Generation to Generation
The Summer 2020 theme of Generation to Generation is very relevant to my experiences at Caroline Furnace, and to what many of us experience here. Having first stepped foot on camp property in the summer of 1971, I have had a lifetime to return again and again, to not just experience the natural side of the property but the community as well. Not only did I participate here as a camper, counselor, and volunteer, I also met my husband here and we sent our four children to summer camp and our church's confirmation retreats.
Now, as a Board member and chair of the Property Committee, I attend a number of events throughout the year and am always amazed and wowed by the many stories I hear; that despite our different time stamps of being involved at camp, there is so much we all have in common, and what this place means to each of us that draws us all back year after year.
One aspect of Generation to Generation that I'm excited about is the current project to create a Memorial Path in the woods by the Farmhouse. This path will enhance and preserve the historical grave markers, create a new space of solitude and reflection, provide a place for memorial services and scattering of ashes, and serve as a place where memorial trees can be planted in memory of a loved one. The Hartman family has been instrumental in moving this project forward, as they have planted the first memorial tree, dedicated to Dick Hartman. Stay tuned for more updates as more work continues.
When one walks around the grave markers, it is apparent from the dates on those stones that we, the Caroline Furnace community from 1959 to present, are just one small part of the history of this amazing property. Not only are there multiple generations of our own families who participate at Caroline Furnace as it's modern day camp and retreat center, but generations of families who lived here before and after the furnace era. A number of groups throughout the years have researched and recovered parts of our past, and ideas are underway to set up an informal museum space on property.
We are so blessed to experience a place that is both so naturally beautiful and so rich in historical significance!