Otter Lake Cottagers Association

Memories of Camp Otter: By Larry Rublee

My name is Larry Rublee and I was a camper, then a counselor at Camp Otter from the summer of 1957 through the summer of 1967…. Doug Webster encouraged former campers to contact you with memories and pictures for the 100th anniversary of the camp’s founding.

It is difficult to convey in words what Camp Otter meant to me, but I’ll give it a shot. With no electricity, no running water and few amenities, nature was the great teacher in our lives at Camp. We all learned at some essential level how nature is so complex and interdependent. We learned on many long, hard canoe trips to rely on each other and that we could do things not thought possible…to stretch our limits. These and many more invaluable life lessons are Camp Otter’s legacy and it truly touched and influenced many young lives.

A couple of specific memories:

Someone challenged one of the counselors to portage a canoe across the lake, in the water, from Sandy Beach, past Rocky Point, to Bill Crewson’s farm. I can’t remember whether he made it or not, but I remember that he tried. Picture a canoe, apparently floating upside down, moving slowly across Otter Lake!

Bill Crewson, the camp caretaker, was my mentor in many ways. He’d be repairing a cabin or fixing a pump, and I’d sit down with him and he’d explain in detail what he was doing. It was the attention he paid to me as a 12 year old kid that made a life-long difference in my life. Bill Crewson cared.