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NORTON, Massachusetts – It is a camp that touched thousands. It was an experience that changed lives.
Beginning in the early 1900s and for nearly 70 years, the North Bennet Street Caddy Camps provided opportunity and salvation to young children from the mountains of New Hampshire to the beaches of Cape Cod.
Former caddies of the North Bennet Street caddy camps, mostly from the North End section of Boston, adjacent neighborhoods and nearby suburbs, took trains to New Hampshire for the summer months where they slept and lived in camps. It was there that these youngsters learned the value of hard work, dedication and commitment through the game of golf and the art of caddying.
The experience shaped one’s character, and soon the program grew to include a camp in another New Hampshire location (Lake Tarlton, Pike) and then eventually to what was then known as Clauson’s (North Falmouth) and eventually to Oyster Harbors and Wianno Clubs in Osterville. Maplewood started in 1914 and closed in 1963. Oyster Harbors, the last of the NBSIS caddy camps, closed in 1983.
Along the way, camps were built and scholarships were raised and awarded. The number of lives touched is nearly impossible to track although from 1949 to 1978 (Mr. Dexter’s notes) nearly 2,800 young boys attended these Boston oriented camps.
In hopes of bringing many of those caddies and friends together in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the caddy camp’s shrine, “The Lady of the Fairways” will be held next month on September 21-23.
The setting for the Anniversary Celebration is the The Maplewood Golf Club and Inn at Maplewood, located in the heart of the White Mountains. Organizers are hoping that this event will draw former caddies and friends of the camps from all of the North Bennet Street Caddy Camps — Maplewood, Lake Tarlton, Clauson’s, Oyster Harbors and Wianno.
“We want to spread the word and encourage all of our former caddies to attend,” said Frank Colvario (M‘56 to ‘62, C’63 to ‘68, and OH ‘69 to ‘74), a member of the Anniversary’s steering committee. “It is our goal to bring as many together for a special chance to rekindle experiences and memories.”
To download a reunion brochure, CLICK HERE.
And to learn more about the reunion and the rich history of the North Bennet Street Caddy Camps, visit caddycamps.com.