Book and reunion to remember Camp Artaban

ArtabanEven though Camp Artaban’s final reunion occurs in May 2019, the camp’s story can be relived in the recently published book — Memories of Camp Artaban.

“If you have a story of Camp Artaban, write it down and I will put them together for our final event,” one of the reunion organizer Dave McKay threw out the challenge at the last reunion in November 2017. At lunch an original camper told a series of hilarious stories about the early days of Camp. A wave of stories followed.

Dave then organized a small group to solicit and edit contributions.  They recorded stories from campers who did not feel capable of recording their memories.

Once they had a good number of contributions, a new question arose: could they include the significant texts from the Camp Artaban archives? Other than displaying the memorabilia at a day’s event, it seemed a waste to relegate all those treasured documents to permanent storage in the diocesan archives. 

The group examined the memorabilia and decided to feature photocopies of significant documents. These included Camp brochures from 1950 and 1960, daily schedule in 1950, “The Helm” July 1941 and a list of Directresses of Girls’ Camp. The songs, yells and mottos of the Artaban huts had to be included, as well.

Should Memories of Camp Artaban be printed in black and white or in colour? The answer came when a significant contribution of photos, reminiscences and documents in colour arrived from the family of Camp Artaban’s founder, Padre Holmes.  

Dave contacted several publishers, received an incredible price for 100 copies, and with 48 contributors the group felt confident they could order the minimum number. 

Within two weeks over 40 were sold and by January 2019, another 50 had to be ordered, mainly for those attending the final reunion. 

Camp Artaban’s Final Reunion is planned for Saturday, May 25, 2019, at St. John the Evangelist Hamilton. Contact Dori (Shrubsall) Chapman at 905-577-3393 for more details.

To obtain a copy of Memories of Camp Artaban ($15) contact Dave McKay at 905-522-6218 or below.  

Submitted by Susan (Angi) Little, long time member of St. John the Evangelist, an Artaban camper, a leader and a member of Camp Artaban’s Board of Directors.