Monday, February 4, 2019

The Words of 2018 LIT, Ryan Anastasio

A Success Story for a First Time Camper

Ryan on his LIT overnight hike.
Going to sleepaway camp is one of the best things that I have done. William Lawrence Camp has become a second home and another family to me. I have met countless people in my 6 years here and have developed strong friendships with people all the way from Massachusetts to Spain.

My journey at William Lawrence Camp began in the Summer of 2012. While I did not attend camp that year, I helped drop off my older brother Matt. My first impression of camp was not what it is today. I thought it was nice and was amazed at the height of the climbing tower and the size of the knoll. However, I said that this place was not for me. Leaving home for a long time was a non starter for me and sleeping in a room without electricity and a bathroom was not appealing. When my brother returned from camp four weeks later he talked about all the fun he had. While I knew that he had a great time I still said that camp was not for me.

As 2013 approached my older brother signed up for camp again as well as my younger brother Sam. I had no plans for the summer but I knew one thing, I was not coming to camp. My first year at camp was not planned. I once again went up to camp to help drop of my brothers. When I arrived at camp I was stunned to hear that I would be coming to camp as well. I begged and I pleaded but I was unsuccessful in my efforts and I found out that I would be spending the next two weeks here.

The first few days of camp are not always the easiest your first year. You have to grapple with the idea of no electricity and independent living. After about a few days, I was settled in. While I did not plan on coming my first year at camp, my parents gave me a gift in coming here. At camp I have learned skills such as how to shoot a rifle, how to shoot a bow and how to sail a boat. While these are great tangible skills, camp gives you many intangible things. At camp I have learned to be more independent. I have learned better social skills and have met hundreds of people from across the world. You are required to clean your area in your cabin and you are allowed to make your own choices at camp.

Every year I come back to camp because of the friendships I have created here and because of the hundreds of skills I have learned. If you are looking for an exciting place full of energy and a place for a welcoming community William Lawrence is the place to be.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Words of 2018 LIT, Miles Renney

Miles helping to lifeguard at the waterfront

Nature at Camp

This was my sixth year attending William Lawrence Camp and as I packed I thought of the reasons for why I was returning. I recall the memories I have made as well as the friendships I have created. I think back to the skills I have learned and the fun that I have had. As I think of my past experiences at camp I could not help but remember the scenery and the nature that camp possesses. I have numerous memories of wildlife at camp along with the spectacular views which you see almost every day. The wildlife at camp made every day unique, you never know what you are going to see. At camp you see chipmunks, squirrels, frogs, deer, and sometimes even a porcupine. I also remember taking wilderness skills and learning about the abundance of plant life at camp. Because of camp I can tell the difference between a white pine and a red pine and my knowledge of nature has grown immensely.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Words of 2018 LIT, Jin Purdy

Jin on the LIT overnight hiking trip

A Description of William Lawrence
William Lawrence Camp is a great camp. Good food, the serenity of nature and having a waterfront makes this camp a great place for boys all over the world. Even if this place is only open in the summer, the spirit of this 105-year-old camp keeps calling back campers to spend the summer here. The staff here are also international; from the U.S. and Europe, to Africa and Australia. This camp accepts all cultures and races. At the waterfront, which happens to be Lower Beach Pond, campers have multiple activities available to them; sailing, canoeing, fishing (both regular and fly), tubing (for Juniors and Middlers) and water skiing. Here, you can also get American Red Cross Swimming Level certifications, from level two to six.

Friday, November 20, 2015

ART: The legend, the magic sticky buns!

Fall 2015 Knoll News:

So famous for several generations of WLC history that he needs no introduction or even a last name to be recognized, we are thrilled to bring you a brief look at the life story of ART!

Spotlight Profile: Art Makechnie

  A Career to Fall Back On

By Robert Gallagher

There aren’t many who have spent more time at summer camp than Art Makechnie. Surprisingly, his first experience of summer camp came not as a camper but as an assistant to the chef at the Geneva Point Camp.  Before that, Art’s summers had been taken up with activities closer to home.  The family had a small farm and Art was in charge of one cow, four sheep, two pigs, and 150 chickens to go along with fifty apple trees and a one and a half acre garden.  In the camp kitchen that first summer, Art found work to be agreeable and he did well.  The chef noted somewhat prophetically that his college-bound assistant would always be able to fall back on food service. 

