Meet Four Generations of College Settlement Campers!
By Marguerite Vance, Gwendolyn Vance, Sean Vance, Sr., and Sean Vance. Jr.
Introduction and very slight edits by David Kleiner
Four generations of the Vance family have come to College Settlement. We were fortunate this summer to meet the Vance family. Members of the family have been attending College Settlement camps for four generations. Here are their reflections on the College Settlement experience…
Marguerite Vance (great-grandmom), from Huntingdon Valley
Camper in the 40’s and 50’s
When we first started going to camp, I couldn’t believe all the fun activities, especially out on the lake, campfires and (best of all) the talent shows. One of the campers was Florence LaRue who would sing her heart out. She promised us she would be famous and she was: she became one of the members of the 5th Dimension, who were very famous. I just loved the fellowship with other campers and as a teen it was great getting more freedom to explore the camp. The independence of being away from home helped me get confidence. Back in my day, if you were a top camper, you could earn extra time there. Once I spent the whole summer! I love that the camp is essentially the same as when I was a kid and clearly just as much fun.
Gwendolyn (Gwen) Vance (grandmom), from Abington
RN CCTC, Temple Lung Transplant Program
Camper in the 60’s and 70’s
There were 5 of us kids and we all came to camp every year. It was always the highlight of the summer. I came first to Mansion House when I was little, which was so much fun. Then I transitioned to the cabins where I met the friends who would make my camp experience the best. It was like a huge sleepover. My favorite activities were swimming, archery and especially the boat races on the lake which I actually excelled at. Who knew I was a great competitive boat racer! I would have never known I was good at that if it wasn’t for camp. I can say camp did give me confidence and leadership ability as well as having a blast. We went every year until we were too old, and I missed it so much. It was a no-brainer where I wanted my kids to go.
Thanks so much for being such a great place for us to spend our childhoods and continuing the mission of creating a safe, happy, educational place for families to rely on!
Sean Vance, Sr. (father), from Philadelphia
Camper in 80’s and 90’s
My sister and I used to get so excited right before camp and we would pack our favorite things. But all I really needed was a bathing suit because I loved everything in the water. I knew how to swim before camp but I got real (and hard!) training at College Settlement and it served me well all my life — certainly when I went to basic training in the Marine Corps. Swimming is a huge part of that. I loved the exploring we would do in the woods, art time, and swimming races, and I loved diving in the deep end. The camp looks and feels the same, which means any kid will have fun no matter what they like to do.
Sean Vance Jr. (son), from Philadelphia.
I’m having fun so far. Everyone likes my jokes. It’s really cool here. We went swimming. We were in three feet to start with. The challenge was to make sure your feet did not touch the ground while swimming back and forth. It was really hard. We also played in the park a lot. It was fun. We ate lunch and dinner. This place is so cool. Well, I’ll see you later. Tell Chloe I miss her. Bye!