37 Summers

37 Summers
My Years As A Camp Director

by Arthur Sharenow

Published by Zorba Press
Paperback edition: Available now! (June 1, 2012)
Nonfiction; 276 pages; 6″ x 9″
ISBN: 978-0927379-37-3
Price: paperback $ 20

Through a series of short stories and character portraits, we learn of the joys, trials and surprises that make up the life of the Director of a children’s summer camp. Arthur asserts “there are very few people who have the opportunity to create a world of their own, a world where the only two goals are the growth and the happiness of its inhabitants.” We learn that those goals are not always so easily achieved.

You will learn of charismatic and colorful counselors, of fantastic sports and hikes, and of imaginative special activities. But you will also learn of a lake that turned orange overnight, of late night trouble from prowlers, of frightening athletic accidents, of counselors who mysteriously disappear, and of cleaver wielding chefs.

“I once joked to a friend that if I was President, the whole country would have a general swim at 10:30 every warm morning. We would all wake up early every day, get plenty of exercise, have a rest period after lunch, and go to bed early so that we would be rested for the day to come. There would be kindly advisers and coaches available whose job it was not only to teach skills to people, but also to make them feel good about themselves. My country would be a without cell phones, electronic games and large TV screens.”

“Camp was my country, and though we never quite lived up to the paradise I envisioned, we frequently came close. I can’t think of anything I would rather have done during those wonderful productive years.”

Click here to visit the book’s page on Amazon.com

About Arthur Sharenow

Arthur Sharenow spent virtually all of the summers of his life in camp. He started as a camper at age five, and, barring a couple of years out in his late teens, his summers prior to retirement were spent at camp, as camper, counselor, unit leader, Head Counselor and finally Director. Following a short foray in the practice of law, he has spent all of his working life as a camp director. He and his wife Judy, owned and directed a brother-sister summer camp in New Hampshire for thirty-seven years. Even after they sold the camp, they continued on for an additional eight summers as associate directors.

Sharenow joined the American Camping Association in 1963, and has maintained his membership in that camp umbrella organization to this day. The ACA sets the standards for fine camping across the country. For several years, Arthur was on the Executive Board of the New Hampshire Camp Association. He also served as a member of a standards revision committee for the New England Camping Association. Under the auspices of the ACA he directed a “New Camp Directors Workshop.” In his later years in camping he took on the role of ACA Visitor, visiting other camps, and evaluating the extent to which they complied with the ACA health and safety standards.