• A Blast from the Past
    POSTED 11.29.18 Blog

    A Blast from the Past

    This fall we received an email from Don, the son of alumnae Hilma Forslund. Don was reaching out to share some photos that his mother had saved from camp decades earlier. Hilma had preserved many photos from her life including about forty or so of ones taken at Fleur de Lis. Little did we know some of these photos would be from the very first summer of Fleur de Lis (1929). We asked Don to share a bit about his mother and her time at FDL, which you can read below…

    About 75 years ago, when my twin brother and I were just kids, our mother, Hilma Forslund, brought us up to Camp Fleur de Lis for short camping visits when the camp was active. When my mother was young, she was a camper in FDL and perhaps another local camp.

    While organizing my mother’s many photos I thought about the reasons she did take each picture and the meaning each now has today. As for Fleur de Lis (FDL), it is obvious that her experience as a young camper shaped by the camp such that she made many good friends that she kept contact with, that when married with a family still wanted to experience being at the camp and to introduce her children to that experience (indeed, I went to cub scout, boy scout and YMCA camps, as a camper and a junior counselor). The photos show the kindness or maturity of FDL campers, counselors, etc. toward two young boys at a girls’ facility.

    At the time that I was organizing her pictures, she was in the nursing home and her memories were slowing fading and I could not rely on her providing names of people I never met or never really introduced to. I was uncertain about which tents belonged to which camp but one photo’s backside notes August 1, 1929 that a FDL banner was attached to that tent. So all look-a-like tents must be at FDL camp! 

    My mother did not notate the photos very often and because I think the photos are of my brother and I show us to be about 5 years old and we were born in April 1938, so the photos are around 1943.  One of the photos shows a mature woman who is labelled as the camp director; I might suggest that you look in your camp photo history log (if you have one) for a picture of the management in or around 1943 and see if there is a resemblance with the directors.  Same with the male workers.

    The other camp pictures shows a bus/truck with the camp name of Camp Lincoln Hill (which may be the one in Foxboro, Mass.).  My mother did not talk much about camps but let my brother and I to just experience it.  The older pictures (before I was born) seemingly shows my mother and her camp mates living in tents.  I don’t know if that camp was FDL, Lincoln Hill or another.

    I forget how often and how long I was at FDL, but I do remember distinctly two things that happened at FDL.  One time I was bitten by a wood-tick (first time for that!) and my mother took me to the nurse’s station to have it removed.  The nurse thought my mother was tongue-tied and saying “wood-STICK” at first.  The other was watching how your leaders were disciplining one of your campers who went climbing over the fragile toilets and broke one of them.  At my age I thought “girls don’t do those things, only boys do!”, now what will happen to her?  They were very good about teaching her a lesson, so good that I still remember it today.

    Here is a selection of the photos that Don so kindly shared with us. You can see all the photos he sent to camp out at 120 Howeville Road this summer.

    If the history of FDL intrigues you or you love looking through old photos of years gone by at camp. Please reach out to Lexy Heatley (lexyheatley@comcast.net). She has been working tirelessly on a picture project for this summer and could use your help. You can read more about that project in the latest Laurel Leaves issue.


  • A Thank You Letter to Camp
    POSTED 8.7.18 Blog

    Queen and Council is a Fleur de Lis tradition that has stood the test of time. Our Queen writes a speech for Senior Banquet every year; this year, Queen Jane Doyle wrote the following:

    Ever since I was little, my parents told me to write thank you letters. Whether it was for a simple gift or coming to an event, I’d mind my manners and express some gratitude. Now reflecting on my final year as a camper, I believe it’s high time to show my appreciation. 

    Dear Fleur de Lis Camp, 

    I can remember the first time I laid eyes on you. A scared ten year-old unsure of the 3 weeks to follow. Her first time away from home, the thought of new friends was chilling. Nevertheless, you embraced me without hesitation and loved me for me, whether it was my strange quirks or somewhat loud personality. I would like to say thank you for everything. For these first jumps in Laurel Lake, for carnival cookies and camp songs. For new friends and old. For campers turned to CTs, and CTs turned to staff. For tetherball and for teaching me the value of independence and trusting me with new responsibilities. For showing me that nobody is, nor ever will be perfect. For providing a safe haven even in a world as hectic as this one. For giving me the compassion to take a chance on those different from myself. For showing me the natural beauties this earth has to offer. For the endless friends and counselors and CTs that teach me the lessons no textbook or classroom has to offer. And finally, for allowing each and every young woman here to be confidently and unapologetically herself.

    Jane Doyle

  • Camp Poem Week 7
    POSTED 8.5.18 Blog

    As the end of camp draws near
    We’re saying goodbye and that’s so sad to hear
    But we have to say goodbye
    To all that we’ll see next year

    Goodbye to the Farmhouse and Dining Hall
    Goodbye to the laurel trees so tall

    Goodbye to the Fields — Cabin A to Tent 9
    I’ll think about them all the time

    Goodbye to swimming in the lake so blue
    There’s nothing that I would rather do

    But most of all, goodbye to you
    My good and loyal friends, so true
    Just know I will remember you

    Just when we have nothing to fear
    We hear the old refrain of “stay here”
    And we know we’ll meet again another year.

    Anonymous Camper

  • Camp poem: week five
    POSTED 7.25.18 Blog


    Listen close friends old and new,
    For I shall tell you what I’ll do.

    Listen now to what you’re told
    About my new venture brave and bold.

    Ring a bell and chime a gong
    For I’m writing a new camp song!

