Posted by: campkehonka | October 24, 2011


Save the date! Save the date! SAVE THE DATE:

Kehonka Reunion at the NH Boat Museum in Wolfeboro, NH
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Cookout with Musicale

Details to follow…I’m trying to nail some things down 😉 Visit (and bookmark!) this page to see updates + link to the page for Musicale requests.

Note: many area camps are letting out that weekend, so area hotels, motels and rentals will be booked up before you know it. Please follow this link for information on how to get to the lake + area accommodations.

Posted by: campkehonka | August 26, 2011

“Duckling” Announcement


Kehonka’s New Duckling
Linda Lee Ballentine
Enrolled: August 26, 1948
By Althea and Bally

For the record, this has to be one of the most poignant pieces of Kehonka ephemera that I have ever had privilege of seeing. Gretchen Hurlburt Thompson kindly contributed it to me last winter.

I never had the fortune of knowing Linda, who lives on in a cherished spot of many members of the Kehonka flock.

If you have any fond memories of Linda, please share them with us!

Posted by: campkehonka | August 20, 2011

Banquet Day!

Ha! Made you look!

Bet you wish you could be on Kehonka Hill today with all of your friends…wearing COLORS…making sundaes…eating sticky buns…..building human pyramids….singing songs….watching the counselors humilate themselves and us onstage.

Camp Kehonka 1945 Banquet Day Favor

The above graphic is a favor from 1945 (thanks, Gretchen Hurlburt for never throwing away ANYTHING Kehonka related!).

Posted by: campkehonka | August 14, 2011

Visiting Wolfeboro and the Lakes Region

Planning a trip to Wolfeboro or the Lakes Region any time soon? I’ve started a page with information and links relative to how to get there, where to stay, where to eat (and the “what to do” is a work in progress! Stay tuned!).

Click here to learn more.

Posted by: campkehonka | August 13, 2011

Camp Kehonka News

I had a wonderful meeting yesterday with a Wolfeboro, NH-area museum that is very interested in incorporating a Kehonka display into their permanent collection. Our camp memorabilia and memories deserve a “home” in the Lakes Region so our story can be preserved and shared with all that visit each summer.

The museum is interested in certain items either on a donation or loan basis. We’re refining a list of what may go into the initial display, so I expect to have a “call for contributions” in the coming months.  At this juncture, the “angle” leans towards items pertaining to Kehonka and its waterfront heritage (e.g. sailing, swimming, canoeing + other activities we did along the shore….weaving, pottery, shop, etc).

I am also exploring options for coordinating a Kehonka reunion in mid-August 2012 to tie in with the collection’s debut.

Stay tuned!

Posted by: campkehonka | August 8, 2011


It never ceases to amaze me how many people reminisce about camp this time of year (ahh…..summer WAS “our” season), and I’m always delightfully surprised to hear from folks who still visit Lake Winnipesaukee.

This post really is for all who have been unable to make it back to the Lakes Region and/or for those who wonder, “What in the world does camp look like now?”

The following slideshow is a collection of photographs that were taken this morning. Wonder no more!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted by: campkehonka | August 2, 2011

Riding News

from the July 1959 edition of Goose Quills….

Among the improvements which have been made at camp are those concerned with riding. The new Kehonka ring at Beaverbrook has been used as our second ring, the other remaining at Brook and Bridle.

Thus far two successfull supper rides have taken place. Several counselors, as well as campers, have participated.

From the August 1959 edition of Goose Quills:

For the past two weeks, a new system has been organized for the supper ride. In order for the more advanced riders to have a more exciting ride, the beginners and intermediates have been grouped for their supper rides on different nights. Because of rain the ride for advance rider had to be postponed until Tuesday, August 11, while the beginners and intermediates will have their outing the following Thursday.

~Barbara Mercer

Posted by: campkehonka | July 24, 2011

“Happy Birthday, Bally!” – Goose Quills, July 24, 1945

Many thanks, Gretchen Hurlburt Thompson, for saving this for all of these years.

As noted in the prior post, during this era of camp, Goose Quills were published weekly while camp was in session. Enjoy.

A Sketch of our Birthday Boy (written by someone who should know)

This is a great day, for it was on this day (not so awfully long ago), that Mr. A. (rumored to stand for Ayerskalfhe) Cooper Ballentine, more commonly known as Bally, was born. One can get some idea of his antiquity by recalling the redundancy he has to dwell on his excursion with George Washington when they crossed the Delaware together.

