From the Archives: May/June 2017

Please note: This edition of “From the Archives” features a guest author. Stay tuned for a new edition of From the Archives with Byron Hanson in a later issue of Crescendo.

What did you pack for your summers at Camp?

Perhaps your packing list looked a little like Oriole “Tootie” Wright’s list for Camp 1930: camera, flashlight, uniform items and a thick blanket for those chilly nights.

The young harpist’s full packing list was lovingly preserved in her scrapbook of Interlochen memories, which was recently gifted to Jeffrey Kimpton by her daughter. For the summer of 1930, each student was required to bring:

  • One pair of high, white tennis shoes
  • One pair of ordinary shoes (two, if possible)
  • One heavy, dark sweater (navy blue preferred)
  • Two bathing suits (wool)
  • Three suits of underwear
  • Three pairs of pajamas or nightgowns, one flannel for cool nights
  • Four heavy blankets (nights are cool)
  • Four single sheets
  • One pillow
  • Three pillow slips
  • Two bath towels
  • Six hand towels
  • 12 handkerchiefs
  • Two white shirts, collars attached
  • One raincoat, slicker or poncho
  • Three pairs of regulation socks, to be purchased at the Camp store (75 cents per pair)
  • One laundry bag
  • One square rubber sheeting, for bed
  • One music stand

Observers might note that Tootie was not instructed to bring any of the traditional powder-blue shirts; for the first few years of Camp, white was the color of choice for Camp uniforms. The blue shirts were added later, but the white shirts always remained as Sunday attire.Tootie’s list is also suspiciously lacking in uniform bottoms: then, as now, knickers were required attire for women and were provided by the Camp laundry. While knickers are now only required for performances, they were mandatory day-to-day wear for young ladies at Camp 1930.

Besides the required items, the list also included many optional and recommended items:

  • One flashlight (considered almost a necessity)
  • Camera
  • Pocket knife
  • Tennis racket
  • Fishing tackle, if you wish to fish
  • Extra musical instruments, especially violas
  • Fountain pen
  • Books to read or exchange
  • Sheet music, including solos, duets, exercises, etc.
  • Extra strings, reeds, rosin, etc.

Campers were advised to pack their belongings in Army duffle bags, as there was no storage area for heavy trunks, which were also more difficult and costly to ship.

President Kimpton used the newest addition to the archives in his speech at the groundbreaking for the new Music Building on May 12, 2017. “Tootie never returned after that summer, but Interlochen never left Tootie,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

You can watch the full ceremony here. President Kimpton’s remarks begin around the 32-minute mark. Tootie’s scrapbook is being carefully digitized by Interlochen’s archivists, and will be available for viewing in a few months.