Countdown to the 100th: the 1960s

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With this post on the 1960s, we are half way done with our Countdown to the 100th - I can’t believe it! You are going to love learning all about life at camp during the 1960s. What a FUN time to be a camper. Camp was really growing and girls had more opportunities than ever to try new classes, to take trips out of camp, and to just have fun.

Two monumental changes occured at camp during the 1960s. First, camp reduced from an eight-week camp down to a seven-week camp in 1965. This was the first reduction in length, and the 1960s would be the last decade that Greystone operated only one session.

The second big change was in leadership: Libby and Jim officially came on board in 1967, ensuring the continuation of Greystone into the future. With this assurance of Greystone moving forward, Virginia invested back into the facilities, leading to growth in camp overall.

Let’s dive in and learn about life at camp in the 1960s!

Meals during the 1960s:

  • Where you sat in the Dining Hall was a good gauge on how much fun you would have during meals. If you drew a low numbered table, you were often with senior staffers, which led to more serious meal-times in which manners and posture were corrected. High numbered tables put you with college-aged counselors, which lended towards practical jokes and friendly contests.
  • Like today, campers used the Fountain of Youth to refill pitchers with cool water during the meals.
  • Popular counselor Mary “B” gave a weekly award for Best Manners at her table.
  • Campers could be assigned to sit with Director Virginia Hanna. She made sure that all campers were mindful of manners, conversation, and eating Greystone bites while at her table.
  • Counselors’ boyfriends would sometimes visit meals, receiving lots of attention from the campers. Girls would sing “When a Greystone Girl Goes Walking With Her One And Only Man,” which allowed for the linking of arms with the visiting boyfriend.
  • Because the Dining Room was not large enough to require a public address system, campers began their favorite Greystone songs by yelling ‘1-2-3-shhh.’
  • Other fun songs such as “Shanty Shack” and “It Was Only a Coca Cola Bottle” were sung repeatedly by the campers in the 1960s.

Popular Evening Programs:

  • Camper vs. Counselor competitions, especially volleyball and softball
  • Odds vs. Evens Capture the Flag
  • Counselor Hunt
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Song Contests
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Trips, trips, and more trips:

The 1960s were a decade of many out-of-camp trips. Popular trips included:

  • Four-day hiking trip to Mt. LeConte.
  • Three-day wilderness trip to Lake Nantahala for advanced campers in Canoeing, Swimming, or Sailing.
  • Three trips out of camp to neighboring towns: Cherokee, Biltmore, and the Hendersonville Horseshow.

Popular songs of the 1960s:

1962: I Came to Carolina and I Saw Greystone
1964: Camp Greystone, Camp Greystone, Ain’t It Great To Be Back Home?
1966: Pines So Bold
1967: Pep Smile, You Can Tell A Greystone Girl
1969: Greystone Spirit Ever Lingering

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Facility Improvements:

Once Libby and Jim joined Virginia and she knew that Greystone would continue after her retirement, Virginia invested in the property in numerous ways:

  • Built a new Counselor Hut
  • Added Cabins Six and Eight near the Riflery Range
  • Enlarged the Dining Hall, Grey Lodge docks, and White Hall Lodge
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Greystone celebrates 50 years!

Greystone celebrated its 50th summer in 1969, with many of Greystone’s past campers and counselors visiting, including Greystone’s first head counselor Jane McGauhey and first nurse Lucy Wright. Campers loved meeting these beloved Greystone staff of early years.

The Green and Gold was dedicated to Virginia that anniversary summer, with campers and counselors also gifting Virginia an engraved silver pitcher to honor her on the momentous occasion. The circular felt emblems given to all campers in 1969 were gold with green numbers, as opposed to the traditional green with gold numbers.

You might have been a camper in the 1960s if you remember:

  • Jumping on the swinging bridge and getting everyone soaked in the process.
  • Participating in the Miss Greystone Pageant, where you won the award for Miss Figure or Miss Nails.
  • Waiting patiently for Mr. Putman, the photographer, to take the photos on camp photo days.
  • Completing the K-Nu scavenger hunt in hopes of being admitted into the coveted K-Nu canoeing club.
  • Watching the first man walk on the moon in White Hall.
  • Riding the Greystone swim bus with driver Lincoln Mabry.
  • Hearing Counselors serenade you after taps on Sundays.
  • Celebrating when Miss Jean announced Council Fire for Evening Program.