Volume 12, Issue 1

Page 3

Whatever Happened to Camp Crownjoy?

  by Bill Pellman

camp were busy times.  Those who had any talent for carpentry and repair were called upon to help and they enjoyed every minute of it!  Fr. Maynard was always coming up with some new project like putting in a new septic tank or building a new diving platform.

Remember the poison ivy boys?  They tried to cut a path around the lake in their bathing suits and ended up in the hospital with bad cases of whole-body poison ivy.  One of them was Fr. Harold Geers.

Remember the outhouse that the clerics had to use?  How many holes did it have and wasn't it brought over from the previous camp? Remember the awful smell?  The bunkhouse was a building that used to be a chicken coup.  Many a dirty trick was played on individuals in there at night.

Remember the time Fr. Larry Landini made his famous homemade Italian spaghetti?  It took the whole day but it was good.  We watched TV all night long when Fr. Arnold Rodriguez was the chaplain.  Once he called the sheriff because

he heard June bugs hitting the screen of his room.

There were scary moments, too, like the time lightning hit the tin shack we were sitting in to get out of the rain.  And we found many ways to amuse ourselves, including the outboard motor that never ran but was the pastime of lots of clerics.  Remember the frog hunting expedition and pitching horseshoes with Fr. Cletus Suttman? 

Lastly, who does remember the name of the previous camp?  It wasn't far from Camp Crownjoy but it was before my time.  The only thing I heard about it was the time a lot of clerics got sick on peanut butter that was left out in the sun.

I am certain there are a lot of other nostalgic tidbits out there, including what happened to the camp in later years.  Add yours if you will by sending email (wpell@one.net) or by writing to the Franciscan Alumni Association.  My own recollections of Camp Crownjoy are "joyous!"

No expense spared at Camp Crownjoy

At our last alumni chapter meeting, I unwittingly asked this question.  The next thing I knew I was asked to write an article about it for the Alumni Newsletter. I accepted the challenge and began by asking several alumni to recall highlights of the camp.  So here goes.

The Mason family, owners of a car dealership, gave the property to Duns Scotus in the mid-50s.  The contest to name the camp was sponsored by Fr. Raphael Clouse and won by no other than Fr. Isodore Walter.  We all thought the name was a big joke at first, but you could not argue with Fr. Raphael.
The annual opening and closing of the

Franciscan Archives at St. Anthony's

Dan Anderson, Don Rewers and Marcan Hetteberg (see their photo on page 7) have been slaving away for years to develop and maintain a museum of Franciscan archival information, including books, letters, videos, pictures, paintings, and items of value or historical significance. One of the documents they update and distribute is the "Necrology of Friars."  It includes obituaries and anecdotes regarding virtually every Saint John Baptist friar who has passed away since the province began.

The Archives are on the ground floor of the old Shrine Hall at Mt. Airy.  The atmosphere in the recently remodeled facil

ity is regulated at a constant humidity and temperature to preserve the archive's treasures. In the midst of the libraries, computers, multimedia, and "debugging" rooms, Dan, Marcan, and Don manage to make the place feel comfortable like home. The large glass windows provide a gorgeous view of the field and woods down the hill behind St Anthony's. Give 'em a call and stop by for a visit sometime!  The "Necrology of Friars" and several pictures of the Archives are viewable online at the alumni website.

Individuals may help the Archives continue and expand by donating Franciscan

memorabilia or providing financial support.  In January 2000, the Alumni Association contributed money to help the Archives restore 16 mm movies and transfer them to videotape.  Our next CD project will include a compilation of movies shot at Duns Scotus and other locations plus text and images from the Assisian magazines. 
How to contact Dan and the gang:
Franciscan Archives
5000 Colerain Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45223-1298
(513) 542-7999

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