Camp: Central MA

Updated: Jan 4

The story of 'the camp' on a small pond in Central Massachusetts began in July 1950, when Dave's dad pulled a town building permit to construct a camp/summer house that has became an integral part of family memories.

It's incredibly quiet and peaceful here since there are not many homes on the pond and motor-propelled boats/vehicles are not allowed.

Snake Pond in Gardner, MA

It also helps that a large swath of land is classified as either conservation or protected land so no new development can occur.

Snake Pond in Gardner, MA

Except for the enclosed porch, the camp exterior has changed little since it was first built. After 70 years it's still in great shape.

Camp at Snake Pond in Gardner, MA
Camp at Snake Pond in Gardner, MA

The views from the porch are amazing and changes depending on the weather, time of day or season.

Morning fog over Snake Pond in Gardner, MA
Sunset over Snake Pond in Gardner, MA
Fall foliage over Snake Pond in Gardner, MA

Because the pond is spring feed, the water temperature during early summer can be cold, but it's still the place for us to be on a hot day. Sitting in the sun or shade reading, floating around on tubes or taking the canoe out.

Snake Pond in Gardner, MA
Swimming in Snake Pond in Gardner, MA
Camp on Snake Pond in Gardner, MA
Canoeing on Snake Pond in Gardner, MA

Last year we bought a 'Yard Jart Set'. They're much safer than the version we had growing up that had pointed metal ends. There's an old Dave-Deb story about playing Jarts with their neighborhood friends. I think it ended badly for one of the kids that was playing but they've sworn each other to secrecy.

For a small community, in 2020 someone invested heavily in fireworks for the July 4th celebration.

Visiting the Rietta Flea Market in Hubbardston is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday morning eating fried dough and watching for bargains. The late Rita Levesque launched a small entertainment venue called Rietta in 1966 and at some point in the couple of years after that established a small flea market with about 10 dealers. Today, Rietta Flea Market can accommodate up to 650 vendors and generally has up to 400 every single Sunday.

Rietta Flea Market in Hubbardston, MA

Late July and August is a great t.me at the camp for blueberry harvesting. Several decades ago Dave's dad planet blueberry bushes that have grown huge and produce a ton of berries. Unfortunately, around 2015 beavers attacked the bushes but we acted quickly by enclosing the bushes in wire fencing. Luckily we stopped further damage. These berries need to ripen more before they're ready to pick.

Wild blueberries at Snake Pond in Gardner, MA

SIDE NOTE: The blueberries contribute to a great family tradition. Dave cooks a blueberry pancake breakfast on XMAS morning for the kids. It become a special part of the day.

Even though we close the camp in October, we'll occasionally visit after a winter snow to check for fallen branches and use the snow rake to clear the roof.

Here is one final sunset before I end the blog.

Sunset over Snake Pond in Gardner, MA

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