Countdown to the 100th: the 1970s

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We are jumping into the 1970s today as part of our Countdown to the 100th - what a pivotal moment to be a camper at Greystone. For the many decades before the 1970s, Greystone made small changes along the way to its facility and program to ensure that camp was a fantastic experience for the campers. Camp essentially moved along in the same way that it had for many years before, and the girls were happy. However, in the early 1970s, Greystone made huge changes to its philosophy and mission - changes that still influence the way that camp functions today.

The 1970s was also a time of great excitement and fun - let’s dive in!

1972: Libby Recommits Greystone to its Biblical Roots

During her years as Director, Virginia Hanna kept Greystone connected to its founding Christian roots, those instilled by Dr. Sevier, when he founded Greystone as a Presbyterian minister. However, over time, while campers attended church services on Sundays, counselors rarely spoke of their Christian faith. The Bible was only really mentioned at these Sunday services, and nightly devotions consisted of moral teachings.

As Libby Miller joined the Greystone leadership team in the late 1960s and was experiencing a personal renewal of her own faith in the early 1970s, she realized that it was not safe to assume that Greystone counselors were Christians. In 1972, Libby made a stand for Christ, recommitting Greystone to its Christian roots. Many staff and campers were upset about Greystone’s new emphasis on Bible teaching, with a focus on personal relationships with the Lord. However, Libby did not waver, and today, Greystone reaps the fruit of Libby’s hard decision and commitment to the Lord during the summer of 1972.

Corrie ten Boom Visits

In 1973, Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom spent two weeks at Greystone. Her visit marked a monumental moment in Greystone’s history, as many alumnae fondly remember her influence and love of the Lord.

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1974: June Camp Begins

Greystone added a second session for the first time in 1974 with the start of June Camp.

Fun facts about those first June Camp years:

  • No one was prepared for the frigid temperatures with camp starting so early in the summer.
  • All camper’s were new; no one knew songs or schedule.
  • The counselors and directors were shocked by the campers’ astounding energy. The girls literally ran everywhere.
  • Margaret Broadbent Miller (Dr. Margaret) attended that very first summer, and Laura Green Hollowell attended the next year in 1975.

In 1979, Greystone added its two-week August Camp to the end of the summer.

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1970s Banquets:

1970: The World of Pooh
1972: Oliver
1973: You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
1974: Alice in Wonderland
1976: Tom Sawyer
1977: Snow White
1978: Oklahoma
1979: Camelot

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You may have been a 1970s camper if you remember:

  • Lake Edith completely drying up in the late 1970s.
  • A Barnyard Evening Program, where all campers were blindfolded and simultaneously made animal noises as they attempted to group together with their like-minded species.
  • Celebrating America’s Bicentennial in 1976. Campers dressed in patriotic colors, the camp bell was rung continously at noon, and girls were suprised with cupcakes at crackers.
  • Watching President Nixon resign on the TV.
  • Celebrating your birthday at Libby and Jim’s house. Cabins would head to their house, bake a cake, watch TV, and swing on the huge tree swings.

Greystone Pickers

The newly formed hillbilly band Greystone Pickers began in the 1970s under the leadership of Val O’Flaherty, Cynthia Sturges, and Sue Johnson. Campers played washboards, saws, spoons, toilet seats, and more.

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1970s Facility Renovations:

  • Crafts “Dugout” beneath the Dining Hall doubled in size.
  • Tennis Courts converted from clay to hard surface.
  • Sailing and swimming docks rebuilt.
  • Hostess Cabin expansion to add additional office space.
  • Property across from the front entrance was purchased for a new sailing dock.
  • Deep Country property purchased providing housing for men staff and staff not assigned to cabins.
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