To say the least, our friend is a walking encyclopedia and dictionary combined. He can explain in detail how a differential compensates for the movement of the driving wheels of a car or he can readily convince the most stubborn disputer that a red-headed woodpecker has black eyes. His vocabulary – estimated at a mere twenty thousand words – includes a few choice pieces. Most prominent and the one Noah Webster has yet to hear about is “difuglty,” whic he admits is nothing but a perversion of “difficulty.” He gleefully refers to anything from a glass of milk to a 4-motored airplane as a recantularparalepiped.

Indeed, it would take years of careful study and suffering to satisfactorily diagnose Bally’s “jokes.” To call them jokes is a compliment of the greatest magnitude. Perhaps it would be better to say “puns.” These so-called puns can be divided into two groups. First are those which the maestro originated on the spur of the moment. These are generally the hardest to bear under. Second comes the group which has been saved through the ages vast – a mossy, moldy collection of rare tid-bits, which I, for one, have heard so many times that I know them as well as I know my A B C’s.

This versatile gentleman has always had one outstanding handicap. It still remains as one of his chief sources of trouble. For it was only a few summers ago that Navy plane landed on the lake in front of camp. They had mistaken our friend’s head for a landing beacon. Campers are curious to know what attracts the mosquitoes to camp. The answer is easy, for where else are they afforded such an appropriate landing field as Bally’s head? The place in mention is soon to be roped off anticipating the coming major league ball game: Mosquitoes vs. Grasshoppers.

Yes, this is a great day. It is the day when we celebrate the birthday of the person who, in spite of his bald head and tall stories, stands as a symbol for the ideals of camping – ideals which have made Kehonka what she is today.


“To Bally On His Birthday”

Though Bally is never erratic,
He sometimes is idiosyncratic,
But nevertheless,
It is easy to guess
That Bally has brains in his attic.

On his Ballytudinous cranium,
You couldn’t even grow a geranium.
How could it take root,
If it sent down a shoot,
In his gray cerebellum terraneum?

His language is supermagnendous,
His puns are superb but horrendous.
He’ll search in his mind,
Certain syllables find,
And come up with a word like gargendous.

Nancy: Happy Birthday from the kitchen!
Miss Ackley: Who’d think that Bally’s older than I? He’s 33 & I’m 25.
Mary-Olive: Happy days and weeks.

Posted by: campkehonka | July 11, 2011

Winning the Blue Goose

I had forgotten all about the “Blue Goose” award until I stumbled upon this Editorial in the July 1959 Goose Quills (again: many thanks and hugs to Sally Jeanne “Bambi” Kappler for mailing them to me).

Since camp began this season, there have been many questions floating around concerning the significance of the Blue Goose at Kehonka. There have been many conflicting ideas presented, and we thought we would like to give a clearer picture of this bird. A conversation which could have occurred anywhere in camp should help to clarify the symbolic meaning…..

“Guess what,” said Jane. “We got the Blue Goose today!”

“Congratulations,” answered Sue.

“That is a commonly-heard phrase here,” said a new camper, “but why did the camp choose the goose – the blue goose – as its symbol and guide?”

“Sue, you ought to be able to tell us; you’re an old camper.”

Blue Geese

“Well,” answered Sue, “this is what I remember about the goose from studying its habits and ways in school. The goose is one of the strongest and sturdiest birds. They are among the first birds to fly northward in the spring.”

“Have you heard the expression about silly geese?” asked Kim. “I remember that geese are especially wise and alert and intelligent. Anyone saying “silly geese” should think again. Also something which ties in here is the way geese fly in a V-shape formation with one at the head. This isn’t always the same bird, and he is chosen by the good judgment of the group and the others follow. These are more reasons for the goose being our camp symbol.”

“We have a special goose, the Canadian Blue Goose,” said Sue. “The reason for this is that this goose has all the best qualities, and when you hear the geese flying above with their cry “Ke-hon-ka!” you know you are safe and well.”

Sue, summarizing this informative conversation, said, “I would like to say that the goose has a fine sense of responsibility, obedience to authority, loyalty, and devotion to friendship. These are all qualities which we as campers should strive to have and to bring forth for a better camping atmosphere.”

Posted by: campkehonka | July 10, 2011

The Economics of Summer Camp

First: did you know there is a Camp Kehonka group on Facebook? Well….there IS. So, next time you’re on FB, let your fingers to the walking and find the group. You may reconnect with a former tentmate or counselor!

A link to a N.Y. Times article about the economics of summer camp was recently posted on the Kehonka group page. Read on………and be thankful we could afford to go to camp when we did!

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