Throughout his college years at Ohio Wesleyan, food service would continue as a reliable source of income: in the dish room of a girls’ dorm during the school year and back in the kitchen at camp during the summer.  After graduating as a history major, when Art moved on to continue his studies (first in theology at Boston University and later at Harvard in education) summer work in a camp kitchen would be a constant. 
Art’s introduction to WLC came in mid-summer of 1970 when he agreed to take over the kitchen at WLC after two cooks had walked out.  Art accepted the job over the phone – it was a matter of some urgency for Owen Carle to secure another cook – and soon found himself riding to Center Tuftonboro with Owen’s wife, Lorraine, who had been sent to bring him to the Knoll....

Read the rest of this profile and the entire Fall 2015 Knoll News by clicking here!

Friday, May 29, 2015


                It’s been over a decade since I was a camper on the knoll. It’s been six years since I worked on staff for WLC. Coming back in January of this year brought a new vision of camp for me.  I think few people get to see the tireless efforts that happen year-round for places like William Lawrence. For most, camp is this beautiful, greenery-filled fixture that forever stays in the season of summer. Over this past winter in New England, I was privileged enough to see seven feet of snow pack continually layer the campus in Ctr. Tuftonboro. It was exactly how I always imagined the age-old phrase of “winter-wonderland.” Having family from New England, I can truly say winter is easily my second favorite season;  second only to the New England summers.
                My time at William Lawrence (both as a camper and on staff) has been nothing short of exceptional. There is something special about the air and living communally that has impacted my life greatly. At camp, people come together differently than I have ever experienced. The songs and chants perpetually play out in my mind. Whether it was going to an inter-camp competition, an all-camp Evening Program, or simply a Free-Swim down at the Waterfront, the bonds I created at camp endlessly flourish. I have friends that live in all corners of the world because of my summers at William Lawrence.  It may sound odd, but camp is where I learned to successfully fail. Failing is something I believe that every person needs to discover.
                Kids are able to try new activities and sports while at WLC. Our motto of “Do Something” is what every boy is able to do. This is where failure becomes helpful. Camp has a hidden safety net for boys to engage in new things without true fear of being a failure. In my opinion, failure is when we stop trying, when we lose our will to work for the things we want and need. I distinctly remember counselors literally picking me up from the ground and saying, “That’s alright, have another go.” Giving kids (and ourselves) opportunities to fail presents the chance to build an identity and persevere in the face of adversity. They learn to thrive in the journey of working towards personal or common goals. This is what I love about William Lawrence. To quote a popular animated kid’s show, Adventure Time, “Dude, sucking at something is the first step at being sorta good at something.”
-Jamie McDonough

Friday, May 22, 2015


We posted this picture in our Spring 2015 Knoll News and asked readers to post their guesses for a date of the photo on Facebook. The range of guesses made (1930’s all the way up to 1964) are indicative of how timeless this view is. In fact, unless you are very familiar with how the chapel looks today or when those drop-W-L camper T-shirts were worn, this picture could be from last June!

You actually can find this picture in the William Lawrence Camp promotional brochures from 1937 and 1939. So Les McDowell is our winner with his guess of “1930s”. We recently received copies of these brochures from alum Robert Chase of Falmouth, MA, who was at camp with his brothers during this period.

The caption under the picture in the 1939 brochure is timeless as well:
The early morning Password Service in the woodland chapel each day inspires the boys with Christian ideals, and the daily camp life with its deep friendships and helpful guidance, encourages the campers to make these ideals live.

While there is no minister and no religious content to the morning services any more, this phrase is as appropriate to describe what we will be doing on the morning of June 29, 2015, as it was in the 1930’s.

Monday, May 18, 2015

FROM the Spring 2015 Knoll News:
Special Store Bundles On Sale Now At Camp!

Offers expire May 31; order via mail or email, accompanied by check (made out to William Lawrence Camp) or credit card information (including CVV and zip code of account, 3.9% convenience fee will apply). Prices INCLUDE shipping within the United States. We have only limited quantities of some items, so order early! 



 See pictures of the items and read the entire Spring 2015 Knoll News by clicking here!