Belts And Lanuards.It Was Great. I'M 70. I Wish I Could Go Back In Time. 954-980-0347 Says BILL ROSS

I 70 years old and remember camp wabenaki from the 50s when it was on upper lake Cohasset and later moved to lake stahahe. Ralph Hittman and his wife Rose ran the camp then. I worked on the water front teaching boating, swimming, and life saving. The summers at Wabenaki will always be in my heart as among some of the best times of my life. Remember George, Richie, and Celso, Harold and Bob B also the Durans, and the kitchen staff. Can't forget the Saturday night socials. Special thanks to Ralph and Rose. Says Don

OK campers hear comes a couple more memories for you. Remember hiking up Lookout Mountain or hikes to the iron mines. Boxing & movies Sat. Nights in the mess hall. Three swats with the wet broom! Says Ken Fairchild

Kk campers let's hear the cheer! Al-a-mam Al-a-mam cock tay go, ishka ta boomba elka belka spanna spanna rabison al a ka zam yeah! Pequot.Not bad for seventy some odd years ago.....Ken Says Ken Fairchild

I drove by and took pic of Camp Pequot last year. Remember hikes to Kenawake Roller rink to skate and hold hands with Mary Hahn from a near by village. I love this web site! Says Ken Fairchild

Remember all the songs we sang at Trexler. There's a camp along Stahahe shores...mini ha ha. The basketball games aganist other camps.The huge turtle. Says Craig Kuckens

I spent some of the best summer's of my life at Camp Trexler from 1944-1950. I used to spend 8 week's there each yr. I have been back to the camp several times since 1990 & went swimming in the ''CRIB'' last summer (2010) on my way from N. Y. To Pa. After my first visit in 1990 I happened to find out that Dr. Heineken was still alive & living in Middleberry Vt. So I gave him a call & made arrangement's to visit him for a 3 day weekend. His son Mickey was the head coach at Middlebury Collage. When I visited he camp the 2nd time I remembered that I was in ''love'' with the nurse Marion Lore & had carved FK-L- ML in front of the infermry & it was still there 60 yrs later. The Rec. Hall is no longer there, I found out it had burned down a few yrs. Earlier. One time I was there their were children there in the mess hall & it was being used as a DAY CARE. The Council Fire Ring is gone... But the Chief's Chair'' was still there As of last summer the Museum was still there between Camp Pequot which is still in use but under a different name. My best friend's at Trexler were Ned Bosworth & Garhart Grahl my favorite counselor was Dave Eibers (LEG'S) I vividly remember the annual Lake Swim which I done 1 time & won Ice Cream from 3 counselor's The Eureka German Ski Club is still running but they now lease their lots for the season. Says FRED KELLER

To Kenny, who posted first on this page. I remember that tragic summer. I was one of the counselors out that night and my friends were in that car. It was a tough summer, but we continued on with our business and hopefully some of you kids still had a wonderful time. Kids? I'm 54 now so Kenny's probably late 40's. Lake Stahahe was a beautiful little lake. Godzilla the snapping turtle lived there. I had him hooked once. Biggest snapper I've ever seen in my life. His front claws were as big as my fingers. Says Jim

I think every camp had a ''hike'' to the the Red Apple!!! My brother went to Trexler in the late 60's, I went in the early 70's. My mother went to Mahetu in the 40's and my sister went there in the early 7o's. I was a white kid from Bklyn and my best friend was a black kid from Harlem named ''Dorsey''. I have the fondest memories of those summers in Harriman, however I remember one tragic camp experience. One night, counselors from both camps went for a drive at night and were killed in a car crash. I remember a memorial service held around a campfire the next day. It was my first experience with death. I am now a 25yr veteran of the FDNY and have seen more tragedy than most, but that experience will never leave me. I have so many more wonderful memories of my summers at Trexler, but was wondering if anyone remembers that tragic summer... Says Kenny

YMCA Camp Pratt, 2 years, 1958-59. Learned to ''Gunnel'' a canoe. Deep knee bends while standing on the gunnels of the canoe. 65 now and living in Benbrook, Texas. Time flies when you are having fun; boy did we have fun. Says Peter Kau

Mr. Holt the Camp Pequot Camp Director used to use me as his caddie when he played golf with friends near Southfield Our pay was Ice Cream. There are too many wonderful memories to recount them all. Bob Hamlin waterfront Director. Kip the head counselor. His wonderful B17 war stories of bombing Germany. Campfires in the baseball field. Turning over the wet leaves down by the craft house for night crawlers to fish with. Learning how to make a lanyard so I could wear a whistle like the counselors. I used to pack my knap sach in anticipation of going to camp somewhere around January 1st. I wonder if the Museum that was on the lake between Pequot and Camp Trexler still exists? After Camp Trexler was the German Ski Camp. I remember the YMCA camp Glen mentioned. Remember what you had to do to be allowed to take a Canoe instead of one of the old wooden grey rowboats. Enough for now fellow campers.. As they say in Pennsylvania ''We are too soon old, and too late smart'' Says Ken Fairchild

I spent 7 summers at Camp Pequot from 1948 to 1954. They were the best summers of my entire life. The camp was in Harriman State Park. We were pretty wild at times. Just being boys. The camp was moved to somewhere in Connecticut the year after I left. I'm now 71. Says Alan Buckley

In the mid to late 40's my parents sent me to a camp that I think was Camp Pequot in the Catskills. As I recall, we got on a bus at Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. The camp was on the east side of the lake. I remember that (like most camps)they had canoes, and fishing near a dock that had a rectangular area off of it to play water polo and learn to swim. There was a large hall where they held boxing matches and military style tents up the hillside for groups of 10 to 12 of us. There was also a small crafts building. Older campers and counselors would paddle canoes across the lake to go to the girls camp. Does anyone know if this sounds like the same Camp Pequot as on Lake Stahahe? I'm 75 and have wondered over the years what happened to it. Would love help. Says Joe Hoehlein

