imaginary outfit: fern bank camp

imaginary outfit: fern bank camp

A letter as I imagine it, from a woman camper of long ago:

When the heat and bother of Philadelphia becomes too sickly and stifling, we retreat to Fern Bank Camp. There, the days are wholesome and time passes with amazing swiftness. We rise with the sun, and after a cold bathe in the creek, we breakfast together. Hannah and Delilah take the children and they spend the mornings searching for berries or frogs or whatever is the fad of the moment. I have my specimens to occupy me. Slowly, I am gathering samples of all the ferns and bracken that carpet our valley, and the process of identifying, cataloging and pressing each one for my album is quite engrossing. After dinner, the children are turned loose for free play and the valley resounds with the joyful noise. I work at my paintings or sketch until supper-time, when we all gather in to the verandah and I read aloud from the Morte d'Arthur or Tennyson's Idylls of the King until the light fails. Jacob has become quite expert at stargazing, and he regales us with stories of Cygnus and Lyra on clear nights. We have great times calling the owls. Adam, poor fellow, has to work weeks, but he comes down on the train for weekends, so every Friday is a jamboree, given over to the making of pies and the plotting of theatricals. The children each memorize a verse to greet him, and Hannah and I have grand fun thinking of tableaus for them to stage. Right now they are begging for a 'real' camp-out - to sleep out in the woods, on beds of pine boughs with twigs in their hair. Their father may oblige them yet. You and Davis must visit - you must! The children miss you so.

Ah, if only the summers never ended!