    It may be sad—somber and slow,
    only to be sung when the lights are low.

    Perhaps it shall be catchy and bright
    to be sung at day and sung at night.

    It will be the best camp song of all time
    And you’ll sing along with every rhyme.
    We’ll sing it daily in the Dining Hall
    And you’ll thank me for the best song of all

    Oh no! This poem is rather long
    I don’t have time to write a new camp song.

    — Anonymous Camper

  • Camper Poem: Week 3
    POSTED 7.8.18 Blog

    White is for clouds that dapple the sky
    And for the hulls of sailboats just passing by
    White is for purity, as bright as can be.
    White is the first of the council three.

    Green is for laurel trees, reaching so high.
    And for luna moths that flutter and fly.
    Green is for loyalty, as true as can be.
    Green is the second of the council three.

    Red is for campfires, burning so bright
    And for the fireflies that light up the night
    Red is for service, as much as can be.
    Red is the last of the council three.

    Gold is for sunsets, gilding the sky
    And for the golden tans of campers nearby
    Gold is the color of our queen,
    Whose morals we all should live by.

    Whatever your favorite color may be
    ranging in shade and vibrancy
    Or whoever your closest friend may be
    with a spot on the council three

    All of these colors, from first to last
    make up camp Fleur de Lis.

  • Camper poem: week 2
    POSTED 7.1.18 Blog

    We have a poet amongst us at FDL! One of our campers has (anonymously) decided to write a poem for each week of camp. For our second week, she writes:

    So, you’ve had the perfect day
    And swam in the perfect lake.

    So you’ve made some great new friends.
    And nobody acts fake.

    So you sew and craft and sail
    You also just sit in your tent to just chill

    You think it can’t get better than this.
    Just you wait — it will.

  • Meet the Staff: Kim Morse
    POSTED 6.18.18 Blog

    Before the summer of 2018, get acquainted with some of our amazing counselors, unit heads, Farmhouse staff, and execs who keep Fleur de Lis running from week to week. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Kim Morse, who is the Assistant to the Property Manager (Sir Richard!):

    I have lived in Fitzwilliam for about 12 years. I love being outside. I like to go for hikes and walks and just see it through my camera sometimes. Fishing and kayaking are some other outdoors activities I like. Gardening and just feeling really accomplished with what it turns out to after all the work for it.

  • Meet the Staff: Genevieve Winn
    POSTED 6.11.18 Blog

    Before the summer of 2018, get acquainted with some of our amazing counselors, unit heads, Farmhouse staff, and execs who keep Fleur de Lis running from week to week. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Genevieve Winn:

    Genevieve is very excited to return to camp for her eighth summer, this summer as the Creative Director. She first came to camp as a second-year mid and has been brought back each summer by the wonderful people, Laurel Lake, and the activities everyone gets to do everyday. Genevieve loves creating, as well as spending time with people. During the year she studies Anthropology and Studio Art at the University of Vermont. On the side, she loves hiking, journaling, reading, and illustrating for the school newspaper. Her favorite things to do are drawing, making clothes, and throwing on the wheel! She’s super excited to bring new ideas to the arts programs at camp and help every camper feel as excited about getting crafty as she is.

  • Meet the Staff: Paige Boyadjis
    POSTED 6.4.18 Blog

    Before the summer of 2018, get acquainted with some of our amazing counselors, unit heads, Farmhouse staff, and execs who keep Fleur de Lis running from week to week. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Paige Boyadjis

    Lady Paige is excited to return to Fleur de Lis for her 11th summer and third year as a staff member, this time as Senior Unit Head! She started attending camp when she was 10 years old and has been returning ever since! She’s from Morristown, New Jersey and studies English Education at the University of Delaware during the school year, hoping to be a high school English teacher! At camp, you can often find her on the waterfront enjoying the beautiful Laurel Lake. This summer, Lady Paige looks forward to reuniting with FDL’s lovely campers, creating new friendships, and having tons of fun with the seniors!

  • Meet the Staff: Vicki Setzer
    POSTED 5.28.18 Blog

    Before the summer of 2018, get acquainted with some of our amazing counselors, unit heads, Farmhouse staff, and execs who keep Fleur de Lis running from week to week. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Vicki Setzer:

    Hi, my name is Vicki Setzer. I will be one of the nurses this year at camp. I have been a camp nurse for 8 years, this will be my ninth year. I have previously worked at boys camps, so this will be a different experience which I am looking forward to. I have been a school nurse for 8 years, as well, and work at an elementary school in Orlando, Florida where I live as of now. I have always wanted to be a nurse ever since I read all about Clara Barton when I was 8 years old. I grew up all over the place as a military brat and continued that lifestyle by marrying into the military. My husband and I have 4 children: one daughter and three sons, the three oldest are grown and have children of their own, so I also have 7 soon to be 8 grandchildren, five boys and two soon to be three girls. My youngest son is graduating from high school this year, he usually comes to camp up until last year with me. My loves besides my kids and grandkids are my fur babies: I have two miniature Australian Shepherds; I had three but last year, while at camp, I lost one of them. Very sad. I am in the process of looking for a King Charles Cavalier to train to be a therapy dog, to go around to all of the children’s areas here in Florida, as well as my own school. My next love is sewing – especially quilts, yes i will bring my own sewing machine to camp, I call her Millie. I also love to travel and I am always looking for somewhere to explore, so if you know of any good places to explore, let me know. I am really looking forward to meeting everyone, what I have seen of camp so far is amazing and I cannot wait to see everything in person. It is going to be a great summer, see you in a couple of weeks!