Then and Now

Camp Massasoit celebrates its 80th birthday this year. In honor of this momentous occasion, campers will be recreating photos taken at the camp between the 1930-60s to show the similarities and differences between camp life then and now.

Camp Massasoit campers pointing towards the sky

Some Things Never Change

Beginning 80 years ago, a camp day always began with the raising of the American flag. This tradition has stayed true since Camp Massasoit started. At the end of the day, the flag is lowered to signify the closing of the camp day. We felt it was rather symbolic to close our 80th year, and our "Then and Now" series, with this photo. Co-director Angela Veatch and groups 1,2, and 3 helped to recreate this final photo.

Teepees and bryozoans and Lake Massasoit. Oh my!

In the "then" photo, campers sit around a teepee and play music. Today, teepees are typically constructed by a group of campers. This year, campers in groups 15 and 16 from session three helped build the teepee and created the artwork on the outside. Our head counselor, former Project Wild director, is educating campers in groups 17 and 18 from session four about bryozoans found in Lake Massasoit. Colonies of bryozoans grow on submerged wood and help filter water. Project Wild is one of our program areas where campers, through experiential education, gain awareness, knowledge, and skills concerning wildlife and the environment.

Just Keep Swimming

Lake Massasoit, also known as Watershop's Pond, was once used for a variety of swimming activities at Camp Massasoit. Today, swim lessons and free swim take place at the main Springfield College campus in the Art Linkletter Natatorium. Campers in groups 13 and 14 helped recreate this photo while participating in their swim lesson for the day.

Music to Our Ears

Campers on the left are listening to recorded music inside the Pueblo in Post Lodge. Although music is still a big part of Camp Massasoit, Post Lodge is primarily used by our adventure campers as they prepare for their trips now. Our adventure campers helped recreate this photo while learning about proper ways to pack a backpack.

Getting Crafty

This week we're talking arts and crafts. As you can see in the image to the left, pottery used to be part of the day camp and took place inside the pueblo. Today, arts and crafts take place outside in the picnic grove. Campers in groups 7 and 8 helped us recreate this image as they were creating waves inside their water bottles using a variety of ingredients.

Ready, Aim, Fire

This week we’re showing off our campers in the archery program area. Campers in groups 11 and 12 helped us recreate this photo. Eight archers are lined up on the firing line with the support of our archery program director in the background providing instructions. A significant difference in today’s area archery session is that all of our archers wear arm guards.

Just Keep Paddling

Campers have been boating on Lake Massasoit from the beginning. It’s still an integral party of the day camp experience and a popular program. On the right, campers from groups 13 and 14, along with their boating director, show off their skills as they recreate the old Camp Massasoit shot on the left. The biggest difference in boating then and now? Life jackets are now required.

Bikes, Hikes, and the Great Outdoors

Some things never change. At left, a group of campers walks along a dirt pathway through the woods. The children photographed would have likely ridden their bikes to camp.

On the right, our voyager campers take a break to help us recreate the photo during their bike-themed session. Voyager Camp is designed as a transitional program for young campers (ages 11-13), advancing them from day camp into our adventure programs. Each session has a pre-designed theme that introduces campers to safe and progressively designed adventure-based activities.

Camp Massasoit counselor for two summers

Why We Support

We came up with the idea of doing an 80 for 80 staff gift one day while a few of us were cleaning the shed after a day of camp. We had been chatting about the support from the families and friends who have been greatly affected by East Campus. Without a thought, I said, “I would give a donation.” And the same sentence echoed three other times throughout the shed from other counselors. We decided then that it would be a great idea to talk about the collaborative gift at our next staff meeting.

Paige Moran head shot
Explore the Friends of East Campus