So does anyone know what happened to camp trexler? Thanks Says Steve

In the early 50's, I went to Camp Pratt, a YMCA camp on Lake Stahahe, when I was 7. I was terribly homesick. I remember the ''color wars'', where the kids were assigned to either the red or white teams. There was a little island near the store, and we used to catch a lot of bluegills from the little bridge. Everything was painted brown. My counselor's name was ''Linc,'' short for Lincoln. My worst memory was getting a fishhook throuhg my finger. Says Alex Demas

I attended camp Pequot in 1948/1949. Mr Holt was the camp director. Howie Kyle was my counselor in the ''colony'' section. I belive St. James Epicopal church in Manhattan was the sponsor of the camp.

I remember the cooks from South Carolina. John and Odessa. The feared Annie Washington, who weilded a ping pong paddle after any wise guy camper waiter. Says Ray

Does anyone know what happened to Camp Trexler? Thanks. Says Steve


I too spent several summer terms at Camp Pequot about the same time as Ken Fairchild and Ingrid Wolsk. I am 77. I see a listing for a Camp Eureka on Lake Stahahe now. In October 2004 I visited the site and saw that the installation I knew as Pequot is still there. I also visited the Red Apple Rest nearby in its last days. The camp's counselors all talked about wild times at the Red Apple. One year in camp a group of us went to the Red Apple. I bought my first pack of cigarettes (Kools) for 11 cents. Says Ken Cowans

I was a camper at S2, Camp Nendawen, Orange, NJ - YMCA. Starting in 1959 ending as a counselor 1967. We had softball games with all the Lake Camps at the lake field next to Camp Trexler. Its a beautiful day at Camp Nendawen! Says Michael Sorrell

I went to Camp Wabenake back in the early 60's. It was run by Ralph Hitman and his wife Rose. It was part of the Boys Brotherhood republic (BBR) located on east 6th street in Manhattan. I grew up in NYC and remember those days well. I am now 57 but remember it and the counsellors like it was yesterday. Best years of my life!! Says Steve Alexander

Ken, I am 78 today, but as a kid, I went to a Fresh Air fund camp on Lake Stahahe. I was told then that there were 16 camps around the lake.
I do not remember the name of the camp I was in but I do remember the name of Pequot. It may have been because it was described to us as the widlest of the boys camps. Wild in behaviour that is not wild life ! I guess I was in an all girls camp. I lived in N. Y. C. And was sent here with my sister as part of the program to get city kids out into the fresh air for a while. I still remember the star gazing walks to the lake late at night. Being fearful of water, I was cajoled rather insistantly into learning how to swim, so that I got my Red Cross beginners card.
For the resistant like my self we were once taken to a camp on the lake for handicapped children. We saw children missing limbs that could swim. We were then told there is no such thing as I can't. !

A life lession was learned then, I guess.
Says Ingrid Wolsk

Camps Sebago and Wabenake are both on Wabenake Rd with the latter closer to County Highway 106 Says Lea

I'm 73 now but still relive the years spent on Lake Stahaha at then Camp Pequot. That's over 63 years ago. Does anyone know the camps name now? I even still remember the camp cheer. Says Ken Fairchild

As a kid growing up in the early 60s my dad use to take us there and I wonder what it's like now. Says Paul

I attended Camp Pratt on the lake in the 1950s. It was a YMCA camp back then. Lake was pristine and the fishing fabulous. Says Glen Southwick

Enjoying all the posts, I am now beginning my 18th summer at EUREKA S-6, German Ski Club of NY. Juat want to say that we are STILL the same club that began in 1939! The only change in the past 2 years is that we now allow non-skiers to join our camp community w/out having to ski (although most members DO ski) however, they do have to join the ski club regardless because we now offer alternative winter activities to the non-skiers (snow tubing, cross country, skating, snow shoeing etc) when we schedule our ski events.

One of our elder members just gave up her camp platform this year at the age of 85! She became a member of our club when she was 19 years old (Ushi), despite giving up the platform she will still hold a season pass, so she can continue to enjoy afternoons on Lake Stahahe. Our club is FULL, and the park just built us two new platforms to accommodate the overflow of people wanting to join. Most of the older members are no longer there, but many existing members were raised there as children and are now bringing their children up, so the tradition of the club still has a presence today.

We are multi cultured now as opposed to only having German members, but we still enjoy the heritage by having our anual SPRING DANCE where some members still sport Dirndl's and Lederhosen, and we bring in the OOOM-PA bands, ALP horns, German fare and on occassion we hire the Shuplattl dancers! I guess the faces have changed a bit throuhout the years, but the love of the lake and the memories it leaves you with will forever be the same for all who pass through! If any of you are passing through, stop in and ask for Barbara at EUREKA S-6!

(PS the neighboring camps are still being used, and when the Hittman's closed their son planned on continuing the camp but moved to the last one on the lake past Eureka, sadly while he was working out the details he became ill and passed away, I spoke to a gent the other day doing work there, and they are taking over and moving forward with his plan. )

THANKS for all the great stories. I'm going to pass this chat site on to our older members who I am still in contact with.... Bet they have good stories to share! (pic I took in the fall-hike to Big Rock!) - Barbara Meyer

Posting more recent pictures on Lake Stahahe. Camp road...fall 2013 - Barbara Meyer

Lake Stahahe Summer 2013 - Barbara Meyer


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