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November 18th, 2006

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04:20 am - A most curious conundrum
FACT No. 1. My grandparents met at a religious retreat (church camp) called Deering, nestled up in the hills of southern New Hampshire.
FACT No. 2. My mother and my father met at Deering.
FACT No. 3. My mother and my first stepfather also met at Deering.
FACT No. 4. Deering closed a year before I would have been old enough to go, and I would have gone.

Kinda makes a fellow wonder sometimes, don't it...

(10 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 18th, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC)
My parents met at an American Baptist college where my father was studying to be a preacher. Not only did he not become a preacher, they ended up not even being Baptists.
[User Picture]
Date:November 18th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
My parents met on a blind date.
(Deleted comment)
Date:November 18th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:November 18th, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC)
I met N. online. Gosh. I hope they never close the internet!

The spooky thing about the camp part for me, in the "Small, small, tiny world" way, is that several moons ago I was the chair of a national church sub-committee figuring out what to do with Deering after it closed. I should have told them to keep it open for the "Spatch Family Continuation Camp." And I would have, too. If I had only known. Now I am pondering Spatch spouses and little Spatches with Abbie's progeny...Whooo!

[User Picture]
Date:November 19th, 2006 01:41 pm (UTC)
When I tell people that I met samantha2074 via the Internet, I've actually had some of them say things like "How sad". I don't know... it doesn't seem sad to me. We don't feel compelled to follow anyone else's notion of what is romantic.

Sometimes I've rushed to emphasize that it didn't fit the stereotypes of Internet geek love: we didn't meet via a personals site, and we didn't spend months or years in an online-only relationship before meeting in real life. But, really, I don't see why those details would even make it worse, given that we're still together after ten years and starting a family.
[User Picture]
Date:November 19th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
From what I remember at the time, Deering was already showing serious signs of deterioration when the decision was made to close the place. From what I also remember, Mass Camps & Conferences was looking to cut down on its privately-owned conference centers, opting instead to use independently-owned ecumenical centers such as Star Island or Geneva Point.

Craigville and Warner Farm are still owned by the UCC, if memory serves, but my father was on the Warner Farm committee for many years and had a lot of bureaucratic problems trying to keep the property open, maintained, and most importantly owned by church.

Feel free to confirm or refute as much of this as you can, even if only so that I can feel safe in the knowledge that I've got the story right in my head.
[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2006 03:49 am (UTC)
The Deering Committee was basically to get various conference execs from New England in a room and make sure none of them wanted it and the UCC National Board could sell it or do whatever without flack. I believe it was an unusual property, in that it was not owned by a conference or association, but the UCC Board for Homeland Ministries. The committee visited it once. It was in bad shape. Rustic to start with and then decimated by years of low maintence.

I lost track of what happened to it, but apparently it is open again!
You could rent it for your next retreat.

Here is the history of how that came about:

I thought there was an alumni group but I can't find anything about that.

I didn't grow up in MA, so my knowledge of their camps is nil. But poking around the Mass. Conference site, it looks like they do still own Craigville and Warner Farm, but only the first is still used for camps. Check out these links:

New England Outdoor Ministries
(include Craigville, Geneva Point, Star Island)

Camps dates for 2007

Warner Farm Retreat and Conference Center

Gotta love Google!

[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2006 06:27 am (UTC)
In 1995, after leading a camp in northern New Hampshire , Mike Silver brought his wife to The Deering Conference Center to show her the place that in 1983, "had a profound impact on [his] life". Later that sunny August day Mike and Deb were on Vesper Hill, a sacred spiritual place at the center. Mike suddenly felt an "overwhelming feeling" as if God was pouring "hot milk chocolate" into his body. He felt this was a call to move from his home and job in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Deering, New Hampshire and reopen the center.

I was actually there that day; I was counselor with him at the "camp in northern New Hampshire" (Geneva Point) and on our way back, thought we'd stop by Deering just to see how it looked. I poked all around the cabin areas on both sides of the road, found my aunt in one of the Deering Camp Family pictures still hung in the main building, and checked out the bizarre flea market collection of junk in the dining hall.

Mike, meanwhile, spent a lot of time up on the hill where the cross had been. That's where he got his call. Powerful things, calls. Tough to ignore.
[User Picture]
Date:November 18th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
Really, church camp is just for losing your virginity. You can meet a life partner anywhere.
[User Picture]
Date:November 19th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)

How my parents met

My parents were living in Seattle and being young professionals and doing what young professionals do. My dad's roommate and my mom's roommate were dating. They got in stupid histrionic arguments on the phone all the time. So my mom's roommate would hand the phone to my mom and tell her to chat with my dad while roommate guy and roommate chick stomped around being drama queens. So eventually they decided to hang out. Oh, and both of them hadn't mentioned on the phone that they had visible physical disabilities, and both hadn't ever tried dating anyone because they thought no one would date them because of it.

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