Seventy-five Years and Thriving
by Camp Glen Brook
September 15, 2019
Summer 2020 will be Glen Brook’s 75th year of Summer Camp. I am continuously inspired by and grateful to founder, William Harrer and his wife Dorothy Jeffries Harrer for having the vision and fortitude to bring Camp Glen Brook into being. Soon after I arrived at Glen Brook in 2012, David White (Glen Brook camper in the 1950’s and long time generous friend) gave me a copy of William Harrer’s journal documenting the beginning of this amazing Camp. It has inspired my work here ever since.
Fast-forward seventy-five years. A structural engineer came to Camp to check on the condition of the foundation and structural members of our Main House as we embarked on needed work to care for this beloved building. When we got to the attic and he looked at the rafters, then he looked at me with astonishment and said, “You have nothing to worry about here. Whoever built this place, built it to last. They used oak timbers, which back in the 1700’s were typically only use in churches and town halls. In other words, in buildings intended to last for centuries.” He went on to explain that oak timbers were not generally used in ordinary homes because the wood is so hard, that it takes significantly more time and energy to hand hew this wood that the pine and hemlock typically used in homes. But Glen Brook’s Main House is not a typical home! I can’t help but think that even then, the universe was conspiring to support William Harrer’s eventual dream.
Now Glen Brook is solidly here, thriving as a place where children, young adults, and families can come to be renewed and strengthened to take up the work that is uniquely theirs in the world. Just as the local native American Abenaki tribe would come to Mount Monadnock seeking renewal and inspiration, so do we return to Glen Brook, if not physically, in our hearts and minds. Glen Brook is a place many people regard as a second home; it is a place where we can come home to ourselves.
Shelley Goguen Hulbert