Archives Room Update
By Judy Blase Woodruff
Many friends have asked when the Archives Room in the basement of St. Noel will be open again. It has been a long, tedious task to collect, sort, clean, and display items that are important to Camp Ondessonk’s history. It has been a labor of love for sure. This is where I must apologize that it has taken so long to pull it all back together!
About 12 years ago, my husband, Mike, and I took what used to be the Chapel in St. Noel, cleaned, painted, sorted archival items, and created a very primitive Archives Room. Everyone who visited was excited about Camp’s history being preserved. Then, over time, the room became a repository for items that were not necessarily ‘archival,’ and it became a storage space for items no one knew where else to store.
Last summer, during our volunteer week, Pati Egan, my husband, Mike, and I boxed up everything in the Archives Room and placed them in the Library of St. Noel. Mike and Dan Zofkie installed new vinyl plank flooring along with new, brighter lighting. Boxes and artifacts were then returned to the Archives Room to await further upgrades to the room.
Throughout the past year, Mike and I have spent several weekends re-painting the room, salvaging some items that were affected by the flooding over the Christmas holiday, taking down the shirts that were displayed on the wall, washing and ironing them, and cleaning the material on the walls that held the shirts. Display cases were delivered, and Mike Jennings’ Maintenance Team assembled several of them, with volunteers from 2023 Session One and Two completing the assembly of the display cases.
Last week, during Session Three, I volunteered in the Archives Room once again. Mike was assigned to Maintenance, and Pati was assigned to the Archery Range. That left me to proceed solo. My intention was to get all the shirts back on the wall, clean the display cases, and place some items in the cases. I accomplished some of that, and here is a sneak peek as to what it looks like.
After climbing the ladder at least five or six dozen times throughout the week and pushing in hundreds of pins, I decided to leave the rest of the staff shirts, volunteer shirts, specialty weekend shirts, and trading post shirts to another time!
I am waiting on the lateral file cabinets to arrive so we can begin sorting the yearbooks, unit photos, staff photos, historical documents, and other items that will be stored in the file cabinets.
There is still so much to do, but we are finally progressing! You can help! If you have any of the shirts mentioned above, staff uniforms from the 1960s and 1970s (Ladies, does anyone have a light blue skirt or shorts from the early years?), vintage souvenirs from the Trading Post, staff contracts, written citations or promotion papers, or other ‘archival’ items that depict Camp’s history, please contact me at email@example.com to be sure your item is not a duplicate that we might already have.
This is YOUR Archives Room, and I want to be sure that it reflects all of our unique histories with Camp Ondessonk!
Click here to learn more about Camp Ondessonk’s history.