This letter was sent to the Archive Project by Joe Shapiro who was a Fuller camper, staff member and later served on the Board. Joe found this letter in some of his memorabilia and wanted to share it with all of us.
For four generations of Sundins, Camp Fuller has provided lifetimes of summer memories. The first was my great-grandfather, Roger Sundin, Sr. who started attending Camp Fuller in 1935. My great-grandfather, Roger Sundin, Sr. told me of his favorite memories when he was a kid and playing here at Camp Fuller and these experiences are just like mine, well kind of. He tells me of great food his favorite being chicken patties (which are still amazing even to this day), platform tents, a lot of time in the water, swimming in the freezing lake, using sailboats, and that the arts n crafts were not the greatest. He still thinks about these memories even to this day.
Whenever I get together with my old friends from Camp Fuller, the conversation inevitably comes around to trying to answer the question, “What made Camp so special?”I can’t speak from direct experience about any decade except the 1960’s. I literally grew up at Camp then, starting as a Sherman Division camper and completing my years at Fuller as the Sherman Division Leader. I’d like to share with you what distinguished the Camp Fuller experience for me.
In the Summer of 1963, I was eight years old and I went to Camp Fuller for the first time. At that time Camp had four two-week sessions. I went to the second session that began before the 4th of July. I was a Sherman Division Camper in Cabin 3. My next-door neighbor Steven Himmelfarb was my CIT. At lunch on Sunday at the beginning of my second week, the kitchen door (a Dutch door) flew open and this scruffy Pirate roared out into the mess hall. At eight years old, this was a bit scary.
There has to be something really special about a place and an experience that evokes the kind of love, affection and positive memories that Camp Fuller brings out in all of us. For me, the friendships, the waterfront and the sailing program have had lifelong positive impact. Lifelong. When I saw my first sailing master Barlow two Springs ago with a group of other alumni, it was remarkably meaningful, and I told him so.
Over the years, hundreds of kids have quietly come to camp through the generosity of others. At any given time in a family, financial challenges may prevent a young person from attending camp. Somehow, some way word gets to those in charge that a family is facing a hardship and may not be able to afford camp that summer. Decisions are made for all the right reasons, the tide changes and the next thing you know that child is coming down the camp road. Nobody asks questions and discretion always plays a major role in awarding a campership to a needy child.