My Heart Will Always Here Belong
Camp Robinson Crusoe
was publically shown for the first time at Old Sturbridge Village on April 4, 2014, and CRC alumni were present who had attended the camp over a span of four decades, from the late 1930s to 1969.
There was a celebratory dinner on Saturday evening, and on both Saturday and Sunday mornings there were walking tours of the CRC property, now permanently protected conservation land.
The première, and the dinner and other activities, were enjoyed by about 140 ex-campers and guests. The weekend was a great success. A big thank-you to Tammy Guzik Bliss, the CRC alum driving this event, and to Sturbridge historian Bob Briere for hosting the event on behalf of the Town of Sturbridge.
To order a DVD of the documentary, click here for an order form (NOTE: after printing that page, return with your browser's "Back" button). Or if you'd prefer, use the next link to download a copy of the order form in Microsoft Word .doc format. The order form contains payment and mailing instructions.
UPDATE, September 2014: filmmaker Bruce Butcher has confirmed that copies of the DVD are still available.
Click the next link for a page called Making the CRC documentary. It has many photographs, and links to other pages of information and additional photographs.
Saturday, April 5, 2014:
Camp Robinson Crusoe
My Heart Will Always Here Belong
It's time to sign up to see a wonderful film about our beloved Camp Robinson Crusoe on April 5, 2014 at Old Sturbridge Village. We are expecting CRC alumni who attended the camp over a span of four decades, from the late 1930s to 1969. Already more than 125 CRC alumni and their guests have signed up and more are joining them every day. Most are staying for the week-end.
I've had the good fortune to watch this movie twice and I was truly trilled by the skill with which professional filmmaker Bruce Butcher has captured the essence and spirit of the CRC that we all loved and that profoundly influenced our lives.
In a style suggestive of Ken Burns, Bruce has integrated interviews with more than 30 former campers and counselors with photos from camp brochures, home movies from Parents' Weekends, snapshots, recordings of campers' singing, autograph albums, camp newsletters, Josh's memoirs and archival photos from the Library of Congress to create a remarkably engaging and memorable two-hour documentary.
You will see and hear stories about Josh and Leah Lieberman and learn some very unexpected information about their family backgrounds and life experiences that influenced their educational philosophy and values. You will learn how Josh developed his approach to "creative camping" as he built his first camp for a New York settlement house when he was only 21, followed by six years leading the Pioneer Youth of America Camp. These experiences were critical to how Josh and Leah created and ran CRC. You will see photos of the original CRC on Casco Bay in Maine and learn how and why the camp relocated to Sturbridge, MA.
As you watch the film, you may see a photo of yourself, bunk mates or counselors you knew. You will certainly be flooded with memories of your summers at CRC:
The premiere of the CRC film is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 3 pm. This will be a great time to reconnect with your CRC friends and to bring guests so they may begin to grasp why CRC was so important in your life.
On both Saturday and Sunday mornings we will have walking tours of the CRC property that is now permanently protected conservation land, and a celebratory dinner on Saturday evening.
Camp Robinson Crusoe is reopening?
How can that be?
Camp Robinson Crusoe is reopening? Well, not exactly, but close enough to make you want to see what it’s all about. Documentary film maker and Sturbridge resident Bruce Butcher has made a documentary film about CRC. It features interviews with lots of old campers talking about their experiences and that special thing—let’s call it a philosophy—that made CRC unique then and that still hasn’t been replicated anywhere.
The film will also have photos and old 8 mm home movies that former campers have given to Bruce. I’ve not seen it yet, but I’m sure it’ll be a noble tribute and fitting memorial to that place, Josh Lieberman’s family, and the underlying concept that still resonates in many—or even all!—of us.
The details: The film will be screened on Saturday, April 5, at 3:00 PM in a theater in Old Sturbridge Village. A word about the film from someone (not I) who saw it: It’s not just talking heads! The film is truly a transcendent experience with evocative scenes of camp and footage from the Library of Congress on Josh and Leah.
Immediately following there’ll be a dinner at a local restaurant. Our target price for the dinner is $50 per person (including tax and gratuities).
Note: If you intend to come, it's extremely important to RSVP promptly so that we’ll be sure to have a large enough room. Then after dinner we’re working on something like a campfire. After all, what would camp be without guitars and singing? Hopefully we can find an indoor venue for that, but to make sure, bring a warm jacket, gloves, and a hat. And then to conclude, there will be a brunch on the morning after at the famous and familiar Publick House.
Crucial now is for us to get numbers, so let Tammy Guzik Bliss know if you are or even are not attending. You can e-mail her at TJBliss@verizon.net.
So far almost 80 people have confirmed. Join us! Please!
And call up camp friends and tell them about it. Don't assume others know, because our mailing list is ancient, so lots of people won’t see this.
If you have questions, contact me, Bob Handloff, at 570-727-5052 or 201-600-0873 or at email@example.com, or Tammy (contact info above). And again, I hope to see as many as came to Camp Taconic 14½ years ago.
Some of the people involved in the project are listed below. Where the name is a link, clicking on it will open up an e-mail message to that person.
Click here for a map of the CRC land, which is now called the Leadmine Mountain Conservation Land (this is a large PDF file, and can take a long time to load).
Click here to go to the CRC Starting Page.