Harford Fair Weekend 2007

August 23 - 26, 2007 (150th year of the Harford Fair)
New Milford, PA 18834

Pictured Above (From Left to Right) The Schroders (Taylor, Erik, Armella, Camryn, Todd), The Guenthers (Ava, Maggie, Mark, Michael and Aidan), the Davis Family (Ridge, Georgene, Brant and Jed), The Eames Family (Kevin, Alli, Bettina and Eric), The Filis (Sal, Lee and Joe) and The Ottos (Wendy and John). Canines: Cooper (far left), Fiona (middle) and Mackenzie (far right)

Upon leaving camp following this year's Harford Fair weekend, I told Todd I would write the first post-summer reunion article in traditional "Camp Susquehanna" style - so here it is!

The Schroder and Davis clans arrived Thursday followed by the Eames just in time for bruschetta and spaghetti dinner over the fire place. As usual, Todd and Ridge did a great job mowing the grass in the fields so we could comfortably pitch our tents Armella put out a small neon flag so we could find the turn into the rifle range. I've had a couple years of practice so I am getting good at knowing where to turn. Usually we've described it as "just pass the stone post and right after the first big pine tree!" but since we were expecting two new groups this year, Armella put out the little neon flag which helped alot. Alli and Camryn settled right down and decided to share a tent and had their own little coloring/ sleeping clubhouse set up right away. The boys got together right away throwing balls, frisbees, hitting baseballs and the like. Armella set out the solar lights again this year and made her traditional light path up to the outhouse. We admired Todd and Armella's new "LL Bean tent" (just like the Eames' only newer) and also admired Erik's (I mean Shaggy's) "new hair". It was especially fun getting to know and play with Cooper, the Schroder's one-year old Jack Russell terrier. Cooper is the second litter off-spring of Popper, the Davis's Jack Russell terrier. Anyway, Cooper amazed us all with this soccer talent and was obsessed with chasing Erik's remote control car. It got to a point where Cooper was biting the wheels of the chassis and Erik was getting upset.

Friday morning we awoke to the smell of camp coffee cake in authentic camp cookware and coffee, brewed in Ridge's new coffee pot. The morning was spent leisurely hanging out around the range (except for Bettina who enjoyed sleeping in). After lunch, all of us headed out for an afternoon at the Harford Fair. Friday afternoon is priced for families so we could get the pay one price for rides deal. I noticed the big ferris wheel was not there this year. Erik (Schroder) coaxed Eric (Eames) up on the smaller ferris wheel this year and neither of them looked too thrilled to be on it. Everyone (except for Bettina) loved going on the glider - a ride where you fly through the air on your stomach which made me quite dizzy and sick. Alli loved it. Camryn won a big husky stuffed animal dog and Alli was quite jealous (she forgot to bring a stuffed animal and realized she needed one). Big thanks to Armella's eagle eye, who spotted a sign on a wheel barrow full of free stuff along the road home. Alli picked up a sleeping buddy and was very happy. The Eames' agreed that we would NOT try and win a fish this year (past years fish wins have died wither on the way home or within a week of being home). Leaving the fair with some chocolate fudge was just fine for all of us! Todd and Bettina took some kids to see the "small" lady - we agreed she was not as small as we thought she was going to look but we got our fifty cents worth nevertheless (I think). We all got back to camp in time for the arrival of Sali Fili and two fo the triplets (Lee and Joe) followed by friends of Armella's (Wendy, John and their Golden Retriever McKenzaie) who rolled into camp later on Friday night. Dinner that night was Eames' chili and cheese bread. Some left shortly after dinner to head back to the fair for the rodeo which started at 8:00. Friday night was another great warm evening around the camp fire (but still no stars!). Everyone agreed that the rodeo this year was much better than last year and there was some pretty good competition in every event. Friday night's entertainment was Ridge showing us his amazing "glow-in-the-dark" leather! Ooooh.

Saturday morning started with the arrival of the Guenther five - Mark, Maggie, Michael, Ava, Aidan along with Fiona, the Sheltie. Saturday was quite hot so many of played games in the heat and then cooled off with some ice cold drinks and splashed each other with ice cold water from the coolers. For most of Saturday, Todd, Ridge, Mark and Kevin and the boys tried lighting a fire using some little kits of magnesium and a strike plate (aka without matches) that Armella picked up. It kept everyone busy to say the least. I think the team of Erik Schroder and Bettina were the winners! I took a walk to the lake later in the AM to take a swim and cool off but I got just as hot and sweaty on the walk back (which everyone knows is almost all up hill). After lunch, Sal led a very large group of kids down to the lake and instituted the traditional Camp Susquehanna "buddy system" before all headed out. This year there was some pretty green algae in the lake. I had forgotten that happens but Todd said it was a common occurrence toward late summer. Most of Saturday afternoon was spent around the range, making and eating smores and hobo pies, drinking, catching newts or catching naps (for some of us older folk). Saturday's evening meal was hot dogs, hamburgers and whatever anyone felt like cooking. Many took off again to get back to the fair for the demolition derby at 8:00. Some of us stayed behind to watch the dogs, tend the fire and the beer. The "demolition derby" crowd came back late as usual and everyone longed for their comfy dry tents and sleeping bags. Saturday night's entertainment (and the finale) was Ridge and his "glow-in-the-dark" leather, which we were all then convinced really did glow.

Sunday morning was a beautiful warm late summer morning (unlike the past several years) and we all got to take down our camps in the dry! Everyone took their time this year packing. We all got together and took our traditional group picture. We all agreed that by Sunday the outhouse was starting to smell a bit ripe- we had 23 people and 3 dogs (oh yeah they don't count) over 4 days. We missed having Janis there this year but she was a bit busy in China picking up her new daughter Maia. I think we all agreed that the weather was spectacular although a bit too warm at times (which resulted in some water fights). We all headed out (each with a big bag of trash in our cars) and as I was leaving I heard a loud but familiar voice shouting from the Davis's truck those familiar words�.."And a Good Time Was Had By ALL!" See you all again next year.

By Bettina Eames (aka Laswood), October 6, 2007
A Rose to...
1) The great warm and dry weather!
2) Not losing any kids at the fair
3) Great time with Friends
A Lemon to...
1) The smelly outhouse
2) Janis not being there
3) Not enough newts