Home: Parents and Grandparents : Wyonegonic Camps for Girls
Winona's sister camp, Wyonegonic, had been established in 1902, also by the Cobb family, at Highland Lake in Bridgton. Its popularity quickly grew and three woodland units for girls were moved to the present 245-acre site at Denmark. Its directors, Carol Sudduth and her son Steve, invite campers to share in Wyonegonic's heritage as the oldest organized girls' camp in the country.
The Cobbs, being educators, had infused their camps with a respect for learning. The Sudduths and Ordways enthusiastically endorse this same goal to share with youth the time-honored practices and ideals of wilderness living.
With Wyonegonic just five miles down the shore from Winona, brothers and sisters can in fact come to camp together. Many activities such as regattas, road races, and dances are traditionally co-sponsored by the two camps to sustain their long-standing relationship.
"When summertime comes round, we're off to good old Maine. Back to Winona where we'll see old friends again..." Not only the song of the camper - but a reunion theme as well. Regular gatherings and newsletters are essential elements of the Winona experience. Alumni throughout the world want to stay in touch. Many return "just to see the shores of Moose Pond again," retracing memories they had as campers or later as counselors. Nostalgia for the past mixes with an excitement for the new and modern facilities added each year. Alumni find the ideals of Winona timeless and the experiences unforgettable; the rivalries of Reds and Grays, the exhilaration of views from Mt. Katahdin, the animated shadows of blazing campfires, and of course...the Bat!
Winona is a place where traditions, history and storytelling abound.
One of Winona's most unique legends began in 1920, when counselor Hubert
Davis dressed in a mask and black cape and ran shrieking through the
camp, much to the amazement of all the campers. To this day, there
are still "showings." Known only to be a member of the current
staff, the Bat will suddenly swoop into some camp function and fly
off through the woods or out onto the water. On a roof...on a bridge...on
horseback, flaming torch in hand...who knows. All that ever remains,
after a frenzied chase, are tales of almost having gotten him the last
time ("you really didn't get his cape and put it under your pillow,
did you?")...and plans to catch him the next. The identity of
the Bat remains a mystery until the final night
Wyonegonic is a camp where girls learn about themselves in a non-competitive
atmosphere and enjoy the beauty of friendship in the simplicity of
the outdoors. Wyonegonic is an experience where campers enjoy a safe
environment of fun and learning.
Flexibility within a general structure is the key. These camps form a close-knit community which is small enough to kindle deep friendships. Brothers come for a visit on Sunday afternoon from Winona Camps, located on the same lake. Wyonegonic maintains a strong affiliation with Winona Camps that has existed over nine decades.
Wyonegonic, the oldest girls' camp in the nation, celebrated its 100th
Summer in 2001.
Visit Winona's sister camp at: www.wyonegonic.com